Rusk, Texas Sailor Awarded Prestigious Medal by U.S. Navy
A Rusk High School graduate was recently recognized by the U.S. Navy for going over the top when it comes to community service.
Airman Melanie Santos, a native of Rusk, Texas, was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal aboard the USS Constitution, on July 14th. According to a release from the Navy Office of Community Outreach, this medal is awarded to service members who perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature.
“I’m glad I’m at a place that gives me a plethora of volunteer opportunities and gives me fulfillment in helping out the community,” said Santos.
Santos has served the Navy for a year and a half and USS Constitution is her first duty station. She is a 2020 graduate of Rusk High School.
Duty aboard USS Constitution is one of the Navy’s special programs, and all prospective crewmembers must meet a high standard of sustained excellence and interview to be selected for the assignment.
The USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, and played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.
The active-duty Sailors stationed aboard USS Constitution normally provide free tours and offer public visitation to more than 600,000 people each year as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history, maritime heritage, and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.
The USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and captured or destroyed 33 enemy vessels. The ship earned the nickname of Old Ironsides during the war of 1812 after British cannonballs were seen bouncing off the ship’s wooden hull.