Carlos Fortuna

9/11

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Carlos Fortuna's story

I joined the US Navy on September 11, 1998, and I quickly learned that when joining the military you must perform your best to protect your country. My career was no different; I served on two aircraft carriers (USS Nimitz CVN68 and USS Kitty Hawk CV63) as an engineer, a hovercraft unit (ACU4) as a planner and engineer and as an instructor for a Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSCIATTS).

During my time in the Navy, I was witness to the September 11, 2001 attacks and a few of my friends being injured in action or dealing with the aftermath of what they saw during deployment. One of those experiences happened during January 2005 when a flight deck accident onboard the USS Kitty Hawk resulted in six sailors injured with one of them losing a leg. It reminds me every day of how fragile life can be.

My experience was that the Navy is strict and demanding at times, but those who serve are proud of protecting freedom and carry a tremendous pride that comes from doing the job assigned. For the Navy, you must always live by the core values that are the foundation of everything you do - “Honor, Courage and Commitment”. The Navy taught me to work as a team to make collaborative decisions on how to best accomplish the required goal and to never doubt your abilities and the abilities of your team. It also taught me to be a leader and that if a door is slammed in your face, you can figure out how to solve the problem to get through it.

I have been asked in the past what made me join the Military service. I joined because deep down I care, I care about my community, my country and I care about my family’s future. My family, my education and my Naval career made me who I am today, and I am thankful for that.

Hull Technician First Class – Surface Warfare Specialist / US Navy from September 11, 1998 to October 02, 2009

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