Only Action News Jax can give you rare access to the world’s largest navy.
Lorena Inclán was invited to embed with local sailors for four days to see how they live, work and play.
As Memorial Day approaches, we want to share stories of our men and women in uniform.
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As part of Lorena’s experience, she was issued a uniform.
A Jacksonville native, Chief Petty Office Chiwanna Rogers, even taught her how to pack a sea bag.
“This is a sea bag that sailors normally get when they first go to boot camp,” said Rogers.
It’s step one to becoming a real sailor, and what goes inside that sea bag is extensive: everything from shoes to towels. When it’s all packed up, it weighs… a lot.
Rogers knew in high school she wanted to serve.
“I didn’t want to go to college right away out of school. I wasn’t, like, the best student, so I decided on joining the Navy,” said Rogers.
That was back on June 29, 1997, just days after she graduated from Wolfson High School.
“Of course, I was scared to death because I never knew what to expect,” said Rogers.
Twenty-two years later, she not only still serves but she holds one of the highest ranks for an enlisted sailor.
For her, it was even more intimidating back in the 1990s.
“We were like the first group of females to check on board the ship,” said Rogers.
She’s the first one in her family to serve but she definitely won’t the last.
“I actually had to do this for my son,” said Rogers as she showed us how to pack a sea bag. “My son is in the Navy. He’s 19-years-old.”
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