I love getting the opportunity to salute our troops. It's awesome to have an opportunity to give thanks, but it's also cool to see what they're up to.

You can check out the official release from the U.S. Navy below, but I want to just take a second and thank Fireman Christopher Callander for his service, for representing America and for representing the good old Hub City!

If Christopher is a friend of yours, please pass our best wishes along to him with hopes for a safe and speedy return home.

NORFOLK – A 2015 Lubbock Christian High School graduate and Lubbock, Texas native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Carter Hall.

Fireman Christopher Callander is a hull maintenance technician aboard the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.

A Navy hull maintenance technician is responsible for all welding repairs aboard the ship.

“I enjoy welding and brazing a lot. ” said Callander.

Commissioned in 1995, USS Carter Hall, is 610 feet long. The ship can travel at speed in excess of 20 nautical miles per-hour.

Carter Hall is one of four Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships currently in service. The ships primary purpose is to launch equipment and personnel for amphibious missions.

“The Carter Hall success since departing the shipyard in November 2015 has been due to the hard work and dedication of the entire crew,” said Cmdr. Tina Dalmau, commanding officer, USS Carter Hall. “I could not be more proud of their accomplishment over the last eight months. We recently returned from operations overseas in support of BALTOPS 2016. This exercise was an excellent opportunity for my crew to improve their interoperability amongst our NATO Allies and Partners while demonstrating NATO’s commitment to security in the Baltic Region.”

Approximately 22 officers and 390 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the ship running smoothly. The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.

“It is really neat being out on the ocean and watching the sunset with nothing else around you,” said Callander.

Although it is difficult for most people to imagine living on a ship, the challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Callander and other Carter Hall sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

“Serving in the Navy has kept me out of trouble and really bettered me as a person,” said Callander.

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