Northwest NEWS

December 20, 1999


A long way from home

   While most Americans are celebrating the holiday season at home or with family, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Cheryl A. Benson, a 1994 graduate of Woodinville High School, will spend the holidays forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.

   Benson is one of more than 63,000 sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who are serving our country, separated from their families and loved ones this holiday period. Benson is working abroad to preserve peace as part of our nation's forward defense forces. She joined the Navy in January 1997.

   Carriers, like USS Kitty Hawk, are forward deployed around the world to maintain a U.S. presence and provide rapid response in times of crisis. They serve as a highly visible deterrent to would-be aggressors and, if deterrence fails, offer the most versatile and powerful weapons available, including NATO Sea Sparrow missiles and tactical aircraft.