WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Corey Petre, a native of Angola, Ind., got a large dose of the Navy's history and became a part of it himself as he reenlisted in the Navy, Jan. 10.
The Sailor took part in an age old tradition, the reenlistment ceremony, in front of his family and Sailors at the Naval History and Heritage Command's (NHHC) National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington D.C.
What made his reenlistment special was the fact that the reenlisting officer, Capt. Henry Hendrix, is, like Petre, a graduate of Prairie Heights High School. Petre is the son of Brian Petre of Auburn and Dawn Brames of Pleasant Lake. Hendrix and Petre's mother were high school class mates.
Petre, who currently serves aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), wanted to continue his service in the Navy because he feels he's at the beginning of something special.
"I joined the Navy to create an avenue of opportunity -- steady job, education, see the world. Also, I wanted to be able to have the honor to say, I served my country," Petre said. "There are so many things I still look forward to being able to accomplish such as becoming a chief petty officer and assisting junior Sailors the way I've been guided."
Hendrix, NHHC's director, and who also served aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt from 1995-1997, offered up the location for the ceremony: USS Constitution's "fighting top," a portion of the mast from the U.S. Navy's oldest active ship that resides inside the museum.
"Capt. Hendrix's idea of doing it atop the mast of the Constitution was so surreal," Petre said. "Knowing I was standing where so many others have stood is sobering and brings a new light to the line in the Sailors Creed, 'I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy, and those who have gone before me.'"
Hendrix admits this one was special, but is quick to point out that every reenlistment is an occasion worthy of recognition.
"For Sailor's, service always has and always will require great sacrifice both at war and in peacetime; harsh working conditions, going into harm's way, long periods of time away from home and loved ones," said Hendrix. "When someone chooses to continue to answer that call, we make time to recognize their commitment and to simply say 'thanks.' What better place to hold an age old ceremony, than the Constitution's fighting top? There's no better way and no better time to connect a Sailor to the 238-year legacy of warfighting excellence he and his generation will carry into the future. That his family was able to be here, is icing on the cake!"
Petre's Mother, Dawn Brames, stepfather, Michael Brames and sister, Shelby Brames, were on hand to witness the ceremony and, while Hendrix and Dawn Brames were classmates, the reenlistment ceremony was the first time the two Sailors met each other in person.
"I know Capt. Hendrix as an acquaintance," Petre explained. "He went to school with my mom and so she was the one who 'introduced' me to him. I use that term loosely due to the fact until last Friday we had never met in person, though I have sought his guidance through Facebook messages."
To Hendrix Petre is one of the Navy's rising stars.
"Petty Officer Petre has really impressed me with his hard work and positive attitude both before he enlisted and since," Hendrix remarked. "It is rare that a junior Sailor achieves both his surface and air warfare qualifications during his first tour. It is even rarer to be recognized as the Junior Sailor of the Year on a 5000 man nuclear aircraft carrier. This young man is going places. I am extremely gratified that he chose me to reenlist him, and grateful for the opportunity to catch up with an old friend."
He asked the captain to be the officiating officer because of his unfailing support since he joined the naval service.
"He was a big advocate of mine when I first started going to my local recruiting station," Petre said. "On several occasions in the past few years, he has put things into a new perspective for me. I look at this as a way to say thank you to him for all he has done. I look back and wonder where I would be to day without his assistance."
The Naval History and Heritage Command is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. Naval history and heritage. The Naval History and Heritage Command's lineage dates back to 1800 with the founding of the Navy Department Library by President John Adams.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is a 95,000 ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 1986 and recently completed her mid-life nuclear refueling.
For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visitwww.navy.mil/local/navhist/.
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