Carriere sailor serves in Bay of Bengal

BAY OF BENGAL-- Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Brandon Bounds, from Carriere, Mississippi, is assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Bay of Bengal which is located in the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, bounded on the west and northwest by India, on the north by Bangladesh, and on the east by Myanmar.

The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.

Above, Bounds reviews a watch log while standing the Damage Control Central Supervisor Watch in damage control central.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin D. Rankin)

Bounds understands teamwork and takes pride to be part of the Navy team.

"Being part of the United States Navy is intimidating in the way that I'm responsible and represent more than just myself, but it also feels amazing to be a part of something bigger than me. My primary duty is being a member of Flying Squad (the ships fire department), when the ship is out on the water there isn’t a way a firetruck could just pull up and put out a fire for us; that’s our job. We receive training on how to handle flooding, toxic gas environments and all classes of fires," Bounds said of his role.

Bounds explained the many skills needed to be an HT2.

"As far as my actual job goes, I'm a Hull Technician 2nd class, aka HT2.

We are the masters of metal. We cut, grind, braze, and weld every day, and we aren’t afraid of a hard day's works. There is absolutely nothing an HT can't fix. Me and my guys are the tool you pull out when nothing else works," Bounds explained.

When Bounds decided to join the U.S. Armed Forces, he wasn't sure which branch he would take.

"When I first thought of joining the military, I had no idea what any branch offered. Honestly, I thought the blue digital uniforms looked the coolest. Not a lot of thought into it, but I don’t regret a second of my decision."

Bound's family is very important to him and he shared his thoughts on his parents , Chris and Melanie Bounds.

"My family, to me, is the definition of hard working and honest. Everyone in my family is my role model to me in some way and inspire me every day, my mom is my rock and my dad is my hero. My mom is the kind of person that would give you a bed to sleep and a warm meal even if she has never met you all you have to do is ask. She is like a mom to everyone, kindhearted, honest, and above all patient. I couldn’t ask for a better Momma. My dad has worked hard and earned every single nickel and dime he has his whole life and is the reason I have my skill set and work ethic. He's stern, but fair. He's my moral compass. He is who I want to be when I grow up."

For now, Bounds is very happy to be where he is and doing what he does for his country.

"I'm a proud sailor, I love what I do, and I wouldn't change it for the world."

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