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Jacksonville native serves nation on high seas on guided-missile destroyer

Ensign Leah Ayres stands watch on deck of USS Mason

Ensign Leah Ayres of Jacksonville
Ensign Leah Ayres of Jacksonville

GULF OF OMAN – As our nation prepares to celebrate its independence this Fourth of July, we are saluting a hometown hero deployed as part of America's military force. Ensign Leah Ayres, from Jacksonville, Florida, is on the job as standing watch as the officer of the deck aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason.

The USS Mason is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations in support of naval operations.

Its mission is to ensure maritime stability and security in the central region, which connects the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

She is one of the thousands of men and women serving our country half a world away.

We are proud to salute Ayres for her commitment and dedication to ensure the safety and stability of our nation as we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence. Thank you, Ayres, for your service.