Navy ships travel all over the world, housing and protecting service members from across the United States. For one of those sailors, home isn’t that far away.
Pascagoula native Lt. Mark Humes with the U.S. Navy recently had the honor of steering USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) into Ingalls. Humes is currently serving aboard DDG 1000, which arrived in Pascagoula in August after leaving San Diego.
“From Japan to Mexico, I’ve taken this ship all around the world,” Humes said. “However, there’s no better feeling than bringing it to my hometown. My parents got to see me drive the ship. I don’t know if they’ll ever get a chance to see that again.”
With Humes’ father being a Navy veteran, Humes followed suit, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Currently, he serves as a strike officer aboard the USS Zumwalt.
“I learned discipline, hard work and mental toughness through my parents and playing sports,” said Humes, a former Pascagoula High football player. “Once I got into the Navy, they refined my leadership skills, and I have applied those attributes to helping keep this country safe as a sailor.”
Humes is grateful for the life lessons learned from his youth in the Flagship City. Driving USS Zumwalt back to the place where his journey started was a full circle moment for the 25-year-old.
“I’m really just showing family members, mentors and the town the return on their investment in me,” Humes said. “A lot of people molded me into the man I am today, and I had the chance to bring this ship back to the city as a token of my appreciation.”
The ship will enter a modernization period and receive technology upgrades while at Ingalls.
“There’s a special place in my heart knowing friends and old classmates are working on this vessel,” Humes said. “We get to showcase how amazing Ingalls and its shipbuilders are.”
The hard work, dedication and expertise of Ingalls shipbuilders is not something Humes takes lightly. He knows Ingalls shipbuilders are focused on building world-class ships that protect and defend our military, that their mission is our purpose.
“Ingalls has been producing amazing ships for a long time in my hometown of Pascagoula, Mississippi,” Humes said. “Shipbuilders should be proud of their work. The military is supporting you and this country thanks you for these amazing ships.”
Click here to see news video: USS Zumwalt sailor returns home to Pascagoula (wlox.com)