Pinay ensign part of USS Blue Ridge crew

March 24, 2012 1:42 am 

MANILA, March 23 – Once again, the Filipinos' ability to excel in the maritime field has been proven.

A Filipina is one of the officers manning the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), in the country for a four-day good will visit.

Ensign Maria D. Josefa Veloria, fondly called "Maryjo" by friends and relatives, enlisted in the United States Navy as a logistics specialist.

She graduated from Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, ranking first out of 800 training sailors in military excellence sometimes in 2000.

Her first sea tour was aboard the USS Benfold (DDG-65) homeported in San Diego, California where she served as financial specialist.

After that, she was sent to the University of San Diego to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, graduating with honors.

In 2010, she extended her studies in Paris, France.

Veloria is a surface warfare officer aboard the Blue Ridge which is forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan.

Her other duties involved a division of 40 personnel and is in charge of the ship’s search and rescue program.

The oldest of six children, Maryjo was born June 14, 1986.

Living in a military camp, the family learned to survive without any helpers, and learned to do household chores on their own.

When they migrated to the United States, their independence proved to be very valuable as they lived on their own in the United States without any difficulty.

Maryjo always wanted to be the best of what she can be and that goal was achieved by serving in the United States Navy, at the same time fulfilling her dreams by serving in the military.

She admits that she looks to her father, Brig. Gen. Mariano Veloria, PMA Class of 1979, as her hero and idol.

The latter presently commands the Philippine Army's 53rd Engineering Brigade.

Aside from Maryjoy, three of her siblings, identified as Maria Christina, Gabriel, Maria Luzviminda, are all set to join the United States Navy.

Maria Christina will be commissioned next May, while Gabriel is a now a first year student at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland while Maria Luzviminda is waiting for her Naval Academy appointment.

The success of Veloria along with her other siblings is an example of how hard work, dedication, self-discipline, a clear and right mindset can make your dreams come true. Anyone can fulfill their dreams and accomplish a feat like Maryjo.

The Filipino youth should learn and inculcate in themselves that nothing in this world is impossible.

If you want to make it big, you have to dream big. If these people have made a name and paved the way for their own success in life, so can all of us. (PNA)

hbc/PFN

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