Pendleton man serves on USS The Sullivans

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Seaman Riley Cowan, a native of Pendleton, serves aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS The Sullivans.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Cleary

Editor’s note: This story was submitted to The Times-Post from Navy Office of Community Outreach, Millington, Tennessee.

NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. — Seaman Ryle Cowan, a native of Pendleton, Indiana, is serving aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68).

Cowan, a 2019 graduate of Pendleton Heights High School, said he enjoys serving in the U.S. Navy because of the variety of people he has met and experiences he has had.

Cowan serves as a gunner’s mate responsible for a variety of weapons, putting up strike plates and ensuring M4s and M9s are in good condition.

“Serving on The Sullivans makes me feel proud because of what the Sullivan brothers did, not to mention their great reputation,” Cowan said. “It’s something that makes you wonder how it’d feel to have your own siblings serving with you.”

According to Navy, The Sullivans is named to honor five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, who served together on the USS Juneau during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George, 28; Francis, 27; Joseph, 24; Madison, 23; and Albert, 20; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on Nov. 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members.

This was the greatest military loss by any one American family during World War II.

The Sullivans is currently undergoing a routine maintenance period after completing a seven-month global deployment, where they participated in multinational operations and joint training exercises with international partners to foster positive relationships while ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security.

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