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USS Barry Sailors Take Pride in Service, Friendships

YOKOSUKA, Japan, Sept. 9, 2016 — When asked what his military service means to him, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Joey Frisicco summed it up succinctly with one word: Everything.

The Philadelphia native, who has been in the Navy for a dozen years, is a fire controlman on the USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

Frisicco admits there are challenges with military life and being away from friends and family. In January, the USS Barry left Norfolk, Virginia -- its homeport of more than 20 years -- to be forward-deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations.

"You try the best you can. Sometimes you don't have a choice but to take your job over everything else," Frisicco said. "Sometimes personal life and everything else suffer a little bit just to get the job done."

But, Frisicco said the service to the nation that means everything to him has great rewards. He said he joined the military because he loved his country and wanted to defend it, then it grew into he wanted to ensure his family is taken care of and safe.

"Now it's all the people who serve with me, the people who are next to me who I spent 24 hours a day with for months on end," he said. "Those are the people I care about most at this point because those are the people who are going to cover me when I need to be covered." 

Supporting Global Peace, Security

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Farren Lohndorf, a gunner's mate from Norfolk, Virginia, is on her first tour in the Navy. She has been on the USS Barry for nearly four-and-a-half-years. 

Lohndorf said she aspires to be a chief petty officer and just reenlisted for six more years.

She said she loves her job and hopes to make a career out of the Navy. Service has great meaning to her, she explained, "To me, it's all about defending my country so that my family can keep their freedom," she said. 

The USS Barry and its crew are supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Edilson Lazo, a boatswain's mate from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is on his first duty tour in the Navy. He said he’s proud of his service and being a part of missions. 

"It's exciting. I enjoy it. I feel like I'm making the world a better place," Lazo said.

'Your Own Little Family'

There are about 300 sailors on the USS Barry. Crew members say they relish the camaraderie among shipmates.

"This is like your second family and that means a lot," Lohndorf said.

Lazo, who has been on the ship for three-and-a-half years, underscored the importance of those friendships.

"It's your own little family when you're missing your own," Lazo said. "It helps a lot."

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Distribution channels: Military