WATERS SURROUNDING THE KOREAN PENINSULA (NNS) -- The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) is two months into a seven-month deployment and many have settled into productive routines.
There are plenty of seasoned veterans, and a few new faces aboard who can offer a wide range of advice to help other Sailors be successful through the remainder of the Western Pacific deployment.
Fire Controlman 1st Class Russell Rauch, from Pollock Pines, California, is on his fifth deployment, and knows that some of his shipmates don't have a lot of free time. He recommends using any free time to keep in touch with loved ones who remain stateside.
"Don't forget to write the people you like," said Rauch. "Don't forget to write the people you love. Don't forget to write the people you don't like at all because later on down the road, you may need a favor from them."
Yeoman 2nd Class Priscilla Goodall, from Houston, is on her second deployment, and believes personal attitude plays an important role during deployment.
"Just stay positive," said Goodall. "Check your attitude towards small things, and remember you are out here for your family back home."
Of course, there are plenty of tasks to accomplish. Gunner's Mate 2nd Class McJohn Holden, from Jacksonville, is on his fourth deployment, and his advice is to keep busy and stay focused on the mission.
"I tell myself not to worry about home so much," said Holden. "Everything will be fine. Just focus on your job and your qualifications. Get as much as possible done so that when you get back home, you won't have to worry about it."
Fire Controlman 1st Class Leighanne Aquino, on her fourth deployment, believes setting deployment goals can help you accomplish more during the many months at sea.
"Have a plan of what you want to achieve. You'll get more done and won't find yourself waiting around," said Aquino. "Idle hands, idle minds. Keep yourself busy."
There are many new Sailors aboard William P. Lawrence who are still learning the ropes after experiencing their first time at sea. Personnel Specialist Seaman Bethany Akosa has learned to give herself a little bit of time every day, in order to decompress.
"Find your own thing that you need to do to get away from the day-to-day stuff," said Akosa. "For me, it's always been books and movies. Get away from the monotony and repetitiveness. Have something else to do to get your mind elsewhere."
Eventually, there will be bad days. Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Danny Meadows is on his first deployment and has learned not every day is easy.
"[You should] go to bed knowing that tomorrow is a new day, and forget about what happened today," said Meadows. "Take everything for what it's worth."
No two Sailors will experience deployment the same, and there are many different ways to capitalize on this time at sea. The key to success is balance. Focus on the mission and get involved in different activities to better yourself.
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific, William P. Lawrence, commanded by Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
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