REMEMBERING AO3 GREGORY WAYNE ANDERSON JR.
By MC3 Robert Winn
A memorial service for Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Gregory Wayne Anderson Jr. was held aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Feb. 10 in the ship’s hangar bay.
Nearly 1,000 friends and shipmates gathered to remember and honor Anderson.
“I always heard growing up that at least once in your life you will meet an angel on earth,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Joseph Gonzalez. “AO3 Anderson was that angel. He touched everyone’s heart after meeting them and left them a better person.”
“He was a true and loyal friend,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Olivia Scott.
“He considered us all family and treated us as such.”
Anderson died Feb. 5 as a result of a shooting in Seattle. The shooting is currently under investigation by Seattle authorities.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the death of Petty Officer Anderson,” said Capt. Paul O. Monger, Nimitz Commanding Officer. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.”
Anderson joined the Navy in March 2009 and graduated from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in May 2009.
He reported to Nimitz’ Weapons Department in October 2009. Anderson was awarded a National Defense Medal and a flag letter of commendation for his work during the 2009-2010 Western Pacific Deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he moved 1,266 tons of conventional ordnance valued at $195 million.
In April 2011, Anderson reported to Nimitz’ Security Division where he served as part of the full-time Naval Security Force. He was responsible for maintaining good order and discipline and served as an integral part of the ship’s anti-terrorism and force protection measures, proving to be an extremely valuable asset.