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PA native Erajah Scypion “builds and fights” for Navy Seabees

GULFPORT, Miss. — “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for more than 75 years. Constructionman Erajah Scypion, a 2011 Port Arthur Memorial High School graduate and native of Port Arthur, builds and fights around the world as a member of naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Miss.

Scypion is serving as a Navy steelworker, who is responsible for working with metal and reinforcing steel to make sure it stays in place.

Scypion credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Port Arthur.

“It’s important to always carry a positive attitude no matter how things are going,” Scypion said.

Building in austere environments can be a challenge. Fighting in harsh conditions can also be a challenge. Building in austere environments while fighting in harsh conditions takes a special kind of person with a great deal of perseverance and determination.

These are the kinds of people serving here at Gulfport, the home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees. These are the people who provide crucial support to Seabee units deployed around the world.

The jobs of many of today’s Seabees remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.

Scypion is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans.

More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Scypion is most proud of graduating air traffic control school and then changing career fields to be a Seabee.

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Scypion, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Scypion is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My dad was a Seabee,” said Scypion.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Scypion and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“It’s rewarding helping people in other countries who may not have the resources to do things on their own,” Scypion said. “Serving in the Navy gives me the opportunity to show others how important it is to help those in need, regardless of whether it’s another country overseas or within their own community.”

Alvin Plexico

Special to The News