U.S. Navy seaman from Nederland shares stories from South China Sea

Published 12:32 am Friday, February 10, 2023

The 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners, preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to the military.

Numbered in that group is 2018 Nederland High School graduate Steven Morgan.

“My Dad and my family tradition of military service is what inspired me, along with a lot of my friends who had also joined the service,” Morgan said when asked why he enlisted.

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That service has included routine operations this year in the South China Sea aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

“The most rewarding part would have to be coming home and that moment of coming off the ship after being at sea,” he said. “You see everyone’s loved ones, and I see my wife run up to me with our newborn daughter. It is the best feeling ever.”

During his latest deployment, Morgan joked with Port Arthur Newsmedia that he misses crawfish, boudain, trips to Whataburger and “most definitely the TexMex” when away from home on the ship.

Some of his favorite local childhood moments include getting together with a bunch of friends at the Central Middle School tennis courts and playing Tennis Court Baseball, which they dubbed “TCB.”

Morgan joked those in Port Arthur and Mid County would be surprised to know most of the people on the USS Nimitz have ever heard of boudain.

On a more serious note, he said when the Navy conducts large evolutions like fueling-at-sea or replenishment-at-sea, more often than not, those efforts don’t go according to plan.

“And sometimes while holding the messenger, the probe hose will get hit by a big wave and we will almost go overboard from being pulled by the line,” Morgan said. “And while our HODs (Head of Department) are freaking out, we’re all just on the line laughing.”