With Independence Day celebrations erupting across America, McMinnville native Adam Aycock is doing his part to preserve our freedom across the globe in Yokosuka, Japan.
A high-ranking U.S. Navy officer, Aycock has taken command of the USS Shiloh. The ship is a guided missile cruiser with a crew of 400.
It’s the fourth time Aycock has been given command of a ship during his 21-year naval career. He is a 1989 Warren County High School graduate.
The USS Shiloh is a complete battleship with guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons. It’s capable of defeating threats in the air, at sea, on shore, or underneath the sea. The ship carries two multi-purpose helicopters, mainly for anti-submarine warfare.
As he assumed his duties as USS Shiloh commander last week, Aycock made the following patriotic post on the ship’s Facebook page from Yokosuka. The online post from Commander Aycock is as follows:
“I was extremely proud as I assumed command of USS SHILOH this week. The namesake of the Civil War battle in Tennessee that marked the point in the war from which “the South never smiled again,” it is especially meaningful, as a native Tennessean, to assume command of her."
The post continues: "If you are able, I highly recommend a visit to the top-notch Shiloh National Military Park. It is a great way to spend a patriotic afternoon and the award-winning video will leave an impression. You will learn a great deal about the battle, how the U.S. Navy, in the form of “Timberclads” played an important part, how Tennesseans fought on both sides against each other, and how important it is to remember our history.
We said “Fair Winds & Following Seas,” a traditional farewell, to Capt. Kurush Morris, USN, and his family after their two years of honorable and faithful service to the crew. SHILOH, our Navy, and the nation are much in their debt for their selfless devotion and sacrifice.
We started the 4th of July weekend right with a safety and liberty brief. Few fireworks will compare to the en-thusiasm of the crew after hearing they were getting a well-deserved 96 hours off. It was inspiring to recount the diversity and adversity of the signers of our Declaration of Independence with such a diverse crew who had al-so had their own adversities over the last six months of high operational tempo. Just as our signers put it all on the line, the crew of the SHILOH puts it all on the line every day! We also welcomed some new shipmates and ended with the Sailor’s Creed. While I must admit the celebrations in my bride’s family’s “hometown” of Lake Conesus in upstate New York are awe-inspiring, nothing can compare to a crew of fired-up, U.S. Navy Sailors to start the 4th of July off right!
I hope the families back in the homeland have a terrific and safe 4th of July. I know every flag snapping in the breeze and every red, white and blue fireworks burst means a little more to you and may stir some emotions this weekend. I want to personally thank you for YOUR sacrifice. You can definitely stand a bit straighter and walk amongst those you visit with pride, because your sailor is serving in the best ship, in the best Navy, repre-senting the best country the world has ever seen! God Bless America!”