Townsquare Media and the Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation are teaming up to salute our local heroes with our Warrior of the Week program.

Congratulations to Brick's John Zurawski, our Warrior of the Week for the week of August 19th, 2019.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, Navy Office of Community Outreach:

A 2017 Brick Township High School graduate and Brick, New Jersey, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Preble.

Zurawski credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Brick.

“My hometown taught me the value of hard work and dedication,” said Zurawski. “I take those two lessons and apply them every single day while serving.”

Preble measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.

Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.

As a Navy hull maintenance technician, Zurawski is responsible for keeping the vacuum collection holding and transfer system running and fixing any problems that may occur.

“I also weld anything that may break on the ship that needs to be fixed while out on deployment or while in port,” said Zurawski.

According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required war-fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.

Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Zurawski is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“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.”

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

“I’ve had three grandfathers serve in the military. One in the Army another in the Marines and another in the Air Force,” said Zurawski. “Growing up and hearing their stories definitely helped me choose to go the military route rather than college but I wanted to do something different but continue the tradition so I chose the Navy.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Zurawski is most proud of graduating from boot camp and officially being a United States sailor.

“Graduating boot camp is one of my proudest moments in the Navy. Being able to say I am a United States sailor and officially starting my career as a service member is a good feeling,” said Zurawski. “Seeing the smile on my family’s faces and seeing how proud of me they are is the best feeling in the world.”

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

“The weather here is amazing! I love being able to hike trails and see the beautiful scenery. It's a great way to unwind after a long workday,” added Zurawski. “Serving in the Navy means I get to travel all over the world while I do my job and experience so many different cultures. What the Navy has given me is a dream come true.”

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Congratulations to John Zurawski, our Warrior of the Week.

Do you know a deserving past or present military member? Nominate them now. Every Military Monday, we’ll share one of the nominations and honor that person as our Warrior of the Week.

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