Chillicothe, Mo., native and 2012 Kickapoo High School graduate, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sydney Thorne, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Miss.
By Lt. Lorna Mae Devera Navy Office of Community Outreach GULFPORT, Miss.– “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees”, for the past 75 years. Chillicothe, Mo., native and 2012 Kickapoo High School graduate, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sydney Thorne, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Gulfport, Miss. Thorne works as a utilitiesman which is responsible for installation, maintenance of plumbing, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning units. “I grew up on a farm in Chillicothe and I learned a lot about hard work, what you put in you are able to reap the benefits of it,” said Thorne. “A lot of that is true in the Navy. Chillicothe is a small town so it was a tight knit community, I can say the same about the Seabees.” The jobs of some of the Seabees today have 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. For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aide following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. “I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.” Seabees around the world are taking part in commemorating the group’s 75-year anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.” "Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace," said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. "Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto 'We Build, We Fight.' The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they're in good hands." According to Saum the Sailors who make up Seabee battalions are very driven and accomplished individuals. “I recently earned my expeditionary warfare device while on deployment in Rota, Spain which motivates me to keep working hard,” said Thorne. Serving in the Navy allows people to create a legacy for the next generation. “I am completely dedicated and willing to do anything and everything for my country, no matter the sacrifice,” added Thorne.