Paragould native completes tour on USS Constitution

Navy Airman Olivia Lawrence (left), has completed her first duty assignment, aboard USS Constitution – “Old Ironsides” – the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.

Navy Airman and Paragould native Olivia Lawrence has bid farewell to the officers and crew after completing a successful two-year tour aboard USS Constitution on July 16.

Duty aboard USS Constitution is one of the Navy’s special programs, and all prospective crew members must meet a high standard of sustained excellence and interview to be selected for the assignment.

“Moving forward through my Navy career,” said Lawrence, “I am thankful to take with me all the life experiences I’ve earned being at USS Constitution.”

Lawrence has served in the Navy for two years and USS Constitution is her first duty station. She is a 2015 graduate of Kapolei High School in Hawaii.

A three-masted, square-rigged 44-gun frigate anchored in Boston harbor, USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. The ship played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, actively defending sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.

The active-duty sailors stationed aboard USS Constitution normally provide free tours and offer public visitation to more than 600,000 people each year as they support the ship’s mission of promoting the Navy’s history, maritime heritage, and raising awareness of the importance of a sustained naval presence.

USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and captured or destroyed 33 enemy vessels.

The ship earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” during the war of 1812 after British cannonballs were seen bouncing off the ship’s wooden hull.

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