SAN DIEGO - "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.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Nelson, a 2014 Hudson High School graduate and Hudson native, works as a construction mechanic in the Navy assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB 1). ACB 1 provides ship-to-shore transportation of combat cargo, bulk fuel and water, and tactical camp operations supporting Navy and Marine Corps amphibious force operations.
As a construction mechanic, Nelson is responsible for maintenance on heavy construction equipment including bulldozers, dump trucks, tractor-tailors, forklifts and generators.
Nelson has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.
"My parents instilled in me to always be respectful of authority and other people and to stand up for others," he said. "Because of this, I'm able to interact with others and I can make friends with anyone. It helps me appreciate the chain of command."
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.
Nelson has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
"Both my grandparents served in different branches and my dad served in the Navy as a cryptologist," he said. "My dad had a direct influence in my decision to join the Navy. While it's not tradition, we all knew serving in the military would give us all a better future."
Nelson's proudest accomplishment was advancing in rank and earning his Seabee Combat Warfare qualification.
"It took a year of hard studying, but it was worth it," he added.
Serving in the U.S. Navy, has allowed Nelson to continue learning about the legacy for future Seabees. "Serving in the Navy means I have the ability to be part of something much bigger than myself," he said.