Sorum sets sail on Navy’s newest Aegis destroyer
Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 2, 2005
By Kimara Johnson and R. David Valdez, For the Tribune
NAVAL WEAPONS STATION CHARLESTON, S.C.– The U.S. Navy’s newest Aegis guided missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) was commissioned Dec. 11 in Charleston, S.C., near the home of the ship’s namesake, Petty Officer 1st Class James E. Williams (1930-1999). Among the Sailors who recently brought the ship to life is Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Sorum, son of Barb Sorum of Albert Lea.
Sorum expressed appreciation for Williams; the most highly decorated enlisted Sailor in U.S.
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history, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during Vietnam.
&uot;It’s an honor to serve on a ship with such great history behind it,&uot; Sorum said.
&uot;I brought part of the ship to life when I painted the mural on the mess decks,&uot; added Sorum.
Sorum indicated he felt a sense of kinship with the ship’s namesake, citing Williams’ heroism and exemplary leadership.
&uot;I joined the Navy for all the benefits it offered.
Serving during the war on terror lets me know I’m involved in making some kind of difference,&uot; said Sorum.
As one of the most powerful and balanced surface warships the U.S. Navy has ever built, the destroyer will provide primary protection for the Navy’s aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as escort Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and other independent operations as necessary.
&uot;The ship has a new design of technology and can easily take on a number of missions,&uot; Sorum said.
In the spirit of Petty Officer Williams, Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Sorum and fellow shipmates are now ready to take their place in the global war on terrorism.