We Stick Together

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis

Andrew Curtis | May 29, 2023

Andrew Curtis (right) and his cousin A.C. Wood at a recent Navy Change of Command Ceremony.

This may not have the heaviest hook-and-bullet flavor of any article I have ever written for GON, but it is certainly one that the outdoors community can appreciate. This is a story of patriotism and unity. Nearly every time I take to the woods or water to do what I love, I think about the members of our military, both past and present, and what they have sacrificed for our freedom. Being the grandson of grandfathers who fought in WWII, I have always had a deep respect for our fighting soldiers. In fact, many in my family have proudly served (or are currently serving) our country, but I have never, at least not in a military uniform. That’s a regret that I have learned to live with.

In April, I was invited to attend the Change of Command Ceremony for my cousin in the Navy. Andrew Wood, or A.C. as we call him, graduated from the Naval Academy in 2005 and had no intentions of making the Navy a career. His plan initially was to repay the Navy the required four years of service post-graduation and then happily return to civilian life. After all, how can a person fully enjoy his outdoor passions if he is to be stationed all over the world, and on a ship at that?

However, after four years of traveling the seas, A.C. began to realize the importance of his position, even at the expense of his hobbies. Those experiences had very little, if any, publicity, and even A.C.’s own family did not know the extent of his job, or the dangers that he faced. My cousin just felt the call to duty and year after year realized his own skills that actually impacted the world, like recently seizing an enemy ship that was transporting tons of weapons and explosives. 

Raising a family of four children while being deployed to foreign territory has been difficult for my cousin, but his family has selflessly given to the cause of our national freedom. It takes families like his to ensure our rights. We should remember that. 

During the Change of Command Ceremony on board USS The Sullivans, the impressive, guided missile destroyer that my cousin was now taking command of, I thought of the ship’s namesakes. After Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, the five Sullivan brothers had all petitioned to be stationed on the same ship during WWII; their wish was unfortunately granted. On Nov. 13, 1942, the ship they were on, USS Juneau, was struck by Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Guadalcanal. All five brothers were killed. Their motto had been: “We stick together.” Those proud men lived and died those three words.

Now, my cousin is prepared to honor the Sullivan brothers by living their slogan. He will fight for me and for you. He will serve our country so that you and I can go hunt and fish and do what we enjoy. Let’s not forget the sacrifices being made on our behalf. 

Although I am not a member of the United States military, I am a member of an organization that I am proud of and that supports our military. Georgia Outdoor News is a place that I feel at home, a place where I know my values matter, and a place where others like me find solace in the crazy political world we live in. 

The Sullivan brothers had it right. They have left quite a legacy, one that we can apply to our outdoors community too. We are stronger if we are united. 

Georgia Outdoor News… we stick together.  

A.C. now commands the USS The Sullivans.

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