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A Hero’s Welcome

With flags waving and horns honking, Modesitt comes home for holiday

SENECA — In a short procession of cars, fire trucks and police vehicles Saturday, Hull Technician Petty Officer First Class Michael Modesitt was welcomed back to his hometown of Seneca.

It was a gray morning Saturday, part of a cool, rain-dotted Memorial Day weekend.

American flags hung outside the storefronts in downtown Seneca, and a few residents came out of the businesses — and in a couple cases pulled chairs to the curb — to watch as Modesitt, the USS Fort McHenry LSD-43 Sailor of the Year, drove by.

Jennie Severson, owner of The Barge Inn on Main Street, and her kids were among those who turned out.

They stood in front of their restaurant holding signs that read: “Welcome Home, Michael!”

“It’s important to support those in the military,” Severson said. “It’s something we love doing.”

Modesitt, who enlisted in the Navy in 2001, reported to Fort McHenry — a landing ship — in 2010.

As Hull Technician Petty Officer First Class, Modesitt is responsible for the upkeep of numerous aspects of the ship and is in charge of 88 engineering department personnel.

He is also a command financial specialist who mentors and counsels junior sailors.

The Sailor of the Year program was created in 1972 to recognize members of the Navy who best demonstrated the spirit and dedication of the Navy.

As of Tuesday, Modesitt had returned to duty.

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