BOSTON (KETK) – An East Texas service member earned an award aboard the USS Constitution ship in Boston.

Airman Melanie Santos, was born in Rusk and was presented with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal on July 14. The award is given to service members who went above and beyond with community service.

“I’m glad I’m at a place that gives me a plethora of volunteer opportunities and gives me fulfillment in helping out the community,” said Santos.

Santos graduated from Rusk High School in 2020. She has been serving with the Navy for a year and a half, and the USS Constitution was the first place she was stationed.

Those who are assigned to the USS Constitution must be selected through an interview and be excellent candidates.

The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world. It was significant to our military during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. It defended sea lanes from 1797 to 1855.

The sailors on the ship carry out free tours and more than 600,000 people visit the historic vessel every year. The service members help continue to showcase the Navy’s history and show the public the significance of a naval presence. The USS Constitution never lost a battle and captured or demolished 33 enemy ships.

The ship was nicknamed Old Ironsides during the war of 1812 after people saw British cannonballs deflect off the vessel.

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