Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Jerry E. Merryfield A Veteran's Story

 

March 22, 2018

Courtesy Jerry Merryfield

Submariner E4 Jerry E. Merryfield.

Jerry E. Merryfield was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on May 22, 1963 into a family rich with United States Navy history.

Merryfield, the middle of six children, would follow in his grandfather's steps enlisting in the United States Navy.

His grandfather James Mead served in the United States Navy during the China Boxer War upon the USS Blackhawk. Grandfather, Roy Merryfield served the United States Navy for 30 years and retired as a Senior Chief.

Merryfield graduated from De La Salle high school in Concord, California in 1982. He still holds the record there for powerlift/squat of 860 pounds. He also was active in football and wrestling.

While on a tour of a United States Navy submarine, Merryfield took a strong liking to what he saw and upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy and volunteered to be attached to the submarine fleet.

He would serve twenty years before gaining his land legs and balance. During his sea years, Merryfield would serve as a machinist mate. "This was a duty I loved," said Merryfield. "There was excitment with this job, and it never became dull."

During his twenty years, Merryfield would server on the USS Jacksonville out of Norfork, Virginia; the USS Michigan, based in Bremerton, Washington; the USS Alaska, also based in Bremerton, Washington; and the USS Charlotte based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Traveling much of his career in the military, Merryfield has been around the world roughly three times and stated, "I have been on every major continent in the world, and I would do it again!" he stated.

Visiting all the different countries was an experience in itself, and the amount of countries, compared to base ports do not even begun to match. "I think over the years, the number of different ports we entered, became a blur," Merryfield reflected.

One of his most favorite memories aboard the submarines, was a trip to Antartica. "We headed down south and during our exercise out to sea, we did a surface under the ice." Merryfield went on to explain, "It is where we come up and punch our way up through the ice. It was magnificent to look out and see nothing but white ice all around, with us as the center. I will remember that moment all my life!

Courtesy Jerry Merryfield

James Merryfield, Matthew Merryfield (Jerry's son) holding his son, Samuel and Jerry Merryfield

Upon serving his twenty years, Merryfield retired as an E6, and headed to Kimball, Nebraska with his family to help out with the family business with his father, James Merryfield. "Dad and my brother, Jim went the other direction military wise. They were in the United States Air Force." he said.

"I am not sure the United States Navy will get carried on." he said, "my son, John is planning to enter the United States Marines after high school, and my son Mark, is planning on entering the United States Air Force. Merryfield went on to say, "I think it would be good for all high schoolers to serve a time in the military. It teaches you responsibility, respect and gives you experience. Then they can decide which direction to go. Just go for it...be the best you can be!"

Thank you Jerry for serving.

Editor's note:Jerry Merryfield is Pine Bluffs Post Publisher Penny Merryfield's brother-in-law.

 

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