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Seaman Devin Roberts in his dress whites is prepared for side honors upon arriving home from his second deployment.
This is the seventh in a series about graduates from Mountain Valley High School who are serving our country in the military.
Like many Mountain Valley High School graduates, Devin Roberts wanted to see more than the “backwoods of Maine.” After he graduated in 2007, he joined the U.S. Navy and became an E-3 Seaman. He was honorably discharged and now is in the Inactive Navy Reserve.
“I wanted to try something new in life and wanted to strive to succeed, Seaman Roberts explained. “The Navy gave me the opportunity to travel, as well as serve my country at the same time. I was able to see nine different countries during my four years of active duty. Something I never thought I would be able to do in life.”
During his time on active duty, Seaman Roberts was stationed onboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69. Her homeport is in Norfolk, VA Naval Air Station. He had a variety of jobs.
As a logistics specialist, Seaman Roberts ordered, procured, stocked and issued parts in the supply department from 2008 to 2010.
While in the supply department, he also worked on the flight deck, unloading and loading carry-onboard delivery planes. It was referred to as air transfer officer.
From 2010 to 2012, he was IM-4’s, (an Aviation Mechanic divisions) logistics specialist. He ordered parts for their needs to fix aviation support equipment, as well as retrieved the parts, delivered repairable items and kept an inventory of over 1,500 line items!
He handled more than $250,000 worth of parts per year. The statistics do not include the other purchases he had done for the aviation department and the ship itself.
In addition to his work as logistics specialist, Seaman Roberts also had a collateral duty.
He said, “I was a command fitness leader from 2010 to 2012. With that duty I entered in information in CVN 69 system for sailors to participate in what we call a PRT (physical readiness test). I also helped train over 3,000 sailors to be physically and mentally fit for the PRT.”
Asked what people at home should know, he reflected on this duty overseas and what it means to return home afterwards.
Seaman Roberts said, “Some things that happened overseas should stay overseas. When your Soldier, Sailor or Airman is deployed give them the most support you can. Remember they are over there fighting for your lives, as well as theirs. Send letters as often as you can and keep in touch any way possible. As they return, embrace them with welcoming arms and let them adapt to the way life should be again. They may have changed upon return. Accept them for who they are and have become. Cherish every second you spend with them.”
He continued, “Being deployed is one of the hardest things to face, especially the loneliness, along with home sickness. Receiving care packages in the mail, even just one, means the world knowing that your friends and family back home are supporting you as much as your supporting them. Those care packages and letters are especially important when a serious event happens.”
Now that Seaman Roberts is discharged, he has to begin a second career while working. “I am currently going to school at UMA (Rumford/Mexico Center) full-time and am earning certification to be an education technician (ed. tech.). I also work in the Irving mill full-time. I also coach football at Dirigo High school. I want coaching to become my main career and teaching is a good way to relate with student athletes.”
Seaman Roberts explains his motivation for his second career, “My two brothers Drew and Bryan motivate me to become an ed tech. They are the two happiest kids in the world considering their disabilities. Drew is austistic and Bryan has Downs Syndrome.
To see how much they love life and how they look up to me, it makes me want to help those who are in need, such as them.”
Seaman Roberts is the son of David Roberts and Deirdre Farrar. He is the stepson of Tammy Roberts and Lee Farrar. His sisters are Stacey Roberts, Cassie Veilleux, Allison Farrar and his brothers are Kyle, Drew and Bryan Farrar. His family lives in Rumford.