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Indiana native shares USS Constitution history

July 2, 2014

A native son of New Albany is serving his country aboard one of the most historic vessels in the United States’ fleet.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Haws, 29, is one of the 75-member crew that was hand-picked to serve on the world’s “oldest commissioned warship afloat” — the USS Constitution.

The ship is 216 years old, and is based in Boston. It was named by President George Washington as a memorial to the U.S. Constitution, and served a key role in the battle against the British Navy in the War of 1812.

The ship was given the famous nickname “Old Ironsides” and it was first launched in 1797 as one of six vessels authorized for construction by the Naval Armament Act of 1794.

“It is an amazing feeling to be part of the ship’s rich history and tradition,” said Haws in a release issued by the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

Haws was named the Constitution’s Sailor of the Year, as the ship is featured in the Boston Freedom Trail.

The crew of the ship discusses the Constitution’s history and the legacy and importance of the Navy with visitors, the News and Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1mka448 ).

The vessel will be used for sailing demonstrations in the Boston Harbor this summer and then will be docked for a three-year maintenance period.

Before it’s docked on dry land, the Constitution will take part in the annual Independence Day sailing.

“I love serving on the Constitution, bringing her history to life,” Haws said. “The Navy has provided me with an opportunity to not only see the world, but to assume a leadership role and shape its future.”

Haws is a 2003 graduate of New Albany High School.

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