Grass Valley native supports ballistic missile defenders in Spain | TheUnion.com

Grass Valley native supports ballistic missile defenders in Spain

Submitted to The Union

ROTA, Spain — 2014 Nevada Union High School graduate and Grass Valley native is serving in Spain at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota in support of ballistic-missile defense ships forward-deployed to Naval Station Rota, according to a release.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Timothy Lopez is a Navy hospital corpsman working at U.S. Naval Hospital Rota and is responsible for maintaining medical readiness of our forces, assisting medical providers in administering care to active duty service members, their families and local nationals.

Lopez credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Grass Valley.

"Growing up, I learned you can't just sit around and wait for good things to come to you," Lopez said in the release. "Growing up in Grass Valley, my grandparents and even my high school showed me that hard work and dedication will make you who you are."

Naval Station Rota is operationally equipped with four forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers tasked to enhance the ballistic missile defense of the European region.

Situated on a 6,100-acre Spanish Navy base, Naval Station Rota provides cargo, fuel and logistics support to units transiting the region, supporting U.S. and NATO ships; U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft with a 670-acre airfield; and the largest weapons and fuels facilities in Europe. Under the guidance of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation, the U.S. and Spanish navies work together and share many facilities.

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Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Lopez, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Lopez is honored to carry on that family tradition.

"I have an aunt and uncle who were in the Army as well as an uncle in the Air Force," said Lopez in the release. "My aunt was a big influence on joining the military."

Lopez is also proud of earning a meritorious advancement to the rank of petty officer third class at his previous command.

"Serving in the Navy has shown me the path and career choice that I want," said Lopez in the release. "It has given me the tools, wisdom and motivation to follow a dream I never knew I had.

"My favorite part about serving in Spain is learning about the culture as well as the ease of traveling while getting to see and learn new things."

Source: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, Navy Office of Community Outreach

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