Happy 4th of July!

July 3rd, 2024 • News

Special Military Spotlight.

Bristol Marine wants to recognize all who fight every day to protect our freedom. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on two very special individuals from the family of Patty Cativo, who is one of our dedicated Bristol yard office team members.

Meet Corporal Alexander Vaz of the United States Marine Corps and MA2 Yusra Vaz of the United States Navy

Alexander Vaz attended Marine boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot: Parris Island in November 2019, where he earned the honor graduate distinction out of 70 Marines in his platoon. After boot camp, he attended school to become an infantryman. By February 2021, he began his first and only deployment on the Navy vessel, the USS Carter Hall. He had the opportunity to visit many countries in Europe and eventually aid remotely in the mission “Operation Allies Refuge” in Bahrain. While assisting with the Afghan refugees, he met his future wife, Yusra Vaz. Together, they built shelter, helped provide food, and aided in the refugees’ safe departure to the countries where they sought asylum.

After returning to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Alex would drive 190 miles every weekend for two years to visit his new girlfriend, Yusra, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During the week, Lance Corporal Vaz consistently trained for the next mission alongside his fellow Marines. In the summer of 2022, he graduated from the Advanced Infantryman Course and meritoriously gained the rank of Corporal. Since then, he has led many Marines with the billet of “squad leader” during numerous field exercises and training plans. At times, he was entrusted with teaching and training upwards of 40 Marines, all while being in his early 20s. He plans to leave the Marines honorably in November of this year, serving 5 years

Yusra Vaz joined the United States Navy in September 2020. She attended Bootcamp, basic Naval schooling for her job in the Navy, and a course to teach combative skills. In May 2021, she deployed on the Navy vessel, the USS Carter Hall. There she visited many European countries and eventually reached the Middle East where she assisted remotely in the mission “Operation Allies Refuge” in Bahrain. She helped build shelter and provide food to the refugees that fled from their homes in Afghanistan just a few days before. There she met her future husband, Alexander Vaz (USMC), who was alongside her in the humanitarian aid.

In October 2021, Yusra Marmash spent the next two years in Virginia Beach, Virginia. On the weekends, her new boyfriend would visit Virginia Beach where they would get to know each other for the next few years. In June 2023, Yusra Marmash flew to Texas and attended “Master at Arms school” to become a part of the Navy’s newest graduating class of military police officers. Her schooling lasted a grueling 2 months in the San Antonio summer heat where some days would reach over 110°F. She became a Master at Arms (MA) in August, where Alex pinned on her badge and her new rank. Another school followed for 2 months until the end of September, further sharpening her skills as an “MA”. From there, she was granted a vacation, got married to Alex, and was immediately given orders to her next assignment where she’d deploy right away.

In early October 2023, Yusra Marmash started her second deployment but this time, as a Military Police Officer aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. On the carrier, she assisted in the ship’s mission to intercept drone and missile attacks from the ongoing conflict in Iran while doing her main job in keeping her carrier safe and orderly. On top of that, she worked 7 days a week for 8 months. After all of her hard work, she picked up the rank “Petty Officer 2nd class” (E-5), officially outranking her husband. She was overseas for 8 months and was awarded her second Sea Service Ribbon and her first Combat Action Ribbon. She is still in the Navy, awaiting the next mission.