- APPLETON (WFRV) Family tradition played a role in Andrew Peterson's career path since graduating from Appleton East High School in 2010. It also takes him out to sea nine-months at a time aboard the guided missle destroyer USS Higgins.

"Well my father was in the navy. He had a lot of great stories about it. So I decided to follow in his foot steps," Peterson said in a telephone interview from his home in San Diego.

Petty Officer Third Class Peterson's tours have given him an eye on the world. Some places, like Alaska, have offered him the best of two places.

"If you took the view from Colorado and the view from Hawaii and mixed them together, that's what you'd get. I've been to places that, unless I won the lottery, I wouldn't be able to go. And I've done things I never would be able to do."

But the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan saw Peterson and the USS Higgins on patrol in the Arabian Sea keeping a watch out for pirates.

"It's a hairy sitaution because you would go out to people and most of them would claim to be firshermen. We'd interact with them. Mostly we'd give them stuff. We'd give them water," Peterson said.

But Peterson and his crewmates also made charity work a top priority during a tour of Southeast Asia. They gave a school a much needed paint job. In the process, Peterson says he got an education.  Local 5's Terry Kovarik. 

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