USS New Orleans
Victory from the Sea
 

A Honeymoon Deployment 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Bishop, Boxer Amphibious Ready Group Public Affairs 
USS NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 8, 2013) – With all its adventure of the high seas, a Sailor’s life also comes with a few somber sacrifices. In particular, leaving loved ones behind for long lonely stints of time. But what if a Sailor could voyage the seas and know her partner is out there sailing by her side? For most Sailors it’s sham sea story, but for the Dallas newlyweds it’s a tale they’ll be sharing together with their children.

Cody and Danielle Dallas are deployed together in the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG): Cody on USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and Danielle sailing nearby on USS Boxer (LHD 4).

“We celebrated our one year anniversary two days ago,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Cody Dallas. “We were A-school sweethearts.”

The dedicated Dallas’, even in the midst of military hurdles, needed little to strike a relationship that endured through the stress of their training.

“We had A-school dates in the galley,” said Cody jokingly. “Our first galley date I told her I wanted to take her somewhere fancy, so I took her to the Italian side [of the galley].”

“When we were in C-school together, I got to pick orders first,” said Cody. “Only seven ships in the Navy have the radar she works on and three of those ships are in Norfolk. So, I initially picked USS George Bush in Norfolk.”

“The day I got orders, my instructor told me that the only female billet was to Japan,“ said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Danielle Dallas.

When Danielle’s orders arrived, she was at the point of tears, but her instructor was mistaken. There was one female-only billet for USS Boxer in San Diego, and she was the only female in her class.

But Cody had to do something. He needed to tip the odds in his favor. He knew he risked living away from his wife for months and possibly years to come.

Fortunately, at the last minute, Cody was able to switch with a classmate that received orders to USS New Orleans in San Diego.

Cody was under the impression that New Orleans would deploy with USS Makin Islands (LHD 8). He knew that expecting both him and his wife to deploy in the same Amphibious Ready Group stretched the odds pretty thin, but he figured at least they would be with each other when they returned to San Diego.

Yet Cody’s curiosity pushed him to research the current happenings around the ship. He asked a few of his old boot camp buddies and they shared the latest news: New Orleans is now part of the Boxer ARG for the upcoming deployment.

“When we realized we were deploying together we thought it was crazy,” said Cody, still a little stunned about all the coincidences. “We have it a lot better than a lot of other military people, and we’re grateful for it.”

“We were both so excited for how things worked out,” said Danielle. “I know a few first-term Sailors that got married and were stationed in different countries.”

Luckily for the Dallas’, the two ships have unexpectedly ported together more than originally anticipated.

“We had plenty of days together in the Philippines,” said Cody. “I turned 24 in the Philippines. That night we celebrated my birthday and everyone had a good time.”

After the Philippines they were able to rendezvous again in Singapore. They spent a long day in the big city shopping and eating food in as many places as time permitted.

“For us, it never really matters what we’re doing, as long as we’re together,” said Danielle.

The days they spent in the Philippines, however, reminded them most of being back home together.

“We got close again and then we had to leave,” said Cody. “The hardest part about deployment was saying goodbye. Now, granted I got to see her, and that was awesome, we had to go through the pain of saying goodbye all over again.”

The Dallas’, notwithstanding a remarkable string of fortunate events, are still susceptible to heartache. But who knows what else is in store for this lucky Navy couple.

“Nothing about us being together was ever promised, and many couples aren’t so lucky,” said Danielle.
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