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Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Sailor receives Clay chamber’s Vystar Award for Military Excellence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 24, 2018) Vystar Credit Union President and CEO Brian Wolfburg, right, presents the Vystar Award for Military Excellence to Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Paquet, left at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s annual military appreciation luncheon. (U.S. Navy photo by Kaylee Larocque/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 24, 2018) Vystar Credit Union President and CEO Brian Wolfburg, right, presents the Vystar Award for Military Excellence to Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Paquet, left at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s annual military appreciation luncheon. (U.S. Navy photo by Kaylee Larocque/Released)

Jun 4, 2018

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Sailor got an unexpected surprise when he was recognized May 24th by the very community he’s come to love and appreciate while stationed aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

The Clay County Chamber of Commerce awarded Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Paquet with its Vystar Award of Military Excellence at the chamber’s annual military appreciation luncheon.

“I thought I was just going to be a guest at the luncheon,” Paquet said. “To be chosen for something like this from the community is just amazing.”

A Riverside, California native, Paquet has served 12 years in the Navy as an aviation machinist’s mate. His current duties involve managing and tracking flights and briefing pilots and flight crews of aircraft arriving and departing the repair, maintenance and overhaul facility.

His tours have taken him to San Diego, Japan and Kuwait, among others. Northeast Florida has stood out, he said.

“I just didn’t think I was going to enjoy Jacksonville this much,” he said. “All of my neighbors are always waving at me.”

It’s not simply the neighborly Southern hospitality that has impacted Paquet.

“Military support is a big one, and the way the communities interact and try to support each other as much as possible,” he said. “It’s just very different from other places I’ve been stationed.”

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Command Master Chief Donald Henderson nominated Paquet for the award, and composed a nomination packet, without telling him.

“Petty Officer 1st Class Paquet personifies what it means to be an effective leading petty officer,” Henderson said. “He’s earned his ‘Safe for Flight’ qualification on six different aircraft.

“I believe in recognizing performance, and he’s performed exceptionally well.”

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120506-N-ZI635-242 PACIFIC OCEAN (May 6, 2012) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 25 launches from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman George M. Bell/Released)

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