Jamie A. LePage

Jamie A LePage of Cloquet, Minnesota was serving as a machinist's mate second class aboard the USS Virginia, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, during the Persian Gulf War.

The ship was operating off the coast of Israel in January 1991 in support of air strikes against Iraq. The Iraqis were launching Scud missiles at Tel Aviv and ships in the area were on 24-hour battle stations. One missile overshot the city and the crew on the Virginia listened anxiously as it headed toward the ship, not knowing if its warhead had chemical or biological agents.

LePage was in the ship's engineering reactor control room and with others took cover behind metal bulkheads as the missile neared. The missile exploded in the ocean about one-eighth mile from the ship. He says this kind of tension continued for months as Navy ships helped enforce the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. The ship launched two Tomahawk missiles used to destroy airfields.

It returned to the United States after seven months.

He was separated from active duty on Sept. 14, 1995.

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