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The Carthage Press
  • Military gives Cobaugh a new start toward college

  • No one is ever going to impress Melynn Cobaugh with a fast car or 350-horsepower motor, not when the ride she currently drives sports 80,000 horsepower, is 9,600 tons, 567 feet long and cuts through the ocean at more than 35 miles per hour.
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  • No one is ever going to impress Melynn Cobaugh with a fast car or 350-horsepower motor, not when the ride she currently drives sports 80,000 horsepower, is 9,600 tons, 567 feet long and cuts through the ocean at more than 35 miles per hour.
    Melynn Cobaugh, the daughter of Carthage natives Jerry Cobaugh and Christina (Howerton) McDaniel, is a Bosun's Mate in the U.S. Navy and part of her job is to con, or steer her ship, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Hue City when it is at sea.
    "It's a rush, I love steering the ship," Cobaugh said. "I don't have a lot of power because I'm being told what to do, but it's really cool to say I get to drive a Navy ship. I love it when we do high speed runs. We do a lot of fast runs just to make sure everything is working, and it's honestly the most fun thing to do, especially for a Bosun's mate, we're the ones actually driving the ship. It is the most fun thing to do. Maybe not for the crew because we're rocking and going fast, but it's fun when you're driving."
    A fresh start
    Melynn Cobaugh graduated from high school in Mount Juliet, Tenn. in 2011 and took the route taken by many graduates who are searching for a career, she went to a community college.
    But after attending college for a year and a half and struggling somewhat with the bills, she decided she needed a change.
    "I really wanted a new start, a good start, and my best friend was in the military," Melynn Cobaugh said. "She talked me into it and she's in the Navy right now. So she told me about all these benefits. I was paying for school out of pocket and that was one of my main reasons for joining was college money."
    She feels like she's found a home in the Navy, traveling around the world, meeting people and seeing places she never dreamed of seeing.
    "I would love to do the full 20 (years)," she said. "I didn't realize how much I would like it but I've just learned so much. I feel like I've matured a lot more.
    "Meeting new people, seeing new places, the whole part of being able to live on a ship, it's like a small city. It's fascinating, it's really cool, you're pretty much in your own city out in the ocean. It's amazing. It's like your own little world, it's stress free, you don't have a lot of contact with people outside, but you have no worries. It's stress free, it's awesome."
    The job
    Melynn Cobaugh said Bosun's Mates are responsible for maintaining and operating the systems on the outside of the ship, including managing the loading of stores when in port or underway, painting and repairing the hull and other structures as well as driving the ship.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We pretty much just all work together to do everything," she said. "I stand all the watches and drive. We look out. When we do fueling, I'm actually a signalman. We have these paddles, it's really old school. We have these paddles of the three colors, red, green and amber, and we signal to the other ship what's happening on our ship. It's a constant back and forth communication, it's really cool to watch."
    The Hue City was in port in Jacksonville, Fla., preparing for a deployment to northern Europe and the Baltic Sea when Melynn talked to The Carthage Press by phone earlier this month.
    Carthage proud
    Melynn said she left Missouri when she was in the fifth grade and moved to Tennessee with her mother, but she would have enjoyed living in Carthage with her father, Jerry, and two brothers, Austin Gallup  and Dalton Gallup.
    She said she was last in Carthage over Christmas and she was proud to hear that her brother, Dalton, had decided to join the Army.
    "That's where all my family is," Melynn Cobaugh said. "My mom and two sisters are in Tennessee, other than that, every family member I have is in Carthage. If I had to choose anybody to be like, it would be my dad. He was in the military when he was my age and if I had to choose anyone, it would be him. Then my brother just joined the Army, my grandpa was in the military. There's a lot of veterans in my family."
    Jerry Cobaugh said Dalton Gallup just recently left for Army basic training and he's a proud dad.
    "I've always been proud of my kids and this (joining the Navy) was all her idea," Jerry Cobaugh said. "She chose to do this and, yes, it's important everyone go to college. I'm a proud veteran and I let everyone know that, and I'm even prouder to let people know what my kids are doing and that it's their choice to step up and serve their country."

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