In the picture above, Commander Jimmy Lawton, Commanding Officer of the USS Detroit, which is a Littoral Combat Ship out of Mayport, Florida, is awarding an end-of-tour award to Cory Dyal for his time as the Independent Duty Corpsman aboard the USS Detroit. The occasion is Dyal’s separation from active duty. The award is entitled a “Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.” Both Commander Lawton and Dyal are natives of Baxley and graduated from Appling County High School.
Dyal has served ten years in the navy, going in at age 19. He has always wanted to do something in the field of medicine, so he became a Corpsman for the navy. At first, he worked with the marines, who don’t have corpsmen of their own. They depend on the navy people. Much of his time in the navy was spent in school. He was serving in Syria when the chemical bombing took place and spent five months in the desert with seven snipers. Back from Syria, he went to Jacksonville, North Carolina. There he had the opportunity to jump out of a plane and he jumped at the chance. He has his jump wings. From there, he went to California for more extensive training. He worked in a trauma center and decided that was his calling. He finished school and became an independent duty corpsman on the USS Detroit. That’s where he discovered that his commander came from Baxley, too. They worked together for the better part of three years.