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Navy Engineman 1st Class Theophilus K. Ansong

Died February 4, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

34, of Bristow, Va.; assigned to the amphibious transport dock San Antonio as it conducted operations in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Africa; was lost at sea Feb. 4.

Immigrant had dreamed of serving in military

The Associated Press

Engineman 1st Class Theophilius K. Ansong spent the first 18 years of his life in Ghana but signed up to serve his new country soon after arriving in the United States, his parents said.

It was all he ever wanted to do.

His uncle had been in the Ghanaian military and “ever since he came to this country, he wanted to join the force,” said his father, Nelson Ansong.

He joined the Navy because “he loved the sea,” said his mother, Charity Ohenewah.

Ansong, 34, of Bristol, Va., fell overboard while being lowered in a small boat from the amphibious transport dock San Antonio in the Gulf of Aden. The Navy said Ansong was not found after searchers looked for more than 24 hours.

Prior to serving aboard the San Antonio, Ansong served at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic, at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base. He was also previously stationed in Ingleside, Texas and in Great Lakes, Ill.

Ansong had plans to start up his own engineering company when he got out of the military, his father said.

Ansong, the oldest of five, has been a mentor to his younger brothers. “He’d give them advice to stay in school, be good kids,” Ohenewah said.

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