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Honoring Our Heroes

Petty officer Third Class Shanarik Deone McNeal: Age 42

Petty Officer Third Class (PO-3) Shanarik D. McNeal served four years in the United States Navy. His Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) was Aviation Ordinanceman. He received the National Defense Service Medal.

PO-3 Shanarik was born November 14, 1981 at Los Angeles, CA, to his mother, Belinda Wilson and father George McNeal. After graduation from George Washington Preparatory School in June 1999, he volunteered and enlisted for service in the United States Navy.

PO-3 Shanarik completed Basic Training at the U.S Navy Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes, IL. He was sent to San Diego where he first served on the USS Peleliu assault ship of the United States Navy named for the Battle of Peleliu of World War II. He worked storing, arming and loading bombs onto aircraft for one year. Then he was assigned to work on the USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk-class carrier for one year then at VS-41 loading ordnance and fuel tanks on to P-3 aircraft. While loading heavy ordnance, PO-3 Shanarik suffered serious, severe back and knee injuries which resulted in his honorable discharge from military service November 22, 2003.

After his military service, PO3 Shanarik used the G.I. Bill for two years studying computer systems at the United Education Institute becoming a computer technician. In 2004, he started his own business, Ingenious Multimedia. This company provides graphic design and video production. In 2007, he moved to Montgomery, AL. He also has a business, The Woodcraft Specialist, carving custom detailed pieces and plaques, custom canes, furniture restoration and custom home projects. Details about this business can be found online at and the woodcraft specialist on You Tube. He gives credit to mentors who taught him how to work with wood. Today he assists veterans in locating benefits through Veterans Claims University.

More information on You Tube at: feature=shared Services are provided to Black owned businesses and corporations with opportunities, locations of resources and classes on how to apply for grants. He serves as the Vice Commander of American Legion Post 2019.

PO-3 Shanarik and his wife, Maria Nicole, have been married 15 years, and they have five children. Nicole is a U.S. Navy veteran who served four years as a gunner's mate, having served two years on the USS Mobile Bay.

PO-3 Shanarik's conclusions about what serving in the military means to him are: "I grew up in a bad area of Los Angeles. Serving in the military gave me opportunities to see perspectives, to see things, to meet and to talk to people that I would have never met. It made me want to see more."


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