Fighting pirates of the Somali Main

PALMDALE, Calif. — Jessica Zarley, easily a contender for the title of most youthful combat veteran present at the Welcome Home Ceremony for Vietnam Veterans, has a hair-raising war story of her own to tell.

Jessica, a graduate of Antelope Valley High School’s Class of 2002, fought her personal battle with Somali pirates when she was serving as a Bosun’s Mate aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, flagship of Combined Anti-Piracy Task Force 151, about 300 miles off the Horn of Africa.

Jessica was working in support of the SEAL Team that rescued the now famous captain of the U.S.-flagged container ship MV Muersk Alabama, Richard Phillips, later portrayed in the movie by Tom Hanks.

Jessica was working at the Vietnam Vets event for L.A. County’s Veteran Peer Access Network. Her proud mother, Anna Zarley, was a longtime staffer at the Lancaster Chamber of, currently serving the district of office of Assemblyman Tom Lackey.

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