NAS Meridian library named for lieutenant who died in terrorist attack on USS Cole
special to The Star
June 15, 2003
A grand re-opening and dedication ceremony of the Lt. j.g. Andrew Triplett Library at Naval Air Station Meridian is scheduled for Monday.
Triplett, a native of Shuqualak, was killed Oct. 12, 2000, during a terrorist attack on the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen. The Chief of Naval Operations approved naming the library in honor of Triplett after a request from NAS Meridian.
The guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony will be retired Chief Warrant Officer Marshall Harris.
Harris served as Triplett's division officer aboard the USS Ticonderoga, and became the younger man's mentor during the tour of duty. Harris was also the commissioning officer when Triplett rose from the enlisted to the officer ranks.
Triplett was born June 29, 1969, in Macon to Ree and Savannah Triplett. He graduated from Noxubee County High School, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1987.
He rose through the ranks. On April 1, 1999, he was commissioned an ensign and reported to the USS Cole on May 17, 1999.
His awards and decorations include Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (two awards), Battle "E" Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and NATO Medal.
Triplett was posthumously promoted to lieutenant junior grade and was awarded the Purple Heart.
He is survived by his wife, Lorrie, and two daughters, Andrea and Savannah, who live in Virginia; his parents, Ree and Savannah, of Shuqualak; and four brothers, Fred, Kevin, Donald and Wayne.
The library, which was recently relocated and renovated, has three main focus areas.
It contains more than 6,000 fiction and non-fiction books and a large collection of books on tape for adults. The children's room has more than 2,500 books and many books on tape and videos.
The library features a computer room with 34 Internet access stations. The library also has music CDs, periodicals, language tapes and travel and nature videos.