Rachel Fowler, a 1998 graduate of Shawnee High School in Wolf Lake, Ill., is serving on the USS Peleliu, stationed in San Diego, Calif. In February she was certified in advance food preparation, promoted to second class petty officer, re-enlisted in the U.S. Navy and left for her second West Pacific tour in support of the troops in Iraq. The Peleliu is an amphibious assault ship carrying Marines and air/sea assault equipment.
In December she received the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist award. In July she received a good conduct award and a letter of recommendation for "outstanding performance of duty" for "five star" hosting during a change of command hosted by her ship. In November she received the enlisted surface warfare specialist award and was certified in public quarters.
Fowler is the daughter of Kenny and Gloria Merriman of McClure, Ill.; Jerry and Sue Fowler of Festus, Mo.; granddaughter of Bud and Lois Burchyett of McClure, Ill. and Marge and the late "Tom" Fowler of Cape Girardeau, Mo. She married Christopher L. O'Rear, who was previously assigned to the USS Peleliu.