Lakeina Monique Francis was born on June 7, 1981 to Ronald and Sarah Francis. She graduated from Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1999, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy April 11, 2000.
After attending Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois, Francis was a student at Mess Management Specialist School in Gulfport, Mississippi. She reported to USS Cole (DDG 67) on Sept. 27, 2000.
Francis was killed in the line of duty when a terrorist bomb was detonated along the port side of the ship while it was refueling in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000.
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Francis was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Navy Unit Commendation.
Sources: USS Cole (DDG 67) Med Cruise 2000 (Aug. 8–Nov. 3, 2000) Cruise Book in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command’s Navy Department Library. Awards and citations are sourced from the service member’s official military personnel file and listed in the Navy Department Awards Web Service site and may not be complete.