At the age of 10, my son announced he wanted to be a Naval Aviator. With singular purpose, he did what he had to do earn an NROTC scholarship, qualify for Naval Aviation training and make his way through the jet pipeline. He wanted to fly F/A-18s and graduated with a set of orders to VFA-113.
His winging ceremony was held on the U.S.S. Lexington which is now a museum anchored in Corpus Christi, Texas. For the record, I made my first carrier landings on Lexington in the spring of 1968.
Earning a set of gold wings is a very significant accomplishment because the drop-out rate is significant. My brother and his oldest boy attended as did my wife and daughter to watch me pin my original set of wings on his chest.
This is the story, which should make your eyes water. It was originally published on the ANA Grandpaw Pettibone website. Enjoy. Here’s the link. http://gpsana.org/?p=2570