CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — This week, the Navy turns 247 years old. The theme of this year’s celebration is “On Watch – 24/7 for 247 Years”.
As part of the celebration, the Navy is giving us a look at some of the people and ships that help it endure and defend our homeland and way of life.
On Monday, we got a chance to a family they’re calling the “Naviest” family in Hampton Roads.
Clinton and Angela Wilson are both currently serving. He is a Master Chief who has been in the Navy for 25 years. She retired from the Navy after 20 years and is now serving as the Fleet Forces Ombudsmen. The couple met in the Navy and married a few years ago.
Between them they have four children, three are currently serving in the Navy and the fourth
says he also plans to join the “family business” when he graduates from high school.
Clinton said of his three sons from a previous relationship, “they’ve all been saying since they were old enough to walk that they wanted to do what Dad does.”
Did we mention Clinton’s Dad also served 20 years in the Navy? “It’s incredible, it’s exciting, and it reminds me of my father. Guess I struggle with that a little bit; he passed away last year,” Clinton said with a tear in his eye.
Angela’s son was not always on board. “I remember a lot of times he would say, ‘Mom, I don’t want to do what you do in the Navy, I don’t want to deal with the things I know you deal with,” she told WAVY.
It may have been a bit of peer or family pressure that prodded him to join, but now she says he sees the benefits.
“We are an example of the good that can come out of it and I am exceptionally grateful every single day for what the Navy has done for me for my family and I wouldn’t even have him in my life,” Angela said pointing to her husband.
The Wilson family says while they have sacrificed holidays, birthdays and even the passing of grandparents, they know what they are doing is important for not just the country, but their community.
For those parents who may worry about their children joining the Navy, Clinton wants them to know the most incredible thing about the Navy for him has always been the people. “They care for each other,” he said and as evidenced by the number of candles on the cake, they’ve been doing it for a long time with a lot of success.