So there I was…just finishing sweeping up the floors around several small airplanes at Altoona Blair County Airport in Pennsylvania. The dust from the floor was thick in the air and beginning to settle when a deafening crack of thunder roared from the ominous clouds above. The skies split open and water poured out like a waterfall
My main responsibility at the airport was to fuel up the airplanes when they landed but with the storm raging I knew no one would dare to attempt flying. So with all my janitorial duties finished up, I did what any 17 year-old line-servicemen would do while riding out a storm…I watched Tears of the Sun, an action flick about Navy SEALs operating in Africa.
This movie filled my young and impressionable mind with wonder and curiosity about Navy SEALs. These dudes were freaking rad. I wanted to know everything about them. I had so many questions…how do you become a Navy SEAL? What is their training like? How hard was their training? Could I become a Navy SEAL?
The storm was unrelenting. The rain continued to pound the metal roof and the boisterous thunder only increased in its loudness and frequency. After several Google searches, I stumbled upon BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training) class 234 documentary on Youtube and began to watch.
The documentary follows a BUD/s class throughout the six months of its selection. It shows surf torture; log PT, dudes running with heavy ass boats on their heads, and many other “beatings” that forge young men into elite warriors.
I found myself so intrigued that when 9:00 PM rolled around, I had finished the whole BUD/s 234 documentary and my shift had come to an end. So I pushed the broom around one more time and punched my time card to clock out before I braved the storm to get to my truck, which was across the parking lot. As I drove home that night, for the first time in my life, I felt a sense of purpose. I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be a Navy SEAL.
When I woke up the next day the sun was shining bright. Outside, there were no remnants of the storm from the night before, but unlike the outside, the effects of that storm had forever changed me. I got dressed quickly and headed out the door to my old 1998 Toyota pick up truck. I jumped into the truck like I was on a mission, turned the key, put the truck in drive and headed to Altoona. If my parents only knew what I was about to do they probably would have tried to stop me, and if only I knew the shit storm that was about to hit me months later I may have thought it over a little more.
I finally pulled into the parking lot of my destination. My heart was racing.
I can remember thinking to myself, “It’s now or never.”
With that thought, I shut off my truck and walked across the parking lot…directly into the Navy Recruitment Office. It was on this perfect day after the storm I enlisted in the Navy with a guarantee to go to BUD/s right after boot camp…
Thanks for reading this first installment of my blog. I wanted to give you a little insight as to who I am. I’m Jeff, former Navy SEAL and professional dream chaser. I have spent almost 10 awesome years in the Navy, and finally made a crazy decision to chase down another dream of mine. Before I get into what exactly this crazy dream is, I need to tell you how I got to this point. So stay tuned because I plan on sharing many of my adventures, past and present, and maybe even inspire you to follow through on your wildest dreams.
Living for Them,