by Kirby Gibbs
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - To many young men, U.S. Navy Officer Eddie Whitley, has a fascinating job and they look up to him. That's why he feels an obligation to give back. Today Whitley made a visit to his hometown, Nacogdoches to speak with the boy scouts about his career in the Navy and his fight for America.
From ripping through the air in Tomcats, to ensuring the safety of America, and even coming to the aid of the 2004 tsunami victims of Indonesia, Lieutenant Commander Eddie Whitley of the U.S. Navy has pretty much seen it all.
Now, this Nacogdoches native is encouraging a troop of boy scouts that they too could follow his footsteps... Lieutenant whitley was the first Naval Academy graduate from Nacogdoches. He was also one of the first pilots of F14 to raid over Baghdad.
"It's an honor to see a lot of folks come after, follow after me and we've had I think 13 from the Nacogdoches and Lufkin area to go to the Navy Academy since I went, said Lieutenant Whitley.
This naval officer has surely made a name for himeself. Videos taken from his helmet minicam have made their way through the airwaves to be used by national news networks.
Whitley told KTRE, "It makes your job feel more important."
Lieutenant Whitley is also one of the few chosen to attend the Army War College, where he is learning how to plan war operations and campaigns. It's these accomplishments he hopes will motivate the boy scouts at First Baptist Church to start planning for their future now.
"I had an idea, a dream if you will early in my life that I wanted to go fly from Tomcats and fly off air-craft carriers, and that kind of set the stage. When I talked to my parents and other mentors around me, they said, 'well you know, you got to make good grades,' and things like that and you don't really think about those things in the 6th and 7th grade how they're gonna affect you down the road. I think it's important telling young folks how they can influence and serve their country".