USS Yorktown site for presentation of wings to young Hank!

US Naval Commander provides a defining moment for a young boy!

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May 16, 2014

USS Yorktown – Patriot’s Point, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina – May is Military Appreciation Month!yorktown

Hank Davis on May 16, 2014 received his first set of “US Navy War Fighter Wings” upon leaving the USS Yorktown, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina .

What started out as an adventure  aboard this retired ship, now a historical museum,  to explore the many examples of flying aircraft (or “jets ”),  Hank and his Nana,  happened upon a US Navy retirement ceremony .

Sitting quietly in the nearby restaurant while enjoying his morning snack, Hank observed the ceremonial customs of the US Navy Retirement Ceremony and heard the sounding of the bell with the reading of  each retiring service members name.  Hank was still and with respect as each part of the ceremony unfolded.

As the crowd disbanded, Hank and his Nana began to depart the hangar area and walk over the long bridge that connects the ship to the shore.  It should be stated here that Hank loves airplanes, helicopters, and any object that flies, and also boats, trains and trucks.  While on board of the USS Yorktown, he carefully examines each of the exhibits and climbs up and down the narrow steps and watches the short movies.  Hank is soon two years old, but he can get on his tippy toes to look within the cases of miniature carriers on display.

Looking back to the ship, Hank see  three US Navy officers in their white dress uniforms walking and approaching him on the bridge.  Hank reaches up to his Nana to be held, and continues to watch as they get closer.  Nana asks Hank if he thinks that perhaps they could know Andy or Yeager, two characters in a  “Flying Video for kids” that he loves.  Immediately, Hank gets still and watches as the three men get closer.

Hank’s Nana spoke first.  “Thank you all for your service, and I hope by the time Hank gets old enough to fly jets, the military won’t change to much and will be there for him!”.  The three Navy men stopped and began to speak to Hank.  Nana explained that Hank loves coming to the USS Yorktown and looking at the airplanes and exhibits.    She went on to also share that he had been a little under the weather with surgery and when he was recovering, he loved kicking back and watching “Andy as he flew with the Blue Angels or the Thunderbird demos”.  It was then, that one of the three Naval officers stepped back, and said to Hank.

“Well, Hank, let’s give you your first set of wings” Hanks medalsaid, the Commander from the personnel unit with the  Charleston Joint Base, South Carolina. He quickly removed wings from his other medals, and asked Nana if she would like to pin them on him.  Nana was so stunned that she simply held Hank up closer, and pulled up Hank’s “ Thomas”  Shirt so that the Commander could pin the wings to the top left collar.  The moment passed so quickly, that Hank’s Nana who was known never to be at a loss for words, could not speak.  She simply said:  “thank you and we will treasure this forever”.  Hank smiled his sweet, shy little boy smile!

Hank Davis will be 2 years old soon, and while his Nana looked on, she saw Hank thinking and she just knew he understood what these wings meant.  (In the video with Andy, the “boss” of the Blue Angels pins wings on Andy and Yeager after a test flight).

What took place today on the bridge at Patriot’s Point,  as Hank and his Nana departed the USS Yorktown, was a defining moment of grace and dignity expressed by a US Navy commander to  a young boy!  While many could debate that at the age of almost two, a young boy may not continue to aspire to fly jets, but for certain, he now has wings to encourage him to grow, learn and think the beyond!