Few 6-year-old children know beyond a shadow of a doubt what they want to be when they grow up.

Don’t be fooled, however, by Blake McKinley’s youth. Although only a first grader from the Pacific Northwest, he already has his eye set firmly on his future prize. He will be a Navy admiral.

“Blake is currently convinced he will join the Navy,” said Nicole McKinley, Blake’s mother. “He wants to fight bad guys and protect people.”

As a special treat to celebrate his birthday, Blake’s family flew to San Diego to visit the museum.

Midway docent Bill Lodin helps 6-year-old Blake McKinley practice his salute.

“His number one request was to visit the Midway,” said Nicole. “He learned about the Midway in anticipation of our San Diego trip and watched a movie about it. He wore his Navy admiral costume on the plane from Seattle and then we went straight to the Midway. It was an awesome experience.”

“When I first saw Blake in his uniform, I was proud to see how respectful he was of it and the tradition it represents,” said Steve Cross, a Midway docent since 2008. “He wore the uniform well and his parents clearly had a part in his maturity and understanding of the Navy tradition.”

Blake’s interest in the Navy is actually rooted in his family history.

“His great grandpa was in World War II and as he has learned about what happened, he became intrigued,” said Nicole. “He became even more inspired after learning about various battleships and watching some documentaries. Experiencing Midway made him all the more excited.”

The family trip to Midway only bolstered Blake’s desire to make the Navy a career.

“I think Blake’s visit to Midway will inspire and educate him to continue his interest in our Navy,” said Steve, who has more than 7,000 volunteer hours. “I am sure Blake’s interest will lead him to serving our country in a Navy uniform.”

“The visit to the Midway was the highlight of Blake’s trip and he told me the Midway was better than Christmas,” said Nicole. “He was truly over the moon and awe inspired by the aircraft carrier so much so that he told us he could really live on it forever.”

Comments are closed.