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A Veteran's Voice: Wayne Wright

Posted at 10:27 AM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 13:27:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — 82-year-old Wayne Wright says his desire to serve was born at the age of seven when his father, a Navy veteran, took him to San Diego to watch underwater demolition training.

And he says the adventure was a "blast."

he was first assigned to the U.S.S Molala, a seagoing tug, tasked with salvage operations and that was just the beginning.

From there, he hopped on an icebreaking ship the Staten Island and headed to the South Pole.

The Staten Island then headed north up through the Arctic Circle testing underwater communications with U.S.S Skate submarine.

In fact, as the cold war was ramping up, Wright was assigned to the U.S.S Salmon, the world's largest diesel powered submarine, patrolling the Aleutians near the island of Adak.

Wright entered the Vietnam War in 1965 aboard the U.S.S Reclaimer.

He had six tours in Vietnam ending in 1975 aboard the U.S.S Constellation aircraft carrier in charge of explosive ordinance disposal.

He handled problems like a 2,000 pound bomb that came loose as a plane landed on the flight deck.

He traveled the world retiring in 1990 but little did Wright know he would head back to a war zone when he was hired to remove military ordinance from Kuwait following Desert Storm.

The one thing he hasn't done: taken part in the Honor Flight.

A lifetime of service on the high seas wright is anchored now in Bakersfield.

Wright retired from the navy as a Lt. Commander.

He says he wants his son to go with him on the honor flight as his guardian this October.

And Wayne is sharing his adventure with the residents of Brookdale Senior Living.

He has compiled many of his military moments into a video entitled "My Life Story."

Of course it is so long that he had to break it up into two separate viewings.