James S. (88) has dreamed of going on a submarine for literally 80 years. When he was 8 years old he had a dream that he was on a submarine and was fighting the Japanese. Ever since, James has been fascinated by the idea of going on a submarine. He has also loved all television and movies about submarines for as long as he can remember. James served in the Navy, but he was never able to go on a submarine. His Wish of a Lifetime was to finally find out what it was like to be on a submarine.
In 1946, right after World War II, James and 8 of his friends joined the Navy. They went to boot camp together, but did not get to serve together. James served until 1948 as an Electronics Technician third class on the USS Coral Sea CVB43. His main job was to fix and maintain RADAR on different ships. After the Navy, James worked as a teacher and a principal. He was, and still is, passionate about providing the best education possible for his students. He made sure he was a competent and caring teacher and, as principal, that all of the teachers in the school were too.
In order to make this wish possible, James needed to train himself to use a cane to ambulate since a walker cannot fit through the vessel. For two weeks James and Robin worked together and he was able to successfully use a cane on the wish. Not only was it inspiring that he has wanted to have the opportunity to go on a submarine for eight decades, it was remarkable how willing he was to make this wish come true.
Wish of a Lifetime, Brookdale, and SCA Tena were happy to help James go on a submarine on December 10, 2016 with his son Paul and Physical Therapist, Robin. James was able to tour the USS John Warner with the submarine’s captain- Commander Burt Canfield. James could not get over how technology basically runs the submarines. He remembers as a child always wanting to look through a periscope and the new models only utilize radar, they no longer have periscopes. Even days after his wish Jim can not stop talking about how incredible it was and joked that he could go on forever about how much this meant to him!
Photo Credits by US Navy