Future aviators among Naval Academy spectators at Blue Angels demonstration during Commissioning Week
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Tribune News Service) — Midshipman 1st Class William Donohoe had seen the Blue Angels before as a plebe.
But this time, standing on Ingram Field with his mother, the soon-to-be Naval Academy graduate felt the show was different.
Not only did he see the show days before he would commission into the Marine Corps, but Donohoe also saw it as someone soon to train as a Marine pilot.
That made the show a little more real to him, Donohoe said. The Blue Angels show is exciting but also inspiring.
“They’re incredible,” he said.
Donohoe was one of the many midshipmen watching the Blue Angels demonstration from the Naval Academy Wednesday. Midshipmen were joined by families throughout the Yard, including Hospital Point and Ingram Field.
The superintendent and commandant of the Brigade of Midshipmen were also in attendance.
This was the second time during Commissioning Week that people could see the Blue Angels. They did a practice run Tuesday.
For those watching it from Ingram Field, an announcer emceed the performance, giving viewers a chance to learn more about the different maneuvers and the pilots.
For Kim Donohoe, who stood with her son, William, one day, it could be her son flying the jets, as the career path is not ruled out.
Being a Blue Angel is not necessarily a goal for William Donohoe. It is an elite group of pilots.
“I’m just trying to take it one step at a time,” he said.
However, he is possibly taking one small step toward that career, if that is in his future. He wants to fly jets.
A military career was not always the plan for Donohoe, his mother said, but it is the perfect fit.
“It could not be more exciting, and I could not be more proud to see his dreams come true,” she said.
Like her son, Kim Donohoe said his future as a pilot changed the way she viewed the Blue Angels.
“It’s breathtaking,” she said.
Midshipman 1st Class Kenneth Harris stood a few feet away from the Donohoe’s. He is one of the soon-to-be graduates heading to Pensacola, Florida, for flight school.
Harris will train to be a Naval flight officer. He has been drawn toward aviation since he was in high school, Harris said.
This was Harris’ third time seeing the Blue Angels at the academy. He saw them his plebe and youngster years, he said. But this time is different as someone heading to flight school.
“It’s just completely inspirational,” Harris said.
When he sees the Blue Angels now, he sees the amount of work he will have to do. He sees the skill and trust needed to be able to perform the many maneuvers in the demonstration.
“Phenomenal,” he said of the show. “The coolest thing on Earth.”
Harris’ family — his mother, father, grandmother and younger brother — were flying in to see the Blue Angels performance and his graduation, he said.
He is looking forward to life post-graduation, including getting to work with the people at Pensacola.
“I’m looking forward to working hard and learning new things,” Harris said. “Meeting people along the way.”
The Blue Angels show is a favorite event for many midshipmen, including firstie Bryce Beckish, who watched the show with his grandmother, mother, father and younger sister.
“It’s amazing,” Beckish said. “Everyone always talks about it.”
Beckish will commission into the Marine Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant following graduation.
His time at the academy flew by, his father, Michael Beckish said. He is looking forward to watching his son continue to move forward in his chosen career.
“Just another step in life,” Michael Beckish said.
The Beckish family all enjoyed seeing the show, Bryce Beckish said. But for Michael Beckish, who is a private pilot, the show was a reminder of the precision needed to fly the Super Hornets. They cannot make a mistake, he said.
“It’s impressive,” he said.
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