Service a family affair

U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael Wilson spends time with his father, retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Don Wilson, in the family yard in Clovis. Freedom Newspapers: Tony Bullocks

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

Resplendent in his dress uniform with gold stripes glittering on his sleeves, Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael Wilson cuts a dashing figure.

Wilson, a former Clovis resident, has served in the U.S. Navy for almost 22 years. At 41, not only is he a dedicated sailor, but a husband, father of two daughters, and grandfather as well.

The seasoned sailor recently returned home to visit his family before reporting to Washington, D.C., for his new assignment at the Navy Anacostia Annex.

Don Wilson, Michael Wilson’s father, retired from the U.S. Air Force as a chief master sergeant. The older Wilson said he spent more than 26 years in the Air Force as an air traffic controller.

“It was a neat job,” he said.

The 78-year-old father said he is proud of his son’s military record. “Who wouldn’t be?”

The younger Wilson’s latest accomplishment is being named retention program manager in the nation’s capitol. As program manager, Michael Wilson said he would be able to directly impact policy related to the Navy.

“I will be able to make the changes we (Navy) need,” he said. “This is what I’ve worked for the last 10 years.”

The decade of work includes a master’s degree in human resources, he said.
“The Navy is getting back all their money they put into my education,” Michael Wilson joked.

With Veterans Day being observed today, Michael Wilson reminisced about the years he spent overseas during conflicts. He served in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I’ve done lots of circles,” he said.

The elder Wilson, who served in Japan and Korea, said Veterans Day is a time to celebrate and remember.

“You have to look forward,” he said, “and look back to those that made it and those that didn’t.”

Michael Wilson said Veterans Day is not only about those who have served but also about the ones who are now serving overseas.

“The troops in Iraq should stay until the Iraqis are stable,” he said. “We (military) really don’t want to have a war, but we understand the importance.”