Naval Reserve Recruiter Shares Vocal Talents with Nation


Story Number: NNS031114-18Release Date: 11/14/2003 4:03:00 PM
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By Chief Journalist (SQ/SW) Kelly Firebaugh, NRD St. Louis Public Affairs

ST. LOUIS (NNS) -- Navy Counselor 1st Class Generald Wilson became an overnight celebrity when he performed the National Anthem on ESPN's Monday Night Football Nov. 9, but the 14-year Navy veteran likes to keep it all in perspective.

"I've been singing in front of people since I was five." said Wilson. "But you always have to remember who you are and where you came from. There is always someone out there who is better, so we all need to be thankful for what we have."

Wilson is a happily married husband from St. Louis, father of two daughters and a proud Navy man.

"I was in for eight years active duty and then went (Naval) Reserve for a year and two months. I decided to go active again six years ago and plan on staying in at least six more," he explained.

He started his singing career as a youth and by the time he was serving in the Naval Reserve, was the choir director at his local church.

"When the Reserve Center found out I could sing, they asked me to sing at drill. They liked what I did and they asked me again. That's where it started."

In the past few years, Wilson has performed the National Anthem for professional baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey games. His rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" has wowed audiences at concerts, rallies, civic events and military ceremonies, always with a power and enthusiasm that makes listeners proud to be Americans.

"You've got to be in the song," explained Wilson on his approach. "You've got to know why that flag is waving and understand the people who keep it flying. You've got to understand what it means and what made it so important."

To the young people out there who are interested in finding out what it means, he gives his view on joining the Navy.

"It's an opportunity you don't want to let go past you," he said. "Seize the moment, and make it yours."

For related news, visit the Commander Naval Reserve Force Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nrf.

 
RELATED PHOTOS
Navy Counselor 1st Class Gerald Wilson, assigned to Naval Reserve Recruiting Region West, performs the National Anthem at the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, as part of the Veterans' Day pre-game ceremonies.
031109-N-0000X-001 St. Louis, Mo. (Nov. 9, 2003) -- Navy Counselor 1st Class Gerald Wilson, assigned to Naval Reserve Recruiting Region West, performs the National Anthem at the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, as part of the Veterans' Day pre-game ceremonies. Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Joseph Seiler, Aviation Storekeeper 2nd Class Jonathan Travis, Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Brian St. George and Operations Specialist 2nd Class Will Martin all assigned to the Navy Recruiting District St. Louis, provided color guard duties. The St. Louis Rams later beat the visiting Baltimore Ravens 33 -22. U.S. Navy photo. (RELEASED)
November 13, 2003
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