Swimming to Save
An Opportunity this Sailor Never thought Possible
On a warm and sunny Florida day, Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Harrison Greenmaki sits in the hangar bay, his calm and humble presence doesn't reflect that of a seasoned naval rescue swimmer. The phrase 'you can't judge a book by its cover' is the only way to really describe this Sailor.
I sat down with Greenmaki to listen to his story, and as we continued the interview I began to really understand why he felt grateful for the opportunity to be a rescue swimmer.
If you would've told me my job when I first joined the navy would be to jump out of a perfectly good helicopter and have the opportunity to save someone's life, I would never believe you," - AWS1 Harrison Greenmaki
To him the idea of swearing his life to save others came as a sense of responsibility to our country after the dark moment on Sept., 11. Giving him the need to contribute and soar out over the open water to help those in need.
"I was in seventh grade when I saw that. And I guess that might have just been the flip of the switch that made me want to join the military, to contribute to society, to actually benefit it and to help it out," said Greenmaki.
With birds crying in the air and the water to our backs he began to credit the successes he has had to the people around him and bond he had with them that have made it possible for him to help others.