NORFOLK, VA (NBC 26) — Wisconsin sailors have a lot to be proud of when it comes to keeping their country safe.
After NBC 26 anchor MacLeod Hageman connected witha few Wisconsin sailors in Norfolk, Virginia, he stopped by an iconic battleship with ties to the Badger State.
The USS Wisconsin is the last battleship the U.S. Navy commissioned. The ship was built in Pennsylvania and launched on the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid in 1943 and sponsored by Margaret Goodland. She was the wife of Wisconsin Governor Walter Goodland.
Battleship Operations Manager Keith Nitka said several Wisconsin sailors served on the battleship during Desert Storm. He said the ship was a mainstay while the Navy fought in World War II, the Korean conflict and Desert Storm.
Nitka offered a behind-the-scenes look at the ship's engine room and a glance at the exact spot where the ship took a hit from North Korea in 1952 before Navy sailors quickly fired back.
Nitka says he served on the USS Wisconsin in Desert Storm and often comes to his old bunk to relax and unwind on long days.
"So, to be here now, doing what I do — yeah, it's my dream job. There's no doubt in that. But, to think that I would come back as I was walking down the pier in 1991 and looking at the future out of what was ahead of me. To think that this was my future? Wildest dreams. Beyond! Wildest dreams," Nitka said.
If you know of anyone, please reach out to him.