Seelman Sails off to Great Lakes

Introducing David Seelman, a recent transplant to Wisconsin from New York, and a recipient of a Ben Jackson Foundation Travel Award!  Seelman left for Navy basic training on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2020 to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.  However, he is under strict quarantine first for two weeks at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin with his fellow recruits while they wait for their eight weeks of basic training camp to start.

David Seelman and mom Kari

Seelman, surrounded by family in a virtual Zoom call, received his Travel Award among the accolades of his family and extended family.  As the Jacksons presented the award, they shared Ben’s story, inspiring Seelman and those listening in to honor Ben’s memory with inclusivity, family, and camaraderie as Seelman leaves home.

Seelman chose to join the military specifically to increase the amount of drive he has, to honorably work on himself, develop discipline, and ultimately set himself up for future success.  “I think it will help having people tell me to get out of bed versus having to get out of bed myself” Seelman said, with a sly grin.  The Navy will definitely solve that problem!

Originally considering both the Army and the Navy, Seelman says ultimately the Navy appealed to him as the most “solid opportunity to advance the future.”  Seelman is headed for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program interested in electronics, soldering, electrical repairs, and the complex functions that are at the core of nuclear power plant maintenance and operation.  The recruiter working with Seelman recommended him for this program due to his high initial test scores and aptitude towards mathematics and science.

Feeling excitement and nervousness, Seelman stated he “knows it’s going to be tough, especially training.”  Nuclear Power is a challenging field to go into, but he knows it will afford him the opportunity to simplify and focus.

Kari, Seelman’s mother, states she is not sure what to expect, wondering what kind of contact they will have, but she is excited and very proud.  She is grateful for the Ben Jackson Foundation travel award, promising to help pay for David to come home and visit.

Congratulations, David, for your high achievements affording you more advanced options for your military career!  In recognition of the commitment you are making, you have your whole family behind you and supporting you.

We would like to thank David Seelman for his service, and wish him the best of luck at Great Lakes!