Navy Week in Milwaukee; sailors inspire youth to dream big

It is Navy Week in Milwaukee and sailors are inspiring the next generation and showing everyone how their service affects the city. 

It was a Wednesday afternoon full of joy and learning – one that reminded Skyler Okerman of when she was a kid.

"I was the one running around telling everyone, ‘My dad was a Marine,'" said Okerman, who is a Navy Mass Communications Specialist aboard the USS Constitution.

Okerman said she joined the Navy six years ago – and has been sailing on the USS Constitution ever since. 

Skyler Okerman

"The Navy goes all around to landlocked cities, and we engage with communities and show them what the Navy is," Okerman said. 

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For Navy Week, that included spending time with summer campers from Journey House in Milwaukee.

"Just to get out from everyday job and know that I am making an impact in their lives. And, they are fun for me too, so they’re making an impact on mine," Okerman said.

Okerman and fellow sailors kicked a soccer ball around with kids – and gave them the rundown on what a day looks like working in the Navy

"I would tell kids that we protect the seas around us from countries and protect our trades," Okerman said.

Many campers were surprised. 

"I feel, I can’t even say it right now," said Jaking Cullins, 11-year-old Journey House summer camper. "Very shocked!"

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Others were inspired. 

"Some may want to join the military, and some want to do something else," Okerman said. 

No matter what the dreams are, Okerman left them all with one piece of advice. 

"We just like to encourage them and tell them it’s possible if they reach for it," Okerman said. 

Check out the calendar of events for Navy Week in Milwaukee.