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Veteran reflects on joining UDT/SEALs where one life depended on the other – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia 2021-10-11 13:03:52 –

Virginia Beach, Virginia (WAVY) – 77-year-old former Navy frogman Eddie Ferguson is still fearless. If he’s not running on Virginia Beach, Virginia, on two average wheels, he’s on an electric unicycle.

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

Filmmaker Andre L. Ferguson is his son.

“He’s earning time. He’s fulfilled his duty for the country, and he’s relaxing and having fun and earning his time with the toys he’s always wanted. I think it’s great. I just want him to be careful, “Andre said.

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

The long journey began in 1961, when a 17-year-old child from Fort Myers, Florida, inspired by relatives, decided to join the Marines.

“My only inspiration for joining the Navy was my uncle,” Ferguson said.

In the 1950s, it didn’t matter that Uncle Leonard Moody’s job was limited to cooks and stewards. Eddie wanted to apply because the Cold War was underway and a US adviser was already in Vietnam.

Onboard USS Okinawa He met a recruiter from the Underwater Demolition Team and the newly created Seal Team. The recruiter showed the video to Ferguson, the only sailor who had a hard time attending the presentation.

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

“At the end of the video, I was asked if I would like to take a screening test. Of course. I submitted a special request chit (form) to the department manager, so I need to go to Little Creek, Virginia to take the screening test. There was, “said Ferguson.

“First, I needed to swim. I needed to swim 300 yards in 7 minutes and 30 seconds. So I was so busy that I used only two strokes. I couldn’t break the surface of the water with my limbs, so I had a breaststroke or a breaststroke. It was a learning curve to complete this screening because I had never taken a swimming lesson in my life. “

“When the timer said the time, it was 7 minutes 29 seconds, but I’m done.”

The swim was followed by a mile of running and boots exercises.

In basic underwater destruction / seal (BUDS) training, also at Little Creek, he drowned almost twice during the so-called drowning prevention test.

“They jumped into the water and pulled me sideways again. Now at BUDS, if you don’t touch the wall, you fail and go out. [of the program]But at that time, they think I wanted to make it so bad. “

Ferguson was fixed to Trident in 1965, but he was still south of Jim Crow.

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

“It was like the effect of Jackie Robinson that the team had to endure. I don’t say much, but in the racist comments, n-word that kind of thing. Also said that I was told not to go to Church Street alone [in Norfolk, Virginia]So the sailors went to Church Street at night, wore uniforms with Trident, wore everything on Church Street, went out like blacks from white frogs and seals, and they did it. I was told not to brag about it. I was able to do the same thing they did. “

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

Following BUDS, Ferguson had to make a decision.

“I chose to go to UDT instead of the SEAL team. The SEAL team was on a mission in Vietnam and still needed to be deployed in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Norway.”

(WAVY Photo / Regina Mobley)

“Some secrets were happening at the time. It’s now declassified, but I’m hesitant to talk about it. It included nuclear weapons.”

Ferguson does not talk about past ministry, but talks about two potentially fatal cases. Once, his major parachute failed and his swimmer saved his life while training in the waters off Little Creek, Virginia.

“I was a little behind the breathing power curve. That wasn’t the way I was getting enough oxygen.
They detected it, took me to the surface and removed the mask to get fresh air. “

Chief Eddie Ferguson retired from the Navy at the E-7 in 1982. He spent another 20 years as a civil servant. Ferguson and other men, Bill Goins and Lamont King, threaded waters unknown to black men in the 1960s.

The son, who grew up watching his father appear on an air show, is making a “documentary.” 33 Black NSrog: The life story of Eddie Ferguson, a senior soldier.

(Courtesy: 33 Black Frog Documentary)

“In the documentary, we talked about the need to deal with the racial situation of the ship, and by joining the Navy SEALs UDT, we can escape with a group of people who care for each other and know each other. The lives of others depended on each other. “

Young Ferguson hopes his documentary will inspire the next generation of black frogman.

“In his case, I think he had to try to reduce escalation and overcome the difficult situations he had to experience to become a frogman in order to pave the way for others to pass through. “Andre Ferguson said.

33 black frog It will be released in July 2022.

Veteran reflects on joining UDT/SEALs where one life depended on the other Source link Veteran reflects on joining UDT/SEALs where one life depended on the other

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