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Becoming the American Dream

Becoming the American Dream
Becoming the American Dream
Carline Lew

This last weekend, January 26, 2014, a Wyoming boy had good reason to celebrate with his family. Shea Spellman, formerly of Gillette and Rock Springs, Wyoming, and youngest in his class at 20, completed and graduated from Naval Nuclear Power Program as a nuclear engineer, capable of operating and maintaining a nuclear reactor, as well as receiving the Military Achievement Award, in Ballston Spa, New York. The Naval Nuclear program, is the most challenging academic program of its kind in the world, and very few make it through the endless 18 hour days of work and study.

Shea is the son of Burke and Rebecca Spellman and brother of Deserae Gorda, of Gillette, and Dakota Spellman, who is an engineering student at the South Dakota School of Mining and Technology. He is grandson to Ray and Barbara Breeding of Judith Gap, Montana, and Della Spellman of Reno, Nevada. Shea is uncle to Calli, Shealynn, Gavin and Joselyn of Gillette, nephew to Jake and Spring Spellman, and Kerri Spellman of Green River, Wyoming, Rory and Michelle Spellman, and Austin Spellman of Reno, Nevada, Carline Lew of Las Vegas, Tom and Danette Breeding - Navy - Seabeck, Washington . Cousins include Summer Parker and Dana Coburn of Las Vegas, Heather Pellett, Ryan and Megan Spellman, Tara Stiffler, Caleb, Eli and Nick Spellman, of Reno, Jett and Skye Lew of Rock Springs, Taylor, Ada and Winston Spellman of Green River, Kayla and Hunter Breeding of Seabeck, Washington. The family is very proud of Shea's hard work, dedication, and accomplishments.

Shea attended grade school in Rock Springs, and Green River. The family moved when his father was transferred with Anadaarco to Gillette, graduating from high school in Gillette. Always a gifted child, Shea was part of the Gifted and Talented programs in school, and competed in swimming competitions. Hobbies included going fishing, hunting, scuba diving and enjoying the outdoors with his family members. He attributes his success to God given natural abilities, hard work, and being raised with good family values and work ethics.

Shea joined the Navy when his father transferred to Texas after his graduation, originally with the goal of becoming a Navy Seal. It was determined when Shea was tested, that he was a better fit for being part of the nuclear program, a great, unexpected opportunity and honor.

Shea chose to be stationed near Seattle on the USS John C. Stennis. The Stennis is a supercarrier, named after Mississippi Senator John Cornelius Stennis. The Stennis sets wake at sea with two nuclear reactors, that can go for as many as 25 years without refueling. She carries 6500 officers and crew, and 90 fixed wing and helicopter aircraft. She was commissioned December 9, 1995, and has circled the world, the Pacific, and was a fearsome presence in the Persian Gulf and Middle East after 911, spewing aircraft into Afghanistan. She is the flagship of the John C. Stennis Battle Group, or Strike Force 3, is the home to the commander of Destroyer Squadron 21, launching simultaneously from four catapults, F/A 18 Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers and E-2C Hawkeyes from her flight deck. For more information on the Stennis, go to www. outsource.org/archives/02/74.htm , or check her out on Wikipedia. The stats and pictures of the USS John C. Stennis are quite interesting and impressive.

Shea will have one month off from the Navy to spend time relaxing and spending time with family in Dallas/Ft. Worth, then head up to Seattle the beginning of March to start on his exciting new career in the Navy.