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Extraordinary People: 30 years under the sea

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Ray Chamberlain is from a family of Navy men. He spent 30 years in the service, most of it underwater, making him our extraordinary person of the week.

“This was my retirement gift from a wife Stephanie, she gave it to me after my 30 years of naval service,” Ray Chamberlain said.
For 30 years Chamberlain dedicated his life to the U.S. Navy.

“I decided at a young age that I wanted to be like my dad,” Chamberlain said.

19 years old in this boot camp photo and a Command Master Chief by the time this one was snapped.
A chief of the boat, or COB, for short.
But Master Chief Chamberlain’s resume is far from short.

The USS Andrew Jackson, USS Birmingham, USS Charlotte, USS Annapolis, and USS San Juan were all once a home to this retired Master Chief.

“Literally, the limits of a submarine force today is what you can carry for food,” Chamberlain said. “Everything else they have, just don’t run out of coffee. That’s the first thing I learned.”

Toilet paper also making the list of things not to run out of on a sub, he noted.
Also noted, taking small things seriously on a submarine.

“Next thing ya know, it burst into fire” said Chamberlain. “So there’s this big ol’ fire and people look over and are like COB, what do we do? I say is someone going to call fire? it was very minor, but in a submarine, that’s a very major thing.”

The Master Chief says over 30 years he’s experienced stories he’d love to tell us but simply can’t for classified reasons.

But his love for that former life says it all.
“The answer is yes. My wife knows it,” said Chamberlain. “Am I getting over it? I’ll never get over it.”

“That’s why I live in Wilmington. It’s close to the ocean,” he said.

Maybe he can now live through his son’s eyes.
One’s a 1st Officer in the Navy.
The other can’t wait to enlist.

If you know someone who is extraordinary, email Daniel at dseamans@wwaytv3.com


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