Picayune native graduates from naval boot camp

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2015

William Heck Photo submitted

William Heck
Photo submitted

On June 26, William Heck of Picayune continued his family’s military tradition when he graduated from the United States Naval Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.
He is the son of Stephen and Christine Heck and is one of five children.
The family moved to the area about seven years ago, Christine Heck said.
“William was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and we’ve lived up and down the east coast,” Christine Heck said. “His father served for 26 years in the United States Coast Guard.”
William Heck is a 2014 graduate of Picayune Memorial High School, where he participated in their football and swim teams. He also helped the football team earn two state championship titles during his tenure, Christine Heck said.
Prior to boot camp, William Heck completed two semesters at Pearl River Community College, his mother said.
When William Heck was sworn in, his paternal grandfather, retired United States Navy warrant officer Carl Heck, traveled from Florida to perform the honor, Christine Heck said. His grandfather previously swore in William’s father and two uncles.
William Heck said it feels good to have the first part of his training behind him. He is attending school to become a Navy diver.
“I originally wanted to be an aviation man, but my eyes disqualified me,” William Heck said. “One day, I sat down on the bottom of the water, looked up, saw the surface and thought it was cooler to be under the water.”
Navy divers participate in a variety of tasks including ship salvage and retrieval of an airplane’s black box, William Heck said.
Christine Heck said her son has always been athletic and dedicated.
“Once he gets a thought in his head, he will see it through,” she said. “He has a heart of gold, is a very good guy and I just love that boy. We couldn’t be more proud of him.”
William Heck’s journey continues in Panama City, Florida, where he will spend 16 weeks in training. Altogether, he will need to complete about a year and a half of training, he said.
“It’s exciting and I enjoy meeting new people,” William Heck said.

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