For about an hour, Wiley walked the kids through his time in the Navy as a fighter jet pilot, talking about each step that got him to becoming a lieutenant. He graduated college in the 1960s, and from there, headed to months of training.
“It was 18 weeks of homework,” he said, adding, “You learn all of that before they even let you look at an airplane.”
Next came basic flight training, then learning to fly jets, then advanced flight training, he said.
“You learn how to use [the jet] as a weapon,” Wiley said.
Wiley showed the kids photos of different types of planes he flew, and what the inside of a cockpit looks like, something that was 10-year-old Jayden Swagger’s favorite part.
Wiley said at this stage in their life, children want to learn and absorb the world around them.
“I love to see them at this age because they’re so involved,” he added.
Whitney Warner, principal at Westminster Elementary School, said this is the second time Wiley came to speak to the students at the school. He was here two years ago, she said, and since it was such a success, they wanted to bring him back again.