Tampa Bay Times
Times Outdoors/Fitness Editor
January 15, 2016
"Nothing can prepare you for that. But that is where he wanted to be. That is what he wanted to do."
When most 8-year-old boys played Army in the woods, Patrick Feeks dreamed of being a Navy SEAL. He never wanted to be anything else.
Patrick Feeks, a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan, will be honoredby several family members at this year's Tampa Bay Frogman Swim.(Courtesy of Thomas Feeks)
"He was very focused and determined from an early age," said father Thomas Feeks, a retired Navy officer. "He was passionate. … Nothing could stand in his way."
The first time he tried to enlist, the Navy told him that he had failed his eye test. So Feeks shopped until he could find a doctor to correct his vision.
"He tried again and made it," his father recalled. "He sailed through boot camp and then went to (Basic Underwater Demolition)."
Assigned to SEAL Team 3 out of Coronado, Calif., Feeks completed several tours in Iraq before he was deployed to Afghanistan. On Aug. 16, 2012, Feeks was aboard a U.S. military helicopter that crashed during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan. He was 28.
The 3.1-mile swim, one of the largest events of its kind in the world, benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation, a charity that helps the families of SEALS wounded or killed in action.
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