Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bobby J Siens // Staff Writer
Less than one-half of one percent of Americans choose to serve in the U.S. military; however, the call to serve runs strong in the family of one Sailor aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Victor Galloway is part of a legacy of military service stretching over the last century.
“My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all served in the Army,” said Galloway. “My family has had someone serving this country during the last 100 years.”
Galloway’s path to service began in Panama City, Fla. The middle child in a family of 11, Galloway was the only boy. When he was twoyears- old, his parents divorced and Galloway spent much of his younger life living with his mother.
“When I was growing up my family was very poor,” said Galloway. “The house I grew up in was no bigger than 1,000 square feet, and at any given point there would be six of us living there. My mother always made sure that us kids were fed, but I grew up with a constant reminder that every time there was a knock on the door it could be the landlord because she was behind on the rent. I started doing things when I was about 15-years-old to earn a little extra money to help out my mom and the household.”
Galloway said he grew up in the type of place where you either found a way to get out of town or you worked in construction— and he knew he didn’t want to spend his life there.
“I joined the military for a better way of life,” said Galloway. “I wanted to get out of my hometown and go see things that people only saw in books or on TV. The majority of my family lived in the same county for their entire lives; they never really left. I didn’t want that. I wanted to travel and get an education and see things that most people don’t get a chance to.”
Coming from a long tradition of military service, Galloway knew enlisting was his choice to make; however, his choice to serve came as no surprise to his family.
“I have a very long, proud line of military history in my family, on both sides; my mom’s father served 30 years in the Air Force,” said Galloway. “When I was growing up my family wanted me to join, but they said it was my decision.”
Once Galloway decided to join the Navy, he knew his parents would wonder why he didn’t choose to follow the long-standing tradition of Army service.
“I wanted to do something different, I wanted to do something that nobody in my family had done before,” said Galloway. “I wanted to pave my own way and create my own legacy. Being first generation Navy did just that.”
Galloway has served in the Navy for 12 years. In that time, he has been on three deployments; Iraq in 2006 with a Marine Corps squadron, and two deployments aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in 2008 and 2010.
During his 2010 deployment aboard Lincoln, Galloway’s first son was born while he was underway. He met his son for the first time when he was three months old.
“I flew home and got to meet my son for the first time,” said Galloway. “At that moment I knew I had to do everything I could to take care of him.”
Galloway said he has been asked if he thinks his son will eventually continue his family’s legacy.
“Honestly I want him to make his own choices in life rather than be pushed into something,” said Galloway. “If he decides to serve then I will definitely support that.” Galloway has been serving aboard Truman since August 2014. He is currently the leading petty officer for the ship’s F/A-18 Radar Fire Control work center.
“I enjoy the mental aspect of my job, the problem solving,” said Galloway. “Every piece of equipment that comes in this shop presents a new problem that we have to solve. That’s what I like about my job.” Galloway’s Sailors serve as his greatest source of motivation.
“If you take care of your people, your people will take care of you,” said Galloway. “They motivate me to get up and do my job every single day. Without them I can’t do my job. When my Sailors have a problem, that means I have a problem. It’s my job to make sure they are taken care of, because they’re my Sailors.”
Galloway made board for chief petty officer, March 2016. He is currently assembling his chief package and hopes to be selected for advancement this upcoming season. Galloway said he wants to make the most of his Navy career and retire knowing he contributed 20 years of faithful service to his family’s legacy.