News that the iconic ship the U.S.S. Intrepid was heading back to New York to take its place as a museum caught the eye of one former sailor in Topeka.
Jerry Preston served on the ship more than 40 years ago.
Before that, he was turned down by the Navy twice, the Army twice, the U.S. Air Force three times and the Marines twice due to scarring on his heart. He finally made it in the Navy Reserve -- when he was called up for active duty.
"It was something i felt i needed to do," Preston said.
Preston's first assignment was prestigious: the U.S.S. Intrepid.
"I enjoyed it 90 percent, well let's say 85 percent of the time," Preston said with a laugh.
He enjoyed travelling the world, port to port...but says the highlight of his career was being on the ship that recovered the astronauts on the Gemini spaceship. The Intrepid just happened to be the closest ship in the are.
To hear Jerry's story from his mouth, click the video.
Preston said he is proud of his service, and proud to be an American.