San Diego man fulfills dream, becomes first officer in Navy family

Ryan Velunta
Posted at 2:48 PM, Dec 22, 2020

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Ryan Velunta is a Mira Mesa local and is fulfilling life-long Navy dreams. He said joining the Navy is essentially in his blood after his dad and uncles came to the United States from the Philippines, joining the Navy and raising him in a structured military way.

“He just exposed me to a lot of aviation growing up, so going to the Miramar Air Show pretty much almost every year was one of them and just being in San Diego you have an airplane flying over you every three minutes, so I always looked up and said okay, I want to do that,” said Velunta.

He said he wanted to take his goals one step further.

“I wanted to raise the bar and be the first commissioned officer in the family,” said Velunta.

So, he did. On Friday, Dec. 18, he graduated from Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island.

He had to complete 13 weeks of both physical and mental training. Next, he’ll be heading to Pensacola, FL for aviation training, set to become a Navy pilot.

“It is pretty insane because this has been a childhood dream for me and to say yes I’m fulfilling my childhood dream is not something most people can say, so it’s exciting for me to be in this position,” he said.

This story was first reported by Leah Pezzetti at KGTV in San Diego, California.