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November 30--  A former Navy SEAL credits his experiences at Vidalia High School with the standards and values which served him well during his military career.

Fred Godbee graduated from Vidalia High School in 1986 and after college at Georgia Tech went on to serve with the SEALs for 14 years before resigning as a Lieutenant Commander.  He now works with Morgan-Stanley in Atlanta.


Godbee (R) is welcomed to the Vidalia Kiwanis Club by President Paul Threlkeld.

He remembers well those who influenced his early years.  "Buck Cravey for one.  He was hard on us in a good way, in a fatherly way, and he held us to a high standard.  Ralph Parsons was another great influence on my life and most of my teachers at Vidalia High School.  I don't how it is today, but back then Vidalia High School had a pretty good education considering we were in South Georgia compared to the city folks.  The Vidalia Recreation Department, the United Methodist Church had a great influence and my neighborhood.  I grew up in a great neighborhood and it's hard to get those kind of values anymore, especially in larger cities, that I got here in Vidalia," Godbee says.

Serving in the military is a Godbee family tradition.  His father, Barron, served in World War II and he has uncles who served in Korea and Vietnam.  "I was into it as a boy and when I was in ROTC at Georgia Tech I learned about the SEALs and as I matured I realized that was what I ought to be doing," he says.

He also believes the military is a good option for many young people.  "It helped me grow up a lot and today to be a parent and a businessman.  I would encourage it.  Everybody has to search out what they are best fitted for, but if they don't know what they want to do, the military is a great place to go," he advises.