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The Navy is in their blood

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Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The Detroit Lakes Schwarzrock siblings seem to be playing a game of follow the leader.

Steven, 23, Paula, 20, and Scott, 18, are all enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Their mom, Candy, said if Steven had gone to college, the others likely would have followed in his footsteps there, too. Since he joined the Navy and could tell of its benefits though, his siblings followed his lead.

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While they may have followed in Steve's footsteps, the three are geographically many steps apart.

Steve is a cryptologic technician networks 2, stationed in Columbia, Md. Paula is a seaman's apprentice, waiting to get into the nursing program, and is stationed in Bremerton, Wash. Scott graduated last month and is now an airman's apprentice, who plans to be an aviation structural mechanic and work with hydraulics, and is stationed in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I'm proud of them," Candy said. "I don't worry about them like those going to Iraq."

Her husband, Kevin, agreed.

"It's always in the back of your mind, but you gotta trust God on that."

Candy said she had a couple family members in the service, but doesn't think that had any influence on Steve joining the Navy. From early on, Steve always wanted to be in the Air Force, but eventually chose the Navy.

He works with computers in intelligence and has high security clearance. Kevin said his son can't talk about 99.9 percent of what he does.

"We just don't ask anymore," Candy said.

Paula is working in an office setting right now, but hopes to get into the nursing program. It was full the last time she applied.

When she traveled with a recruiter to a school in Alexandria to talk to students about her experiences, she was the only female and the youngest sailor present. When asked why she chose to join the Navy, Candy said her daughter replied because otherwise, she couldn't afford an education on a part-time salary.

Candy said education has been the driving force behind all her children joining the Navy.

An education not always obtained at a college either. Wednesday evening, the Schwarzrocks were talking with Paula as she told how she was pepper sprayed in the face as part of her training.

Just looking at the Schwarzrock home, anyone could tell there is pride in the military there. Three blue star banners hang in the porch windows, a sailor stands outside, and inside, pictures line the wall of the three sailors.

The Schwarzrocks have traveled to Great Lakes, near Chicago, for the graduations, to Maryland to visit Steve and to Washington to bring Paula her vehicle.

"One thing you do get is a neat coffee cup," Kevin said of each visit.

And shirts, Candy adds, donning her "proud mother of three sailors" t-shirt.

Although Kevin and Candy aren't sure how long their children will be in the Navy, they do know they are proud of all three.

"Now that we have three in, don't we get a destroyer?" is Kevin's motto.

"It'd look nice in the marina," he said.

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