Beemer brothers have unique work situation

Huntington natives and brothers Jacob (left) and Nicholas Beemer, members of the United States Navy, serve on the same aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The occurrence is a rare one.
Huntington natives and brothers Jacob (left) and Nicholas Beemer, members of the United States Navy, serve on the same aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The occurrence is a rare one. Photo provided.

Originally published April 29, 2010.

For most people, working with a family at the same place of employment is no big deal. However, for Nicholas and Jacob Beemer, it is.

The brothers both serve in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Nicholas, a 2007 graduate of Huntington North High School, enlisted on Aug. 28, 2007.

Jacob followed suit by enlisting on Nov. 4, 2008.

Both are classified as E-4, Petty Officer Third Class, and recently returned from an eight-month deployment in the West Pacific.

"I was able to serve on the same aircraft carrier because I graduated top of my class and asked to be stationed at the same base as Nicholas, which is in San Diego, CA," says Jacob Beemer. "My superiors took care of the rest."

The brothers work in the weapons department (E-3), where they help to build bombs.

"All the components for the bombs are housed on the carrier in different places," Nicholas Beemer states. "Part of our responsibility is to assemble them."

"We also supervise three to four personnel, adds Jacob. "It's nice to know that what we do, has a direct impact on the war and the fight to preserve freedom."

Nicholas adds that sometimes they are allowed to see the impact.

"Sometimes they will show us film of the bombs being dropped and that to us is a confirmation of our hard work," he says.

Both men say that one of the biggest rewards of being in the Navy as opposed to another branch of the military is the opportunity to travel to many different place.
During their last deployment, they traveled to Japan, Hong Kong,Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain and Dubai.

"It was interesting to see how so many of these countries have become Americanized in some way or another," says Nicholas. "There are a lot of similarities, a lot more than you would expect."
Jacob adds that they frequently came across people who spoke and understood English.

There were still a few cultural differences, however, says Nicholas.

For example, he says that Singapore is a much stricter society than America and uses corporal punishment.

"It is against the law to spit on the street or even chew gum," Nicholas notes. "The penalty for breaking some of the laws is public caning."

He adds that before they arrived in Singapore, the crew was shown footage of public caning in Singapore to emphasize the gravity of what would happen if they chose to break the law.

"I think that's one of the reasons why the country is so clean," adds Jacob.

The brothers were also impressed by the wealth in Dubai.

"The whole place was basically huge shopping malls and expensive hotels," says Jacob. "There was even one mall, where you could ski and snowboard on real snow inside the mall."

"There is also a definite divide in the social system," adds Nicholas. "It was either large expensive buildings or dry dessert. I saw no middle class there; just wealth or poverty."

Either way, both men say, traveling to other countries ranks high on their list of reasons why they enlisted.

"I like knowing that what we do has a direct effect on the war and protecting our people fighting," says Jacob.

The brothers left Huntington to return to their base, in San Diego, on April 22. Shortly afterward, the home base will be moved to Birmingham, WA.

"We will be stationed there for about a year, after which we will be deployed again," states Nicholas. "Where we go is classified information."

On the next deployment, only one brother will be going.
Nicholas' term ends in 2011, as he enlisted for a four-year term. Jacob however, still has three and half years left.

"Part of being top of my class included me being accelerated to E-4 and I was asked to sign on for an extra year," he states.

After the Navy, the brothers plan to earn their college degrees. Nicholas intends to pursue a degree in meteorology, while Jacob says, he unsure of what he wants to, but may choose music.

"Without the Navy, what we do and basically those floating airports in the middle of the ocean, it would be a different war," he states.