That’s how sportscaster Joe Buck reacted after Navy Petty Officer 1st Class (Ret.) Generald Wilson belted out “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch of World Series game three on Saturday night. And once you hear it, you’ll likely be stunned too. Get ready for some chills:
If Wilson’s voice sounds familiar, that’s because he’s nailed patriotic anthems at sporting events before. As far back as 2003, when he was then a 14-year Navy veteran, Wilson was being recognized for his stirring performances. Yet the lifelong Cardinals fan (who wowed the home crowd earlier during the baseball playoffs) remains humble.
“I’ve been singing in front of people since I was five.” Wilson told the Navy website at the time. “But you always have to remember who you are and where you came from. There is always someone out there who is better, so we all need to be thankful for what we have.”
So how’d it all start?
“When the Reserve Center found out I could sing, they asked me to sing at drill,” the husband and father of two daughters told the website. “They liked what I did and they asked me again. That’s where it started.”
And ever since, so have the crowds. Here he is singing the National Anthem on 9/11/2011 before a St. Louis Rams game. Chills round two:
“You’ve got to be in the song,” he explained. “You’ve got to know why that flag is waving and understand the people who keep it flying. You’ve got to understand what it means and what made it so important.”
It seems he definitely understands.