FORT PIERCE, Fla. (CBS12) — The Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce is a spot history was made and continues to be shared.
“it all started right in fort pierce on North Hutchinson Island,” said Museum Executive Director Grant Mann.
The Navy SEALs and their treacherous training all started in Fort Pierce.
“This is Florida history. These guys were here in Fort Pierce, back in the 40s, doing training for World War II, the greatest generation,” said Mann.
Grant Mann isn't only interested in SEALs’ history, he’s a part of it.
The veteran commander served for 34 years.
“When I joined the Navy, I did not know about the seals,” said Mann.
But soon Mann himself was going through vigorous vetting to be a SEAl.
“They really assess and screen and then select these young guys that want to be seals. And they pick the best guys that they think are going to be the most successful,” said Mann.
SEALs go through a tradition that started on North Hutchinson Island: hell week. Museum visitors can even try their hand at a SEAL obstacle course.
“They did what they called hell week here, to get them physically ready, and we still do that now in our seal training out in Coronado,” said Mann.
SEALs are responsible for missions that are portrayed in blockbusters like ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Black Hawk Down,’ and ‘Captain Phillips.’
“They did all their training here to get ready in preparation for Normandy,” said Mann.
But it’s not the fame that Commander Mann is proud of.
“My favorite part of being a part of the museum is I can continue to serve my country. Like, it didn’t end when I retired. So now I’m down here and I can keep the memory and the legacy alive of the guys who went before me and the guys that are still going,” said Mann.
The museum is open everyday but Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.