Denorme heads off to the high seas, hoping to create his own stories.
When Noah Denorme (WC ‘19) was growing up, he remembers listening to the stories his late grandfather Ron Ehmer talked about his time in the Navy.
Now Denorme hopes when his five-year stint is up with the Navy; he will spin a few good stories of his own. After spending three years in the Naval Reserve while attending Miami University, Denorme completed his Basic Division Officers Course on Aug. 18 at the San Diego Naval Base.
“My grandfather was the main reason why I joined the Navy,” Denorme said of Ehmer, who served during the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict. “I always loved the stories he told me about the crazy stuff he did. He always said, ‘Oh yeah when I was in Japan’ or something like that.
“I want to be able to say something like, ‘Oh yeah, back when I was in Thailand…’ or ‘When we were in this port of call…’ I want to serve my country, travel, and have stories like that.”
Denorme will work on the USS Harper’s Ferry (LSD 49), which supports amphibious operations and allows Marines to take small boats onto shore. Denorme and other sailors are working from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. preparing the Harper’s Ferry for a six-to-nine-month deployment.
“Most of the ships in San Diego go either south to South America or west to Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Japan, or Korea,” Denorme said. “One of the scariest parts of that is being gone from six to nine months with no connection to the outside world. We’re just out to sea, going from port to port.
“At the same time, I’m also really excited about that. I love traveling, and I can’t wait to see the places we go.”
Denorme inherited his love for travel from his father, Gwenn Denorme, who passed away in June 2020.
“When I was little, my dad got me into the whole traveling aspect,” Denorme said. “I’ve tried to travel as much as I can. Throughout college, even when I had very little money in my bank account, I’d be traveling somewhere and seeing the sights.”
Life on the high seas was about the furthest thing from Denorme’s mind during his freshman year at Miami. It took the Worthington Christian graduate a while to figure out what he wanted to do once he arrived at the Oxford, Ohio, campus. After trying computer science and flirting with the idea of becoming a teacher, Denorme took the advice of his mother, Jennifer, and decided to investigate kinesiology.
“I initially went in as a software engineer and absolutely hated it,” he said with a laugh. “It sucked sitting behind a computer and coding all day. I thought I would be teaching history because I love working with kids.
“My mom pointed out that if I went the kinesiology route, I could help people, maybe even be a physical therapist for kids. That was more right up my alley.”
During his sophomore year at Miami, Denorme applied to join the Naval Reserve to help pay for college. Finding out he had earned a full-ride scholarship from the Navy was bittersweet.
“My dad was always the main motivator for my Navy career,” he said. “Every day after I applied for the scholarship, he would call me to ask if I had heard anything.
“When I got the call saying I got a full ride, my initial thought was obviously, ‘I’m going to call Dad.’ Then it hits you that he’s gone.
“I’m sure he’s super proud of me and proud of where my career is going.”