With nearly 90 years of wisdom to pass down, Connie Nappier, Jr. sat before students at the New Haven Job Corps Center on Tuesday while the city honored his service in the Air Force.
Nappier is the last known living Tuskegee Airman in Connecticut.
He served in the U.S. military during World War II. At that time, the military was segregated, but Nappier wasn't going to let that hold him back from serving his country. He had a "can do" attitude, one he still holds today.
“Never ever turn to do doubt of being able to accomplish. We can do anything we desire to do,” said Nappier.
That was the message he shared with the students.
“The students have been learning a lot about the airman and what his situation was in the military and how he was able to use his skills to overcome adversity. He also was able to continue, just as we have asked them to do to overcome their situation and achieve,” said Amelia Oliver, Director of New Haven Jobs Corps Center.
“I think it's really inspiring because even though it was so segregated back in the day, he still fought for us to be here today and go to school,” said Daniel Godin, a student there.
Nappier has also always looked forward to what's next. That’s something these students are trying to do.
“I got that from my dad. He believed totally that if we wanted to reach the moon we could,” said Nappier.