Many third-grade boys are busy playing on tablets or iPads and wanting the newest toy on the market. Ryder Prevost; however, has been watching airplanes and flying in them ever since he was a baby. This year he received actual Navy patches for Christmas.

Ryder is 8 years old, attends Lambert Public School and is the son of Bryan and Cassie Prevost.

Ryder comes from a long line of pilots, which would explain his interest. His great grandfather, grandfather and father all have their pilots license.

His favorite model is the Navy F-14 Tomcat because of the way it maneuvers as well as its speed. He’s been on an airplane several times, including the many occasions where his dad has taken him up on his plane.

Ryder had been watching videos of pilots and saw the patches worn on their flight suits for the first time.

“I told my dad one day that I really wanted to get navy patches for Christmas,” Ryder told the Sidney Herald. Ryder also informed his dad that he wanted to fly fighter jets in the Navy and receive a “Top Gun patch.”

Bryan wanted to make that happen for him, so he contacted some friends in the Navy, as well as his aviation professor, Captain Scott Wilson, who is in the Navy, and sent over a note with the squadron patches.

Within the note he included, Captain Wilson gave these encouraging words, “I flew a fantastic aircraft called the Navy F-14 Tomcat. For many years, it was the best fighter jet in the world. However, the jets you may fly will be even better. I wish you all the best and I hope you can proudly serve our nation as a future Navy fighter pilot.”

Ryder enjoys going to air shows. Last summer he went to Fargo for an air show with his family and had the opportunity to meet some of the Blue Angels.

This is not his only memory close to fame, as he also has sat in one of the jets used in the movie, “Top Gun,” which was a Navy F-18 Super Hornet.

If you see the new Top Gun movie in theaters, you might run into Ryder bursting with excitement. If you’re lucky, he might just tell you about his patches, too.

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