POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Donald Hulse joined the United States Navy in 1955, spending twenty years of service time working on submarines.
Hulse says he would do it all over again, and still appreciates the unique experience.
"The submarine service is a little different than the rest of the Navy," Hulse said. "We were closer. The wardroom, the officers and the crew, the chiefs and the lower rank all work together."
While his service time might be finished, his passion for submarines is far from over. Hulse is in the final stages of building a model of the USS Idaho (SSN-799), a Virginia Class nuclear attack submarine.
The last time a ship was commissioned as USS Idaho was in 1919.
Hulse says he feels honored the submarine was named after his home state.
"The people of Idaho ought to be really proud that we get a submarine named after the state," Hulse said. "This will be the fifth vessel named after Idaho."
The real USS Idaho is currently under construction for the U.S. Navy in Groton, Connecticut and is expected to be commissioned in 2022.
Hulse tells us building the replica helps motivate him every day.
"I'm 83 years old. I'm doing pretty good. This kind of keeps me busy and gives me a purpose in life."
Hulse plans on finishing his project by the beginning of March.