Petty Officer Third Class Kyle Moss at the 2012 Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Kyle Moss was in a unique situation last year.
The Petty Officer Third Class sailor grew up in Scottsbluff and was stationed on the USS Nebraska submarine when the call came that eight sailors from the sub were invited to North Platte for the annual Nebraskaland Days celebration.
Moss is one of very few men, if any, who have been from Nebraska, were stationed on the submarine named after the Cornhusker State, and have been invited to the state celebration in North Platte.
Last year’s trip to Nebraskaland Days wasn't his first time at the event. He had been to it as a kid, but it was a whole new experience as a sailor, he said.
“The hospitality was completely different. Everybody there treated everybody so nice.” People were especially respectful of the sailors, he said.
The sailors are invited to the NLD celebration each year and are chosen based on their military performance. Moss, whose performance was superior, also had another “in” -- he was from Nebraska.
He had a little “sales” work to do, convincing fellow sailors that they would enjoy the celebration.
“There are a lot of people who say there’s nothing fun to do (in Nebraska.) I say, you need to go. There are a lot of fun things to do.”
The seven men who came with him were duly impressed.
“They changed their minds that Nebraska isn't boring. They all liked it, and thought the hospitality was outstanding.” he said.
Each year, sailors from the USS Nebraska, which is stationed in Bangor, Wash. are invited to attend the NLD celebration. They stay with Lincoln County families and are treated like dignitaries, attending as many NLD activities as possible.
The USS Nebraska has two crews that each spend six months at sea.
If Nebraskaland Days had been a few months earlier, Moss wouldn't have been able to come to North Platte; he was on the submarine. The submarine carries nuclear deterrents, and its job is to “make people think twice, with us lurking somewhere out there in the ocean. We have the capability and means to destroy things,” Moss said.
Moss, who graduated from high school in 2009 and joined the Navy in 2010, competed in high school rodeo, football, and basketball. His favorite parts of NLD were the rodeo and the classic car show.
His parents are Robert Moss of Wright, Wyo., and Marian Moss of Mitchell.