Roy “Papa Roy” Burkett: Roy, a native of Guyana relocated to Virginia in 1977 and was stationed on the USS Detroit AOE4. He primarily got together with the guys because they had two things in common—being from the Caribbean and playing soccer. According to him this was something they were doing to build camaraderie among themselves. Roy and his family remains active in the club. He still plays soccer along with his son Roy Jr., who has been playing since 1987. His wife, Daisy, is the resident cheerleader at the soccer games. His vision is to see the older members set the foundation for the young members coming up. His watchwords for success are tenacity, endurance and determination. Roy is an assistant coach for WIU.
Gilbert “Ras Teddy” Hall: Ras Teddy, as everyone knows him came to Virginia in December of 1978 to accompany his brother to join the military. Virginia reminded him of his native land—Jamaica, the “yard” as he calls it. He heard the word on the street that there were some guys who were interested in forming a team and to the field daily with the intention of playing soccer. Teddy has been instrumental in forming various clubs including the Flamingoes in Florida, Teaneck Youths United and Patterson in New Jersey. Both Teddy and his son continue to play soccer in any position. He feels that the organization should focus on passing on the lessons of togetherness to our youth.
David “Jah Dee” Jones: When Jah Dee came to Virginia from North Carolina in 1979 through a friend. He was introduced to Teddy and started playing soccer in defense position with them at Norfolk Naval Base where he met Roy and Vyburt. They started playing scrimmage with a mixed team of both Americans and West Indians. He has been a coach for WIU for 4 years. He would like to see WIU as an institution that works and develops to bring the community together. He would also like to see a youth soccer program for the little ones to enroll. His vision is to build the soccer team so that they can compete with the Mariners. His advice to both active members and inactive members of the club is to “be a role model because you have a lot of people watching you.” Jah Dee still coaches for WIU. Jah Dee is from Jamaica.
Mike “Mikey” Rose: “Mikey” as they all call him came to the area in May 1979 while assigned to a squadron at NAS Oceana. Since there was NOTHING for them to do here in the area his focus was to find other West Indians so he could socialize, play soccer, dominoes and cricket. Every flag he saw, he was hoping for it to be someone from the Caribbean. He met Smiley and at times, they would play for both ships as the time allowed. He met Teddy and Jah Dee while coming to Lake Taylor H. S. to practice. He believes that no organization can stand on its own without interacting with other organizations. He thinks that WIU should set up domino, cricket and soccer “friendlies” in an effort to broaden the connection with other groups. We must involve the youths in all aspects of the organization so that they could feel at home, embrace our culture and one day they could take over where we left off. “Mikey” is from Jamaica.
Devon Russell: Devon, the Jamaican born mid—fielder came to Virginia on December 16th, 1978 and was stationed on the USS Laramie County LSD 1924. Initially, he started playing soccer so that they could set up a military team that represent the Caribbean. Daily, he would look for red, green, yellow and gold colors because he knew that they “represented” the islands. He would “blow his horn” and pull the drivers aside to find out where they were from. He would also go to the malls on Saturdays to look for the colors. There was not a lot of progress but he was determined because he wanted to “play together and associate with” the guys. He feels that there is “Unity and strength in group. No man is an island unto themselves. The village has to look out for the group that is coming up.” He would like to see the youths learn about their history and have a self purpose of their roots. “If we have history, we can go forward because a tree without roots will fall in the wind.”
Vyburt Silcott: Vyburt came to the area in 1977 while serving in the Navy. He played soccer as much as possible hoping to meet more West Indians. When he got transferred to Dam Neck, he met Roy. Soon after, they were able to convince other West Indians about forming a team. Vyburt looked at the getting together as an opportunity to see other West Indians and socialize. In the early years of the club, they played Fort Monroe along with other naval bases. Later, they moved the practices to Lake Taylor. He would like to see more people from the community get involved. “Too often people promises to do something and never show up.” He is a soccer coach in Virginia Beach Rush. Vyburt is from the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis.
Wayne Smiley: “Smiley” as they all know him retired in 1999 after 20 years in the service. He was stationed on the USS Kuntz when he arrived in Virginia in April of 1979. In those days he looked for the flags in the cars and belts hanging down as a way to meet fellow West Indians. Finding a central place to play was the biggest problem. Duty days and the ships out-to sea were hurdles that they had to overcome. All together, they had 30 guys who played with them on and off. He would like to see this organization take it a little further where mortgage, real estate, and finance entities circulate within the group. We can better ourselves by spending wisely. Do not to limit the vision-limitless. Stick together and deal with life in America and pass on the values to the children.” Smiley is from Jamaica.
Patrick Thompson: The Jamaican born mid-fielder spent seven and half years in the Navy and was stationed on the USS Nassau when he arrived in Virginia in April of 1979. He went to the soccer field at NOB when he drove bye and saw the guys playing on the field. He came to the field in those days because he “just wanted to kick some ball and hang out.” He feels the club has come a long way. He would like to see WIU “excel to the highest .” He feels that they have “ more to give for the kids coming behind us.” He would like to see the youths take over as the founding members pass the baton to them – “after all we started from scratch.” His son, Patrick Jr. has followed in his footstep and started playing soccer at the tender age of 5. Patrick Jr. also plays mid field forward and is presently playing for the Virginia Rush. He still plays for WIU.