ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) - What started as two boys running wild outside sparked a backyard debate that's gaining national attention.
Walker Greentree and his friend were getting rowdy when his mom cried out "be quiet like a SEAL." That got the first graders thinking.
"We couldn't decide which one is quieter," said Walker. "SEALS or ninjas."
The six- year-old's thirst for answers drove him inside his home. He sharpened his SpongeBob pencil and started writing to the top Navy SEAL himself: Admiral William McRaven, head of the U.S Special Operations Command. McRaven is credited with taking down Osama bin Laden. He's someone Walker, a military son, admires.
He sent the admiral a letter with two questions: Who is quieter a SEAL or a Ninja and how long can he hold his breath? Two weeks later, Walker got the answers.
"I was really, really excited," he said with a huge smile.
Admiral McRaven wrote him the following:
Thanks for writing me! You did a great job drawing the Trident, it looks just like my personal coin, which I've sent you along with this letter. I only give this to very special kids, so I hope you like it.
To answer your questions: I think ninjas are probably quieter than SEALs, but we are better swimmers, and also better with guns and blowing things up. I can hold my breath for a long time, but I try not to unless I really have to.
Remember, if you want to be a SEAL, you must do two things: listen to your parents and be nice to the other kids. If you do that then you can probably be a SEAL too.
With the letter came a special challenge coin.
"It helps me remember daddy," said Walker.
"He's slept with it every night since," added his mother Vivian Greentree.
Her husband is a lieutenant commander in the Navy and is in the middle of his fifth deployment, spending a year in Bahrain.
"Walker got to tell him about the letter over FaceTime and it was really, it was great," she said. "To feel proud of our military lifestyle and their dad and what he does is priceless."
Their dad will also be proud to learn there is a new letter-writing campaign.
Walker's older brother M.J. just wrote the programmers of Minecraft, a popular video game. He had technical questions he hopes they can answer.