There are a lot of fathers who are proud of their children’s accomplishments, but these days former High Point Mayor Bill Bencini is especially proud of his son Michael.

On Saturday, April 30, US Navy Commander Mike Bencini took command of the USS Sampson in Busan, South Korea.

The Sampson is a destroyer that was christened in 2006 in Maine.  It’s the fourth US Navy ship named after the late Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, who was known for his heroism in the Spanish-American War.

Mike Bencini graduated from Vanderbilt University and later earned his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Memphis. His first duty at sea was in 2004 when he worked on a ship doing electrical repair work.

Years later, from 2017 to 2019, he served in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a deputy chief of staff.

During his speech as he was assuming command of the ship, Mike Bencini called the Sampson one of the “crown jewels” of the US Navy and spoke of the importance of the United State’s alliance with South Korean.

He also thanked his mother and father who he called “my biggest fans.”

“I will continue to make you proud,” he promised.

He also thanked his late grandmother, remarking, “Our seventh-grade trip to Annapolis started it all.”

As for former Mayor Bill Bencini, he said he still can’t fathom it.

“Who would give command of a billion-dollar warship to a Bencini?” he said this week.

Former High Point mayor Bencini has had quite an exciting start to 2022.  A huge UNC Tarheel fan, Bencini watched the epic Duke-UNC Carolina Final Four game on a TV in a hospital room after his daughter went into labor.  The baby arrived in the world about 30 minutes after the Tarheels defeated the Blue Devils, making for a doubly delighted former mayor.