Bryan has always had a healthy respect for all those in military service. He knows that his Grandfather Johnson served as an Army Chaplain and that his Grandad Gordon (whom he never met) was a Navy Lieutenant, both serving in World War II.
When attending school at Middle Bucks Vo Tech, he would frequently get in trouble when sent to the office on an errand. After completing the assigned task given to him by his teachers, he would dally in the office, perusing and taking countless brochures advertising all branches of the service. I’m sure he would have eagerly served his country if that was made available to him. That’s what he wanted to do when he “grew up”.
At parades, Bryan always salutes the veterans as they pass by him, waving the flag to and fro. The bookshelves in his bedroom sag under the weight of so many books about various military battles, tanks, aircraft carriers, military planes and the like. He’s even written a “book” about World War II aircraft carriers. His interest in the armed forces goes way back to the French and Indian War, The Revolutionary War, The Civil War – especially the Battle of Gettysburg, World War I and II. Uncle Brad makes sure to stoke that interest in Bryan at every opportunity. Trips to Fort Necessity and Fort Ligonier as well as several days spent exploring the fields and Devils Den at Gettysburg were historical learning ventures made real by his uncle’s amazing knowledge of history and the military.
With Dad, Bryan has crawled through many-a submarine and air-craft carrier. And he loved World War II weekend in Reading this past June exploring the insides and outsides of many vintage aircraft with his father. In fact, his big fortieth birthday gift was to have been taking a ride on The Liberator, a B-24 plane where he could have moved around the craft while in flight. Unfortunately, the flight was postponed due to work needed on such an old airplane. I’m just glad they take such good care of them! The flight will come in good time for Bryan and his dad.
When the family is all together over holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, Bryan will haul out his collection of CDs from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine bands to play as we gather to celebrate. He gets quite perturbed with us if we ask him to turn down the volume so we can hear each other talk. Then, out comes the assortment of war films to view – Gettysburg, Battle of Britain, Bridge Over the River Kwai- you name it, he has it.
So, to all those who serve or have served our country in service, I am sure that Bryan salutes you on this Veteran’s Day, with posture ramrod straight and respect on full display. As do we all.