y military Appreciation month. In honor of the month, I am writing a tribute to someone in my life associated with the military every day. Today, I am going to honor Tyler Brady. Tyler went to school with my sons and was a force on both the football field and the wrestling mat. Johnsburg is a relatively small school- so when you come across a freshman that is 200 lbs of muscle- you tend to notice. Tyler, like my sons, was a lineman and wrestled at the top end of the weight classes like my sons. Tyler was a all conference athlete in two of three sports. He was a superhero- agile, massive and loved his mother….I was surprised that Tyler went into the Army- I did know he was exploring ROTC as a means of paying for college, but I was surprised when I ran into his mom in a store parking lot and found out he was deploying May 1st. Last I had heard, Tyler was playing football at North Park University. Tyler’s mom and I spent many a night in a football bleacher, many a Saturday morning in a sweaty gym waiting for the upper weight classes to wrestle. It is hard to prepare to send your child into harms way, even when you are proud of who they are and understand they are going.
I ran into Tyler in late April. He was home on leave prior to deployment- He had changed. He was still a big guy but now he was leaner, more contained and carried himself more confidently. He was polite as always, asked after my sons, said all the right things. I couldn’t get over how much he had matured- he had his “man face” as I call it – when you see those young boys lose their softness and grow into their features. Tyler is clearly a man. I told I was very proud of him and will eep him in my prayers for a safe and quick return. He deployed to Afghanistan with his unit on May 1st and from what I have heard, he is doing well. So- take a minute to say a quick pray to ask that Tyler and his unit are kept safe and return soon. As you watch the young men and women in your life- remember- it is those 18, 19, 20 year olds who done a uniform and become superheroes- wearing camo instead of tights.