Article by Brandon S. Boas

What is a role model? To me, it involves any person that influenced me to become the best version of myself. I’m proud to say I’ve had two major role models that not only guided me toward becoming a professional, career-oriented man, but also one who is compassionate and loving to his family and those that are in need.

Those role models are my grandfathers; John Barrie Boas and Fred Davis Tate. Because of their influence I’ve become a public educator that gives back to my community as much as I can through education, commitment, and events.

When my grandfathers were young men they joined the Armed Forces and gave back through their efforts of protecting this great country and making sure that their community, families, and fellow citizens were safe.

Although both of these great men passed away in the last decade, it is important to keep the memories of our veterans and their contributions alive. One way to do this is by recounting stories and memories, and sharing pictures.

It was always a pleasure sitting for hours at my grandfather Fred’s house listening to stories about how the Navy helped him mature into a strong-hearted, and caring man through the training he endured. The tours he had to go on out at sea and the friendships and bonds he made during the time he served helped mold him.

On the other side of the family tree, listening to John talk about all the missions he was apart in when it came to flying in the Air Force, whether it was over Tripoli or later in his life, the Gulf, was something that was uncanny when you got to listen to his stories.

From seeing John Wayne film a new movie in Libya to being in the middle of a battlefield with his plane, the stories seemed like they were straight out of Hollywood and being premiered on a television screen in my own home.

The rich history that I learned from other parts of the world through his eyes and stories, as well as Fred’s is something that is priceless.

It is rather hard to understand when you’re a kid, but as you grow old, you realize the importance of learning all the stories, events, and things that made up your family members to become who they are today. Especially the ones that served and protected all of us in times of war and uncertain events, the stories that detailed both Fred and John’s life mean more to me than I could ever explain.

This is why it is important to remember not only the ones you loved that served in the armed forces, but also to remember their stories of trials and tribulations, the history that spawned from these events, and the way a single human (or two in this case), could paint such an amazing story from their own experiences.

That is why these memories, depictions, and stories will forever hold a special place in my heart, but also be the same information that I can carry on to the next generation of my family tree.

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