Sgt. Bryan C Florence Retired Army National Guard KY
Integrity Intact for Such A Young Man
I was a single mother at a young age when Bryan was born. I worked a lot and matured through the years as he grew up (he is still the BEST thing that has ever happened to me in my life). I wish I could take those years back now that I realize what being a great parent truly is, At a very early age, he was teaching me things about life and how integrity and trust are so important in every aspect of living it to the fullest. He overcame the fact he did not have a father in his life full time and now he is one of the best role models a child could ask for. He has always chosen to be honest, courageous and devoted even in circumstances when it would have been easier to take the easy path on the road. He decided to join the military after attending college when 911 happened because he felt it was his generation's duty to honor those soldiers before him to protect our country and the people he loves, He was severely wounded on September 2, 2007 (did I mention he is an only child?) which was my birthday and he was more concerned about ruining my special day. He lost the lower part of his right leg and so many other injuries that still haunt him today, From all the conversations, letters, ceremonies etc. I have been told he was truly a leader even through the attack his humvee endured from an IED explosion. His wife (high school sweetheart) was pregnant with their first child when this happened and he would get out of his bed at Walter Reed to allow her to rest. He works with Active Heroes now because there are so many soldiers (active, retired, discharged) that have a hard time coping with the reality of civilian life. His spirit has never been broken and he never says it is unfair or not even an unkind word about how quickly his life changed that day. He still loves this country, believes in our military 100% and hopes he can help someone else that is struggling because "he has been there and he does UNDERSTAND". He is now 32 years old and still teaches me daily how to be a better person and smile because we all have one life to live so take it to the max every day, By the way, he is humble and will probably say that someone better than him deserves this more but that is why I wrote to you - because we need more people in his generation to feel this way.
A Proud American but An Even Prouder Mother,