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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Student Warriors

What are you doing today to thank a veteran?  Are you planning to do anything at all?  If  not, you should.  It’s not hard.  Veterans are all over the place.  They are easy to find.  Just smile and thank someone you see with a veteran or military sticker on their car, or call a grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc. who you know served in the armed forces, or attend a Veteran's Day parade, or if you can’t do any of those things, you can thank a veteran right here on this little blog. 


Photo: My brother, Bryan, at a flag ceremony in Iraq

My plans include thanking my brother,  SSG Bryan Tull.  If you don’t know another veteran to thank, you can thank him by leaving a comment on this post.  I’ll forward the post to him to make sure he sees it. Big brother’s aren’t known for reading their little sister’s blogs you know.  Ha. 

Abby and Bryan at FRG Dinner

Photo: Bryan and me at a pre-deployment family dinner with his unit.


Photo: Bryan (second from the right) with other members of his unit

Bryan is a current member of the Army Reserves.   He has served two year-long deployments in Iraq.  I am so proud of him and remain in awe of the sacrifices he has made to serve our country.  As a student warrior, his deployments have interrupted his undergraduate college education so many times, not only for his trips to Iraq, but for state-side trainings in California, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Mississippi, and even Vancouver (yes, I am aware that Canada is not exactly within the states, but its not in the Middle East, so I am including it here).  :) 

Bryan and General Lanza

Photo: Bryan, in Iraq, with the General who awarded him his most recent promotion.  You can read about it by clicking the link.

Bryan is approaching  a much deserved graduation this coming year.  We are all so proud of his perseverance.  Today, our family has plans to honor my dad (who is also a veteran) and Bryan during a lunch at Dreamland BBQ.  It’s one of our favorite places.  Then we are going to attend the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Birmingham.  Tonight, since Bryan is a student warrior, he and the other University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) students who are active members of the armed forces will be recognized at the East Carolina vs. UAB football game.


Photo: Bryan paying tribute to fallen soldiers at a Memorial Day Ceremony in Iraq.  Please note the hysterical mustache.  His unit was having a contest to see who could grow the best mustache in one month.  They called it mustache May.  Ha.  If I remember correctly, Bryan won.

I was amazed when I started thinking about both of our college careers.  We both started undergrad the same year.  Bryan was at UAB and I was at Auburn University.  Our country has literally been at war my entire adulthood (since the year we started undergrad, 2002-2003 school year.)  It’s shocking when you think about it like that.  Bryan is undoubtedly one of many student warriors at UAB and across the country.  He and so many other young service members have committed to putting their lives on the line for us and our country while continuing their schooling.  They deserve our thanks today.


Photo: Fellow soldiers and Bryan (right).  Just a day at the office.



  1. I love you Bubby. Thank you for your devoted service to our country. You are the continuation of a long line of military service in our family. We are all so proud of you. Happy Veteran's Day!!!

  2. A big thank you to Bryan! I have many people in my family, many friends, and many people in my church who served our country. My grandfather served 20 years in the Air Force. The experiences he had were unfathomable.

    Thanks to all of our Veterans and current service men!

  3. Thank you Son and thank you to all my fellow veterans and I pray every day for our troops overseas.

  4. What a great tribute to honor your brother! Please tell him that we appreciate him for his service.
    I'm a history teacher and the day before Veterans Day, I had all of my kids bring in a photo of a family member that has served in the military and then they presented their photos to the class. We heard some great stories about our Vets, both young and old. It is so important taht we recognize and show our appreciationo to our Vets on such an important day.

  5. Thank you Bryan! Thought of you Vt Day. and remembered the secret "veggie war" that one summer night. Wondered if you even remembered that. :)