Bryan Moore always looked forward to the Memorial Day parade as a youth growing up in Lima.
To this day he’ll tell you he can still see the veterans marching down Main Street. The pride in their eyes. The extra hop in their step. And the many, many American flags that lined the parade route.
He knew that one day he would wear a uniform just like them.
“It truly was an inspiration for me, that and the fact that my father served in Korea, my grandfather was a veteran and I had a late uncle who served during World War II. I always looked up to them, and I knew at a very young age that I wanted to serve my country,” Moore said.
At age 46, he’s living his dream.
This past Saturday saw Lt. Col. Bryan Moore assume command of the 123rd Air Control Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. The squadron is located in Blue Ash, just east of Cincinnati, and will have just under 200 airmen under his command.
Sitting among the crowd Saturday watching the change of command was Bryan’s father, Bill Moore, a huge supporter of the military and a former Lima councilman. Bill had anxiously counted down the days to the big event.
“I’m so proud of him … it’s just hard to describe,” Bill said.
Bryan graduated from Lima Senior in 1991 and Bowling Green State University in 1995. At Bowling Green he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps, where he also met his future wife Susan, who currently is a nurse practitioner with the Veterans Administration.
Their life as an Air Force couple saw them being stationed in Illinois, Georgia and Florida. He was deployed overseas to Kuwait twice, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates, serving as an air battle manager. That saw him doing surveillance and communicating and coordinating operations with pilots during their missions. He was in the Air Force until 2004, then transferred to the Ohio Air National Guard.
Two weeks ago Bryan saw the next generation of the Moore family join the military when he and Susan traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for their son’s graduation from basic training in the Air Force.
“I can now better understand that pride my dad talks about,” Bryan said. “It’s a pretty incredible feeling for a parent. I think Susan may have struggled some when she first saw his shaved head, but she couldn’t wait to give him a hug.”
Lt. Colonel Moore couldn’t say enough about the opportunities the military provides.
“Beyond the travel and personal development, there are so many benefits today. There is tuition for college and on the job training. They’ll develop the skills a person has. The opportunities are almost endless,” Moore said.
“I never dreamed of doing anything other than being in the Air Force. It’s been great for me.”
ROSES AND THORNS: Country music can be heard playing in the rose garden.
Rose: To Allen County Fair General Manager Bob Fricke, who lined up country music star Brad Paisley to headline this year’s entertainment at the fair. We’re still waiting on word if Peyton Manning — Paisley’s sidekick on the Nationwide Insurance commercials — has any ideas he want to share with Fricke.
Rose: To Chas and Beth Myers of Ottawa, who have collected 66 indoor miniature nativity scenes during the past 45 years.
Rose: To Allen County commissioner Greg Sneary, who agreed to put off his retirement while fellow commissioner Jay Begg recuperates from an injury.
Rose: To Butch Kirk and the work force at International Tank Service. The small company in Lima was up to a gigantic task when it built a 90,000-pound, 60-foot-tall tank for a Cleveland-area company.
Rose: The Lima Memorial Hospital Auxiliary raised $100,000 this year that will be used in the redesign of the hospital’s welcome center.
Thorn: For agencies that pride themselves on transparency, the Ohio Ethics Commission and the Attorney General’s office have provided no details of the ethics complaint filed against Wapakoneta Mayor Tom Stinebaugh. The public doesn’t even know what he’s been accused of.
PARTING SHOT: A Christmas bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.