Two men helped develop me into the person that I am today.
Of course my wife Becky and several other people may not give them a passing grade for the finished product. However, they tried as hard as they could. Sometimes your lump of clay has a few rocks in it.
My father Dean Brasel and my father-in-law Harley Thomason were big influences.
Both served our country, and I am very proud of that.
So many life lessons were learned at the feet of these men.
I am very thankful for what I have gleaned from them.
Veterans Day is not usually a day to discuss romance, but in the case of my father-in-law it is.
Mr. Thomason, or Meryl as I called him sometimes because he had a work shirt with that name on it, served in World War II.
"Meryl" had an army buddy that was in his group. Uncle Lester was a man that I never met, but I am thankful for his actions.
Lester was writing to his girlfriend back home in South Arkansas. Mr. Thomason asked if he could write to her.
Lester quickly told him no, but suggested he write to his girlfriend's sister.
That is what happened.
Mr. Thomason wrote to this girl for two years before finally getting to meet her in person. He had a long pass from the Army. Not really having family, Thomason chose to go to Hamburg to meet his pen pal.
Jeff Brasel is the sports and managing editor of the Newton County Times. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel.