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Veterans Day, Meet Bryan

Bryan Hammer, Safety & Preparedness Coordinator, US Army 1982-1990

In 1982, Bryan Hammer was living in Denver when he walked into the military recruiting offices. He was frustrated because they didn’t have anything he wanted. A young man, roughly Bryan’s age, eventually  commented on Bryan going into the Army with him. When Bryan asked what the young man was going to do, he replied, “I don’t know, it’s a new program called a cohort system.” He continued, “ I know, why don’t you join with me? We’ll travel the world together!” And, in total faith, Bryan said, “okay.” Eventually, the young man got the nickname of Flo; and Hammer – as Bryan would be known, did join the U.S. Army cohort program and partnered together for many years. 

“I joined on the dummy program,” Bryan said. “I didn’t know what I was in for, but it was the best thing, too!”

Flo and Hammer went to basic training together and served as a part of a new program that ultimately was demonstrated to U.S. leaders and foreign dignitaries for the following three years. Now, decades later, they remain close friends. 

“As a unit, we had a bond. We knew each other’s steps, which direction we tended to roll, which side we preferred to go,” Bryan said. “With no words, we were able to rapidly move towards the target.”

In his travels around the world courtesy of the Army, Bryan said he recognized the American military represented the good of America to the world. In South Korea, he had an older woman stop and silently bow before him – expressing gratitude. This simple gesture was profound and still impacts Bryan to this day. His military time instilled in him that “the world looks upon America as good, and as a symbol of hope.”

Veterans Day to Bryan is about the people in our all-volunteer military. Their willingness to  sacrifice their time and potentially their life – to preserve our way of life. 

Our military time together bonded us, he said. People come together from different cultures, countries, and races “to provide hope to the world.”

“What you become is one of the best things about serving in the military,” Bryan said. 

And, thankfully to this day, there is an ever-increasing gratitude for those who serve. He sees people recognize and honor veterans throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day. 

Bryan said his father was drafted into military service, but his two sons enlisted like him as did his sister. 

“The military gives you purpose,” he said. “From an old Sergeant, thank you,” Bryan says to those serving. 

To which he also hears their collective gratitude back to him.

On behalf of all your FHW teammates, thank you for your military service, Bryan.

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