AVON — AVON— The lesson that Bradley Mejean learned from his older brother wasn’t about how to impress women or knot a tie. While those may or may not have been some things picked up along the way, when asked, Mejean will say that his older brother Stephen inspired him to serve his country.
Mejean is one of three brothers who have served in the U.S. military.
“It almost makes you feel like you should’ve done something like that,” said his father, Dave. His older son, Stephen, is a veteran of the Iraq War. His youngest son, Lee, is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, and now Brad is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after his recent graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Mejean said he was inspired to serve in the military by Stephen. He wanted to enlist in the U.S. Air Force but his mother, Denise, wanted him to go to college. West Point would prove to be the best of both worlds. The academy recruited him out of Avon High School to run track and cross country, and he accepted. He attended the preparatory school from 2006-07 and then the academy itself from 2007 until his graduation. He earned both a stellar education, and his much coveted role as a service member in the United States military.
“I feel the four years I did at West Point gave me at least an idea of what I’m going to get into,” Mejean said.
The new graduate is back in Avon to enjoy some of his time on leave, before he heads to Texas to spend time with his fiancé Laura. He will then head to Fort Hood, outside of Kileen, Texas, where he will begin training for his career as a transportation lieutenant.
“It’s a good way to start your life,” Dave said.’
Neither he nor his wife have a military background, but he says that is the path that his boys have taken. While they remain proud of their sons and older daughter Vanessa, a teacher at the Pacer Academy, Dave said that when Stephen was in Iraq, it was a little tough for the family.
“At that point, it’s kind of scary,” he said. “He was in battle, and fighting.”
Thankfully, he came home safely and was able to see his brother become the first West Point graduate in the family.
The family traveled to New York for the ceremony where first Lady Michelle Obama, who works with veterans and their families, spoke to the graduates.
“She was very well spoken, well read,” Bradley said. “She talked like she had some experience dealing with veterans.”
While it was a long week packed with activities and short on sleep, Mejean said one of the highlights of his week was meeting Joint Chief Admiral Mike Mullen.
Mejean said he realizes that his time in New York was just the beginning.
“I’m going to deal with a lot of things, things I’ve never dealt with before,” he said. “But that’s okay because I can figure it out.”