Support From All Sides

Brian has always had incredible respect for his Uncle Lee. So, when the time came to make a life-changing decision about what to do next with his career, it made perfect sense to follow in Lee’s footsteps. With Lee’s support, Brian enlisted in the Army, secured an information technology job, and transformed into a role model not only for his family, but also his hometown.

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Lee Gray: Brian is my sister’s first-born child. I remember when I was in flight school and I used to go over to my sister’s house, and I would put all of these charts on the ground. And then Brian was a little toddler and he would come run and trample over all of these charts, and it would really kind of get me upset, and my sister would laugh at it.

Brian Threat: At first, I wanted to be a pilot like my uncle. I actually remember when he flew into Jacksonville and my mom took me there and we saw him fly over. That was very exciting, and something that will always stick in my head. Some guys you always want to be like when you grow up, and he was that guy.

Lee Gray: Brian was a good student, he was an athlete, and he was playing football since he was probably fifth grade, I think.

Jimmy Threat, Sr.: Oh, he always wanted to play football. So, I took him around, put him on the team, and he turned out to be one of the best players on the team. He always wanted to be first, whatever he did.

Lee Gray: Brian was in college focusing on going pro.

Brian Threat: I was talking to scouts and everything, but my mom got diagnosed with ALS, and it kind of took the football spirit out of me. I wanted to come home and be with her for a while. After she passed away, my uncle saw me getting comfortable and kind of rooted at home because it’s kind of like you walk down the street and everybody’s like, “hi, Brian, how are you doing?” You know everybody. And you really get complacent at home. And he saw that because he was from outside looking in. He came in and he was like, “look, hey Brian, you might want to join the military. It’s perfectly fine with being here in Pensacola and everything, but there’s more world out there that you need to explore. So that right there lit a fire under me, and I had to go experience it for myself.

Lee Gray: I don’t want to push the military because he’s going to be the one doing the push-ups, not me. There are distinct branches with distinct cultures, and it’s important to see what each branch has to offer before you make your decision.

Brian Threat: When I went to the Army, they offered me the 25 Bravo Information Technology job, and when I was in the recruiter’s office, I felt at home. The people were really nice, and I decided hey that’s the route I wanted to go.

Lee Gray: I have kids and I want them to be inspired by his adventures and his travels. So, they look up to him. As he said he looked up to me, my kids look up to Brian also.

Brian Threat: You value family a lot more when you’re overseas or you’re away and you come back. You see the excitement on their face, and just to know they’re proud of the things you’re doing for your country is a feeling like no other.

Jimmy Threat, Sr.: I’m proud of him. Real proud of him. He turned out to be a hell of a kid.

Lee Gray: I think Brian’s mom would be very proud. He’s very mature, and he’s not just interested in himself he’s looking out for others now. And that’s important. Your mom would be very proud, Brian.

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