Delightful Veteran I recently met Breon Johnson at our new Veterans Center at 23222 Lyons Avenue and we had a great time getting to know each other. I actually met Breon through a mutual friend on social media and I’m pleased that we met in person, though Breon wondered who the heck I was and what I wanted. At any rate, here’s Breon: Canyon HS Graduate Breon D. Johnson was born October 29, 1990 at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and his family lived in Inglewood where he lived until age 12. He then moved to live with his Aunt Camille near Canyon High School where he graduated June 19, 2009. Breon also attended Sierra Vista Junior High School in Canyon Country and while there he took a 7th grade mathematics class taught by my daughter Lisa. Breon explained that he and his three younger brothers were mostly raised by his Grandma Mary Ann and Aunt Camille. Canyon HS ROTC Program While attending high school, Breon noticed that his good buddy, Hector Avila was getting out of class early to participate in Canyon’s ROTC Program and since leaving class early appealed to Breon, he was motivated to sign up. Breon thoroughly appreciated the military sense of duty, honor and discipline that he learned serving all four years in Canyon’s ROTC Program. It was a way of life that Breon carried forward as he planned his future following high school graduation. First he strongly considered joining the U.S. Air Force, but as fate would have it his Mother had bumped into a U.S. Army recruiter at a Los Angeles McDonalds. She told the recruiter about her son who promptly contacted Breon and informed him of the vast wonderful opportunities that the Army could offer. Fort Sill, Oklahoma Breon, who had already embraced the military’s orderliness in ROTC, was firmly impressed and at age 19 he quickly enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard on October 6, 2010. He took his 10 weeks of Basic Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Fort Sill’s site was staked out January 8, 1869 by Major General Philip H. Sheridan, who led a campaign into Indian Territory to stop hostile tribes from raiding border settlements in Texas and Kansas. Sheridan’s massive winter campaign involved six cavalry regiments accompanied by frontier scouts such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Ben Clark and Jack Stilwell. Troops camped at the new fort location included the 7th Cavalry, the 19th Kansas Volunteers and the 10th Cavalry, a distinguished group of black “buffalo soldiers” who constructed many of the stone buildings still surrounding the old post quadrangle. National Guard Soldier Following Basic Training, Breon was assigned to Fort Lee, Virginia, for seven weeks of Advanced Individual Training and then he was assigned to the Army’s National Guard 11th Forward Support Company in Burbank, California. Being a National Guard soldier, nicknamed “weekend warriors” meant that he served one weekend per month and a two week stint per year of which he was paid $500 per month plus $900 for his two week service. Breon’s primary responsibility was assisting in training mechanized troops at Fort Irwin located in the Mojave Desert in northern San Bernadino County, California. The troops Breon’s unit trained were destined for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq. College of the Canyons I asked Breon if he ever considered becoming an active full time soldier and he said that he had seriously thought about it but he said that he had gained too much weight and he would not be accepted. This explanation was a complete surprise to me as he looked in great shape when we met. At any rate, his weekend warrior status provided him other opportunities to pursue, thus he began learning the hip hop record label business with his cousin Malik Singletary. Working with his Cousin’s business, God Family Loyalty, Inc., inspired Breon to resume his education at College of the Canyons where he is pursuing an Associates Degree in Sound Arts. He’s considering advancing his education following COC in information technology. Army Proxy Marriage Service During Basic Training at Fort Sill, Breon met fellow soldier Lori Thomas in the mess hall and he was smitten. However, Lori asked Breon to give one of his buddies her cell phone number, but his pal surprisingly declined taking her note so Breon kept it in his pocket. Out of complete boredom one week later, Breon called Lori which led to them seeing each as much as possible during their training. Breon fell for her beauty and her pleasing personality and he could not resist proposing marriage to her. Because Breon soon returned to Burbank’s National Guard station while Lori was still at Fort Sill, they were married in March 2011 via the Army’s Proxy Marriage Service which resulted in two people in Michigan whom they did not know stood in for them. Per Wikipedia, a proxy wedding is a wedding in which one or both individuals being united are not physically present and are usually represented by other persons. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs. Beautiful Daughter Bria Once Lori’s Army service concluded, she and Breon settled in an apartment in Lancaster, California, and on July 30, 2012, their beautiful daughter Bria entered their world. However, despite the wonderfulness of starting a family, their marriage began falling apart and in 2014 Lori took Bria to visit her family in Conyers, Georgia. She simply did not return to Breon, which has been terribly painful for him. Once Breon completes his education, he hopes to join Lori and Bria in Georgia where taxation and housing costs are much more desirable. Meanwhile, Breon loves participating in military exhibition drills and he aspires to being involved in our new media atmosphere and even hopes to create his own social media site. I wish you every success, Breon as you reestablish your relationship with Lori and Bria and as you develop your promising career. Thank you for your excellent service to our country.