Running Through Deployment

June 28, 2016

Parents are heroes in their children’s eyes, especially in military families like Ashton and Braxton’s.  Children of an Army Reserves parent, they have always looked up to their father. During his first deployment, Braxton followed his father’s footsteps and started running track. “Their father, Trent, ran track in high school but we had no idea that there was even a place for little kids to run track,” explained Wanda, Ashton and Braxton’s mother and 55th COSC Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Trent Brann’s wife. Ashton followed his older brother to practice and wanted to participate right away. So when he turned 4, Wanda turned to Our Military Kids, and put Ashton in track.

Braxton was 7 and Ashton was 4 –the youngest member of the team- when they began running track. They trained with Ann Arbor Track Club three days a week for 1.5 hours each time from April-August which is outdoor track season. The season ended with the boys running at the AAU Junior Olympics, where Braxton placed 5th for his 400 meter, 3rd in his 100 meter and 2nd in his 200 meter. Wanda was excited to share her son’s passion, “From day one, Braxton fell in love with track and has been dedicated ever since.”

“About Ashton’s second practice the kids were doing something the coaches call Frog Jumps when they need to jump up onto a block but the coach told Ashton he was too little to do a Frog Jump since he was just a tadpole.  Ashton and all the kids thought that was so cute and funny that it became his Nickname and still is,” declared Wanda.

“we were at our Yellow Ribbon program before their dad was being deployed when they told us all about Our Military Kids and explained the grants.  When we got home we applied for the grant right away to pay their membership and purchase their uniform packages.  Our Military Kids was truly a blessing when our family needed it.”

Wanda shared how they learned about Our Military kids and her gratitude, “we were at our Yellow Ribbon program before their dad was being deployed when they told us all about Our Military Kids and explained the grants.  When we got home we applied for the grant right away to pay their membership and purchase their uniform packages.  Our Military Kids was truly a blessing when our family needed it.”

The first week of August, Braxton and Ashton competed in the Junior Olympics; Braxton ran the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter, Ashton threw the turbo javelin (little kid javelin).

Ashton and Braxton plan to continue track, even after their father’s deployment ends. The grants made it possible for the boys to find a new passion and a family in track. Although track is not a conventional team sport, the boys have made the best of friends.

Without the grant from Our Military Kids, Braxton and Ashton would not have been able to participate during Trent’s deployment. Track gave both children something positive and healthy to focus on during the deployment. We wish them all the luck moving forward!