From England to an Emmy: the successful journey of a military child
By Senior Airman Kedesha Pennant, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 11, 2017
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Military children sacrifice and endure so much while their loved ones serve their country. The deployments. The multiple moves. Having to make new friends. Adjusting to a different culture and way of life.
Some continue the tradition of serving their country; others find their own career path, but do not forget what the military lifestyle has provided them. This is how one military child never forgot where he came from on his path to success.
Alexander Bryant, a social media strategist and graphic designer, grew up in the United Kingdom. At age 14, he and his family moved to Abilene, Texas in 2006. His father, Craig, served as the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief superintendent until his retirement in 2009. His mother, June, is currently the 7th Force Support Squadron U.S. Department of Agriculture food program administrator.
“Growing up as a military child was an incredible honor and the highest privilege to experience,” Bryant said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to have traveled to new countries, meet people from all over the world and witness the service our men and women give to this nation.”
Though being a military child could be a fulfilling experience, it can also present some challenges.
“Some of the obstacles I came across were from changing between international educational institutions and when my dad was deployed for minor and long-term assignments,” Bryant said.
Those hardships did not deter Alex from graduating Wylie High School with honors in 2010. He later attended Cisco College’s Abilene campus from 2010 to 2012, while he worked as a bagger and store associate at the Dyess commissary.
The Dyess and Abilene communities pride themselves on having a strong relationship in support of Airmen and their families. This bond is a true testament to how it positively affected Alex and his family when he moved to his first state.
“The Dyess and Abilene communities have both had a tremendous impact on my family and me,” Bryant said. “Since initially moving to the area, these communities helped us adjust from the culture shock. The interactions with them helped bring about a smooth transition from the British public school system to the Wylie Independent School District.”
Bryant was a recipient of the Dyess Chiefs’ Group scholarship to further his education at Angelo State University in 2012. Later, he found out he was a winner of the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program to be used at a four-year institution for up to $100,000. As a result, he respectfully declined the Dyess scholarship and suggested it be awarded to another nominee.
I initially applied for the Dyess Chiefs’ Group scholarship program because I know this prestigious opportunity would definitely offset the financial burden of my higher education expenses at Angelo State University, Bryant said.
Alex happens to be the first in his family to earn a college degree. In December 2014, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design and moved to Los Angeles in April 2015. Since then, he worked as a production assistant for the Entertainment Tonight program and the Esquire Network. One of his greatest accomplishments was when he was awarded a daytime Emmy certificate in the category of Outstanding Entertainment News Program for his contributions to the show.
“For every accomplishment within my life, I will always attribute them to my parents, extended family, friends, educators, mentors and my ancestors who paved the way through their strength, support, sacrifices and guidance which have allowed me the opportunities and freedoms I experience today,” Bryant said.
As a social media strategist and graphic designer, he creates print designs, digital designs and social media campaigns and provides social media correspondence at charities and red carpet events. He serves as a volunteer for multiple nonprofit organizations and an educational speaker to college and high school students across West Texas and southern California.
I feel immense gratitude toward Team Dyess for their inspirational dedication to their mission and their sacrifices for this country,” Bryant said. “As a military child, I am constantly reminded to cherish the moments I have because they would not be possible without the dedication and service our military. The southern hospitality and the friendliness of the local community is what I have liked most of all.”
Giving back to the city of Los Angeles is also another one of Alex’s priorities. He’s actively involved in the United Nations Foundation’s Gen UN program as a youth advocate. He has also volunteered for the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Committee, Special Olympics and the Green Team Helping Hands Incorporation.
"Alex was brought up to have courtesy and respect for everyone and be grateful for every moment," June said. "His kindness for others has always come easily, and he has a natural way of persistently working toward his best self."
In the future, Bryant envisions himself as an author and renowned motivational speaker. He’s all about paying kindness forward. He’s one of many military children who have a story, which can stem from their experience as one.
“For someone who was once in a special needs program, overcame bullying and is now intentionally pursuing his wildest dreams, I hope my story is an inspiration and a testimony of empowerment,” Bryant said.
Bryant still lives in Los Angeles and does freelance work for Dick Clark Productions. His mom, dad and youngest brother, Nicholas, reside in Abilene. His younger brother, Aaron, is a U.S. Navy Seabee stationed in Gulfport, Miss.