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A Woodworker is Born

On January 23, 2015, in News From Gayle, Outboard Powered, by Gayle Brantuk

I hope you’ll indulge me a bit and allow me to share about our son, John II. He’s actually my step-son, but I love him as my own and face it, I’m not nearly old enough to have a son in his mid-thirties (please stop laughing).

John II & sister Jaclyn at the US Air Force Academy

John II & sister Jaclyn at the US Air Force Academy

Growing up, whenever you asked John what he wanted to be, he’d answer that he wanted to be a pilot. I loved that he knew just what he wanted to do when he grew up. So, he worked real hard and was accepted to the Air Force Academy where he graduated in 2003. He completed his pilot training in 2005 and got his first assignment to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii as a C17 pilot.

While in Hawaii, John was re-acquainted with a Junior High School friend through Facebook and was married within about a year. I couldn’t choose a better fit for him than his beautiful wife, Kim. Right after they married, he was transferred to Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico. He then began flying a single engine turbo prop for AFSOC. Quite a change from the C-17!

The chance to learn a new air frame was an exciting challenge and just being a pilot was the thrill of a lifetime for John. During a training program involving, among other things, hand to hand combat he started to have a severe headache that was later discovered to be a brain bleed. Unfortunately, even though he’d never experienced a loss of consciousness, he was taken out of the cockpit. And that was the end of his flying career.

Brantuk Woodworks

Captain John W. Brantuk II

One might feel sorry for John because flying was his dream and he was darn good at it. But you know, he’s one of those men who knows who he is and what’s important in life. He knows he has a God who is ultimately in control and he’s been known to often say, “it’s all good”.

Sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way we expect or hope, but that’s when we drop back and punt. Since John has severe headaches, the type of work he can do was limited. And then he discovered woodworking. Now, he has a new passion. And, according to Glen, he’s darn good at it too!

You won’t hear John telling his story, or complaining about headaches or how life has been so hard because he’s not that kind of man. I have great respect for him and how he continues to reinvent himself. Life’s like that isn’t it? There are zigs and zags, starts and stops and sometimes a total re-boot. And you know what? It’s all good.

PS No, John hasn’t built a boat… yet. 

jb-kim-wedding john-kim

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