Military Night Series Part 3: Wright, Brunson Share Military Connections
Editorís Note: The Minnesota Lynx will hold its annual Military Night on Aug. 31 against the Tulsa Shock. Leading up to that evening, LynxBasketball.com will highlight members of the team who have family military ties. Part 3 highlights Monica Wright and Rebekkah Brunson, each of whom have families with multiple ties to the military.
Web Editorial Associate
The Minnesota Lynx are getting excited about the opportunity to give back to the military community on Military Night, Aug. 31, when they hope to have thousands of military families in attendance with tickets paid for by donations to the cause.
For some Lynx players, this military community is one they and their families are personally a part of.
Forward Rebekkah Brunson, for one, has no shortage of military connections. Dating back to World War II, when her grandfather Davie served, Brunson's military family has grown to include her father, Thomas, and two brothers, Suja and Matt.
Rebekkah's father was a marine. Her older brother Suja, 37, was deployed for his first tour in Iraq, and her twin brother Matt, 30, served in Afghanistan. Rebekkah talked about the pride that their family feels in their country and in all the military members who are a part of her family.
"We feel a lot of pride," Brunson said. "It's gone on for generations, so everybody down the line has felt the same amount of pride, to the point where they feel they need to put their lives on the line to protect this country."
She said that she hopes that Military Night will foster the widespread respect and gratitude that our troops deserve.
"We have the spotlight, and we have the ability to encourage other people to show the same amount of appreciation for the military," she said
One person she knows will need no encouragement is teammate Monica Wright. Wright's parents, Garry and Lynette Wright, served in the Air Force, where they met. Shortly after Monica was born, her dad was stationed in Germany at the Rammstein Air Force Base. She had her first birthday party in New York, and then her family moved to Germany. When they returned to the United States, settling down near Washington D.C., Garry retired from the Air Force and worked for the government.
"He was from San Antonio, and I donít know if many people know this but San Antonio is a military city," Wright said. "Everything there is military. You have the veterans offices, and you have all branches there, two bases. Growing up in San Antonio he knew about ROTC and something called Civil Air Patrol, so he grew up wanting to be an officer."
Both Brunson and Wright know the struggles that come with being part of a military family. From being away from loved ones to the constant worry that comes with deployment, military families make sacrifices every day for their country.
"I was in elementary school when my dad was still working in the military," Wright said. "He was working a lot then. I donít remember seeing him until late at night, early in the morning and weekends."
As a little sister, knowing Suja was overseas serving was hard on Rebekkah. But she said she really began to understand the gravity of it when her twin Matt was in Afghanistan.
"I would call and he wouldnít answer, and they donít call you back for a little while. Immediately, something jumps into your head, like 'Whatís going on?'Ē Brunson said. ďHe and his wife were there. So itís nerve wracking, but thatís what they do. They take great pride in being able to ensure that we have all of the things that we do here at home, no matter what it takes. Putting their lives on the line, risking their immediate family time just to ensure the country is in a stable place."
The Lynx are accepting donations in any amount from now until game day, Aug. 31. To donate, call 612-673-8400 or mail donations to 600 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55403 labeled "Military Donation."
"I have so much respect for [the military] because I know the stories my dad and my mom talk about, and how many sacrifices they had to make just being in the military, because itís not an easy choice," Wright said.
"I salute all those officers, especially those who are serving right now. Because whether youíre abroad or on U.S. soil, youíre making sacrifices every single day. So much respect to them, and I hope they enjoy Los Lynx basketball on their days off."
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