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Find out why Key Biscayner Wesley
“Wes” Pritchett is more than just a hero,
he is an inspiration to his family, friends,
neighbors, fellow Americans and all
the people worldwide he is fighting to
protect from the world’s evils.
Tex t by Lourdes Reigosa
42 For many, war is a contradiction. Its intentions
are to attain (or maintain) peace, to defend and
protect, it’s interpreted by some as a necessary evil.
With war also comes the much-respected virtues of
bravery and courage; the fight for our beliefs and
way of life; and the unifying of an entire people.
Whether or not you agree with what’s happening
overseas, we can all agree on one thing: Those in
the military are a respected, commendable few. Case
in point: Wesley “Wes” Pritchett, a U.S. Army OH-
58 Kiowa Warrior Pilot deployed to Afghanistan a
few weeks ago.
Wes has been interested in the army long before
he decided to join. He lives those very virtues the
military upholds. “Wes has always had a respect
for the cause in which the Armed Forces fight to
protect, and the values that the institutions stand
for,” explains mother Winnie Pritchett.
It’s easy to imagine how difficult Wes’s deployment
must be for his family. It’s evident the high regard
to which he is held; a great deal of his character was
perceived solely from reading Winnie’s response
regarding her only son. Simply put, he was born a
leader and has always had a well-developed sense
of who he is. This was evident to his mother in
sports and at school when Wes was a young boy.
“What makes him a leader is his innate sense of
right and wrong and his willingness to live up to
that, whether he’s espousing a popular position or
not,” she says.
Though he’s leaving, the family is in by no
means inactive about his deployment. Winnie
has organized countless gatherings of friends and
family as a means to bid a short, temporary farewell.
She also raised enough funds to send Sony Readers
to more than 90 soldiers. This year, she hopes to
send even more to Wes’s platoon as well as other
platoons. His youngest sister, also named Winnie,
is VP of Ransom Everglades’ Support Our Soldiers
Club. “This year the first care packages we make are
going directly to my brother,” says little Winnie.
For Wes, living the military life certainly yields
its rewards. He has a great amount of pride and
honor in working with his soldiers and being able to
call himself their leader. “The most rewarding part is
spending time with my soldiers and appreciating the
sacrifices that they make,” shares Wes. “My personal
motivation stems from the values we are fighting to
protect, and the sense of pride I have when I put on
my uniform and understand what is at stake if we
fail. And because of soldiers like Wes, we can let
freedom ring. God Bless America, indeed.