News: Third Army soldier sings for betterment of troops
Story by Cpl. Christopher Calvert
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – For many, singing offers an outlet to express one’s feelings. Troops often find singing helps pass the time during a deployment while building esprit de corps among members of a unit. For one Third Army soldier, singing is more than just a hobby; it’s a way to help his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.
Maj. Thomas B. Bryant, Third Army/ARCENT Logistics, deputy plans chief and Silver Creek, Miss., native, grew up singing his entire life.
“I’m the son of a preacher,” said Bryant. “I’ve been singing pretty much all of my life. It’s just been one of those things God has blessed me with. I like to make people feel what I’m feeling, and singing helps me accomplish this.”
When Bryant graduated from high school, he felt compelled to join the U.S. Army Reserves and serve his country like his father did before him, he said.
“My father was prior military,” Bryant explained. “I felt obligated to do something for my country as well. My father was a little reluctant for me to join, but after I did and found it was something I really enjoyed, he gave me 120 percent of his support.”
After serving six years in the Reserves, Bryant decided to transfer to active duty and was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1995, then transferred to the Quartermaster Corps in 1998.
It was after this transition that Bryant realized the true power of his singing and began wondering how he could use it to better his fellow soldiers, many of whom would go on to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental illnesses after multiple deployments, he said.
“I felt compelled to tell the story of the nation being at war for the past 10 years,” explained Bryant. “How could I capture that in a 3.5 minute song? A lot of my fellow comrades have made the ultimate sacrifice, and many who came home are suffering from PTSD and things of that nature. I was able to record the song ‘Fall on my Knees,’ and I pray that it is a blessing and an inspiration to all of my fellow service members.”
With every purchase of the song “Fall on my Knees,” that he recorded in a professional studio in Sumter, S.C., Bryant donates a portion of the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project and Veterans Home. He also hopes to finish recording his album “Restoration,” which is dedicated to inspiring service members returning home who are dealing with the struggles of prolonged combat.
Sgt. 1st Class Yolanda Scott, Third Army/ARCENT, Air Movement noncommissioned officer in charge and Rochester, N.Y., native, has known Bryant for over half a year and was able to hear him sing during the Third Army Holiday Party where he won first place in the entertainment competition.
“His singing was amazing during the holiday party,” Scott said. “His recordings do not do him justice because his range and his voice are so impressive. He’s a very nice guy who’s easy to talk to and approachable; he’s very down to Earth. I expect to see his record out soon, because he definitely has the talent and passion.”
Bryant’s singing is so notable that he had the opportunity to audition for Black Entertainment Television’s “Sunday’s Best” in Atlanta, and was one vote away from appearing on season four of the show.
Upon retirement, Bryant hopes to achieve his lifelong goal of becoming a traveling artist who can sing to service members across the globe, he said.
“Who better to tell a soldier’s story than another soldier?” said Bryant. “I’m going on 24 years in the military, and I enjoy the fact God has blessed me with a talent that can be a blessing to my fellow comrades. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be part of ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. I appreciate the wonderful opportunities the Army has afforded me, and look forward to the future.”
Third Army is dedicated to improving the mental and physical wellness of troops. With leaders like Bryant in its ranks, Third Army is committed to motivating, educating, and inspiring service members, the strength of our nation.