Normalizing Rollercoasters

Senior Wins Daedalian Scholarship

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Senior Bradley Reid is an accomplished student who has taken advantage of the many opportunities presented to him, leading to an amazing scholarship from The Order of the Daedalians, allowing him to explore a possible future up in the clouds.

“I was sort of interested in aviation and flying but this scholarship has allowed me to explore it and I found out I really like flying,” Reid said. “If I get an ROTC scholarship or accepted into a service Academy I can go on to fly in the military.”

Other than scholarships to possible future aviators, The Order of Daedalians is a special group made of special people.

“The Order of the Daedalians is a military fraternal order for retirees,” Reid said. “The scholarship I got is one of their missions to promote air power. They give out scholarships to young people looking to go into the military. This year, [this particular order gave] five: two to high school students and three to college students.”

Each order, across the country, holds monthly meetings, reunions, ceremonies, conferences, etc. in order to keep up with retired pilots from all branches of military.

“It’s like a very big brotherhood,” Joshua resident, and daughter of former Daedalian Cathleen Richardson said. “Everyone was welcomed. While there were no women, when we were there, to take our dad [to meetings], they made me feel like I had known them forever. It’s definitely a brotherhood. Like when my dad was sick, they came and visited him; they are a very close knit group.”

This scholarship opportunity allows young people to begin the process of becoming a pilot by covering the costs of the first steps, giving the piloting students a leg up on their journey to a pilots license.

“It used to” cover the full expenses of getting a pilot’s license “until it got really expensive. Now it starts off with the ground school and covers all the way to your first solo flight,” Reid said. “I have about 19” hours finished. “I’m not really sure” when I can finish. “I’m really swamped with school. Hopefully I can make some time to do that.”

An important part of learning about how to fly is understanding what to do when something goes wrong. To get this experience, students fly with their instructor who creates a problem that the students must then solve. Reid described one exercise where the instructor had the engine stall.

“The plane [went] into a dive and we lost about 1000 feet in about 10 seconds,” Reid said. “We were going really fast. It was so fun but I was scared at the same time. I would best describe it as being on a roller coaster without any tracks.”

There are things in life setting him up for success other than learning how to fly airplanes. There are classes he has chosen to help him along the way, even if he didn’t quite know what he was getting into in the beginning.

“I joined ROTC and didn’t really know anything about it and gave it a try, [but] I wish I had joined ROTC as a freshman,” Reid said. “I didn’t really know what it was so that’s why I didn’t join. I didn’t really know what the goal was, what the unit did so any advice would be if you have any interest, go after it. You’ll be amazed by the opportunities.”

Reid understands know that the choice to sign up for ROTC made a profound difference in his life in a variety of ways. Some differences will shape him forever.

“ROTC gave me a lot of options and I took advantage of what they gave me, which is they just let me know what opportunities are out there,” Reid said. “ROTC is not about recruiting kids for the military; it is about giving you life skills, becoming a better citizen, and making you a more productive member of society. [Now,] hopefully, in four years I’ll be graduating from Texas A&M or one of the academies and in five years I’ll be serving in the military.”

Taking on all life manages to hand him, Bradley Reid is tackling it all with grace and passion. He manages to maintain excellent grades while being an athlete and very active in ROTC on the rifle team as well as a platoon leader.

“If you’re even a little bit interested in something, give it a try,” Reid said. “Give 100%. If you decide you don’t like it, you can always try something else in life.”

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