Sweet Home Grad’s Competitive Spirit Takes Him to War Zones, Pentagon

June 11, 2018
Lt. Gen. Brian Mennes  accepts his promotion order to major general from Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson in a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. (Army photo by Spc. Tammy Nooner)

Brian Mennes has been a competitor his whole life, whether it was on the athletic fields at Sweet Home High School or on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recently promoted to major general and working at the Pentagon, Mennes recalls his father asking him about his college plans in 1983 when he was a junior at Sweet Home.

“I went to my guidance counselor, Mr. Reed, and he said, ‘Hey, you might want to look into this,’ and he tossed me a book on West Point,” Mennes said of how the seed was planted.

Yet as an all-Western New York athlete in lacrosse, football and hockey, an athletic scholarship was not out of the question. Princeton University wanted him for its lacrosse team and was willing to cover all of the costs his middle-class parents could not afford for an Ivy League education.
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