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Edmond native one of first women to graduate West Point

Brynnen Sheets Hahn of Edmond said West Point was tough but the military life was rewarding.
BY STEVE GUST, For The Oklahoman Modified: June 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm •  Published: July 1, 2012

“We had fun and played other teams like Yale,” she said.

Great military minds

Even casual observers of West Point know it was a training ground for some of the greatest military minds in American history. Southern Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee and the North's eventual supreme commander, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, attended the academy.

Others included World War II legends Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gen. Omar Bradley.

She remembers an encounter with Bradley.

“We were in line to eat and ordered to look right,” she said. “There, Gen. Bradley was visiting. He was in his wheelchair.”

The man who commanded 1.3 million troops in the assault on Nazi Germany died a few years later, in 1981.

Once commissioned from West Point, Hahn served at sites around the world including Germany and Fort Sill. There was also her marriage to Robert in 1980.

Because of the uniqueness of two West Point graduates marrying each other, the couple's story aired on the “Good Morning, America,” network television program.

“We were in the airport getting ready to leave on our honeymoon and I overheard this other couple say ‘They're the ones who were on TV.'”

Legion of Merit

She was on active duty until 1988 and was in the U.S. Army Reserve until 2001.

It was tragedy that reactivated her in the Armed Forces. Looking from her home in Connecticut, she could see the smoke from the World Trade Center, attacked Sept. 11, 2001.

She was then stationed in the Washington area doing intelligence assessment for a four-star general.

Her two months of active service in the hectic times following 9/11 did not go unnoticed.

She earned the Legion of Merit, awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

She recently retired as a math teacher in Stamford, Conn., and will be joining her husband, who works as an executive with Serco, a British international services provider with offices in Reston, Va.

The couple are the parents of Gretchen, 26; Brian 23, and Nathaniel, 20. Brian is an Army second lieutenant serving a tour in Afghanistan.

She still enjoys her regular visits to Edmond to see her parents, Meredith and Ladona Sheets.

“Edmond is a great town,” she said. “It was when I was in high school, and it still is now.”

It's the military, and her West Point roots that have charted her life's direction.

“I love the military and I love the people of the military. It's been just great,” she said.