Linda Messmer photo
Just a few weeks ago Lt. Scott Strader was in Iraq. On May 23 his carrier ship, the USS Harry Truman, pulled into the Norfolk, Va. Naval Base.
Last night Scott attended the Northview High School graduation ceremonies to watch his youngest brother, Tim Strader, graduate.
Scott and Tim are two of five children of Pastor and Mrs. Olin Strader. Pastor Strader has served at the Calvary Baptist Church for three and a half years.
It won't be a full family reunion as oldest son, Army Maj. Kent Strader is unable to attend due to military obligations. The other two Strader children, Kelly Ruth Strader, from New York, and Stephen Strader, from St. Louis, will be present for the joyous event.
Scott, 33, joined the Navy five years ago. The need for contact lenses prevents the licensed pilot from flying a Navy plane. But he loves to co-pilot as a Radar Intercept Officer.
Aboard the USS Harry Truman, Scott was deployed last December on a good will tour. Eventually they ended up in Iraq.
"I was proud and happy to serve and finally perform a function I was trained to do," Scott said.
After six months aboard ship, when the crew returned to Norfolk, the Naval Airmen needed to get in some regular flight hours.
"It served a duel purpose," Scott said. "We had a chance to continue some flight training and I got to stop off at home to see my brother graduate. Scott's fellow naval aviator, Lt. Brandon Kaser of Crawfordsville, piloted the F-14 Tomcat jet into Terre Haute International Airport Hulman Field about 1:15 p.m. May 29.
"This is great," Scott commented on having the opportunity to see his brother graduate. "He's a dear brother. I'm looking forward to seeing him go on to college and do well for himself."
Tim is very excited that Scott could make it for his graduation. Just a few weeks ago he didn't know if Scott would even be in the country during his graduation.
"I'm really honored to have Scott here," Tim said. "Not too many graduates have their brother come all the way from Iraq, espically in a Tomcat.
Tim came to Northview starting his sophomore year. An academic achiever with a 3.1 GPA, he attended Boys State this year. But Tim also enjoys sports. Soccer is his passion.
Tim played varsity soccer three years and was co-captain for the last two. He received the MVP award from the team this year and was nominated WIC All Conference Team in 2002.
A job at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Seelyville will fill most of Tim's time this summer. In the fall he'll go to Greenville College in Greenville, Ill. where he'll study history and social studies for secondary education. He'll also play soccer at Greenville.
"We're a close knit family," Tim said. "My family has helped me develop a good character and I believe it will sustain me through college. I believe a good future awaits me."