Brothers Tyler and Cody Lungrin recently walked across the stage at North Stokes to receive their high school diploma. Cody, the oldest by 11 months led the way.
“It killed me,” Tyler laughed. “I would have done anything to get in front of him!”
The two young men banter back and forth, finishing each other’s sentences while talking about their decision to join the military after high school.
Tyler has enlisted in the Marines and leaves on July 13 for Parris Island in South Carolina and Cody is heading out of state to Army boot camp.
The two felt compelled last year to follow in their great-grandfather’s footsteps.
“We have two in our family that served in the military,” Cody said. “I think it isn’t for everyone, but I believe every male should do their part in some way.”
While at North Stokes the boys played football together under the Friday night lights and spent time wrestling on and off the mat.
“We’ve got each other’s back but that doesn’t mean we don’t beat each other up, that’s just what brothers do,” Tyler laughed. “We definitely speak our minds.”
The two said playing high school sports taught them a number of things they hope to take with them in years to come.
“I think I became better as a player and better as a person and it definitely taught me discipline,” Cody said.
For the past two years both experienced disappointing football seasons and didn’t win a game, but Tyler believed he learned a valuable lesson.
“It was hard, but it made me think that everything in life isn’t easy. You lose some battles but the thing is you stick with your team and you keep putting the pads on every week no matter what. I’m really glad I got the chance to do that,” he said.
Both young men credit their mother for instilling a drive in them to finish what they start.
“She’s very supportive,” Tyler said.
Cody added, “The thing about our mom is that it doesn’t matter what you decide to do she just wants you to be successful and do your best. She’s definitely one of those southern moms who never let us quit anything once we started. It wasn’t an option.”
Cody laughed, “We got our butts kicked on the football field but she was still up there cheering for us and taking pictures.”
Both young men plan to continue their education. As a career Marine, Tyler hopes to take advantage of the GI Bill that allows him to earn a college degree and Cody has mapped out his plans as well.
“One of the reasons I went the Army route is so I can stay in state and go to school,” he said.
Although the brothers admit they can’t fully grasp what the future holds, they’re confident in the decisions they’ve made and already feel the support of their community.
At graduation, valedictorian Katie Vestal asked for a show of hands of who was going into the military. The brothers raised their hands high and hundreds of people erupted in applause.
Cody said, “We know we have each other’s backs, but when I heard everyone yelling and clapping it was a good feeling to know they were behind us.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.