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138th Fighter Wing, Locked On Magazine layout and design

A conversation with past and present 138th Fighter Wing generals and the pride they share for the Oklahoma Air National Guard (U.S. Air National Guard story by TSgt. Phillip Cowen)

Tulsa Air National Guard Base, Okla. --

As he looked across the table at his father, Brig. Gen. Brent Wright said, “I just wanted to be like my dad.” Those words carried weight, and as soon as retired Brig. Gen. Gerald Wright heard them, he began to choke up. 

A few moments passed and Gerald Wright, fighting back tears, responded with the sentiment, “I don’t know how I could be more proud.” The two reflected about their careers, their relationship, and Brent Wright’s recent promotion to Brig. Gen., the same rank the elder Wright achieved and retired within 1999.

“They’re just great citizens,” Gerald said of his kids’ accomplishments. “I am proud of all of them.” 

Each of his children has served in the U.S. Military, a tradition started by Gerald’s father during World War II. This commitment to service became a lifestyle for the retired general as he worked his way through the ranks as a pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard and eventually as a state senator. Regardless of the rank, he earned or the status he held, Gerald’s purpose was very clear…to bring the best leadership to the men and women of the ANG.

Gerald Wright explained that the key to leadership was to set a good example for the troops. Brent Wright echoed this sentiment and added that once a plan was in place, a good leader sets the priorities and then moves the plan forward, aggressively looking for the best resources for the Airmen“As a leader, you are going to have to answer to a parent who has sent their son or daughter to be properly led,” Brent Wright explained. “To be properly led is to have ethical leadership, and to be ensured that any and every resource is available to meet the enemy. If we want to engage with the enemy, we don’t want a fair fight. We want to over-resource them, out-maneuver them and overwhelm them.”

Brent Wright adopted his father’s passion early on for serving his state and country and began his career as an infantryman in the Army. Over time, he was able to join the Tulsa ANG and his path was set to eventually become a 
part of the small amount of non-rated (or non-flying) Guardsmen to reach the rank of brigadier general.

The life of a service member requires sacrifice and the Wrights have each sacrificed a lot because of their decision to serve. Both talked about the challenges military life can have on a family and how they have relied on each other for support during tough times. However, for each difficult time, they reminisced on many more positive memories they shared throughout the years. From their Alma Mater at Oklahoma State University to their time practicing law together, the Wrights share an unbreakable bond that is strengthened each day.