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CCU Atheneum: Brent Harrison, a CCU alumnus deployed in Kuwait, ordered a Chanticleer flag for the sports lounge on the air base where various college flags are displayed.
Brent Harrison, a CCU alumnus deployed in Kuwait, ordered a Chanticleer flag for the sports lounge on the air base where various college flags are displayed.

CCU alumnus spreads Teal Nation love in Kuwait

by Mona Prufer
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Senior Airman Brent Harrison’08 is spreading the Teal Nation fervor in Kuwait.

He has been deployed in Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, since April. To combat the excessive heat (115 degrees on a mid-June day), he sometimes visits a sports lounge on the air base that features various college team flags. When he inquired about the policies regarding which flags get to fly, he was told anyone could bring a favorite flag to fly.

He immediately ordered a Chanticleer flag and anxiously awaited its arrival.

Harrison works in aircraft maintenance in the Air Force as a member of the North Carolina Air National Guard that was recently activated in the fight against terrorism. After earning his business management degree at CCU, he joined the military, had two months of basic training and another six months of technical school training in the aircraft maintenance career field in Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas and also in Little Rock AFB in Arkansas.

“This is my first deployment, and it’s been an incredible experience,” says Harrison, the father of two boys. “When it’s all said and done, I will have visited six different countries since leaving in April and, although there’s not a lot of time for exploring, you definitely get to see a lot of the culture.”

The classes Harrison most enjoyed at CCU involved business ethics, taught by Professor Emeritus Claudia McCollough. “Something about the class and the presentation just seemed to stick with me even to this day,” he says. McCollough was also starting up a summer program that introduced ethics and logic to local rising sixth-graders as part of the Jackson Family Center.

“I expressed my interest about becoming a part of that. It was a pretty cool experience!” says Harrison. “I met professors Renee Smith and Julinna Oxley, who also helped run the program, and several other CCU students who were great role models to the kids who participated in the program.” (The program still continues at CCU.)

“The subjects that were more easily applied to life are the ones I value most about my education at CCU,” Harrison says. “The business ethics, sociology, psychology and especially communication classes really help open your mind to the way others think and behave, and allow you to interact and develop personal skills to succeed in wherever you want to go in life.”

When asked about the Iraqi climate and what he does in his free time, Harrison says: “It gets very hot here! But it also gets pretty mild in the evenings (around 85-89 degrees). There’s a pretty strict policy regarding the locals, and off-base activities are regulated. I’m here during the month of Ramadan, so we're isolated to this base until that is over; but there's a lot to do on base so it’s not so bad. I usually end up going to the gym, but I've also been off base to visit the city life once and will go again once Ramadan is over.”

Harrison lives with his fiancee Ellen Lonon, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in Fort Mill with their two sons, Jayson, 5, and Nate, 2.

During his deployment, Harrison works on aircraft at the base, works out at the gym and tries to stay cool in that air-conditioned sports lounge.

“I drink plenty of water to keep cool! The sun rises at about 4:30 a.m. and between then and noon, I drink about 10 bottles of water to be able to withstand the heat. I have to walk at least a mile anywhere I need to go so sunglasses and hats are key!”


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