human interest

Laotian family achieves the ‘American Dream’

Although the Vietnam War has been over for more than forty years, the memories of it are still fresh in Bounthieng Nammontry's mind. The sixty-nine-year-old Laotian who goes by his American name, Steven, fought in the Laotian army against the communists.

He was married to his wife, Dokkab, and joined the army when he was just nineteen years old.  

"It was important that I fought for my country," Steven stated.

Jay Blanton overcomes challenges and inspires others

Brooksville resident Jay Blanton knows first hand what it's like to be bullied. Born with a cleft palate that caused a severe speech impediment, he was teased unmercifully when he was a child. But instead of letting his challenges overcome him, Jay overcame them.

One way was by enrolling in a martial arts school. This helped him gain self-confidence and enabled him to protect himself. Eventually, he earned 1st Degree Black Belts in Tae Kwon Do and in Isshinryu Karate. Jay went on to teach self-defense to women and Senior Citizens.