DIXON, Illinois (KWQC) - All eight Spratt brothers grew up in Amboy, Illinois and went to church in Dixon. Five of the Spratt brothers served. And all five are onboard an honor flight. Accompanying them as guardians is their brother Russ and Wayne’s son, Brad, who served three tours in Iraq.
They Spratt’s say living in a house with eight boys was “quite and experience to be truthful.”
And they all agree with one another that life is different in a small town.
“There's a closer relations in small towns,” says Ken Spratt.
“We had a big ol' monster horse,” says Jim. “And we used to ride him all at once and he was gentle as a kitten,” says Jim pausing. “Most of time,” he adds with a chuckle as his brothers Ken, Bill and Russ join in the laughter.
Bill, the eldest Spratt brother says the horse was find until an adult tried riding him. “Then he’d become a homicidal beast,” he says laughing.
Russ says he wanted to serve in the military but wasn’t able to due to medical reasons.
“I think I’d do anything for my brothers I'm pretty proud of them,” says Russ.
There's about 20 year difference between the youngest brother Ivan and Bill.
Jim remembers being stationed outside Paris when he received a letter from home.
“In it was a photo of mom and dad holding a baby, and there was a note that said this is your new brother,” says Jim smiling. What did he think when he received news of his youngest brother’s birth.
“I thought all is well with mom and dad,” he says laughing.
Bill, Jim, John, Ken and Wayne all served. And collectively among the five Spratt brothers is a little over 11 years of service.
I thought it would be nice if the five of us that were in the service could all go at once. So I got on the phone and talked to them. And they were all willing to, and looking forward to it. And then I turned the paper work over to my wife and that was it all I did,” says Jim.
The Spratts say service means duty
“In our household deferment was never mentioned. It was an obligation and that's what we did,” says Jim.
And that it's no different for Wayne's son Brad who served in Desert Storm and is a guardian on the honor flight
“Whatever the circumstances it's just kinda like duty, it's not any different from our tour nearly 30 years ago,” says Ken.
In small town America, the Spratt's say war and service has touched everyone whether they’re in Dixon, Ohio, or Byron. Bill says being closer is what rural America is all about.
And the Spratts say they’re looking forward to sharing the honor flight experience with one another.