A determined veteran finds the military and the love of his life

At first, Harold Vanhuss was turned down by the military and the girl of his dreams, but he ended up getting both
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Military life is never easy, but when a soldier finds love, it’s a little less painful, brings hope, and makes for a good story!

Harold Vanhuss grew up in the small town of Abingdon, Virginia. He was one of fourteen children in his family. Farm life was the way of life and options were few.

“Well, it wasn’t much of a life. I was raised up on a farm. Worked everyday, all day long. Nothing to do other than farm work and I wanted to get out and do something else,” said Vanhuss.

Harold was drafted into the military and welcomed the idea to get out of his small hometown. After taking his physical, he was told he did not qualify. But Harold was determined.

“My oldest brother, and next to the oldest, were in the Air Force. I reckon them being in the Air Force fascinated me. It got me interested in the military and I was determined not to let them out due me,” laughed Vanhuss.

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In 1967, in the middle of the Vietnam War, Harold tried again and at 22 years old, he finally got his yes! After training in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia, Harold got orders for Korea. But before he left, he went back home for a visit….

“I was playing the jukebox, putting quarters in there, and I played this record and I got a glance of this guy. He leaned over and said, ‘I like that, too!’ I looked up and thought, ‘Oh gee’!” said Brenda.

Brenda Breedlove, a girl from the coalfields of Richlands, Virginia was staring at her future husband. Shortly after they met, Vanhuss proposed to Brenda but she told him not until he makes it back from Korea.

Harold came back and somehow never deployed to combat. To this day, they are still together. It’s been 52 years of marriage, and Brenda has 52 love letters that Harold wrote her while he was in the service.

The couple admits life and marriage have brought some dark times, but never enough to call it quits. Harold is still determined and believes in something greater than himself. “You have to trust in the Lord, and that’s what I did all the way through.”

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