By BRAD ROLLINS
When James Bryant Jr. met a fellow Texan aboard a U.S. Navy ship in the Middle East, the two started talking about back home.
Thousands of miles a way from San Marcos aboard the U.S.N.S. Invincible, Bryant and James G. Juarez hit if off when they found out their paths must have crossed hundreds of times before.
“It turns out, he was from San Marcos too,” said Joan Bryant, James’ wife. “I said, ‘Boy, this sure is a small world.’ What are the chances?”
Reached by e-mail aboard the Invincible, James Bryant said he had clearance to talk generally about his and Juarez’s chance encounter but could not discuss their mission or location. Under the navy’s Military Sealift Command, the Invincible is a missile Range Instrumentation Ship, which runs radar for missle siting systems.
“Our deployment has gone exceptionally well in having someone from the neighborhood to relate to,” Bryant wrote, calling Juarez his “homeboy.”
A registered nurse and former San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District school board member, Bryant is a civilian working for defense contractor Mersk.
Bryant works on the Invincible as a medical services officer; Juarez is a Gunner’s Mate Second Class in the navy.
His wife, a Human Resources specialist at the Texas Education Foundation, said, “It sure was a surprise that two people from little old San Marcos ended up on the same ship.”
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