Wynstone resident Rebekah Bryan has travelled the world from birth to adulthood. Her father was in the military for over three decades, which meant Bryan, along with her mother and three siblings, lived in a variety of places that spanned not only America, but the globe. However, it is here in South Dakota where she feels grateful and truly at home.
“I would say, I’m the most positive South Dakotan there is,” she emphasized. “I am so happy to be here.”
Bryan’s father, Kim Henningsen, had a 35-year career in the Army. This meant he and his wife, Rachel, raised their four children while also relocating every few years in dedicated service to the United States of America.
“There was never a place my dad would sign up to go that we couldn’t be together,” Bryan said. “That’s what his plan was.”
Her father was living in Rapid City, SD when he enlisted in the army at the age of 18. He attended West Point Military Academy and did two tours in Vietnam. Throughout his service, he was in the infantry and took assignments as a military attache and more, before ultimately retiring at the impressive rank of colonel. During his Army career, there were numerous places around the world that came to be called home.
“We lived eight years in Africa as a family,” Bryan detailed. “My little sister was born in Zimbabwe and I was born in Germany.”
She lived with her parents and older sister in Germany until the age of two. From there, the family moved to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. After that, her father was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the Bryan family lived in an off-base house in Fairfax, VA. It was there that they welcomed a new addition to the family.
“My brother was born there (in Fairfax) and then we moved to Zimbabwe,” Bryan recalled. “We were in Zimbabwe from first grade through fifth grade for me. We went to private school. My brother went to preschool. It was a Christian preschool and was English speaking. Our private school was based on the British system’s schooling. It was an integrated private school. It was a really excellent education. We were very well educated. Our schools were really good.”
Bryan’s father did work for the American Embassy in Zimbabwe and the whole family lived in the capital city of Harare. They were fortunate to reside in a beautiful home and see wonderful sights. While Bryan’s childhood memories of moving around a lot were full of positives, she is quick to give credit to her mom.
See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.