Grandfather knows best in Connellsville family
For Guy Jr. and Rosemary Tressler, seeing their grandson, Brennen Tressler, make the rank of chief petty officer in the Navy in September was a proud moment they will never forget.
“When he made chief, he said ‘Pap, I want you to come (to San Diego) and pin it on me,’” said Guy Tressler. “I said ‘My lord, that’s a long trip … and now you want me to come clear to California?’
“So what we did, we got ready, my wife and I and my two sons, my son Mark and my son Guy D. Tressler III.”
One of Tressler’s sons works as an engineer for a firm in Pittsburgh. He made all of arrangements because he had a lot of frequent flyer miles.
“Thank God,” Rosemary Tressler quipped.
“We got to go there. When we got there, I got to go up on the (USS) Midway carrier. I was happy cause I hadn’t seen the Midway carrier (since just after the end of World War II),” said Tressler, a former councilman in Connellsville and a union official who served in the Navy during World War II as a member of the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders, which eventually became the Navy SEALs.
The Tresslers said they are extremely proud of Brennen’s Navy record. He made chief early in his second tour of duty.
The couple did not always think Brennen would be so successful. When he graduated from Connellsville Area High School in 2005, Guy and Rosemary began to worry. They felt he was hanging around with the wrong crowd.
One day, Brennen went to Tressler and told him he wanted to go to college. Tressler told Brennan he did not think that was a good idea since Brennen was apt to get into trouble there.
“Why don’t you join the Navy and make a career out of it and follow in my footsteps of being in the Navy?” Tressler said he told Brennen. “And if you listen to me and do what I’m telling you, you’ll be far better off.”
Brennen told his grandfather that he would think about it.
Brennen saw the Navy recruiter, then returned home. Tressler called the recruiter and found out that Brennen told him he was going to wait six months.
Rosemary Tressler said her husband went to Brennen’s bedroom and told the teen that he was not going to lay around and do nothing with his friends for the six months.
Brennen thought his grandfather was kicking him out, so he moved in with his other grandmother.
One day, Rosemary Tressler said she got a call from Brennen asking whether he could return home.
Brennen then enlisted in the Navy.
“You would be surprised at how well he has done,” Rosemary Tressler said. “You should see the home he and his wife, he’s married now, the home they have in San Diego.
Rosemary said Brennan’s wife, Lily, a Texas native, is in the Navy. Guy said she might get out of the service at the end of her hitch so she can stay with Brennan. The couple is expecting their first child, a boy, in May.
Brennan’s Navy career has taken him around the world, and he has held important jobs on the ships to which he has been assigned. He spent two years in Japan aboard a cruiser.
In one of his various assignments aboard ships, he was assigned to show a congressman the weapons systems. The congressman was impressed with Brennen, writing a note to his commander telling him how smart Brennen was and that he should be promoted to chief.
Brennan is studying for a possible commission as an officer.
The elder Tressler enjoyed going to the Navy SEALs training base while in San Diego.
During World War II, Tressler trained as a member of the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders in Ft. Pierce. Fla. His training was aimed at preparing him for combat in Europe. But he served in the Pacific theater, spending time in China behind Japanese lines.
In San Diego, his grandson presented him with a Navy SEALs pin for his birthday, which he proudly wears on his ballcap next to his Amphibious Scouts and Raiders pin.
Tressler said he has kept stacks of information on the Navy and the units he served in. He hopes the library will someday take the information and preserve it for future generations, just as he has passed on the proud tradition of service in the Navy through his grandson.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.