The Wheeling Nailers often choose a local veteran of the armed forces to drop the ceremonial puck at the start of the game and they call them the Hometown hero. But last Saturday, they didn’t have one–they had seven.
The Porter brothers of Bridgeport Ohio are all military veterans. So they were “all” designated the Hometown Heroes that night.They asked Jim Porter of Bridgeport to be the Hometown Hero.
“And I said yes I would, on the condition of bringing ’em all in here tonight like we did,” said Jim Porter.
So all seven Porter brothers, ages 62 to 82, did the puck drop. Four still live in Bridgeport, two in Wheeling and one in Marysville.
“It was a surprise, I never expected it,” said Buck Porter, brother number two. “But we all went for it. It was a great thing.”
“It was an honor to be here tonight to represent my brothers and my country,” said John Porter.
They certainly represented their country– for a total of 81 years. Most of them served in the Army, while some served in the Air Force, Marines and the Navy.
“I just liked the Navy for some reason,” Bob Porter said. “It definitely wasn’t the uniforms.”
Most of them volunteered, but not all.
“I didn’t want to go, number one,” said Ed Porter, the youngest of the brothers. “I got drafted and they took me.”
They’ve been told by a VA official that they appear to hold the record for the most brothers serving in the military. They say they are still very close.
Even with all her boys in the service, their mother never worried.
“I guess she just figured we were old enough to take care of ourselves.”