Sledding for family members is always a time of fun and joy. The recent snowfall in eastern Tennessee allowed Claude Bratcher, a 90-year-old World War II veteran, his dog Smitty, and grandchildren enjoy the opportunity and family fun of sledding on a nearby hill near the family home in Meigs county, Tennessee.
John Bratcher, son of Armed Forces World War II veteran Claude Bratcher, told WBIR what took place at the family’s sledding event.
“They were all out sledding. I told Dad, ‘You want to ride over and watch them?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, let’s go.’ So I put him in the truck and we rode over, and he sat there awhile and said, ‘I believe I’ll try it, too.’ “
Grandson-in-law Anthony Smith videotaped Claude and his dog Smitty, sledding down and across the wide-open snow covered hill.
Smith recounted the sledding experience.
“When Claude said he was going to go, it was like, everybody break out the cameras, it was awesome.”
Anthony was able to video the sledding ride with a GoPro camera. Later, Smith went online and shared the video that ultimately went viral.
Smith also shared how the grandfather’s sledding episode inspired him.
“It really moves me to think about how people are saying, you know, ‘Go for it! He’s 90 years old!’ And they’re all upbeat about it, you know. I hope I’m that way when I’m his age.”
Sledding phenomenon, Claude Bratcher was a member of the 122nd United States Naval Construction Battalion when he served his country during World War II.
Claude is still very active on his family’s 400-acre farm.
The war veteran offered a little of his philosophy on life.
“Well, you can’t sit down and do nothing. You have to stay busy. If you sit down and do nothing, you’re in trouble.”
It’s unbelievable how Claude was able to hold on for such a long time on the sledding ride down and around the snow-covered hill. It was also amazing to see how Smitty ran alongside the whole distance of the ride that took a couple of minutes.
The video footage Smith was able to capture is remarkable. After all, Claude sledding came unexpected, leaving little time for anyone to prepare.
Nonetheless, there’s no wonder why Claude and Smitty sledding down the snow-covered hills of Tennessee captured the attention of many. It only goes to show how much family fun sledding can be, even at the age of 90.
[Featured image courtesy of Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images]