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Comaggio Brady is flanked by, from left, Ash and MaryDale Worboys, his father Mark Flowers, and Hampton Worboys, son of Ash and MaryDale.

Being all he can be

ASHEBORO — Comaggio Brady knew what he wanted to do with his life when he was just 14 years old. Now, seven years later, he’s about to embark on his dream career.


Brady just graduated from NC Wesleyan University and left May 21 for Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a second lieutenant in the US Army. From there, he’ll go in December to Grafenwohr, Germany, as an ordnance officer.


It’s been a long and sometimes difficult journey for Brady, but he’s had help along the way from his “adopted” family. Ash and MaryDale Worboys have been his mentors, guiding him when his home life left much to be desired.


“I’ve been here 10 years,” Brady said in the yard of Red Bud Legacy, a farm hidden away from the workaday world where MaryDale Worboys provides equine-assisted therapy. “I came here volunteering with First Baptist Church to help her.”


MaryDale Worboys said the group helped clean up her barn. But Brady didn’t want to leave.


“The animals attracted me,” he said. “I fell in love with the sheep and pigs and goats. It was like a big family. I got to know the animals first.”


So he asked the Worboys if he could help around the place and they agreed. “That led to him volunteering and eating with us,” Worboys said. “He was in ninth grade and started staying more and more.”


It was 2017 when Ash Worboys was promoted to colonel in the Army during a ceremony at The Exchange in Asheboro. Brady was there, talking about joining the Air Force.


Ash Worboys — now Col. Worboys, retired — had some say in the matter, convincing his neophyte that the Army was the way to go.


Meanwhile, Brady said, his home life was “not well. I took time to escape. I could be here rather than stay home.”


MaryDale Worboys, who joined Brady in talking about his time at Red Bud, said, “He likes to be busy and productive, to escape things he didn’t want to be a part of. We kept him busy and he always jumped right in.


“Comaggio had interest in the military and he talked a lot with Ash and joined the JROTC (at Asheboro High School).”


“At first I wanted the Air Force,” Brady said. But when he asked the colonel about it, “he said ‘Nah.’ He sat me down and asked, ‘Is this something you really want to do?’ He’s prepared me.”


When Brady enrolled at NC Wesleyan, he joined the ROTC and eventually became a leader. He had previously joined the Army Reserves, which requires regular meetings and camps.


So, his college career included school, the Army Reserves, ROTC and work with the athletic department. Despite it all, Brady made good grades.


And things have improved at home. Brady has been a role model for his younger siblings — two brothers and two sisters. And his father, Mark Flowers, has “been a part in encouraging (Brady), all it takes to grow a young man,” MaryDale Worboys said.


“There’s a mutual bond with the three,” Brady said. “There’s no competition. They’re here to help me.”


Brady has also improved his relationship with his mother, Myra Brady. “Our relationship has improved because I’ve shown that where there’s a will there’s a way.”


Worboys added, “He’s learned to love and have appropriate boundaries. He’s learned the roles of parents and children. Comaggio had to set the boundary of being a child, not a parent.”


“For a time, I took responsibility of taking care of my siblings,” Brady said. “It was a hard lesson to learn.”


But it took help from his mentors. “Ash and I have helped him be a kid,” Worboys said. “You don’t have to be responsible for taking care of everyone else.”


Now that he’s full-time in the Army, after the time it took to get here, Brady said, “It feels like I’ve been sling-shotted into the future. It feels like yesterday I was working on the farm and graduating from high school, not worrying about driving eight hours to Fort Knox.”

Brady said his short-term goal is to learn his profession. At Fort Knox, he’ll become an ordnance officer, in charge of munitions, equipment and inventory for combat brigades.


“Kentucky will be baby steps — the crawl, walk and run phase,” he said. He’ll also be in charge of cadets from schools around the country.


Brady looks at the long-term as being 10 years down the road when he’ll be a captain or major. “It’ll be easier to say where I’ll go (from there),” he said. That choice could be to continue for 20 years with full retirement benefits.


But whatever Brady chooses to do in the future, he’s looking forward to an exciting life. “I get to explore, go to different schools. A lot of opportunities.”