The Early Years
From the moment we found out we were having a baby, we wanted a boy. We got our wish. Brandon Patrick Caserta was born on May 25, 1997. He was so perfect; 10 fingers, 10 toes and the most precious smile we have ever seen. One of the nurses told me I had better watch him very closely because he was so perfect that he would be a target for kidnapping. Boy, did that stick with me. I was so afraid someone would kidnap him so I never took my eyes off of him. He only got cuter as he grew. His smile never changed except to only get bigger as he grew up.
He was a skinny kid who was constantly running, swimming and playing football. He had the biggest heart and that never changed throughout his life. He was constantly helping people and being there for everyone, even for the ones who really didn't like him. He did not want to hurt anyone's feelings and when he got a little bigger would help the ones who he felt needed help.
mimicking his dad - Age 3
At the age of 4, we put him in karate, swimming and flag football. We even put him in coach pitch baseball. He only did that for one season. He hated it even though he was a very good batter. He started karate at the age of 4. He was still involved in karate even after he left for the Navy. He always lived by his karate code words: Honor, Respect, Patience and Kindness. He always did what he was told even his chores. We never had to force or threaten him to get them done. He would even do them the first time we asked him. We told him from the start that the sooner he got them done, the sooner he can play.
Brandon played flag football for about 10 years. He was really good and boy could he juke. His third or fourth game, he finally got the ball and lost a lot of yardage. The coach had a lot of faith in Brandon and gave him the ball the very next play. Brandon made up all of the yardage he lost and ran it in for a touchdown. The coach, the players and the parents were so excited. He would get the ball a lot after that.
Age 3 - What a handsome boy
He played high school football his Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years. Unfortunately, he tore his meniscus in his knee during a Sophomore game so he had to sit out the rest of the season. He continued to go to practice every day and to every game. During his Junior year, he ended up breaking his collar bone during a game but not before he scored a touchdown. He did not play his senior year.
Brandon started swimming when he was 4 as well. Oh, my gosh, how he hated swimming. His teacher, Lynda, was so awesome with him. As he got older he would tell us he hated swimming because Teacher Lynda would work him too hard. With Brandon, that was a love/hate relationship. We know he loved her and credited his swimming ability to her. They had a very good time together. Brandon then went on to join the USA Swim Team coached by Chris. Chris was just as awesome as Lynda. He worked with Brandon to get his speed up and would let Brandon do the breast stroke instead of freestyle because he hated the freestyle. Brandon went to one swimming meet with Chris and of course it was the breast stoke. When Brandon touched the wall when he was finished, he was so angry because he was the only one on the wall. He thought he came in last when he actually won the race. We laughed at that for a very long time. He did compete his senior year of high school and made it to state with his breast stroke. He did very well.
His swimming played a huge part in him getting a Navy SEAL contract.