08/09/11 When triplets Keith, Kent and Kyle Hammonds graduated from Plymouth High School in 1976, their careers led them to different destinations. But the close bond that they had growing up is now stronger than ever.
It was only a few months after graduation before Keith joined the Navy and headed for boot camp. He then spent the next 20 years serving in the military before retiring. Now he calls Plymouth home. Keith is the building inspector for the city and also a realtor.
Kent tried three times to join the Navy, but an old sports knee injury kept him from being accepted. It was 1980 before he made it through the physical and then served in the military for two years. He returned to Plymouth and has stayed here ever since. He is employed by New Horizon Communications. He said, “We have always been real close even though we didn’t see each other often after growing up.”
Kyle enlisted within a couple of weeks after graduation and ultimately retired from the Navy as well, after serving for 24 years. He now lives in Washington D.C. and works for the Department of the Navy. Kyle said, “I don’t know where I’ll end up. My wife Vonn is still in the Navy and won’t retire until 2013.”
The last time all three brothers were together was four years ago when Kyle was leaving Tennessee on his way to Washington D.C. and made a short detour to Plymouth.
For the past nine years, Keith and Kent have gone to the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race in Indianapolis and loved every minute of their time together. However, both felt that it would be even better if they could share it with Kyle. After creative planning and maneuvering, that wish come true this year and arrangements were completed in time for Kyle to make the trip to the race and their traditional campout.
Kyle said, “We did nothing but crack jokes and talk about the things we used to do as kids.” They admit they might have given their father James, who passed in 1999, and mother Shirley (Patten) a little trouble now and then. Shirley said they were good boys, but remembers antics like dropping crayons down the heater vents in an older house they lived in.
Shirley said, “What one didn’t think of, the other two did.” “They entertained each other and actually didn’t talk until they were over three because they had a language of their own to communicate with each other.” Shirley said,
The brothers’ voices sound exactly the same on the phone and they even used the very same words to describe their recent time together. All three said, “It was a great experience and we are defiantly doing it again.” Plans have already been made for next year including arrangements for the tickets to the Brickyard.
Kyle said he has to leave for Washington before the 35th reunion of the 1976 class, but said he and his brothers held their “own little reunion”.
Carol Anders Correspondent