|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Hill Air Force Base Newspapers|
KStop Au;utf 33 2531 Name's unusual spelling draws second looks by Mary Galbrafth he's always known it's unusual. "Everyone has a tough time pronouncing my name." he said. "It's been pronounced every Hilltop Times staff What's in a name? Too many consonants if you ask some of the people who've tried to pronounce the last name of John, Lesa and Lee - i.L . 'A "- - - f 'S - ' : way you can imagine." Not all the Brk-tkheare from Denora. Tech. --- s Brletich. Their rare surname is even rarer in the Air Force. In fact, they're the only three members with the name and two are stationed at Hill technical sergeants John and Lesa Brletich (pronounced , who are members of the 649th Combat Logistics Support Squadron. "I like it," John said. "It's unique and different I like talking with people about how to spell it During my career I've had many people tell me my name is spelled wrong. At my first base my lieutenant told me that my last name was spelled wrong and there has to be an e' before the 'r.' People get confused and see the three consonants right in a row and think, 'No, there has to be a vowel there.'" During his 16 years in the Air Force, John has only crossed two people that were able to correctly pronounce his name on the first try both Air Force instructors. "People have pronounced my name tons of different ways. I've heard 'bree litch' or 'bry litch.' Everybody is different," John said. "But I never get confused and I always like to see how people pronounce it "The other day I was at the hospital to get a medical clearance. I signed in, sat back and watched this young airman grab the list and look at it," he said. "She called her friend over and she looked at it And then they called a third iimiii J J' " rftt! "jl - i r person over and she looked at burr-le-titc- Academy. Lee, a sophomore and management major, said the name was originally it too. They took the paper around and started looking for me because rrt r, they didn't want Brink spt-flf- and his family's to pronounce origins are in rooted John said his Ogulin, Croatia. it" smile and laugh J QiL "After leavine cave away his John Brletich anonymity and the airmen asked if his name was on their list and then how it's pronounced. The surname Brletich is rooted in Croatia. John has never been there, but would someday love to go and look up his ancestors' history. John said despite several Internet searches, he hasn't had much luck researching his family name. In John's hometown of Denora, Penn. (about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh) it's not an uncommon name. In fact that's home for his second cousin Lee, currently a cadet at the Air Force Lesa Brletich their homeland they came to work in the steel mills of Western Pennsylvania, specifically the American Steel & Wire Plant in Donora," he said. The family name was altered from BrIeticA to Brletich when the children of those steel workers began public school and teachers explained there is no "A" in the English language, according to Lee. He said the "h" was added to "American- ize" the name. Lee said although the name was somewhat common in Denora, he didn't have many relatives his age so it was uncommon at school and Sgt. Lesa Brletich married John in 1996, and although she will return to her maiden name (Weaver) when the couple divorces this year, their daughter Hannah will remain w ill Brletich a John's daughter Erykka from (as a previous marriage). The unusual name is what linked the couple. When Lesa was stationed in Osan AB, Korea, she received a letter from the sponsor at her follow-obase John Brletich. "I met my husband through a letter years before I met him," she said. "I opened the letter and I'm looking at the craziest name I've ever seen." Her duty station was later changed so John never became her sponsor and the two didn't meet in person until three years later when both showed up in the same 7- - level school and recognized each other's names. Not long after the meeting, she was a Brletich. She said she can't imagine all the pronunciations people have used when trying to say her last name, but she's noticed people often try to add a "k" to the end. However, the name has its advantages. "One good thing was going from Weaver to Brletich is going to the front of the line (when things are done alphabetically)," she said. She understands the difficulty people have pronouncing her last name. Even the Brletichs' is sill working on it. n 7 APPl AUSt ftah ave 'em r Mali 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (801)622-172- nna s r i.ilooks tor save on a II th e riant . 2 o i i i if i . 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