Former Navy Seal Inspires Solon Springs Students

Tom Hanrath is a former Navy Seal who travels around the country with the motto "Never Forget, Never Quit."

SOLON SPRINGS, Wis. – The positive impact a teacher can leaven on his or her students can last a lifetime. Solon Springs students had the chance to hear the story of a former Navy Seal. He credits his lifetime of service to one of his teachers and continues to thank him each and every day for defining the man he came to be.

Tom Hanrath will be the first one to tell you that he’s not the stereotypical image of a Navy seal. What Tom lacks in stature, he more than makes up for by standing tall in letting others realize they can pursue their dreams.

“I know other people have bigger, greater stories than mine but his is all mine and I really love to share it with people,” said Hanrath.

Hanrath has more than beat the odds in reaching his goals.

“I ran with giants. My stretch could be farther than my reach,” said Hanrath.

In a seal class that started out with seventy-two candidates, Hanrath was one of the only eleven to make it.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something because if you want something bad enough and you’re willing to sacrifice what it takes to get it, there isn’t anything without your reach,” said Hanrath.

In 2008, Hanrath was diagnosed with third stage throat and neck cancer, a battle he said his seal training prepared him for.

“Having that kind of mentality of not quitting and not even allowing yourself an out is something you have to deal with,” said Hanrath.

The seventh grade English class heard about Hanrath and took it upon themselves to bring him in to share his story and leave a mark on their school.

Hanrath shared his seal story with this group of eagles. He inspired them to fly to new heights.

“He left a life lesson you can be take with you forever, kind of like never forget never quit,” said Jetta Swanson.

With the motto of “never forget, never quit,” Tom’s story and mission continue on.

“I’ve been given a pretty special life,” said Hanrath.

Hanrath travels and speaks to schools and companies all across Wisconsin and the country.

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