Retired Air Force Col. Patrick Barnes recounts that one of the most singular lessons his late parents Jesse and Jeanell Barnes taught him growing up was to always try your best.
Barnes, who was born and raised in Pass Christian where he attended Pass Christian High School (‘79) before matriculating at the University of Southern Mississippi (‘83), was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force where he served for 26 years.
In that time, the Barnes family traveled all over the world moving to places like Montana, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and New York, before settling in Northern Virginia where the Barnes’ currently reside.
The Barnes’, who are small business owners, believe each of their four children keep the invaluable lessons of work ethic and endeavoring with them in their respective careers.
Their son, Langston, attended Valley Forge Military College before enlisting in the Navy where he served for five years on the USS Iwo Jima. He lives in Miami with his wife, Dayanna.
Their oldest daughter, Vivian, is a third-year Masters of Fine Arts playwright at the University of California, San Diego. She was recently a staff writer on an upcoming Amazon series and has a filmed version of one of her plays premiering at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago in March.
In June of last year, their middle daughter, Maya, returned from living in southern Spain where she taught English. She currently lives and works in Washington D.C. Emily, their youngest daughter, currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a multimedia producer.
“My parents were humble, hard-working people who always brought out the best in their children, and that is what my wife, Michelle, and I tried to do with our four children,” Barnes said. “We asked [them] ‘Did you do your best?’ That was our only expectation.”