TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — As part of our Veteran’s Voices series, CBS 42 is honoring the men and women who serve our country.

Some Alabama fans might not know that legendary coach Paul Bear Bryant served in the military. Bama fan Tyler Tidwell was surprised to know Bryant served in the Armed Forces,

“It is pretty special to me because I have lots of family who served in the military so it’s pretty cool to see someone as legendary as him serve in the military and rank so high,” Tidwell said.

The Bryant Museum has a display showing Bryant’s United States Navy uniform. Long before he coached college football, Bear Bryant served in North Africa as a lieutenant commander.

Museum education director Brian Mast says Coach Bryant was dedicated to serving his country.

“He served on the SS Uruguay to go across the ocean to North Africa,” Mast said. “And he was going to be training pilots in physical fitness and his ship actually gets hit by a friendly ship on the way over and is sunk and he ends up surviving.”

Paul Bear Bryant served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945. After coaching at several universities, Bryant won six national championships at Alabama.