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Editorial 5-28
Putting a face to those who gave their life
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Even though he was a little on the small side, he still played youth football in Warren County.
And when he went off to serve his country in Afghanistan, his family was preparing a special surprise for him when he returned.
His prized car, a 2003 Saab he paid for with his own money, was in store for a new paint job. His mom and dad wanted to see the look on his face when he returned home to see his car glisten.
But Spc. Jeremy Brown didn't make it back to Warren County alive. He was killed on a battlefield in Afghanistan in May of 2010, just days before his 21st birthday. His parents, Mac and Rhonda Brown, were notified on Mother's Day.
A Warren County native, Brown grew up in the Mt. Leo area before making the decision to serve his country. His story is always a powerful reminder of patriotism and sacrifice, but it's especially poignant this time of year because Spc. Brown was the last name added to the list of 131 Warren County residents killed in military service.
His name will be among those read Monday morning during the county's annual Memorial Day ceremony at the airport.
It's important to hear Jeremy Brown's story and remember his life because it's like so many other Americans who have died serving our country. Many were young with their whole lives ahead of them. They had loving families, hobbies, and characteristics that made them unique.
It's easy to shy away from military service because of the inherent danger involved. The world is a dangerous and violent place. Nowhere is that more pronounced than on a battlefield.
Yet for our country to remain free and out of enemy hands, we must have people who are willing to stand up and fight. There must always be soldiers who serve and protect if we are to maintain our liberty.
It takes bravery and it takes commitment. To put the value of your country ahead of your own life is a remarkable quality.
To those who have served, we appreciate what you have done to preserve America. For those who have served and died, like young Jeremy Brown, there are no words that can convey our gratitude.