Friday, April 13, 2007

Harrison "Duck" Brown dies after 'contact with enemy forces using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire'

Army Staff Sgt. Harrison "Duck" Brown, 31, a standout player on the Blount High School football team in the early 1990s, was killed Sunday in Iraq by a roadside bomb, family members said.

Brown, formerly of Prichard, was apparently killed by the bomb while riding in an Army humvee, his sister, Mary Dozier of Mobile, said Monday. She said her brother was a 1994 graduate of Blount and she noted that longtime Blount football coach Ben Harris took him "under his wing" and was a father figure to him. She said her brother was "a sweet person" and that he had just visited Mobile for Mardi Gras while on leave before returning to Iraq.

According to family and friends, this was either Brown's third or fourth tour of duty in Iraq.

Harris said Brown was on the football team for four years 1991-1994 and was a wide receiver.

"He made some great catches for us and he blocked well, too," Harris said. Blount won the state 5A high school football championship during Brown's four years on the team. Harris said Brown received a scholarship to play football for Tuskegee University.

Brown had "a great attitude and was a good student," Harris said. "If you want a son, you want one like him." He said the death of his former player was "really a big shock," adding, "My heart goes out to his family."

Dozier said her brother was married to Delisha Brown, who was "his high school sweetheart" and who also graduated from Blount in 1994. She currently is residing at Fort Benning, Ga., where her husband was based. They have three children, ages, 9, 12 and 14, Dozier said.

Brown's mother is Chris Ann Brown of Mobile and his father was the late Johnnie Brown of Mobile.

Dozier said her brother played one year of college football at Tuskegee but then left to join the Army to help provide for his wife and family. He served in the Army for about 13 years, she said.
Brown and a longtime friend and neighbor, Jabari Dotch, played football and other sports together at Blount. Dotch said Brown also played basketball and baseball at Blount "and was the best pitcher on our baseball team."

Dotch, who now lives in Saraland, said Monday that his friend "was probably one of the most popular guys in the school. He was the most popular guy in our senior class."

He said: "He's my hero. Everybody needs to know he was a hero."

From the Register