Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Kevin R. Brown dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'

A career soldier from Harrah, who had less than a year before his retirement from the Army, was killed Tuesday in Iraq.

The Department of Defense said Staff Sgt. Kevin Ray Brown, 38, was killed when his Army vehicle struck a roadside bomb at Muqdadiyah in central Iraq.

He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based out of Fort Hood, Texas.

Brown was deployed to Iraq last October and had been with the unit since April 2006, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.

Brown joined the Army in September 1988, a year after he graduated from Harrah High School.

"He was looking forward to retirement, so he could be be with his family forever," said his mother, Glenda Brown.

"My son also wanted to go fishing with his dad again," she said.

She said her son loved the outdoors, and "that was one of the reasons he chose the Army, because it was all outdoors."

"He also thought he would like the big guns the Army had," Glenda Brown said.

She said her son joined the military after drawing inspiration from his father, Richard Haynes Brown, a retired senior master sergeant who retired at Tinker Air Force Base after 22 years of service.

Kevin Brown grew up all over the world as the family followed his father's military assignments.

His mother said he was a soccer standout at high school, and he honed his soccer skills for two years while the family was living at Adana, near Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

Glenda Brown said her son's birthday was coming up on Oct. 12, and the family had just sent him a birthday package the day he was killed.

"He was fun to be around. He always made you laugh," said his mother. "He had the bluest eyes in the world -- bluer than the sky.

"He was never a grownup. He didn't smoke and he didn't drink. He was always a little boy at heart. He loved to have fun," she said.

"He loved his family, his wife and children . . . and he loved his country."

She said her son was in constant communication with his family either by phone or e-mails, and that the last time they saw him was in February during a two-week leave.

"He was just glad to be home and looking forward to staying home forever," she said.

The mother said her son didn't talk much about Iraq, except to say he was doing his job. It was his second time in Iraq, having also served a tour there in 2005, the mother said.

She said her son was riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when the bomb struck it. The family learned of his death shortly after noon Tuesday.

Brown was well-decorated while in the service.

He had received the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge.

In addition to his parents, Brown is survived by his wife, Lena, of Killeen, Texas; the couple's daughters, Maria, 13, and Charlene, 14; a sister, Brandy Ross of Moore; and two stepchildren, Jeremy and Pamela.

A funeral will be held at the Brown family plot in Rineyville, Ky., near Fort Knox.

From Tulsa World