Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Air Force Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, of Deltona, Fla.

MSgt Brown was assigned to Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Joint Base Andrews, Md.; died April 27, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from gunfire from an Afghan military trainee.

Brown and three siblings grew up on Long Island before moving to Deltona in the mid-1990s. They were raised by their father, Jim Jacobs, who later remarried and had another son. She sang in the church choir and aspired to become a pediatric nurse, but three weeks before graduation from Deltona High School in 1995, Brown told her father she was going into the Air Force.

Jim Jacobs' dining room table has become a shrine to his fallen daughter. Dozens of photographs depict the personal moments in the life of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tara Brown: a well-worn photo of a little girl and her brother sitting in Santa Claus' lap; a church choir performance in New York; Polaroid photos of her first trip to Walt Disney World; basic training in Texas. And most recently a party at her Maryland home to celebrate her wedding and latest deployment to Afghanistan. Brown's tour, scheduled to end in January, was to be her last.

Her latest deployment was on what her father called a "history-making mission."

Late last year, Brown and her longtime friend, Army Sgt. Ernest Brown, married at a New England courthouse. They celebrated with a party at their Maryland home. The couple did not have children.

Jacobs made the trip north to celebrate with his daughter and new son-in-law. While Jacobs was visiting, Brown made sure to have one-on-one time with her dad — they went shopping together.

On Monday, Jacobs wore the black-striped dress shirt Brown bought him the last time they were together.

"She was never afraid," Jacobs said. "She was very happy in what she was doing. She was trying to liberate somebody."

Msgt Brown's body will be returned to the U.S. soon. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Msgt Brown is survived by her father, Jim Jacobs; husband, Ernest Brown; her mother, Gladys Vereen; brothers Jim, Dominic, Michael ; and sister, Laguanda.

Fallen airmen’s bodies arrive at Dover
By Jill Laster
Staff writer

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — The bodies of eight airmen killed in Afghanistan returned to the U.S. early April 30, with the Air Force’s top leader in attendance.

The airmen and a U.S. contractor died April 27 when an Afghan pilot opened fire at Kabul International Airport, reportedly after an argument.

Top Air Force and military leaders — including Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy — were in attendance for the dignified transfer.

The Defense Department on April 29 released the names of the eight airmen killed in the attack. They include:

* Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., 37, of Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

* Maj. Philip D. Ambard, 44, of Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

* Maj. Jeffrey O. Ausborn, 41, of Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

* Maj. David L. Brodeur, 34, of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

* Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, of Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, Md.

* Maj. Raymond G. Estelle II, 40, of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

* Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, 35, of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

* Maj. Charles A. Ransom, 31, of Langley-Eustis.

Also on April 29, the International Security Assistance Force released details of its initial investigation into the shooting, “in light of inaccuracy in media reports to date on this incident,” according to an ISAF release.

ISAF concluded that the gunman, who was carrying two weapons, left the room where the shooting occurred severely wounded, dying in a different location within the building. He appeared to be acting alone and had no connection with the Taliban, according to ISAF.

Air Force Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown was killed in action on 4/27/11.

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