Saturday, August 06, 2011

Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.; assigned to 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.; died Aug. 6, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.

‘Rambo without the attitude’
The Associated Press

An Arkansas airman who was among the dozens of U.S. troops killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan was a hero who loved sports and loved to laugh, his mother and a friend said.

A rescue team of Navy SEALs and other troops who just helped rescue a Army Ranger unit were killed Aug. 6 when the Chinook helicopter they were on was hit and crashed about 60 miles southwest of Kabul, officials said.

Air Force Tech Sgt. John W. Brown was among those on board, his mother, Elizabeth Newlun, said by telephone. Her son was a paramedic and attended to the medical needs of those who were rescued, she said.

“I think I’m internally very upset, but at the same time, I’m so very proud of my son,” Newlun said. “I want to make sure that everyone knows that he’s a hero. I can fall apart later.”

Newlun said her brother referred to Brown on a Facebook post as “Rambo without the attitude,” but she called him a “gentle giant.”

“He just loved anything physical, anything athletic,” Newlun said. “If I wanted to have a conversation with him that was serious, I would have to shoot baskets with him. There’s nothing athletic about me, but I realized that you have to get into other people’s comfort zone to get information.”

Arkansas state Rep. Jon Woods went to high school with Brown in Siloam Springs and remembered playing basketball and watching “Saturday Night Live” on the weekends. Brown graduated in 1996.

“When you think of what the ideal model of a soldier would be, he would be it,” Woods said. “He could run all day. We lived down the street from each other and spent time together after school and hung out. Even if we had a long day of practice, he would put on his sneakers and run after practice.”

Newlun said Brown played football and basketball in high school and went to John Brown University on a swimming scholarship. He had wanted to go into the medical field and become a nurse anesthetist, but decided to join the military after seeing a video of a special tactical unit, she said.

He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Newlun said. She and Woods are working on a memorial service that will be held later in Arkansas, she said.
Woods was married but had no children, Newlun said.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown was killed in action on 8/6/11

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