Timmy Ray Brown, Jr.
Private First Class, United States Army
Aug 14, 2003
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today that Private first Class Timmy R. Brown, Jr., 21, of Conway, Pennsylvania, was killed on August 12, 2003, in Taji, Iraq. Brown was in a convoy when he was injured by an explosive device. Brown died of his injuries.
Brown was assigned
to D Company, 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Bragg, North
Veterans, family honor Pfc. Brown
FREEDOM - As mourners Wednesday honored the ultimate sacrifice of Private First Class Timothy Brown R. Jr., who was killed in Iraq on August 12, 2003, several wondered if it's a price that was too high.
"I think that's what makes it so difficult," said Francine Palak of Baden, a former learning support teacher for Brown. "The war is supposed to be over, and we still have people getting killed."
"I just think it's sad," Tony DiSanzo of Freedom said of Brown's death. "I wasn't for this war from the beginning."
Nearly 200 family, friends, and strangers filled the auditorium of Freedom Middle School on Wednesday evening during a funeral service for Brown, of Conway, who was killed when the armored personnel carrier he was driving struck a land mine.
Nearly three dozen veterans of various military branches made up honor guards that slowly passed Brown's flag-draped coffin, saluting their fallen brother as they went.
Other veterans attended, including ex-Marine Pete Gerovac, 34, of Center Township, who had never met Brown, but felt his attendance Wednesday was a sign of respect and to show "he didn't lose his life in vain."
Vietnam and Army veteran Gary Andresky, 53, of Aliquippa, lamented how little the people of the Middle East value life, but said Brown did the right thing, as "it's better to fight on foreign soil than to have them come here and have to fight here."
Paul Walker, pastor of the Conway United Methodist Church, said that Brown now "has a new commander-in-chief," and is in a place where all the troubles of the world have been replaced with "peace and love and justice and harmony and freedom."
Brown's father, Timothy R. Brown Sr., said his son is "a testament to what courage and valor are in this country," and also praised President George W. Bush for his strength in making tough decisions in the war on terrorism, decisions that have cost soldiers' lives.
"Tim's job is done here, and now he is needed elsewhere," Brown Sr. said, his voice dropping to a whisper as he wept.
Several others remembered Brown Jr. as a prankster, as someone who didn't care much about material wealth, instead making those around him laugh and putting their interests before his own.
"Today, we remember a young man who was very special and we mourn this loss to the whole world," said U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, R-4, Bradford Woods.
Throughout the day Wednesday, hundreds of others passed by Brown's casket, and many left handwritten condolence notes for Brown's family.
One woman wrote, "I didn't know Tim, but I came to say thank you for serving our country and protecting our freedom." One man wrote, "His death ensures our freedom from worldly oppression," while another wrote, "Men like him are what keep us sleeping safely."
As the last light of day dimmed, Brown's silver
gray casket was wheeled from the auditorium to a waiting hearse, ready
for a final journey to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Brown's
burial is scheduled there for Friday.
Courtesy of the Washington Post:
Generous Son, Caring Soldier Laid to Rest
His life's journey led from a small town in Pennsylvania to travels in Canada to a dusty village 20 miles north of Baghdad. And yesterday Army Private First Class Tim R. Brown Jr. concluded the final leg with a hero's burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
The 21-year-old from Conway, Pennsylvania, known as "Timmy" to his family and friends, was assigned to D Company of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On August 12 he was traveling with a convoy in Al Taji when he was killed by an explosion, the Army reported. Brown is the 26th casualty of the war in Iraq to be buried at Arlington.
"His motivation was pure, and what he wanted to do was for the all the right reasons," said his father, Tim R. Brown Sr. "And if he was here now, he would know that I am as proud of him as a father can be."
Brown was generous and caring, his father said.
When his father and stepmother separated, he chose to stay with her. "He knew I was strong enough to get through it, but she wasn't. So he stayed," the elder Brown said.
Once, when his son was traveling in Canada, he gave all his cash to a homeless person, then had to borrow from his friends to get back home.
"That's just the way he was," his father recalled.
In Iraq, the young private was moved by the conditions he observed.
"He had seen a new kind of poverty over there and thought we really made a difference," his father said. "He really wanted to help the people over there. He said they weren't all enemies."
The soldier's final journey was a 268-mile trip from Conway to Arlington in a mint-green hearse with an American flag fluttering over the hood.
At Arlington, the casket, carefully draped with an American flag, was gently moved to the burial site in Section 60 of the cemetery. Nearby are 24 other Iraq casualties. Three of the graves are so new that they do not yet have headstones.
Brown's family and friends followed his coffin, walking down a path covered in brown burlap and taking seats covered in green velvet.
He was buried with traditional military honors. To one side, a seven-member firing party lofted three shots into the air. The volleys were followed by the sounding of taps, the lone bugler under a pin oak amid the thousands of marble headstones standing like sentinels.
Family members wiped away tears that mixed with the sweat of the 90-degree day. Fellow soldiers who came to honor Brown stood off to the left, sweltering in their dress uniforms.
An Army chaplain read the 23rd Psalm, and Brown's family was presented with his Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander handed neatly folded flags to Brown's father and his mother, Cindy Miles. And, in a part of the ceremony that pivots the focus from the ceremonial to the personal, Alexander leaned close to the grieving parents and gave personal condolences.
Miles clutched her flag to her breast and sobbed.
After the media and other mourners had departed, she dropped to her knees before her son's coffin and rested her head on its silver top, still sobbing.
Brown's father said an Arlington burial was fitting for one who gave his life for his country.
"This is the last respect I can pay for my
son, and my gratitude for his service," the elder Brown said. "I wanted
to show my son how proud we were of him.
The Beaver County Commissioners Thursday honored a Conway man killed in Iraq earlier this month.
Commissioners presented proclamations to the father and stepmother of Army Pfc. Tim R. Brown Jr., 21, who died August 12, 2003, when the armored personnel carrier he was driving hit a land mine. He was the first Beaver County resident to die in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Several county judges and row officers listened as commissioners Dan Donatella, Charlie Camp and Jimmy Albert spoke to Tim Brown Sr. of Big Beaver and Pam Brown Lois of their loss.
"Your son is in a place that's really, really
treasured by America," Albert said of Brown's Friday burial in Arlington
National Cemetery in Virginia. "Your son is not forgotten. Your son did
not die in vain."
Family members mourn at the graveside of Army PFC Timmy Brown, Jr. during
his funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, August 22, 2003.
Posted: 23 August 2003 Updated: 3 September 2003 Updated: 21 February 2004 Updated: 5 May 2004 Updated: 6 August 2005 Updated: 11 February 2006 Updated: 24 March 2007
Updated: 15 May 2008
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, May 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 22 April 2004