Thomas J. Brown
First Lieutenant, United States Army
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 809-08
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown, 26, of Burke, Virginia, died September 23, 2008, in Salman Park, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his patrol came under small arms fire during dismounted operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army, Europe, public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816 or 8694, or email: [email protected]
25 September 2008:
An Army officer who grew up in Shelton was killed in Iraq on Tuesday after the patrol he was leading came under small arms fire.
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown, 26, was leading his soldiers on a patrol in Salman Pak, Iraq, the Army said. Brown was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based in Baumholder, Germany.
"Ever since Tom was young, he always wanted to go into the military," said Carol Brown, his mother. She said she and her late husband had insisted that their son first go to college. He graduated from George Mason University.
"He tried working, but he found life behind a desk was not for him," Brown said. So Thomas Brown enrolled in Officer Candidate School. In addition to earning an officer's commission, he earned Airborne wings and a Ranger Tab.
Carol Brown said her son, who lived in Burke, Virginia, was proud to be an infantry soldier. "Infantry meant everything to him," she said. By being on the ground and leading soldiers, he believed he could make the most impact and do the most good.
Carol Brown said she learned of her son's death Tuesday afternoon when a chaplain and another officer visited her home. She said she has tried to remain strong, for her mother and her son's twin brother, Timothy, who is a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.
Thomas Brown was due home for leave in 20 days
and planned to spend time visiting his 85-year-old grandmother and traveling
to the Caribbean with his girlfriend, his brother and his fianceé,
and his mother.
Shelton (WTNH) -- Flags across the state are flying at half-staff in memory of a soldier from Connecticut who died in Iraq.
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown, who grew up in Shelton, died Tuesday, September 23, 2008, Salman Pak, Iraq. Lieutenant Brown was assigned to A Coompany, 2nd Battalion 6th infantry Regiment, 1st armored Division, Baumholder, Germany.
Thomas Brown was a soldier's officer. Instead of eating with other officers, he ate with his troops. Instead of sending soldiers out on patrol, he went with them on every patrol. It was on one of those patrols in a town 60 miles north of Baghdad that Brown was killed in an ambush attack. His troops have already called his family here in Shelton to say how much they will miss their leader, and Brown's family and the hometown that put his name on their honor board will certainly miss him too.
"The type of person that you met and everyone around him was better for having known him," said his twin brother, Tim Brown.
Tom Brown grew up playing little league, basketball and soccer in Shelton and then for Notre Dame High School. He went to George Mason University, but there was never any doubt he would end up serving his country. He joined the Army, went through Ranger school and got his Airborne wings. In April, Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown went to Iraq. On Tuesday, his platoon was ambushed and he was killed.
"We lost someone special a couple days ago because he was one of the people in life that you meet and you really take something with you from them," Tim said.
And some of the soldiers serving under Lieutenant Brown called him and told him that unlike other officers, Brown always went with his troops on every mission. They told him Brown led from the front, always riding in the convoy's lead vehicle.
You know he was never the type of guy to send his troops out without him. He was always there at the front of the line and that was one thing they said they respected about him that wherever they went he was with them," Tim said.
Lieutenant Brown knew he had the support of his family and hometown, too. His mom sent him a picture of Shelton's new wall of honor.
"He had called her back and told her many of the people serving In his platoon were somewhat envious of his hometown because of the spirit and of the recognition we were paying to the men and women in the services," said Mayor Mark Lauretti.
Funeral services have not been announced. Governor
Jodi Rell has ordered flags in the state to fly at half staff until his
burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
SHELTON, Connecticut - A few years ago, when Army First Lieutenant Thomas Brown was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, he found a forlorn cat that someone had apparently tossed out a window.
Brown took the battered cat, cleaned it up and adopted it as a pet, giving it a loving home.
That cat, dubbed Batman, has been living with Brown's mother, Carol, in her Button Road home since he was deployed to fight with American forces in Iraq.
Now, the cat whose rescue was a reflection of Tom Brown's caring nature, is an aching reminder of his loss -- the 43rd member of the military with Connecticut ties to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.
"That was Tom," Carol Brown said Thursday of her son's adoption of Batman. He always looked out for others, both people or animals. "He always seemed to be picking up abandoned animals," she said, and was equally protective of those he led into battle in Iraq.
Brown, 26, died Tuesday in action in Salman Pak, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, according to the Defense Department. He was assigned to the Germany-based 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division.
Soon after Brown died, the troops he commanded called his family, according to his twin brother, Tim.
"They wanted to tell Mom what a straight-up guy he was," he said, "and how much they appreciated him as an officer and how much it meant to serve under him."
Tom Brown wouldn't ask his troops to do anything that he himself wouldn't do, his brother said. "He led his life by example and was always in front of the pack," he said. "He always wanted to be the one with boots on the ground and in the front of the line."
Tom Brown grew up in Shelton, and attended St. Jude's School in Monroe and Notre Dame High School in Fairfield. He went on to earn a degree in politics and government from George Mason University in Virginia.
But it was always his fondest desire to serve his nation in the military, Carol Brown said.
"He always said he wanted to be a soldier," she said. "Thomas always said he wanted to make a difference, and he saw going into the military and serving in Iraq as a way to do that."
While early reports on Brown's death indicated that he most recently lived in Burke, Virginia, he always used Shelton as his official address and had only gone to that state for a brief time to stay with his brother, Carol Brown said.
Her son stuffed a lot of living into his 26 years, she said.
"He loved life and wanted to experience it all," she said. That included scuba diving, sky diving and snowboarding, she said, as well as playing Little League baseball and Biddy Basketball in Shelton. He also played soccer throughout his school years. "He enjoyed life to its fullest," she said, adding that he loved to travel and did so frequently.
He also worked hard, earning the prestigious Army Ranger Tab by successfully completing a harrowing U.S. Army Ranger Training School on combat tactics in desert, mountain and swamp conditions. "He treasured that most," his mother said. "He was thrilled when he got that tab."
Carol Brown said she last spoke with her son Saturday, when he recounted for her how his unit had discovered a cache of weapons.
"He said that by finding that, hopefully they saved some lives," she said. "Those were his last words to me."
Though he didn't have to, Brown always accompanied his unit on its missions, she said. "He insisted he go out on every mission with his men," she said. "He believed in leading from the front, and I always scolded him about it."
Tom Brown had planned to return home for an R&R break October 13, when he was to visit his 85-year-old grandmother and take a trip to St. Martin with his mother, his girlfriend, Angela Yeo, his brother, Tim, and his fiancee. His father, Kevin, died in 2005.
"He just called me three days ago and said he couldn't wait to get back," Tim Brown said.
Tom Brown and his brother Tim were remembered fondly Thursday by the Rev. William Sangiovanni, the principal of Notre Dame High School.
"He and his brother went here -- nice kids," he said. "It's so disheartening to hear that news ... You hate to hear news like this, but especially when it's someone that you know."
He said that many of the Notre Dame faculty members "knew the Brown brothers. [Tom] was very active. The both played soccer and ran track, and he was involved in volunteering for the Garlic Festival and other things that we had going on here at the time."
Sangiovanni said that Brown also was in the school's honors program.
News of Brown's death stunned Shelton residents, many of whom learned about the incident through newspaper and television reports Thursday morning.
Flowers and a note to Brown were left Thursday at a veterans' honor wall near the war memorial building at Riverview Park.
Jean Stott, 44, of New Street, said Brown's death is jarring news because it happened to someone from her hometown.
"My thoughts and prayers to the kid's family and friends. I'm honored that a kid his age would go and fight for freedom," she said.
Frances Zak, 86, of Myrtle Street, said the news made her "sick to my stomach. "It hits so close to home," Zak said. "I just felt terrible hearing about it. The city should do something for his family."
Lisa Spinelli, 39, said Brown's death is another reason why America's military involvement in Iraq should end soon. "It's unfortunate for the families and children, and I really think we should stop and bring the troops home," she said.
Funeral arrangements for Tom Brown aren't yet
set, Carol Brown said, but the wake will be held at Riverview Funeral Home
in Shelton and the funeral at St. Jude's Church in Monroe. He will be buried
with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Courtesy of ConnPost.Com
By PETER URBAN Staff Writer
29 September 2008:
SHELTON, Connecticut -- The funeral of Army First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown, who was killed in action last Tuesday in Iraq, will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Jude Church, 707 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, Connecticut.
It was also announced by his family that Brown's wake will take place Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Road.
He will be buried December 11, 2008, with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Brown, who was 26 at the time of his death, had attended the St. Jude School in Monroe and Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield. He received his bachelor's degree from George Mason University in 2004. A graduate of the Army's Officer Candidate School and a recipient of the Ranger Tab, Brown was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2006.
He was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant last October and deployed to Iraq in April.
He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry badge posthumously.
He is survived by his mother, Carol Brown, of Shelton, and a twin brother, Timothy Brown of Arizona.
Memorials contributions, in lieu of flowers, should be sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Attention: Tribute/Memorial Department, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.
10 December 2008:
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell says an Army Lieutenant from Shelton who was killed in Iraq is set to be buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery.
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown was killed September 23, 2008, when his patrol came under small-arms fire about 60 miles north of Baghdad. His family held funeral services in Monroe in October.
Rell is ordering all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday in his honor.
Brown was the 41st member of the military from
Connecticut to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since the wars began. He grew
up in Shelton and had been living in Burke, Virginia.
Shelton soldier, killed in Iraq, laid to rest
By PETER URBAN Staff writer
11 December 2008
Army First Lieutenant Thomas J. Brown was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery this morning as a steady, cold rain fell on nearly a hundred mourners gathered at the gravesite.
Brown, 26, of Shelton, Connecticut, was killed in action in Iraq on September 23, 2008. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in October 2007, and his unit was deployed to Iraq in April. Brown was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Brown's flag-draped casket was carried on a caisson, preceded by the Army Marching Band, along a quiet road leading to the gravesite in Section 60 where many of the 450 Iraqi casualties interred, inurned or memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery lay.
About 50 mourners followed on foot behind the horse-drawn caisson. Another 60 mourners followed behind in cars.
Eight body bearers carried the casket from the roadside a short distance to the gravesite, where a canopy had been erected to shelter his surviving family, which included his mother Carol Brown and brother Tim Brown, from the steady rain.
A lone bugler played Taps. A firing party of seven soldiers each fired three rounds in salute.
Rev. Joseph Goudreau led a prayer.
The American flag that had covered Brown's casket was folded and presented to his mother by Major General Richard J. Rowe, Jr., the commanding general of the Military District of Washington.
Army Secretary Pete Geren knelt before a seated Carol Brown and offered his condolences to her and Brown's brother. So did Betty Kelson, an Arlington Lady -- one of about 65 women who volunteer to attend Army funerals held at the nation's most hallowed cemetery.
The ceremony ended after about half an hour.
Brown attended St. Jude School in Monroe as a child. He went on to graduate from Notre Dame High School of Fairfield and George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Later, he was graduated from the Army's Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant infantry officer on April 13, 2006. He also earned the Ranger Tab and his Airborne Wings.
BROWN, THOMAS J
Posted: 25 September 2008 Updated: 26 Sepember 2008 Updated: 29 September 2008 Updated: 10 December 2008 Updated: 11 December 2008 Updated: 14 January 2009 Updated: 19 June 2009
Updated: 1 October 2009
Photos By Holly, September 2009
Photos By Holly, April 2009