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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Sgt. William E. Brown
Died June 23, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
25, of Phil Campbell, Ala.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died June 23 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with indirect fire.
Mom: Alabama soldier saved colleague’s life when killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
ENTERPRISE, Ala. — An Army sergeant from Alabama saved the life of another soldier while losing his own to insurgent fire in Iraq, family members said.
Sgt. William Edward Brown, 25, who graduated from Phil Campbell High School and had moved his family to Enterprise with plans to attend flight school at Fort Rucker in October, died June 23 from a mortar attack near Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad.
Survivors include his wife, Rachel, who moved to Enterprise earlier this year to prepare for his homecoming, and two children, Ethan, 6, and Tyler, 2.
Brown’s mother, Theresa Kyser of Daleville, said her son and two other soldiers were doing a routine check on a helicopter when the mortar fire hit.
“One of the other soldiers sent word to Rachel that when the mortar hit, that William pushed him out of the way,” Kyser said. “He said he was alive because of William. That’s the way William was, always caring for others.”
Kyser said his wife has had many visitors since her son died.
“He loved everybody, and it seemed like everybody loved him,” she said. “He was a darn good kid, father, brother and husband.”
She said Brown was serving as a crew chief on a Blackhawk helicopter. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
He joined the Army in 2002 and was on his second tour in Iraq.
Regina Lollar of Muscle Shoals, Brown’s mother-in-law, said he was a humble person and a great family man.
“He was just a fabulous man, you couldn’t ask for a better young man,” she said. “His kids and his wife were his world. He loved his country, he loved his family and he loved God.”
Funeral services are scheduled for July 1 in Enterprise.
Funeral set Sunday for Alabama soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. — Army Sgt. William Edward Brown, who died in a mortar blast in Iraq, will be buried July 1 in Enterprise.
At an impromptu memorial service June 29, many recalled Brown’s days at Phil Campbell High School in north Alabama. In tears, Myrl Ergle could barely speak as she described Brown’s high school days.
“I can’t sleep, and this is all I can think about,” Ergle said. “He was real good friends with my grandson when they were in school, and I don’t know one bad thing about him.”
Brown, 25, based at Fort Carson, Colo., had been in the Army since he graduated from Phil Campbell in 2002. He died June 23 from wounds he sustained during an insurgent’s mortar attack on his unit near Taji, Iraq.
Ergle was one of about 75 people at Friday’s memorial service in Phil Campbell.
“I didn’t know him,” said George Rives, of Phil Campbell. “But here we are, this close to Independence Day, and this is why we have that. People like him who have died for our freedom.”
Brown’s mother, Theresa Kyser, of Daleville, in an earlier interview said her son and two other soldiers were doing a routine check on a helicopter when the mortar fire hit.
Kyser said she was told that when the mortar hit, her son pushed another soldier out of the way. She said the soldier credits her son with saving his life.
Sgt. Tim Pennington, of the 115th Signal Battalion, lowered the American flag outside the Phil Campbell school to half-staff June 29 in Brown’s memory.
Pennington was deployed to Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005.
“To me, it could have been my son, or it could have been one of our fathers,” he told the TimesDaily for a story June 30. “They are fighting a war where they don’t know who the enemy is.”
Brown was in his second tour of Iraq serving as a crew chief on a Blackhawk helicopter. He was scheduled to return home in October.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. His unit was stationed near Taji, which is 12 miles north of Baghdad.
Phil Campbell Police Chief Merrell Potter taped the memorial service and is sending a copy to Rachel Brown, who will then forward it to her husband’s company in Iraq.
Brown, whose father was also in the military, moved to Franklin County when he was a freshman at East Franklin Junior High School. He then moved on to Phil Campbell High School.
“He will forever be a hero in the town of Phil Campbell,” Potter said.
Brown is survived by his wife, Rachel, and two sons, 6-year-old Ethan and 2-year-old Tyler. The family, now living in Enterprise, was notified of Brown’s death June 24.
Soldier killed in Iraq remembered for compassion, humor
The Associated Press
Army Sgt. William E. Brown’s mother said he always loved things with wheels and engines. Even a former principal can attest to that.
“He was only here for a little while but he was a real likable guy and kind of mechanically inclined,” said Gary Harris. “He climbed underneath my vehicle one time while he was here and tried helping me figure out what was wrong with it.”
Brown, 25, of Phil Campbell, Ala., was killed June 23 in Taji, Iraq, during a mortar attack. He was a 2002 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Carson, Colo. He was on his second tour.
Brown’s mother, Theresa Kyser, said everyone that met her son liked him. “He was a little mischievous, but he was so likable that you couldn’t help but like him,” she said. “He was always making you laugh.”
She said she will also remember her son’s loving eyes and his caring ways. When he was about 9, he spotted a turtle crossing the road in front of their car. “William made me stop the car and get the turtle off the road so it wouldn’t get hit. He was such a compassionate person.”
Brown also is survived by his wife, Rachel, and two sons, 6-year-old Ethan and 2-year-old Tyler.