Dedicated to American hero Pfc. Nathan Brown KIA 4-11-04 Nathan Patrick Brown

This page is dedicated to the memory of  Pfc. Nathan P. Brown. You gave your young life defending America, We honor you  Nathan Patrick Brown! You will never be forgotten.

Army Pfc. Nathan P. Brown
 
Army Pfc. Nathan P. Brown, 21, of South Glens Falls, N.Y.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, 1st Armored Division, Army

National Guard, Glens Falls, N.Y.; killed April 11 when his patrol was ambushed in Samarra, Iraq.

• • • • •

Killed: April 11, 2004                                                        

                                   

Nathan was a friend of my daughter Erin Lockhart. Erin is shown here at a party in his honor, presenting a portrait of Nate to his dad Ricky Brown.


Age Military Rank Unit/Location
21 Army Pfc

National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, 1st Armored Division

Glens Falls, New York

Died in Samarra, Iraq, when his patrol was ambushed.
From Kathy Brown 11/21/04:

I like to tell You a little about Nate , was killed On Easter Sunday after a long 6 day mission He and 30 other Soldiers were on their way back from the desert when they were given orders to push back Insurgents to the south the busy streets of Samarra were quiet , My Son and the others were In 5 ton trucks. I was told 2 to 3 minutes before dismount a RPG struck My Son In the chest just above His armor vest and killed Him Instantly others were Injured. Nathan received The Bronze Star, Purple Heart and The New Youk Metal Of Valor . He was In Iraq only 6 weeks before He was killed.... Kathy

From Kathy Brown 11/20/04:

 

This Is a photo of PFC Nathan P.Brown KIA In Samarra, Iraq on April 11,2004 . I cant thank You enough for what You are doing here I came across this on yahoo search. I just want You to know this site and many, many others like It make living without My Son, My Friend and My Hero a little bit easer . He Is now just a memory to some but He will always live In My heart. and now also on the web. Thank You so much for the hard work you put Into Your site


New York guardsman remembered with full honors

By Kirstan Conley
Associated Press
 

 

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — An American flag and Rick Brown’s face were reflected in the windows of St. Alphonsus Church here Tuesday.

Brown stared straight ahead as the flag was draped over the silver casket of his 21-year-old son, who was killed while serving in Iraq.

About 1,000 people waited inside the church to follow the fresh-faced New York Army National Guardsmen, who eventually would lead Nathan Brown’s body along the banks of the Hudson River to his plot in the Saratoga National Cemetery.

Brown, who attended South Glens Falls High School, died April 11 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his Humvee in Samarra, Iraq, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. The attack also injured friends from Brown’s hometown who served with him in the Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, based in Glens Falls.

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany noted how Brown’s death came on Easter Sunday, the same day people in the young soldier’s hometown celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The Christian faith, Hubbard said, is one of paradox: death brings life and suffering brings glory.

Members of Brown’s battalion carried his casket. Men in dress uniforms retired from battles dating back to World War II flushed as they strained to hold back tears.

Brown planned to get married and enroll in Adirondack Community College when he returned. Staff Sgt. Arthur Coon gave a eulogy, saying he was proud to recruit Brown. He said the military sent Brown a defective backpack, then a second one to replace it.

“He arrived to say his final goodbye and gave me the backpack,” Coon said. “It seemed like a simple gesture. He gave me the new one and kept the damaged one.”

Coon said he wants people to remember Brown’s generosity and positive attitude. He said a planned arsenal in Glens Falls should be named in Brown’s honor.

Brown’s friends, Robert Havens and Joe Nassivera, embraced after breaking down in tears as they tried to put in words what their friendship with Brown meant. Friends recalled Brown building forts, playing along the river and causing mischief.

Brown was buried with full military honors. Shots echoed across rolling green hills and cornfields as a seven-member rifle team fired its salute.

The soldier also received a special honor when members of the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation Regiment of the New York Army National Guard flew five UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from Albany International Airport to the service in a Missing Man Formation.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Maguire, a two-star general and the state’s highest-ranking National Guard officer, presented the family with a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a New York State Medal of Valor. The state Senate approved a resolution honoring Brown’s memory.

“What can I say and what can I do to mend the heartbreak of the family?” asked state Sen. Elizabeth Little of Warren County. “At a time when words seem very inadequate, I think the only thing we can do is through our presence and through our actions here today in this resolution and through our thoughts and prayers express our sorrow and sympathy to family and our gratitude.”

• • • • •

Upstate National Guard soldier killed; four wounded

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — A 21-year-old soldier was killed and four other members of his upstate battalion were injured in Iraq.

Pfc. Nathan Brown of South Glens Falls died when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee he was riding in Sunday in the Iraqi town of Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

“A mother’s worst nightmare obviously came true for me,” his mother Kathy Brown said. “I’m very angry. It’s senseless. If they don’t want freedom, we should just leave.”

Brown was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, 1st Armored Division based in Glens Falls, about 45 miles north of Albany.

Other members of the battalion were also injured. They were identified as Staff Sgt. Troy Mechanick, 32, of Hudson Falls; Pfc. Chad Byrne, 22, of Fort Edward; Spc. Robert Hemsing Jr., 21, of Glens Falls; and a soldier from Gloversville who was not immediately identified.

“They got in a real bad firefight,” Nathan Brown’s uncle, Tom Ryan told The Associated Press. “It’s the quintessential war story about what happens in battle. This war is just so terrible. We want everyone to know that this is what happens in war, and maybe we better think twice about the consequences before going to war.”

Kathy Brown said her son, whose job was to secure transportation routes, was to be married next year. He loved the military but not the war, and had written to her about going into an orphanage in Iraq to help deliver meals to children, she said. “He did not approve of what the president was doing, I can tell you that.”

Kathy and Raymond Brown, their three surviving children and other family members plan to gather soon at the Albany International Airport to receive Nathan Brown’s body. Ryan said plans are under way for burial at the Saratoga National Cemetery.

Hemsing’s father, Robert Hemsing Sr. of Argyle, said the soldiers were riding in a Humvee down a street in Samarra when an Iraqi fired a rocket-propelled grenade from a building window and struck the vehicle.

Hemsing said he had talked three times Monday with his son, who was in a hospital in Germany. “My son said his foot is broken, he’s got injuries to both hands, and that he thought he got shot on the left side of his face and he can’t hear too well,” Hemsing said. “I feel really relieved my son’s alive.”

Gail Byrne of Fort Edward, said Monday that her son had one ear mutilated in the attack, had lost hearing in the other and had metal fragments lodged in his face.

Wayne Mechanick said he was called at 7:30 a.m. Monday and told his son was in critical condition.

Troy Mechanick’s mother, Christine Murray, said she had heard her son had suffered extensive injuries to his right side, and she said medical officials wouldn’t say whether he was paralyzed. Murray said she heard from her son, who told her he was headed to Germany for further medical care Monday.

Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, of the Joint Forces Headquarters of the New York National Guard, said Brown is the first New York Army National Guard mobilized infantry soldier to die in enemy actions since World War II. The New York guard lost two military policemen from western New York in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“This battalion has soldiers from New York City, the Hudson Valley, the Capital District, central New York, right out to Buffalo,” he said. “We were called to help with the ice storms in 1998, with the World Trade Center, to guard nuclear sites. Now, we’re performing as combat soldiers in Iraq. We’re extremely proud of them, and most especially of Private First Class Nathan Brown, who was a volunteer, like all of us.”

— Associated Press

 

Pfc. Nathan P. Brown






By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer

May 12, 2004, 4:37 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- When Troy Mechanick and Robert Hemsing left for Iraq, they were told their New York Army National Guard unit would be equipped with fully armored vehicles.

Instead, the two men found themselves last month traveling in a slow-moving five-ton diesel truck that, they say, made them vulnerable to an Iraqi ambush that left them seriously wounded and claimed the life of one of their friends.

"We were lied to, and I'm saying that not for myself but for the others still over there," said Mechanick, a sergeant from Hudson Falls, N.Y.

While questions about insufficient armor for troops in Iraq have centered around unarmored Humvees, Mechanick and Hemsing say the use of Army five-ton trucks to transport personnel leaves soldiers even more exposed to attack.

Mechanick and about a dozen soldiers were ambushed Easter Sunday when a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, struck their diesel truck.

Killed in the attack was Pfc. Nathan Brown of South Glens Falls, N.Y., a friend of both men.

Mechanick and Hemsing spoke about the incident from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where they are being treated.

Mechanick said going out in a five-ton on April 11 was "a bad tactical decision" in light of prior intelligence reports in the Samarra area.

The soldiers said when they first arrived in Iraq, they had armored Humvees. But those vehicles were switched to other units, and Mechanick began riding in Army five-ton trucks, which are bigger, slower, and offer less protection.

"Our nickname for the five-tons was `RPG magnets,"' said Mechanick, 32. "It was only a matter of time before we were hit, and we knew it."

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, acknowledged in Senate testimony Wednesday that there is a shortfall in Iraq and the world for armor-protected vehicles. To address the need, the military plans to redistribute vehicles around the world while speeding up production of more armor-protected Humvees, Myers told the panel.

Both soldiers say there is no guarantee an armored Humvee would have prevented their injuries or their friend's death, but they also believe their chances were much worse in a five-ton.

"A slow-moving big vehicle like that? You've got to be an idiot not to be able to hit it with an RPG," said Hemsing, 21, of Glens Falls, N.Y.

Both men recounted their very first mission in Iraq, when they saw a tank destroyed by an improvised explosive device. They said that incident proved no amount of armor can prevent every attack. But, the soldiers also pointed out that faster-moving humvees are harder to hit, with or without armor.

The men were visited at the hospital last week by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who discussed the issue with them.

"The fact is, the five-ton is very, very slow," said Mechanick, who suffered extensive injuries on his left side and lost a finger in the attack.

"I'm angry that Nate died," said Hemsing, who expects to spend months at Walter Reed recovering.

"I'm not supposed to be in a friggin' hospital. I should be in Iraq with my buddies," he said.

Their congressman, Rep. John Sweeney, is making his own inquiries into why the soldiers were not in an armored vehicle the day they were attacked.

"What's important here is that everyone recognize that Nathan Brown's death and the injuries to the other soldiers of Charlie Company, 2nd of the 108 were certainly tragic but were not anonymous," said Sweeney.

"The circumstances surrounding the death and the injuries are going to be reviewed carefully and fully by the highest levels," said Sweeney.


Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

Wednesday, April 14 2004 @ 09:02 AM EST
Contributed by: tomw
Individuals USSaratogian -- GLENS FALLS -- A grieving mother stood in the gymnasium of the National Guard's Glens Falls armory Tuesday and spoke about her son's bravery, generosity and the war that took him just two days earlier.

'Everyone that ever met him loved him,' said Kathy Brown, who was flanked by family and friends who also had lost their brother, son, friend or fiance when Pfc. Nathan P. Brown, 21, was killed on Sunday in Iraq.

 
 

A rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee Brown was riding in near the Iraqi town of Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.


Four other members of Brown's Glens Falls-based National Guard outfit were injured in the attack. They are: Staff Sgt. Troy Mechanick, 32, of Hudson Falls; Pfc. Chad Byrne, 22, of Fort Edward; Spc. Robert Hemsing Jr., 21, of Glens Falls, and an unidentified soldier from Gloversville.

Kathy Brown said that since Sunday she had spoken with her son's commander in Iraq.

'He was very brave, a good soldier, but most importantly, he was a wonderful son,' she said through tears.

Her husband, Ricky Brown, said his son loved his country.

'I'm going to miss the boy,' he said, pausing and fighting through tears. 'He's not a boy; he's a man.'

Nathan Brown's fiancee, Sara Hill, spoke fondly of him for a moment until her emotions took over.

'Nathan was a great guy. He was my best friend,' she said. They were due to be married on Sept. 23, 2004.

Outside the armory, a white sign contained only black letters that spelled Nathan P. Brown. Guardsmen draped black ribbon over it and taped a picture of Brown in combat gear.

In the village of South Glens Falls, people spoke about Brown's death at Bartlett's Corner Deli, and workers said it was on the minds of many who had come in that day.

'It's definitely a tough, tough, tough thing,' said Jay Loveland, the manager of the store. 'I'm sure the soldiers must know what they're in for when they go in, but it doesn't make parents feel good.'

Loveland said his son was in the Navy and had spent time in Iraq earlier in the conflict.

Raeanna Dube, 20, said she was friends with Glens Falls' Hemsing in high school, but she didn't even know that he was in Iraq until she saw the newspaper. She recently left the guard and said Hemsing was one of the reasons she initially joined.

'He had a real passion for it. He did really good. He went up in rank real fast,' she said of the Army specialist.

The deli is not far from the Brown's Feeder Dam Road home, which was adorned with yellow ribbons and a sign urging support for the troops and their families. In the early afternoon, a car was parked in the driveway and people were unloading flowers and bags of food.

At the armory news conference, Kathy Brown questioned the war in Iraq and said she thinks Osama bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein, is the threat the United States should have pursued. She said she was angry about that.

'We should have gotten out of there a long time ago,' Brown said. 'If they don't want what we want for them, we should probably just leave. That's the nicest way I can put it.'

According to the Associated Press, 678 U.S. servicemen have died since the war began.

Wounded soldiers say slow Army trucks left them exposed to attack

Wednesday May 12, 2004
By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) When Troy Mechanick and Robert Hemsing left for Iraq, they were told their New York Army National Guard unit would be equipped with fully armored vehicles.

Instead, the two men found themselves last month traveling in a slow-moving five-ton diesel truck that, they say, made them vulnerable to an Iraqi ambush that left them seriously wounded and claimed the life of one of their friends.

``We were lied to, and I'm saying that not for myself but for the others still over there,'' said Mechanick, a sergeant from Hudson Falls, N.Y.

While questions about insufficient armor for troops in Iraq have centered around unarmored Humvees, Mechanick and Hemsing say the use of Army five-ton trucks to transport personnel leaves soldiers even more exposed to attack.

Mechanick and about a dozen soldiers were ambushed Easter Sunday when a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, struck their diesel truck.

Killed in the attack was Pfc. Nathan Brown of South Glens Falls, N.Y., a friend of both men.

Mechanick and Hemsing spoke about the incident from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where they are being treated.

Mechanick said going out in a five-ton on April 11 was ``a bad tactical decision'' in light of prior intelligence reports in the Samarra area.

The soldiers said when they first arrived in Iraq, they had armored Humvees. But those vehicles were switched to other units, and Mechanick began riding in Army five-ton trucks, which are bigger, slower, and offer less protection.

``Our nickname for the five-tons was `RPG magnets,''' said Mechanick, 32. ``It was only a matter of time before we were hit, and we knew it.''

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, acknowledged in Senate testimony Wednesday that there is a shortfall in Iraq and the world for armor-protected vehicles. To address the need, the military plans to redistribute vehicles around the world while speeding up production of more armor-protected Humvees, Myers told the panel.

Both soldiers say there is no guarantee an armored Humvee would have prevented their injuries or their friend's death, but they also believe their chances were much worse in a five-ton.

``A slow-moving big vehicle like that? You've got to be an idiot not to be able to hit it with an RPG,'' said Hemsing, 21, of Glens Falls, N.Y.

Both men recounted their very first mission in Iraq, when they saw a tank destroyed by an improvised explosive device. They said that incident proved no amount of armor can prevent every attack. But, the soldiers also pointed out that faster-moving humvees are harder to hit, with or without armor.

The men were visited at the hospital last week by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who discussed the issue with them.

``The fact is, the five-ton is very, very slow,'' said Mechanick, who suffered extensive injuries on his left side and lost a finger in the attack.

``I'm angry that Nate died,'' said Hemsing, who expects to spend months at Walter Reed recovering.

``I'm not supposed to be in a friggin' hospital. I should be in Iraq with my buddies,'' he said.

Their congressman, Rep. John Sweeney, is making his own inquiries into why the soldiers were not in an armored vehicle the day they were attacked.

``What's important here is that everyone recognize that Nathan Brown's death and the injuries to the other soldiers of Charlie Company, 2nd of the 108 were certainly tragic but were not anonymous,'' said Sweeney.

``The circumstances surrounding the death and the injuries are going to be reviewed carefully and fully by the highest levels,'' said Sweeney.

 

 Our thoughts are also with the Comstock family. We pray for a full recovery and may you be strong as we all owe you a great deal. Thank you Kenneth Comstock.

   
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Injured soldier returns from Iraq
9/5/2004 1:47 PM
By: Capital News 9 web staff

A local soldier badly injured in Iraq is now back in the United States.

Specialist Kenneth Comstock of Queensbury is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

Comstock suffered almost 500 skull fractures when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb near Samarra last month.

He serves in the same National Guard unit as Private Nathan Brown of Glens Falls, who died on Easter Sunday while in Iraq.

If you would like to make a donation to help Specialist Comstock and his family, there are two funds set up. One is at the Adirondack Trust Company, the other is at the Ballston Spa National Bank.

Capital Region Top Stories Saratoga County Top Stories North Country Top Stories Mohawk Valley Top Stories The Berkshires Top Stories
Local soldier injured in Iraq
Updated: 8/24/2004 4:27 PM
By: Edward Muir

David Comstock of Queensbury has been on the phone a lot lately. The phone calls come from local friends right on up to Pentagon officials. They follow the call Friday that his son Kenneth had been badly wounded in Iraq.

Comstock said, "It appears a piece of shrapnel went underneath his helmet."

That shrapnel came from a roadside bomb that exploded as 23-year-old Specialist Kenneth Comstock was returning from a combat mission in Samarra Friday. Another soldier was killed in the attack. Comstock might have cheated death, and doctors said there's a good chance he will recover -- but his wounds are serious.

Father David Comstock said, "He took the X-ray and said it looks as if his skull is in 500 pieces in there, and they're going to have to go in and clean all that debris out of there."

Specialist Comstock is a member of Charley Company of the Army National Guard unit based in Glens Falls. He described his feelings last October about going to Iraq as he and his comrades were preparing for training.

He said, "They're in need of help, and now they're calling us. That's a tremendous honor for us."

"That's Ken. That's exactly what he is," said David.

Specialist Comstock is from the same company as Private First Class Nathan Brown from South Glens Falls. He was killed in Iraq on Easter Sunday. David said his son was with Nathan Brown as he died.

He said, "It devastated Ken because, like I said, these guys are like family."

Now Specialist Comstock's family and his extended family hope for the best.

His fiancée Tara Attey issued a statement:

Kenny is a very religious man. He always puts others before himself. The night before he left for Iraq he prayed at dinner for the safety of America and the children in Iraq. He is a wonderful human being.

For any additions or changes to this page please email us at elockhart@adelphia.net


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