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Army Reserve Captain Among the Orlando Shooting Casualties

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By Debbie Gregory.

U.S. Army Reserve officer Antonio Davon Brown was among those killed in Orlando terrorist attack, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Brown, 29, was a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 383rd Regiment, 4th Cavalry Brigade, 85th Support Command, based in St. Louis.

By all accounts, Brown was a down to earth guy and had been a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) while a student at Florida A&M University.

“We are especially saddened by the news that one of the victims was part of the FAMU family,” the university said in a statement.

Brown joined the U.S. Army in 2008, just after graduating from FAMU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He was deployed to Kuwait from April 2010 until March 2011, according to U.S. Army Media Relations.

Brown continued his education while in the military, earning an MBA from the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 2010.

He was promoted to captain in March 2012 and was most recently working as a human resources officer for Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.

Brown’s  awards and decorations include a Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M-Device and the Army Service Ribbon.

Brown was expected to be conferred with a doctorate of management in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix in the fall.

Funeral services will be held Saturday in Melbourne, FL.

Our hearts and thoughts are with the family of Antonio Davon Brown, and all of the grief stricken families who are struggling to cope with the overwhelming loss of their loved ones.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Spouse Among Those Killed in Brussels Terror Attack

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By Debbie Gregory.

A U.S. official has confirmed that one, and possibly two Americans killed in the terrorist attacks in Brussels were the spouses of U.S. personnel. While their names have not yet been released, it has been confirmed that one of the victims was the wife of an Air Force lieutenant, and that the lieutenant and other family members were injured..

Due to privacy concerns, U.S. European Command would not release details of the service member’s injuries or the number of family members involved. But U.S. officials have confirmed the officer was a lieutenant colonel.

European Command is continuing to confirm the safety of U.S. military personnel and families in the region, including those who may be there on vacation or official travel.

The injuries bring the total to at least four Americans who were hurt in the explosions that ripped through the Brussels Airport and a metro station Tuesday. Mormon Church officials said three missionaries from Utah were seriously injured in the airport attack and have been hospitalized.

Secretary of State John Kerry vowed that the U.S. will “provide any assistance necessary” to Belgium in their shared fight against terrorism.

“We will not be intimidated, we will not be deterred, and we will come back with greater resolve, with greater strength,” Kerry said. “And we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of this Earth.”

The Islamic State terror group has claimed credit for the attacks, which were carried out by as many as five bombers, three of which are believed to have died and two who are being sought. Authorities believe the bombers used suitcases packed with explosives and nails, producing blasts so devastating that identifying bodies has been difficult, and sending deadly shrapnel hurtling through the airport terminal and metro station.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

West Point Graduate, Taylor Force, Killed During Trip to Israel

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By Debbie Gregory.

Members of the Vanderbilt community will gather Friday, March 18, to remember Taylor Force, a graduate student who was killed March 8th  in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

“Innocent of any wrongdoing, Taylor was taken cruelly from his family, his friends, fellow students at Vanderbilt University, and his community, in an act of terror which we condemn with all of our strength,” said William Gaunt, the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Tel Aviv, on behalf of US Ambassador Dan Shapiro.

Ten other people were wounded in the attack in Jaffa, an ancient port city that is now part of Tel Aviv. The attacker, who was identified as a Palestinian, was shot and killed during the knife rampage.

Force, 28, was a first-year MBA student and a 2009 graduate of West Point. He was part of a group of 28 Owen Graduate School of Management students who traveled to Israel to learn about global entrepreneurship.

The business student was an avid skier and guitar player who loved horses and ranch life, following a childhood spent in Texas.

His attendance at West Point had Force following his grandfather’s footsteps.

Force served in the Army from 2009 to 2014, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then took about a year off after active duty. He lived in Lexington, Kentucky, before moving to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt. He was due to complete his studies in 2017.

The Vanderbuilt service is closed to the public, and priority will be given to members of the Owen School community, as well as those who knew Force well.

We at MilitaryConnection.com would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and schoolmates of this fine young man.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.