In Memoriam

SFC William Russell Brown

Colorado Springs, CO

Home Award Program Recipient

Army Sergeant First Class William (Bill) Brown was born in 1975 in White Settlement, Texas. In 1992, he enlisted in the Army and in 1994, married the love of his life Audra Clopton, whom he had met while working at the local grocery store.

Bill began his Army career and volunteered for duty as an Army Ranger. After Airborne and Ranger schools, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as an Airborne Ranger and deployed to many foreign countries during this time including Zimbabwe, Germany, and Panama.

In 2004, Bill volunteered for Special Forces and upon completion of the grueling and intense Special Forces Qualification Course, he received the coveted “Green Beret” and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. as a Senior Weapons Sergeant. Bill was never satisfied with the minimum, however, and continuously took on additional responsibilities as the Intelligence Sergeant and eventually Team Sergeant.

Sergeant First Class Brown served one tour of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2003 through March 2004. He later served two tours in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom from September 2005 through March 2006, and from July 2006 through November 2006. Audra and the children had always known that he served in “high-speed” positions, and that he loved to take on the most challenging assignments the Army could present to him. Living with that knowledge, however, couldn’t have prepared Audra or her children for the day when the chaplain and the casualty assistance officer from Bill’s unit came to their door with the devastating news: Bill had been killed in action on Nov. 6, 2006, after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated near his vehicle in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Sergeant First Class Brown, a Texan to his core, was buried with full military honors at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on November 17, 2006. His military honors include three Bronze Star Medals ( one with the Combat “V” device for valorous action); Purple Heart Medal (second award) , Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army Recruiter Badge (silver), Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab.

Sergeant First Class Brown’s son Trenton learned about Homes for Our Troops and its Home Award Program, which offered mortgage-free homes to injured Veterans and Gold Star families. Trenton applied to the program and was selected to receive a mortgage-free home in Colorado Springs. Currently, Trenton and his wife Sara live with his mother and sister in this home. Says Trenton, “Having less stress about our living arrangements will allow us to focus on our continuing education as I work toward my bachelor’s degree and Sara completes her master’s degree.” Best of all, he says, “We can have our family from Texas and all over come to visit us on holidays and bring us closer.”