First Lt. Thomas J. Brown, who grew up in Shelton, was killed in Iraq on Sept. 23, 2008 in Salman Pak, Iraq. He was 26.
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 Lt. 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, Va., 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.
Brown is the 43rd member of the military with Connecticut ties to die in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.
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