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UPDATE: Sports editor's son killed in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Jeff Gluck, May 8, 2006.

  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    The sports editor, Louis Brewster, wrote a column today:


    My dear good readers:
    In the darkest hours of my life, there were rays of hope and comfort from kind words, thoughts and concern from many of you. It was an outpouring one never expects, one none of us wanted.

    It brought home the full impact of Bryan Brewster's life on others.

    On behalf of his family - wife Kati, mother Linda and brother Scott - I thank you for your condolences, sympathies and wonderful memories. We remain quite sad; indeed, it shall be an absence for the remainder of our lives.

    Yet we know Bryan died for a cause he thoroughly believed in. We know this through his final letter delivered nearly a month after he gave his life for his country.

    He was committed to his fellow soldiers, to the mission.

    We also know this from messages that keep arriving on daily basis. The messages come from all paths of life: from fellow soldiers and sailors; friends old and new; family near and far; those who contributed to his scholarship fund at Chaffey College or the Bryan Brewster Foundation; to those who didn't know Bryan but read his story and were touched by his service to his country.

    Of the countless calls, cards, letters and messages, there are a few that truly reached the heart of a grieving father and made the journey a little less painful.

    "My heart is breaking,'' said the voice on the message. "I am very grateful for his service to me and my children. We are all safer for what he did and others are doing.''

    Veterans of all ages showed voiced their appreciation for a fellow brother-in-arms.

    Also touching was the corridor of American flags displayed at Bryan's Celebration of Life by the Patriot Guard, a group of veterans who make it a point of showing their respect to those who have fallen in action. They also carried their flags on their motorcycles and were the vanguards of a four-mile, 200-plus car procession from the Fontana Performing Arts Center to Riverside National Cemetery.

    The group also was in attendance at a memorial service last Saturday held in Pharr, Texas, for family members.

    A World War II B-17 captain also called to add his condolences and to say he only cried when he read about the love story of Kati and about Bryan.

    Most gratifying was the support demonstrated by other parents who have children of their own in the military. This is their worst nightmare.

    As it turns out, there were several families from this area with soldiers also serving in Afghanistan, some with the 10th Mountain Division, and some in the same aviation regiment as Bryan. The Rev. Susan Grove of the Wrightwood Methodist Church attended the Celebration of Life at the request of her son Tom, who had befriended Bryan two tours earlier.

    Just when one begins to feel so alone, there are others who are in the same position. The parents of Wendy Leer, a Blackhawk pilot in the 10th Mountain Division, wrote to say that Bryan's death had affected their daughter. "What affects her, affects us,'' wrote the Leers.

    We are not the first family to lose a loved war in war, but hopefully among the last. Others who also have suffered a great loss passed along their thoughts and love. Jim and Janet Seymour from Ohio wrote of their son Devin Paul, who died in Iraq in 2005 and was mentioned in a column as a tribute for his sister Lachelle, who now resides in Rancho Cucamonga.

    Other notes brought alive waves of precious memories.

    From Mike Sheridan: "I remember you changing Bryan's diapers while covering Chaffey College baseball games.'' As youngsters, Scott and Bryan were my constant companions and I thank Mike for recalling that moment of so long ago.

    The Celello Family of Montclair also wrote:

    "Our family will always remember you because you helped make it possible our son Andy got his final wish. In November of 1988, Andy, 24, was told he had six months to live. He wanted to sit on the sidelines of a Raiders game. The Raiders went way beyond Andy's wish, they treated Andy and his dad like kings.''

    Now, I find comfort from parents who also lost a son, as they did from me. The circle will never be broken.

    And I shall never forget what John Force did for us. He called Kati and I in the course of a very difficult trip, attended the services and carried Bryan's name on all three of his NHRA entries in tribute to a fallen hero.

    Thank you all for your support and understanding during this time. We carry on because of the strength we have gained from you and also because it's what Bryan would have expected.
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