Family comes together for Iraq-bound solider - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family comes together for Iraq-bound solider

Updated:

March 22, 2008

Putney -- Bar-B-Que chicken on the grill and collard greens on the stove is more than just an early Easter dinner for the Brown family - it's a farewell dinner for a loved one - a soldier.

"I wanted to see everyone at least one time before I deploy. And pretty much everybody came. So that pretty much let me know right there that we're a real close family," said 20-year-old Private Jerry Brown.

Brown will deploy to Iraq for the first time next month. But it was just a couple a months ago that the family of the former Monroe High defensive end learned he had been called up for duty.

He said, "I didn't really want to tell my family until after New Years because I didn't want to ruin their holiday. My mom was pretty upset. But when I started talking to her and letting her know how it was, she was ok with it."

"I'm truly proud of him. It's a blessing to see one of my children grow up and do something with themselves,"said Jerry's mother Rhonda Brown.

She made sure the occasion was complete with pictures of Jerry from the time he was infant to the day he became a solider. And while it will no doubt be tough to know her son will be thousands of miles away in war zone, she has faith.

"I have so much faith that I cant worry. I just know he's gonna go over there and comeback and do whatever he has to do," she said.

Surrounded by friends and family inside the Putney Community Center, Private Brown, a husband and father clings tight to his 5-year-old daughter; showing that perhaps the toughest task ahead, is being away from those that mean the most.

"That's my main concern is missing everyone back home. Not so much the job we're there to do, but me missing them," he said.

But today, he is surrounded by family. A day for showing appreciation to a son, a friend, a dad, a soldier.

 Private Brown is a 2006 graduate of Monroe High. He will leave for Camp Bucca, Iraq near the Kuwaiti border April 23rd.

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