Let the memory of SFC John be with us forever
  • Passed away on January 20, 2007 .

43, of Little Rock, Ark.; assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.; died in Baghdad on Jan. 20 when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter he was in crashed. Also killed were Col. Brian D. Allgood, Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker, Lt. Col. David C. Canegata, Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, Command Sgt. Maj. Roger W. Haller, Col. Paul M. Kelly, Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake, Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, Capt. Sean E. Lyerly, Maj. Michael V. Taylor and 1st Sgt. William T. Warren.

Gold star flag, plaques presented to guard in honor of fallen

The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe says dealing with grief-stricken military families is one of the toughest jobs in his role as the state’s leader.

So when the family of Sgt. 1st Class John Gary Brown of Little Rock asked the state Department of Veterans Affairs for help in obtaining a custom-made red-and-white flag with a gold star, state officials and a Veterans of Foreign Wars post hustled to comply.

“The most difficult job you have as governor is making phone calls to family members, particularly to widows, of fallen soldiers,” Beebe said. “And so it’s appropriate when we honor those fallen soldiers, we try to honor the requests of those families.”

On Tuesday, Beebe, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9095, and Fred Steube of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs presented the flag and three plaques to Maj. Gen. Bill Wofford, adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard.

Wofford will then pass on the honorary items to the fallen soldiers’ families, Beebe said.

The three plaques are in honor of Brown, Maj. Michael V. Taylor and Sgt. William Tom Warren, who were among 12 soldiers killed when their Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq.

All three were members of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment of the 77th Aviation Brigade. The deaths were the first casualties for the 77th, military officials said.

The crash also killed nine soldiers from Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, military officials said.

The flag was designed by Arkansas Flag and Banner Company. The plaques, from the Veterans of Foreign Wars national headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., honor the three soldiers for their bravery and valor.


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