Living Memorial For Sharon Brown

Submitter’s Name: Jaelyn Brooks
The Service Member’s Name: Sharon Brown
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: E3 / Private First Class
Military Job: Logistics
Hometown for Service Member: 
Houston, Texas

Submitted by Navarro College Student Jaelyn Brooks

The women that I interviewed was Ms. Sharon A. Brown, who joined the U.S. Army when she was 22 years old. The rank that she held in the military was Private First Class (PFC).  Her job in the military was a Transportation Specialist.  Her husband, at the time, was a military police officer. She obtained two Military Occupational Skills while in the military, the other was in Supply also known as Logistics.  Her unit was the 530th Supply and Service Battalion, also affectionately known as the “530th super leg battalion” at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  PFC Brown was deployed for 18 months to Iraq.

Growing up as a child, Sharon was raised by her mother until she was about 8.  After that, she was raised by her mother’s brother, who was a Church of Christ Minister.  Sharon explained that 9/11 was significant to her as she was stationed at Fort Hood and her unit was getting ready to move to the field for an exercise, when her company commander received a call that the planes had struck one of the twin towers and they were ordered immediately back to Fort Hood. Sharon and her unit watched the devastation that was happening on television.  It made her feel shocked and in unbelief that it could really happen to us on American soil.  She wondered what the retaliation America’s leaders would take against the terrorists.

The negative impact that Sharon had while serving was the “ugly” venues of war – something that civilians will never see.  She described it like being a first responder and running into a tragic encounter – the things you see can leave you anxious and with “injuries” that you cannot physically see, but that people go through daily.  Sharon does not like crowds and cannot participate in things like Black Friday shopping because she gets over whelmed, with people grabbing at things.  It causes her to get overwrought.  Trash and objects piled in the roads brings back memories of bombs in the road and she cannot drive over trash in the road to this day.  Loud, unexpected noises startle her and causes her to want to run and look for a place to hide.  There are times that these loud sounds have frightened her to the point of tears as she remembers bombs blowing up.  And when she sees smoke around her town, even when she barbeques, it takes her back to Iraq where they burned things in pits.  Sharon says there are many veterans that have trigger points and they take them back to when they were overseas. There are things that civilians do not notice that might bring a panic to a veteran.

The reason she chose the Army is because she grew up with a military family – although she was the first female to join the branch in her family.  This caused her family to be upset with her wanting to join. She would have joined the United States Air Force if the Army did not work out. Sharon says that she does not regret joining the military and she feels that, although she could have made some different career choices while she was severing, she felt her decisions were good ones and very rewarding.  She feels that she would not have had the experiences that she had with meeting different people, traveling and learning opportunities if she would not have joined the military.