Johnny Brown: Hero

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

… an Alabamian of distinction and an American of heroic proportions…

That's how Gov. Bob Riley described Pfc. Johnny Brown in a proclamation commending his life presented in Troy to Brown's family by Sen. Wendell Mitchell and Rep. Alan Boothe.

Wednesday a family buried a son, and Pike Countians held their hands and their hearts.

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A final chapter was written in the life of one of Troy's native sons as Brown was buried will full military honors at Ramah Cemetery.

Since the Brown family first learned of Johnny's death, they've suffered with the grief of loosing a son, a brother, an uncle.

But they've also learned of the caring and love and support so often unseen in everyday living. The community's outpouring of support and encouragement for the family has demonstrated that Pike Countians look after their own, too - just as the United States Army has looked after Johnny because he was one of their own.

In our close-knit community, when one hurts all hurt with them. The Browns will need that support in the days, weeks and months ahead, and our community will provide their support just as they have for all those who gave their lives in the defense of freedom.

In that sense, the final chapter for Pfc. Johnny Brown may be written, but the book is hardly finished. That book is about how our community pulls together during adversity and how we all gain strength

from the trials we face together.

Our condolences, along with the condolences of a grateful county and nation, go out to the Browns during this time of loss, and we take great pride in knowing that Johnny, ultimately, was a hero.

He was a hero for doing his job, defending the freedom of those who had none, and for bringing our community closer together. God bless him.