LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Military heroes. They come from all walks of life.
And there’s no doubt that Arkansan Adam Brown was a hero.
The Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to draw enemy fire away from his unit in Afghanistan six years ago.
But this isn’t a story about epic battles fought in far away lands.
This is a story about a man. A man who may not have been perfect, but a man who did great things both on and off the battlefield.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Lee Brown gave his life in the service of our country in Afghanistan in 2010.
Adam’s ability to overcome adversity and challenges and be a source of inspiration for his SEAL team and his family speaks volumes about his character and his approach to life.
“He was fearless in the way he loved people. He was fearless in the way he loved his children, in the way he loved me, his wife, his family, the way he enjoyed each and every day and didn’t take a day for granted,” says Adam’s widow Kelley Brown.
“What is a hero? That’s a tough question to answer but most of the time it’s an ordinary person that does an extraordinary thing.
Adam, however, was not just a regular guy. From an early age he excelled at most of what he did. Everybody in Hot Springs has an Adam story, from his daredevil jump from the U.S. 70 bridge, to his years playing football at Lake Hamilton, to his days working at Stubby’s.
“He was a great kid. An honest kid,” Kelley adds.
But Adam’s road in life took a turn, a dark turn, one that would threaten his passion for good and even his life. One that Kelley, his wife, found out about after they met.
“I did not realize he was a, he was recovering from an addiction problem. His struggle continued but it was a struggle he wanted to fight. It was a struggle he wanted to win. God was telling me to stay with him and see it through and have faith things would change,” she continues.
Adam found the best way to focus himself was to join the military, the U.S. Navy SEALs. He was full throttle all the time, he didn’t do slow or medium. His military service played out the way he lived life, fearless.
“He took a sim round to the eye, so he lost his vision in one eye. He was also in a Humvee accident, which tore off four of his fingers on his shooting hand,” she says.
He retrained himself to shoot with his non-dominant eye and his
non-dominant hand. He could have been medically discharged many times but Adam wanted to make a difference, not only in the military, but in life.
“He was there to listen, lend an ear, to give a ride, no judgements placed. He knew life was hard,” says Kelley.
To honor Adam, his SEAL team brothers gathered shortly after his death to do the jump from the U.S. 70 bridge Adam did when in high school. In August 2011, they too lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The Adam Brown Foundation has been created to give assistance to people in need–just as Adam would have wanted.
“To me the biggest, one of the most important things to Adam was the legacy he left for his children. He wanted to make sure people knew who he was before he met Jesus Christ and before he met me. You’re going to fall, then you’re going to rise. You’re going to stumble then get back up,” she says.
Strong faith and a belief in being the best person you could be guided Adam and his family and still does today.
“Adam’s story wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for God. I feel his life was Godly orchestrated, but with God you really can do all things. He can get you through these things,” says Kelley.
Adam’s family meant the world to him and he meant the world to them.
“A man of true integrity and character and light-hearted and funny. Gosh, there are so many ways I could describe him. His story has touched so many people. It’s a human story. It’s a human story about life and struggles and redemption.”