By Judy Reed
Family, friends, local officials, and community members all paid tribute to Brown Saturday, when a monument from the “Fallen Heroes Memorial Foundation” was dedicated in his honor at Veterans Park in Cedar Springs.
“It is awesome to witness the community come together to support something that means so much to so many,” said Mayor Charlie Watson, in his introductory speech.
Timmy, as he was affectionately called, is the son of Tim and Cindy Brown of Nelson Township, and brother to Stevie. He grew up in Cedar Springs and played soccer for several years. He graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2002, and in 2003, joined the Michigan National Guard.
In January 2005, he was activated in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was deployed overseas as a member of Company “B,” 125th Infantry. Timmy was nicknamed “UPS” by his comrades, like the company’s slogan, “What can Brown do for you?”
One of his friends spoke about that at the ceremony and said Timmy lived up to that slogan. “He would go on every mission,” he said.
His friend noted that Timmy mentioned his family often. “He mostly talked about his mom and dad and sister. He loved you guys a lot,” he said.
On November 4, 2005, while engaged in combat operations in Habbaniyah, Iraq, Timmy was killed when a land mine detonated near his humvee.
The news was more than the Brown family could bear. But the family, led by Timmy’s uncle Dan Brown, turned their grief into something good: the creation of Veteran’s Park, in honor of all Veterans.
“Dan Brown took his family’s personal loss and turned it into something great,” remarked Watson.
The land for the park was donated by the city, and the all the work and landscaping was done through donations. The monument for Timmy was paid for separately through donations and fundraising.
John (Skip) Bushart, president of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Foundation, explained that a small amount of soil was taken from the sites all of the other fallen heroes monuments and mixed in with the concrete under Timmy’s monument. A small bit of soil was also taken from his, and it will be mixed with the soil and concrete of future monuments.
And we won’t forget.