Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
(KJV Isaiah 6:8)
February 2010 during Operation Moshtarak - Brian providing aid to wounded Medic Casey Morrison. (Brian said on his FB page at the time he shared this picture: )
Marjah (Brian on far left)
Brian gave his life two days ago as a dedicated US Army Flight Medic.
Here, here, here, (Part 1, with links to the others) here and here.
I WILL have more later about this special man: devoted husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-arms of all who had the privilege of serving with him, (and my 'nephew') - who humbled me by calling me his friend, but for now, here is a video that Jake, one of Brian's sons, made. I believe it is the first video he ever made. Yes, the second is also about his dad, and I will share that another day.
SSG ROBERT BRIAN COWDREY - OFFICIAL MEDIA RELEASE
October 15, 2011
It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the death of our soldier, Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey, 39, who died Oct. 13 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered during combat operations. Brian was a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a mentor, and a very passionate and dedicated flight medic with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.. His death leaves a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. There are no words adequate enough to express how much Brian was loved, how much he will be missed, and how the lives he touched – and saved – will be forever changed because he was on this earth.
Brian married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Kimberly Jill, and they had 17 wonderful years together. One only had to take one look at the two of them together to know that a man and wife couldn’t love each other more. Brian had a secret smile only for Jill.
Brian loved the outdoors. Hunting with his brother Quentin was something he looked forward to every year. He also loved driving around in his truck with his family, listening to his favorite songs (“Rise Above” by Seether was always blaring), eating his wife’s home cooked meals, taking his German Shepherd for walks and spending quality time with family and friends, especially his sons.
He enjoyed visiting his mother, Donna, brother, and sister-in-law Jennie and their two daughters Morgan and Julia in Ohio. He also enjoyed taking trips back to his hometown of La Junta, Colorado, to visit his wife’s family, including his father-in-law Jay and his wife Cathy, and mother-in-law Tami and her husband, Ron. He most recently saw nieces Micaly, Morgan, Matyson, Trinity and Bianca, as well as brothers and sisters-in law.
He had a special relationship with everyone in his family and recently discovered new Cowdrey family connections that he was excited to learn more about. He had so many friends made from every chapter in his life and in every place he lived.
He was so proud of his oldest son, Justin, for graduating basic training last summer and for becoming a 15T with a flight crew. His middle son, Nathan, dreams of going to West Point and becoming an officer. His youngest son, Jacob, just wants to grow up to make a positive difference in the world, just like his dad and his brothers.
Brian was a man who didn’t show emotion easily, but his family and friends always knew how he felt about them. He took his job seriously and held himself and his soldiers to a high standard of excellence. He felt that his patients deserved the best, and we know that is exactly what they got. Brian was a true example of a servant leader – he often expressed how honored he was to be able to aid our men and women in uniform when they needed him. He led by example, and he led with honor, integrity, compassion, and strength.
He loved a good joke and a good story. One of his favorite things to do was playing Xbox with his boys. Where else but the Cowdrey household would you find not one, but three Xboxes going at the same time? Where else but the Cowdrey household would you hear a father coaxing hisson to play more Halo? “But dad, I don’t wanna play Halo anymore…” “Just ten more minutes, Nate!” Brian loved getting all of his boys and their friends online to play Xbox. It will not be the same without “Lasercow” leading the charge.
The family he leaves behind is devastated, but takes some comfort in knowing that Brian, as he commonly went by, died doing a job he loved and was committed to doing. Brian chose to re-enlist and go with “his guys” to Afghanistan for a fourth deployment rather than take a non-deployable job as a flight medic instructor at Ft. Rucker, Ala. He did not hesitate to serve his country, both on U.S. soil and overseas. The amount of messages online, phone calls, text messages, and sheer outpouring of support have been phenomenal. We are truly touched by all of the love and support.
Brian wanted people to know what was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for people to look past what was in the media. He often shared videos and photos from his deployments and would explain to all who would listen what was going on. He would help people understand the kind of missions he went on, what it took to save lives, and all of the good that was happening out in the field. He was proud of those he worked with, those he served, and he was and will always be a true AMERICAN HERO.
Brian, we love you, and while this pain and sorrow will never go away – over time it will fade. The memories we have of you, and the love and moments we have shared, never will. You will live on for always in our hearts, and your legacy lives on in your children and in all those whose lives you have touched.
John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
-The Cowdrey Family
(From Julia Jensen, who says: This is Brian with Jill and all of his boys. Jacob, Nathan and Justin. This is a few years old but one of my fave family pics of them.) *All pictures and video used with permission*
At the end of my last conversation with him, Brian's words to me were:
[...] You truely are my family Aunty! Love you!
Brian, as I told you then, with my last words to you:
Thank YOU for the honour, Brian! Stay safe out there. I love you, too....
My heart is with Brian's wife and best friend, Jill; their beloved sons; Donna, Brian's mom; Quentin, Brian's brother, and all the Cowdrey family. With respect and gratitude.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Soar through the Heavens, Brian. DUSTOFF!!!
*[SA Germany has added an update with links to pictures of the Memorial Service held for Brian In Afghanistan, and of him arriving home in Dover, here]"
* **MSgt CJ Grisham - close friend of Brian's - shared this on 10/18, and I found it on FaceBook:**