BACK HOME: Rep. Jason
Brown of Platte City arrived at KCI Tuesday
evening after being wounded in Iraq last
week. Browns wife, Rachelle, and
kids Aalyna, 8, and Caleb, 4, embraced
him upon his return. Brown is now home
on 30-day leave.
Landmark assistant editor
It was the stuff from which Academy
Award-winning Hollywood scripts are made.
Even better actually.
And Jason Brown, the Platte City
area's state representative, cuts a pretty good
Operation Iraqi Freedom parallel to a young Jimmy
Rachelle Brown, Jasons wife,
does great justice to Grace Kelly, as well.
Into the arms of a loving and
emotional wife and a young daughter and son who
could barely restrain themselves behind the airport
gate waiting area, Jason Brown of Platte City,
the Missouri 30th District representative, returned
home from combat duty in Iraq less only about
five days after taking a bullet in the lung. News
of his injury was first reported on The Landmark's
web site at plattecountylandmark.com around noon
Brown returned home to a joyous
family and welcoming crowd of about 50 people
at Kansas City International Airport (KCI) on
Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m.
Brown arrived home to Platte City,
by way of Delta Airlines Flight 1099. Despite
100 percent overcast conditions and a persistent
and firm rain, Delta Flight 1099 actually landed
about 15 minutes earlier (than its scheduled landing
at 5:45 p.m.) on Tuesday.
Brown said he had been awake for
about a day-and-a-half straight while flying from
Baghdad eventually to Atlanta, Ga., then a less-than-two-hour
flight from Atlanta to Kansas City.
Brown, looking slimmer, tanner
and more fit than when he initially deployed in
March, seemed obviously overwhelmed and even a
bit disoriented from all the air travel and sudden
arrival to loving hearts, home and hearth.
Rachelle and children, Alayna
and Caleb, collapsed on Brown at Delta Gate 58
as he walked from the exit gate. They hugged and
squeezed and loved their daddy and husband as
tightly as the bullet wound in the left side of
his chest would permit.
Brown officially begins 30 days
of convalescent leave at his Platte City residence.
Ive still got the
bullet in my left lung. The doctors said thats
the first time theyve seen (a patient) that
had been shot in the lung and the lung did not
collapse, Brown said.
Brown feels very, very lucky
at the outcome.
While I was in the hospital,
a lot of us in the hospital there, my crew member
and myself, they kept us in the same room, we
both believe it was a God thing. A
couple of seconds anyway, a couple of inches any
direction, and the bullet can end up in a radically
different state than what were in right
now, Brown said.
Brown said he thought about and
yearned about his reunion with his wife and kids
every day he was over there.
The hardest thing about
being deployed is being away from your wife and
kids, Brown said.
Rachelle and kids have dibs on
him, where hell remain at home for the next
few days, Brown said, and he plans to visit some
relatives in Iowa.
Were going to spend
the next few days just sitting at home, being
a family, Brown said.
Brown also has rehabilitation
to do while on his month-long convalescent leave,
Asked what he planned to do his
first night home, Brown said,
Probably get something to
eat, I havent eaten since earlier today,
a bemused and dimple-laden Brown replied with
But Brown insisted the Army chow,
presumably served up with love and lots of enthusiasm
by Kellogg, Brown and Root employees, was really
Brown also has seen the past seven
months forward progress develop in his units
area of operations, just eat of the Tigris River,
The situation is getting
better in Iraq, but everywhere there the progress
is just slow. It takes a long time, Brown
Brown will provide specific examples
of progress in his units area of operations
in Baghdad, as well as a brief description of
the small unit action that resulted in his wound,
in a press release in two days, he said.
There are no scheduled surgeries
My lung did not collapse
when I was shot, which is extremely odd, and Im
extremely lucky. Right now there isnt a
plan to extract the bullet. Its still in
me; its still in my left lung. Ive
got to make sure that nothing happens to that
lung right now, Brown said.
After the month of convalescent
leave, Brown will be required to return to his
unit in Iraq and initially be on light duty
in the combat zone, Brown said.
Brown was wounded on Thursday
by incoming sniper fire while on patrol in Baghdad.
Brown, a staff sergeant in the
U.S. Army Reserves, serves as a Humvee gunner
with the 414th Civil Affairs Unit, based in Utica,
Mrs. Brown had earlier this week
updated the public about Jason Browns condition
at a campaign fundraiser for her him at the Shields
Manor Bistro, 121 Main St., Platte City on Monday.
Its only the fifth
day, but it feels like its been a month,
Rachelle Brown had said.
Army officials have not disclosed
details about the mission Brown was on during
which he was shot. Early media reports have indicated
that Brown may have been shot by an Iraqi insurgent
Rachelle Brown told The Landmark
on Monday that she does not know whether the bullet
came from a sniper, was a stray round or came
from close-unit action.
Jason Brown withheld comment about
the actual combat action until his press release
in two days, he said.
Mrs. Brown got to speak to her
husband every day by telephone since his wounding,
Ive been through every
emotion the past five days. I feel like Im
on an emotional rollercoaster, Rachelle
Hes been in excruciating
pain, but Jason still has his sense of humor.
He tried to joke with me on the phone yesterday,
Rachelle Brown said.
The details of the unit action
that Brown was involved in on Thursday, during
which he was wounded, remain unknown to the media
as of press time on Wednesday.
The news of Browns injuries
were first conveyed by family spokesman, George
McClintock, at a press conference held at the
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7356, in Parkville,
on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
I received a phone call
from Rachelle Brown, and she told me that her
husband was shot in the lung by small arms in
small unit action, McClintock said.
McClintock, who described himself
as a family friend of the Browns, who attends
church with them at the First Christian Church
of Platte City, initially served at Rachelles
request, as the family spokesperson as news of
Jason's injury spread.
For an individual to serve
his state as well as Jason does, and then to be
called to active duty to serve his nation, is
the most honorable thing any American can do,
I greatly appreciate what
Jasons family is going through right now,
as my family must have gone through when I got
hit in Vietnam, McClintock said.
McClintock is a member of the
Platte City Board of Aldermen and a decorated
combat veteran himselffrom the Vietnam War,
where he served from 1967-1968. McClintock is
a past commander of the VFW Post 4055 in Platte
Having been a combat veteran
myself, (Browns war injury) brought back
a lot memories and feelings, McClintock
I think (the small unit
action and injury) adds perspective for him as
a legislator, as an American, as a citizen soldier.
Hes done a heckuva job for his nation, his
state and his country, McClintock said.
Rachelle Brown said she and the
Browns two children, Alayna and Caleb, have
remained as calm as could be expected, given the
I think were on a
prayer list in just about every state, Rachelle
At the Shields Manor Bistro on
Monday afternoon, Rachelle told the supportive
crowd of about 40 people, many of whom attend
church with the Browns and do volunteer work for
his re-election campaign, that she wishes she
could provide more specifics about the small unit
action that resulted in his combat injuries, but
she, just like Jason, is constrained from going
into specifics about the actual combat action.
I feel like I keep saying
the same things over and over again. But I dont
have any more information, she said.
U.S. 6th District Congressman
Sam Graves also attended the Monday Jason Brown
Weve got to do whatever
we can do to send him back to the Missouri House,
said Congressman Graves. Hes one of
the hardest working and most effective legislators
at the state house. And now hes taken a
bullet for his country.
I couldnt be prouder
of him, Graves said.
In addition to serving as a state
representative, Jason Brown owns a fence construction
company and a homebuilding company.
Brown faces Democratic challenger
Jared Welch, a judge advocate in the Missouri
Air National Guard, in a bid to win a third consecutive
term as Missouri 30th District state representative.
Welch issued a press release over
Our thoughts and prayers
go out to Jason and his family. Being a military
man gives me a unique appreciation for the commitment
that Jason and all of our service members have
shown in duty to our county. Pamela and I join
everyone in offering him a safe and speedy recovery,