Video: Meet Sgt. Thomas Brooks

posted at 9:25 am on May 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When I went to the Palazzo this weekend to cover their celebration of Armed Forces Day, I expected to get a few different reports from the event. On Saturday, I posted interviews with the Sands Corporation VP in charge of the event, two of the representatives from Southwest Airlines (which partnered with Sands on the event), and of course the welcoming ceremony itself, which was awesome to watch. I had hoped to interview some of the veterans themselves in order for Hot Air readers to get to know them as individuals and to let them tell their own stories directly. I made it clear to the Armed Forces Foundation that I already had plenty to post and that none of them should feel pressured at all to talk to me on the record. Most decided to pass, although plenty of them talked with me off the record and made me feel welcome indeed, even as I worried about intruding on their enjoyment.

One Marine did agree to sit down with me for an on-camera interview, and he is a most impressive young man. Sergeant Thomas Brooks lost a leg in Helmand Province and has been undergoing rehab since at Walter Reed, now on an outpatient basis. Sgt. Brooks talks about the difficulties that presents for his family and his fiancee Keri, who joined us for this interview. When I asked him what he planned to do, he told me he’s going to stay in the Marines — because he wants to pass along what he learned to other Marines so that they can prepare themselves better. Sgt. Brooks is quite an inspiration, as I think you’ll agree:

I want to thank the wounded warriors who took time to share their stories more privately with me, or who just chatted and made me feel very welcome. I’m hoping to interview one in particular down the road, a friend of Uncle Jimbo’s at Blackfive who coincidentally happened to be part of this weekend. Without naming her (since I haven’t asked for permission to do so yet), I’d like to give her special thanks for her friendship and advice this weekend. Big thanks also go to the Palazzo and to the Armed Forces Foundation as well.

Note: The Palazzo paid for my travel expenses to attend the event; I paid for all other incidentals.

Update: The Sands’ J.C. did his own interview with another wounded warrior, Marine Sgt. Jonathan Blank.  Be sure to listen to it.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments


… two of the representatives from Southwest Airlines …

Yeah, we’re a very pro-military company. Makes me proud to see us mentioned on HotAir!


When I asked him what he planned to do, he told me he’s going to stay in the Marines — because he wants to pass along what he learned to other Marines so that they can prepare themselves better.

Sometimes you look around and see kids with their pants hanging down below their butts and think “Our country is doomed” … but then you hear about young men like this and know you can sleep well at night in the knowledge that they’re out there keeping you free. God bless ‘em all!

Tony737 on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Wonderful Ed! Thank you and thank God for our military.
L

letget on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM

G*d bless him and his future wife!

IR-MN on May 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Inspiring stuff. Who says it is all doom and gloom out there? Semper Fi, Sgt. Brooks!

itzWicks on May 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Thanks for a very inspiring article, Ed. I really needed it today.

ladyingray on May 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Amazing, lost a leg to the savages but is willing himself onward. Good also on the USMC for letting this guy stay on to have a career rather than cashiering him.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Outstanding!!

Keef Overbite on May 23, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Thank you Sgt Thomas, Semper Fi.

It’s attitudes and aptitude such as Sgt Thomas that are important tor remember.

Also, glad that the Marines will give those like Sgt Thomas the opportunity to continue pursuing a career path, teaching and leading by example.

MSGTAS on May 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

This man represents all that is good about our country. He gives me hope.

Laura in Maryland on May 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

+1

In this day and age, it is so common to come across people who think somebody/the rich/the country owes them something. Their arrogance, laziness, and self absorption is sickening.

And then there are those like SGT. Brooks. We do owe him, for his service and sacrifice. We owe him our gratitude and support, and yet in his humility, he seems almost embarrassed by the attention, and he is grateful for his warm welcome home. Truly impressive…

Thank you, Sgt. Brooks, and may God bless you and your beautiful fiancé.

pannw on May 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Semper-Fi Sgt. Brooks, your example gives us all pride, the Marine Corp certainly found that Good Man in you.

fourdeucer on May 23, 2011 at 10:18 AM

This man represents all that is good about our country. He gives me hope. – Laura

And in such stark contrast to what most of our young people look up to these days, like Snoop Diggidy Dawg or whatever his name is.

Tony737 on May 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Sometimes you look around and see kids with their pants hanging down below their butts and think “Our country is doomed” … but then you hear about young men like this and know you can sleep well at night in the knowledge that they’re out there keeping you free. God bless ‘em all!

Tony737 on May 23, 2011 at 9:33 AM

The distance between the two groups seems wider than at any time in our history. Is this true or is it just my flawed perception?

SKYFOX on May 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

You forgot to pass out the Kleenex!

scalleywag on May 23, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I couldn’t be more proud of my country, when I see the exemplary human beings that not only fight for us, and suffer from permanent physical loss, and sometimes death. I just couldn’t be more proud of these men and women. Their bravery, courage, grace, fortitude, and beauty is something all of us should aspire to.

These are our true role models. Not the athletes, but the true warriors.

capejasmine on May 23, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Can the few people like Sargent Brooks save us from the millions who want to be like Obama?

Squiggy on May 23, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Good fortune to this couple. I hope that they have seen the worst they will experience and nothing but good in the future.

Vince on May 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

OOORAH Sgt. Brooks!!!!

Roy Rogers on May 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM

I hope she hangs in there with him for the long haul,he will definitely need her support.

ohiobabe on May 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Can the few people like Sargent Brooks save us from the millions who want to be like Obama?

Squiggy on May 23, 2011 at 10:32 AM

If we support them, I think they can.
When I was in the Louisville KY airport last summer picking someone up, there was a man in an Army uniform. He couldn’t hardly get through the airport bcs everyone that passed him had to shake his hand & thank him for his service.
It was tear jerking to watch.

Badger40 on May 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This man represents all that is good about our country. He gives me hope.

Laura in Maryland on May 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM
/////
Isn’t this one of the guys that one of the dems,can’t remember who,said only people who were too dumb to do anything else went into the military? I’d take him over any of those limp-wristed libs.

ohiobabe on May 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

If you ever have doubts about our youth and the future of this country, attend a Marine Corps graduation. My son graduated two years ago and experiencing those fine young men and women in that environment was inspiring and unforgettable.

sleepy-beans on May 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Ed thank you so much for the post and the video. Being a “Proud Army Mom” of 2 soldiers, I found myself tearful and thankful.

Sgt Thomas Brooks, what a brave,wonderful young man you are. We grow them good here don’t we.

tencole on May 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Semper Fi!

Carry on, Marine, you and your future bride. Toughest job in the military is the military spouse.

Freelancer on May 23, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Words can’t really express my awe of our military men and women. In comparison I’m not even worthy of tying their shoes.

wtng2fish on May 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Ed,a huge “thank you” for featuring this young man and woman.

Sometimes I think the term heroes is overused, but if a man is continuously willing to lay down his own safety for others, and voluntarily puts himself in harm’s way to do it, he’s a hero. His sacrifice only amplifies the fact.

I remember my job once requiring me to visit a retail store inside Eisenhower Medical Center during business hours. Every wounded warrior I met in the hallways, elevators and waiting areas treated me with respect and real courtesy simply because I was working on a time schedule. I on the other hand felt like I was on hallowed ground, a place where time is unimportant, a place where every person you meet–whether picking up a prescription or going to therapy for the 1000th time–is at the very least worthy of holding the elevator for, or patiently walking slowly beside while conversing.

I left the place with tears in my eyes, and hated going back to my unimportant rat-race job….

Thank you, Sgt Brooks. And thank you, Keri, for loving a warrior.

rwenger43 on May 23, 2011 at 1:28 PM

What is so funny about scout snipers is that they are generally very soft spoken and low key.
This young Marine epitomizes this.

esnap on May 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Can’t type…keys are too blurry….

lovingmyUSA on May 23, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I hope she hangs in there with him for the long haul,he will definitely need her support.

ohiobabe on May 23, 2011 at 11:14 AM

One thing he forgot to include in his plans for the future–marrying that lovely young lady, his fiancee of four years. Dude. Get. it. done. She certainly deserves being made “an honest woman” as they used to say. It is important for a young man of honor, as he clearly is, who has given honor to his family and his country, to give his lady the proper honor that she deserves. And now that he’s stateside, I’m sure he will.

smellthecoffee on May 23, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Sgt. Brooks is with my husband’s unit!

Cassy Fiano on May 23, 2011 at 8:38 PM

I don’t know what company he’s with, so they may not know each other, but they deployed together to Afghanistan (while I was pregnant, ha!), which is an automatic bond. I’m so proud to see this video and of all our 1/8 Marines!

Cassy Fiano on May 23, 2011 at 8:42 PM