Cpl. Nathan Drown of Pine River returned home from Kuwait just days before the war started to be with his family after his father, Pastor Dan Drown, 58, died March 7 as the result of a nine-month battle with cancer.
After the war began, Drown, 26, remained glued to the news coverage from Iraq. His mother, Sheri Drown, said it was difficult for her son to leave his responsibilities and crew members back in Kuwait, knowing that the country was on the brink of war. While it was wonderful to have her son home, Drown said she knew her son was focused and eager to return.
Cpl. Drown joined the Marine Corps in February 2001. He is with the 1st Division, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion now serving in Iraq. As a crew chief on an amphibious assault vehicle, Drown is responsible for his crew members and for the maintenance and function of his vehicle, according to his mother.
Cpl. Nathan Drown
Weaver serving in Iraq
Although Charles E. Weaver Jr. isn't technically from Minnesota, his father, Charles E. Weaver Sr. of Pine River said his son claims Pine River as his home and hopes to retire here in 5 years.
Charles E. Weaver Jr. is a staff sergeant with the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade in Iraq. He is a platoon sergeant of a mortar platoon, said his father. Weaver Jr. has been deployed from Fort Stewart, Ga., since November, leaving behind his wife, a 6-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old son. He's been in the military for 15 years and had an opportunity before the war started to come home as a result of a back injury he suffered while stationed in Korea, but he refused, saying it would be unfair to his platoon.
His father said Weaver Jr. hopes to retire to Pine River when his 20 years of service are up.
Staples teen serving in Kuwait
He's written about the herds of camels he's seen and the Kuwaiti toilets that aren't like those back home in Staples. And Derrick Knosalla, 19, Staples, received implicit orders from his mom -- stay in Kuwait and don't go into Iraq.
Knosalla, a 2001 Staples-Motley High School graduate, is in communications and based with the Army's 286th Signal Company stationed at a small military site in Kuwait, said his mother, Norma Elvine of Staples.
She said her son shipped out from Fort Bliss, Texas, just before Valentine's Day. She's not sure whether he got her Valentine's Day card or not. She said she last spoke to her son about 1-1/2 weeks ago and he was expected to stay in Kuwait for the time being.
"I try not to wish him home, because the ones coming home early are wounded or worse," said Elvine.
Elvine said her son joined the Army right after high school in order to help fund his education and get training.
"He was such a devil growing up, but now he's just precious," said Elvine. "He's just matured a lot and is just a wonderful kid."
If you'd like to share a hometown note related to the war in Iraq, contact Kathi Nagorski at The Brainerd Dispatch at (218) 855-5859, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.