I recieved tragic news today that my brother was killed in action in Afghanistan. He was a 24 year old Green Beretand father of two. We grew up in Greeneville, TN and shared a deep love of the Smokies. I took him on his first backpacking trip when I was seventeen and he was 14 in Cosby on the Madron Bald Loop. He leaves behind a wife and daughter, Taylor, who turned 3 on the 26th and a son Gavin who will be one on Feb. 26th. We were as tight as two brothers could be. He loved fly fishing, especially in the park. We shared many memories over the past ten years camping and fishing there. He has been living near Seattle for the past five for the most part. I posted about my trip out there to fish a couple of years ago. I flew out for winter steelhead. We had a blast. His first deployment was 15 months in Iraq and he returned in September of 2007 before being selected to special forces. When he returned from Iraq I bought him a TFO Project Healing Waters Rod. He cought many Salmon and Steelhead this past season on that rod. Daniel actually helped me special order the matching camo rod case for it, not sure if he remembers that. He left for this deployment on Dec. 28. He died one month to the day. I carry a very heavy heart today. I sent him an email Sunday telling him about a recent trip to Paint Creek I had. This was the water we grew up on in Greeneville learning to fly fish. I am sad to say he never recieved it. He was my best friend and will be dearly missed.
This picture was taken just a couple of weeks ago. He is in the middle in the back, sporting his favorite LRO brookie hat. He was wearing that hat when he was killed.