The dictionary defines a “legend” an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.
I’ve never met anyone who better deserves this title than LtCol Robert “Muck” Brown – A-10 Attack Pilot, Husband, Father, Brother, Coach, Teacher, Mentor, Savior, Leader, and Friend.
No one can forget the first time they had the honor and privilege of meeting Muck. For me, it was walking down the hallway at the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV where he greeted me (a lowly F-16 student) with a kind smile and a look that said: “all will be ok young Jedi… just keep your head up and keep going”.
We talk a lot about Muck.
We talk about how unassuming he was. How people often mistook him at first glance. How he quietly approached the most complex situations and always quickly brought clarity and wisdom to some incredibly complex issues – in life, warfighting, and combat.
We talk about how his perfect way of communicating with people and how he could bring disparate opinions together against a common set of goals and objectives – perfectly.
We talk about him as a young A-10 pilot forging forward to improve combat capability throughout the entire joint community, and his lifelong commitment to protecting the guys on the ground.
We talk about how after the attacks on 9/11 he left a high paying airline job to come back in the military and take a non-flying staff job so that someone else could stay in the cockpit and take the fight to the enemy.
We talk about his time in Iraq in 2002 and 2003 when he was the link between the pilots in the air and the special forces warriors on the ground – and how both parties were so blessed to have him there.
We talk about how he was as a Husband and Father – showing those in his life what true love meant through some really tough times.
We talk about how he loved teaching: kids and warfighters, and his amazing way of adapting a lesson perfectly every time to the listener.
We talk about how he saved the A-10, working to inform policymakers and along the way saved countless American and coalition lives because of his work – all while fighting cancer.
We talk about his love for aviation art, and his incredible gifts with a #2 pencil, and how you can look back at his notes today and find pictures of P-40 Flying Tiger Warhawks in the margins.
We talk about what it was like to be in the room when Muck sat down behind a drum set… Perfect, complete, magic.
And… we talk about how absolutely wonderful it was to be a Brother and friend of Mucks.
Muck passed away on this day a few years ago after bravely fighting cancer. We all miss you like crazy Muck – but the truth is that you are still here with us through the many gifts you gave us all and the incredible life you lived. Tonight we will raise a glass, smile a bit, laugh, and most importantly remember you and the legend you are.