The 20-year-old Roscoe native died on March 31 fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rowe was struck by enemy fire under his arm where he wasn't protected by armor. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division based out of Fort Campbell Kentucky.
Brandon Rowe's life touched hearts and minds of Stateliners that never even knew him. It was that drive that prompted many to come out and show support for his family as well as their appreciation for his sacrifice. The day started with a six hour long visitation.
At Hononegah’s Performing Arts Center the isles were adorned with yellow ribbons and outside the school American flags at half-staff. Some that came to pay their respects never knew Brandon Rowe but say they admire and appreciate his courage. Among the mourners was a Vietnam veteran who knows first hand what the Rowe family is going through. Vince Medina lost his son in Desert Storm. Color guards stood on the stage watching over Brandon's casket as a slide show played in the background.
After the visitation family and friends gathered for a memorial service to honor Brandon. Aside from the many family members who spoke, Major General Robert Clark also had some remarks. Clark is the former commander of the 101st Airborne Division.
Brandon's family would have been celebrating his 21st birthday on April 14, instead they're morning his death. The urge to protect the country runs in the family as Brandon's 24-year-old brother Kevin is also in the military. After the memorial service Brandon’s two brothers along with his father Milton Rowe talked about Brandon's promise to our country, something they say he didn't take lightly.
Brandon's mother was presented with the Purple Heart, a military symbol given for offering his courage and his life. He will be laid to rest among family and friends at a later date.