*Specialist Christian Farnham
Spc. Christian Farnham began his military career in 1992
when he decided to follow the family tradition of
enlisting in the Marines. His father and brother both
served in the Marine Corps. Farnham said it was very
important to him that he follow in their footsteps and
serve his country.
As a resident of Methuen, Farnham went to the United
States Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Lawrence,
signed up for the Marines, and was immediately shipped
off to Parris Island, South Carolina for basic
training. He was 20 years old at the time.
Following the completion of Marine recruit training,
Farnham was given orders to report to Camp Edwards on
Cape Cod. He was stationed there from 1992-1994 and
eventually received an honorable discharge in 1994.
However, he didnt feel that he had completed his
work with the military or his service to the United
So, in 2001, while living in Allenstown, New Hampshire,
Farnham enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard.
He became part of the 744th Transportation Company out of
Hillsboro, N.H., which also contained units from
Claremont and Somersworth. The three units had between 90
and 120 Guard troops.
The 744th was activated in December of 2003 and Farnham
was deployed to Iraq to assist our nations mission
of fighting terrorists in the Middle East, and to prevent
them from taking over a free, democratic Iraq.
Stationed at Camp Anaconda, about 35 miles north of
Baghdad, Farnhams mission was to operate a gun
-truck vehicle for fire support through convoy escorts.
Farnhams convoy route went from Kuwait to Camp
Anaconda. His unit also provided security details
guarding Iraqi workers.
Farnham says that life was very difficult in the Middle
East, and that they were being mortared all the time.
They were also hit with RPGs (rocket propelled
grenades) and small arms fire on a regular basis.
His first week in Iraq, Farnham says, the 744th lost one
of their men when a convoy was hit by an IED (improvised
explosive devise) and a truck flipped over.
Farnham says his most memorable mo-ment was when he was
in the lead truck in a convoy of fire support vehicles.
When the convoy reached Baghdad, he looked back and
realized that the rest of his convoy had taken a wrong
turn and was no longer be-hind him, leaving him alone and
vulnerable to attack.
When he finally found the convoy heading down a different
road, Farnham says he was able to backtrack and meet up
with them once again. I was very nervous, he
Farnham served in Iraq until May of 2004 when he
sustained severe hip injuries and was medivaced to Walter
Reed Hospital. He underwent two hip operations that left
him unable to continue his duties on the battlefield.
Farnham received an honorable discharge in March of 2006.
Farnham now lives in North Andover with his wife and two
small children. He says that the Iraqis seemed to
appreciate the work of the U.S. solders and he was proud
to serve his country.
Captain Daniel Leary is a lifelong North Andover resident
who was deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi
Leary began his military career when he joined the ROTC
program while he was a student at Cornell University. He
was commissioned in 1999 at the age of 22 and had been on
active duty until February of 2006.
Learys first assignment was in South Korea. He was
stationed in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), where he was
the Platoon leader of the 2nd Infantry Division of the
Medical Service Corp.
He was stationed there from December of 1999 through May
Leary was then transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center
in Washington, D.C., where he received training in Health
Facility planning. He was there from May of 2001 to
October of 2002.
Leary subsequently became the Company Commander of the
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious
Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Md.
He was in charge of all troops and the administrative
command. The job came with a great deal of
responsibility, preparing troops for deployment to Iraq.
Leary was Commander of the Institute until February of
2002, when he was deployed to Kuwait for Operation Iraqi
He was stationed there until December of 2005, and
eventually left active duty in February 2006.
While in Kuwait, Leary was responsible for building
medical clinics to support the coalition forces.
He designed and provided construction management for the
clinics and managed contracts with foreign nationals who
performed the actual construction. While there, Leary
oversaw the building of 6-8 clinics.
Leary now lives with his wife in North
Spc. Philip Brooks also served in Iraq. Brooks enlisted
in the U.S. Army National Guard in Danvers in 2005. His
unit was deployed to Iraq in August of 2005, where he
served until December of that year. Brooks served in the
1/102nd Field Artillery just south of Baghdad. This was a
150 member unit.
He was assigned to a security force at a prisoner
detainment facility. Brooks could not say where the
detainment facility was located. He also said he did not
see much combat on his assignment, but knew that at any
time he could be thrust into battle and had to be ready
at a moments notice.
During training for the assignment, Brooks injured his
right hand but refused to quit and went on to Iraq to
serve his country despite the injury. He has since had
surgery to repair his hand.
Brooks says that hes glad he went to Iraq and
that the Iraqi people, despite American media reports to
the contrary, were grateful for the U.S. military
presence and protection. Brooks said he supports the
mission to secure Iraq from terrorists and so-called
insurgents, adding that he saw many acts of kindness by
American troops. He cited one example of U.S. military
troops giving toys to the Iraqi children. They were
so happy. The expressions on their faces really said it
all, Brooks related.
Brooks is 26 years old and now lives in North Andover
with his fiancée.
The Valley Patriot is proud to honor these Heroes In Our
Midst for their service to our country and their
dedication to combating terrorism in Iraq.
Captain Leary, Spc. Brooks and Spc. Farnham have shown by
example the critical work that is needed to keep the
United States safe by fighting the war on terrorism
Thank you, Captain Leary, Spc. Brooks and Spc. Farnham
for putting your lives on the line to protect the
American people. Americans appreciate the sacrifices you
*Send your questions comments to ValleyPatriot@aol.com
The June, 2006 Edition
of the Valley Patriot
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