Courage and commitment. These were the values instilled in Colonel Tom Brewer by his father, Ross Brewer, a wounded combat veteran of the Korean War.
These values would later guide Tom Brewer from the family farm in Gordon to the battlefield in the Middle East, and back home as a candidate for the Nebraska Legislature.
After graduating from Gordon High School, Tom enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard in 1977. He would go on to pursue an accomplished military education as a graduate of the Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and from the Army Airborne and Ranger Schools. In 1986, he graduated from the Helicopter flight school as a Cobra attack helicopter pilot.
Tom would later graduate from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, while earning his commission as an Infantry Officer. He moved back to Gordon with wife Kelli and worked at the local CO-OP and as a Reserve Police Officer.
In 1990, Tom was mobilized for Operation Desert Storm, the first of many tours in his career as an accomplished battlefield leader. In 2003, he was shot six times in an ambush near Kabul, Afghanistan, and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for courageous service in a combat zone. Tom volunteered to stay in Afghanistan with the Joint Special Forces Task Force.
Tom’s military service and leadership would soon extend beyond the battlefield. In August 2005, he was selected to Command the first Task Force responding to Hurricane Katrina, his unit rescuing more than 600 people during that operation. In 2007, Tom was selected to Command the CENTCOM Counter-Narcotics Task Force to fight drug trafficking through Central Asia.
In December 2011 during his sixth tour in Afghanistan, Tom was severely wounded when a rocket propelled grenade struck his vehicle. His wounds forced him into military retirement after 36 years of decorated service.
Tom’s family has followed his example. His wife Kelli retired with 26 years of service. His son Travis is a math teacher in Davenport, Iowa and serves in the Army National Guard. His daughter Kalee is a Chadron State graduate, a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, and is currently attending the Army helicopter flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama where she will fly the UH-60 M Blackhawk.
With deep Nebraska roots and a strong record of service to our state and nation, Colonel Tom Brewer is prepared to lead in the Nebraska Legislature.
The Bone Yard
By James F. Christ
On October 12, 2003, five US National Guardsmen working with the Afghan National Army are ambushed at a remote, former Soviet tank park called “The Bone Yard”. Outnumbered over 10 to 1, they must hold on until help arrives…but when it does, only six soldiers appear. With their commander shot six times but still fighting, the eleven man force must hold out for over an hour, almost out of ammunition, before a Quick Relief Force arrives to assist them.