Former Special Forces Soldier Puts His Military Skills to Use in a Civilian Trade

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Armed robbery. Gabriel Brown faces the possibility of decades in federal prison for a series of robberies in which he used military flash grenades. Brown won a Bronze Star for “exceptionally meritorious service” as a weapons sergeant in Afghanistan; that is, for helping to invade and occupy a country when he had no business doing so. Brown saw civilians, including children, maimed and killed, and still has nightmares about what happened. Yet, when he left the military, he went to work for the contractor Blackwater, guarding CIA personnel in Afghanistan. He became, he says, an adrenaline junkie, and repeatedly cheated on his then-wife and began to gamble more than he could afford to lose.

Why do I keep reporting on the failings of veterans? Because Americans keep making a god out of those who “served,” no matter where they went, why they went, or what they did when they were there.

Thanks to T.M., a veteran who now sees the light.

3:07 pm on January 22, 2014