Selfless service to humanity deserves recognition to encourage many others to give themselves to the service of others, Brigadier General Rudolf F. Kolaco Sr., (rtd) told a large gathering of Liberians at the gowning and certificating ceremony on Saturday of US retired Joseph Jackie Brown in Brewerville, near Monrovia.
BG Kolaco, director general of the National Bureau of Veterans Affairs, described Brown (rtd) as a veteran who distinguished himself with his unit with the United States forces in Iraq.
“To become a veteran,” Director Kolaco said, “you must be a soldier with five distinguished characteristics which include being a follower, being faithful, familiar, a fighter and being efficient.”
He reminded the audience, including a full house of the Governance Council of Liberia, family members and hundreds of residents of Brewerville, that Brown, while serving with his Unit in Iraq at a critical point came under attack, exposing his life and those of his American colleagues to danger.
“With zeal and tenacity,” he said Brown used his training and holding on to a 50 Caliber sub-machine gun, was able to overcome the enemy and saved the lives of his colleagues, including his commander.
He said a good soldier must be disciplined, and with brief reflection of himself during his service in the Armed Forces of Liberia, noted that a good soldier must grow with time.
When Brown retired, he chose to return to his country, Liberia to make his contribution to the cause of justice and fair-play, he told the gathering who cheered him.
“On behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and that of Defense Minister Brownie Samukai,” Director Kolaco told him, “we congratulate you and urge you to continue to do your best to help your people.”
Earlier, Mrs. Musu K. Thompson, president of the National Governors Council said her members were there in their numbers to demonstrate their appreciation to Brown for his services to humanity, and for not forgetting about the country of his birth.
“You can see that all the representatives of the 15 counties are here to honor you as our son,” she said. “For you to return to support your country means you love Liberia.”
She said the Council decided to gown him and award a certificate of appreciation because he did not forget his family and country. She reminded the gathering that their presence was simply to honor a dutiful son who had returned to help rebuild their broken country.
Responding, Brown in a solemn but confident voice narrated his eight years sojourn in the United States and his experiences in Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom launched by former US President George Bush against the regime of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Brown, 31, praised his parents for their support and called on Liberians to honor their parents, with particular emphasis on Liberian mothers. He spoke about the honor done him by President Bush, which resulted to the cancellation of Liberia’s US debts and the US sending American soldiers to Liberia to assist in the Ebola fight, as results of the sacrifices of Liberians who helped the United States in its role as global leader.
Brown was the first Cybercrime Director at the Ministry of National Security and had rejected salary for the last five years, he said. He has an associate degree in computer information systems; bachelors in political science and masters in public administration.