There is sad news involving a Missouri soldier this Memorial Day. The Pentagon reports Missouri Army National Guard Sergeant Paul Faris Brooks, a Joplin native based at Fort Leonard Wood, died in Iraq on May 21st of wounds sustained when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using improvised explosive devices. It happened near Baghdad.
Brooks, who was 34, was serving overseas with Headquarters Company, 1/252 Combined Arms Battalion of the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Two of Brooks’ colleagues were also killed in the attack.
Governor Jay Nixon has released a statement in which he says, "The prayers of the First Lady and I go out to Sergeant Brooks’ family and friends."
Brooks began his military service with the Arkansas National Guard in 1997. He later served in the Army Reserves and joined the Missouri National Guard in July 2004. While in the Missouri National Guard, he was a member of the 935th Aviation Support Battalion, in Springfield. Brooks previously mobilized to Iraq in September 2006 – November 2007, with the 20th Combat Aviation Brigade, Sedalia. He had volunteered for his second deployment through the National Guard Bureau.