It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine Adam Brown, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, serving as part of Combined Force Sangin, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 1 August 2010.
Marine Brown was conducting a reassurance patrol as part of 3 Troop, Alpha Company, to provide security for the locals in the area.
At approximately 1750hrs on Sunday 1 August, there was an explosion in the vicinity of his patrol base and Marine Brown was killed instantly in the blast.
Marine Adam Brown
Marine Adam Brown joined the Royal Marines in October 2004 and passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando in September 2005. He was born in Frimley, Surrey, and was 25 years old. He lived in Burtle, near Glastonbury, with his wife Amy, whom he married in December 2009.
On completion of Commando Training he was drafted to Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, and immediately deployed to Iraq for three months. He subsequently deployed on numerous exercises, including jungle warfare training in Sierra Leone, before he specialised as a signaller in 2007.
Rejoining Alpha Company as a newly-qualified signaller, he deployed to Afghanistan in October 2007 on Operation HERRICK 7 where he served in Kajaki.
During 2009 he took part in a large-scale amphibious exercise, operating in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Malay Peninsula and Brunei. In September 2009 he began Mission Specific Training for his second tour of Afghanistan.
He once more deployed to Helmand in April 2010 as a signaller with 3 Troop, Alpha Company, where he operated from Patrol Base Almas. Alpha Company has been conducting daily reassurance and security patrols with Afghan National Security Forces to protect local Afghans in the Sangin district.
The Marines have improved the lives of hundreds of ordinary Afghans by providing a security bubble which has increased their freedom of movement, led to wider governance in the area, and has encouraged economic development.
Marine Brown’s family have paid the following tributes:
By Amy, Marine Brown’s wife:
My wonderful husband, my childhood sweetheart and best friend. Always a hero in my eyes and I am so proud of you. I will treasure the perfect memories I have of our life together, always.
You are a true inspiration to all who knew you and you made me the proudest woman in the world when I became your wife. I love you now, always and forever.
By Jenny and Robert, Marine Brown’s parents:
Adam, an irreplaceable son, but so much more; our best friend. Adam, you loved life as much as we loved you. We will think of you and love you always.
You will be sorely missed by both your immediate and wider family. Your death has broken all our hearts.
By Stephen, Marine Brown’s younger brother:
Adam was filled with courage, pride and dignity, which made him an inspiration to all around him.
He will be deeply missed by family and friends, but will live forever in our hearts as the outgoing, fun and spontaneous character he has always been. Rest in peace my brother, my love forever.
By James, Marine Brown’s younger brother:
Adam was a loving brother, son, husband, grandson and godfather. He always brought a smile to everyone and was never afraid to try new things.
He will be deeply missed by friends and family and life will not be the same without him. He was a credit to the Forces and loved by everyone that knew him. He was my best friend as well as my brother. Lots of love.
By Laura, Marine Brown’s younger sister:
Brown bear, my biggest brother, my idol, my best friend, you always kept me believing. I will always keep you so close and all my memories so real. I love you Adam, forever and always.
By Sue and John, Marine Brown’s mother-in-law and father-in-law:
Son-in-law, you were the son we never had, our mighty Royal Marine Commando. We are so very proud of you for just being you and for loving our daughter, your beautiful wife, so very much.
“You taught us how to grasp the tree of life and shake it for all its worth.”
By Luisa, Marine Brown’s sister-in-law:
You were the best brother-in-law and husband to my sister, loved by everyone, forever and always. A man bigger than life.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said:
Marine Adam Brown was a superb Marine - courageous, supremely fit, hugely professional and utterly selfless; he was a model Commando and true Alpha Company Saint.
He had spent his whole career in 40 Commando and had volunteered to come back a second time to Afghanistan. He was a bright and diligent man who used his experience wisely; he reassured and inspired others, he was the Marine that everyone wanted to work with.
A robust and resolute man, he took pride in all that he did and he thrived in the austerity and privations of life in a patrol base. His generous and determined nature endeared him to all; he was a friend to everyone, a consummate professional to his Marines, and a loving husband to his wife Amy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her, his family and his friends at this truly difficult time. He was a magnificent man and a great Marine who will be sorely missed by all in 40 Commando. Marine Adam Brown was, and always will be, a Royal Marines Commando.
Major Richard Muncer, Officer Commanding Command Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Brown was one of the strongest Marines that I have had the privilege to work with and command. A consummate professional, he always strived for excellence in everything he did and inspired those around him to achieve the same.
Within Signals Troop he was one of the shining lights of his generation and it was for this reason that he was employed with Alpha Company in southern Sangin. The most challenging of environments and circumstances require the very best that the Royal Marines have to offer and Marine Brown was just this.
As one of the senior Marines in the patrol base that he was operating from, the younger and more inexperienced Marines that he worked alongside always looked to him for advice and counsel. He provided this readily, whether through a quiet word of encouragement or the outstanding example he set.
His ability to raise the spirits of those around him with his quick, dry wit and wry smile will be sorely missed within Command Company and especially Signals Troop; he will leave a gap in the lives of every man in the company that will be exceptionally hard to fill.
He was the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando, selfless and courageous to a fault. All our thoughts are with his family at this incredibly difficult time.
Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Adam Brown, known as ‘Ads’ to everyone in Alpha Company, was an outstanding Royal Marines Commando. He was one of the more senior Marines in Alpha Company having joined us part way through the training for our tour in Afghanistan.
The experience he brought as a signaller and a commander was invaluable as he had previously worked with Charlie Company as an Acting Corporal running their Signals Detachment.
Moreover, it was evident from the moment that I met him that he had a glittering career ahead of him; he was a true leader who possessed that vital ability to be able to remain calm whatever challenge he was presented with. It was this aura that he projected which gave strength to those around him, his courage allowed others to find theirs.
He was the consummate professional; focused, fit and intelligent, he was the epitome of a Royal Marines Commando and, in the dangerous conditions in Sangin, he was the man to which you would turn. His ability to remain positive and his unselfish nature meant that he was loved and respected by all of us in Alpha Company.
The job we do is hard and at times unforgiving; however the struggles are made worth it by having had the privilege to serve alongside Adam and it is clear that we are better men for having done so.
Our thoughts must now turn to the future but Adam will always be remembered, we will do our best to follow his example and, as the Alpha Company motto goes, ‘Once a Saint always a Saint’. At this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends now and forever.
Captain Sam Fearn, Second-in-Command Charlie Company Group, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Adam ‘Ads’ Brown was exceptional; we’ve lost a friend, an outstanding Royal Marine, and a true brother-in-arms. Ads was a man with a personality that made him instantly likeable by all who met him. Outgoing, intelligent and approachable, he was everything you looked for in a friend and a colleague. As a close-knit Corps this loss has devastated us all.
Ads served with distinction in Kajaki on Operation HERRICK 7 as a signaller in Charlie Company. Despite his relative inexperience at the time, he was courageous, motivated and highly professional. Following Operation HERRICK 7 he remained in Charlie Company as a signaller, during a period that saw the regeneration of the company after the tour and an amphibious deployment from the UK to the Far East.
Owing to his considerable potential he was quickly promoted to Acting Corporal, skipping the rank of Lance Corporal altogether, a true testament to his ability. As a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer he excelled, impressed and inspired all around him as a leader. He never considered making those in his charge do that which he was not willing to do himself.
He led from the front, inspiring a team of young Marines in environments ranging from the deserts of Saudi Arabia, through the swamps of Bangladesh, and in the jungles of Borneo. He was destined to return to Afghanistan and, during the preparation for Operation HERRICK 12, Ads moved to Alpha Company.
“Though reverting to the rank of Marine, he was selected as a section second-in-command due to his confidence, experience and ability which he had in abundance. He spent the tour working in a remote and demanding part of Sangin. As ever was his style, he led his team of Marines from the front. He fearlessly encouraged young Marines to keep going in the most testing of operational environments.
“Despite him being a shining star in the Royal Marines, and having a passion for what he did, without question his one true love was his wife Amy. He always spoke about her irrespective of the unpleasantness of the situation he was in; he beamed as he spoke about their life together. Whilst we grieve the loss of a friend, it doesn’t come close to what Amy must be feeling right now.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with his mother and father, Robert and Jenny. We hope as time passes that the light that Ads brought to our lives starts to return to theirs. Rest in Peace Ads, we’ll miss you.
Captain Nick Griffiths, Second-in-Command, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Adam Brown, known as ‘Ads’ to everyone who knew him, had served with Charlie Company as a Signals Detachment Commander before joining Alpha Company during pre-deployment training. He was well known in 40 Commando as he had served on Operation HERRICK 7 with the unit in 2007.
His reputation preceded him; he was regarded as strong, both physically and mentally, and had a mass of experience as a soldier on the ground in Afghanistan. Marine Brown will be remembered by his wife Amy and his family but also by his family in Alpha Company.
If I use the Commando prayer as a measure of a Royal Marine, Marine Brown epitomised what is written. The Marines of 3 Troop, Alpha Company, put their trust in him and he did not fail; he was fearless in facing the dangers that he came across on a daily basis.
He embraced the responsibilities put upon him with a strong heart and a cheerful mind; he was considerate of the needs of others and did not seek his own ends - he delivered time and time again. Marine Brown lived by the high traditions of Commando service. Once a Saint always a Saint.
Captain Daniel Sawyers, Officer Commanding 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine ‘Ads’ Brown was an outstanding Royal Marine and it has been a privilege to have worked with him. I couldn’t ask for more in a Marine, he truly was one of the best the Corps had to offer, but Ads did have more to offer, and he could have easily been one of my Corporals.
His previous experience was invaluable, and he matched this with an effective intelligence and maturity that stood out from his peers. A consummate professional, he was utterly dependable, and inspired confidence in all those around him.
Yet it was his selfless nature that we all admired and respected most; he will forever be remembered for his warm smile and great sense of humility. He was never too busy to help out with a job that needed doing, and he always put his all into doing it. Articulate, intelligent and funny, he was a friend to everyone and a pleasure to be around.
He was always keen to learn and to know what was going on, such was his passion for his profession. He was someone I could always call upon to help with a problem, and someone who always had time for a ‘wet’ and a chat.
He was a loyal, dedicated and courageous Royal Marine whose loss humbles us all here at Patrol Base Almas, and all those that knew him. His loss within 3 Troop is deeply felt and has hit at the heart of our unique bond, which Marine Brown embodied.
He was an exceptional person and we will grieve his loss. I am truly saddened that we have lost such an exceptional and talented Marine that had so much ahead of him in life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Amy, and his family. We will never forget Marine Brown, a husband, a son, a friend, a Royal Marines Commando, and we will forever keep his memory alive.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Karl ‘Tank’ Sheerman, Signals Troop Sergeant Major, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Marine Adam Brown, or ‘Ads’ as everyone called him, was simply the ultimate professional at everything he did. You seldom meet a person who contains so many of the qualities required to be a leader of men - he had these in abundance and was aiming for the very top.
I first met Ads on exercise last year during Exercise TAURUS 09 when he stood in as a Signals Detachment Commander for one of the fighting companies in 40 Commando Royal Marines. I only found out later that he was an Acting Corporal but I could have sworn he was a fully qualified Junior Non-Commissioned Officer as the leadership qualities in him were plentiful and these included the rare distinguishing characteristic of calmness when under pressure - rare qualities indeed to be found in a young man of 25.
He was destined for a great future in the Royal Marines which has been cut cruelly short by this tragic event. He was one of my very best who was utterly reliable and was a friend to all within the troop. This is a terrible loss not only for Signals Troop but for the Corps and all who knew him within 40 Commando.
My heart goes out to his parents Jenny and Robert and his wife Amy. The void created by his untimely death can never be filled, but the memory of him will endure. Rest in Peace Sigs.
Sergeant Baz Campbell, Troop Sergeant, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
In the short time I knew Ads he struck me as a very dependable Marine who could punch well above his weight.
On patrol he was extremely diligent and would constantly update the patrol on anything untoward. Within the patrol base he was always busy helping out, whether it was cooking scran or helping with mustering signals equipment.
He was a hardworking, conscientious lad who will be deeply missed by all his colleagues in 3 Troop. Our thoughts are with his wife Amy, his family and all who knew him.
Corporal Andrew Lock, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads was my Section Second-in-Command and it was a privilege and an honour to have someone as experienced and kind-hearted to work alongside. Although his primary role was to maintain the troop’s signals equipment, he made it known right from the start that his primary role was a Marine, and a very professional one at that.
He was very calm and someone I could rely on in a sticky situation. You could see from Ads’ personality that he was a content man and very much at peace with his life. He was without a shadow of a doubt the best Marine we have had at Patrol Base Almas.
He was very selfless, and if it wasn’t for him being so caring of the lads, and checking the lads’ spacing on patrol, then we would undoubtedly have taken more casualties. That is a prime example of the professional and caring manner in which he carried himself.
Ads always found it amusing that I was a size 7 boot, and he was a size 12; his boots can never be filled. My heart goes out to his wife Amy, who was always a topic of conversation, and to all his family.
Ads you will always be our ‘Brown Bear’ and you will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Goodbye brother and Rest in Peace.
Corporal Daz Davis, Section Commander, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads Brown was the nicest bloke I have ever had the pleasure of both meeting and working with. I first met him three years ago before we deployed on Operation HERRICK 7. Ads was an Acting Corporal in Charlie Company’s Signals Detachment at the time; needless to say comms never went down.
He was an outstanding soldier who oozed all of the Bootneck qualities, and all the younger Marines looked up to him. Ads was never afraid of doing extra sangar duties or getting his hands dirty; he was a great mentor to the younger lads in the troop.
As a Section Second-in-Command on patrol he was always nagging the lads about their spacings, and it was due to him that on the day he died he prevented more casualties from being inflicted.
It was an honour to serve with you and an even bigger honour to have you as my friend. You are going to be sorely missed mate, but you will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Amy and his family and friends.
Corporal David Moss, Headquarters Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I first met Ads when he was Charlie Company Signals Detachment Commander at the start of pre-deployment training for Operation HERRICK 12. He made the job look easy and I looked up to his professionalism, and with his friendly and easy-going nature he would always be the person that I would go to when I needed advice.
I could not have been happier when he told me that he was joining Alpha Company as a Troop Radio Operator, knowing that I would have him to turn to whenever I struggled, knowing that his cheerful banter would always keep me smiling whenever I was around him.
He was an awesome Bootneck and signaller, always digging out and thinking of others. He was one of the lads. Ads was a natural leader and if he wished to stay within the branch he would have easily made promotion; I will always look up to his qualities.
He has touched so many lives and I can’t describe how much he will be missed by all that knew him in the company, Signals Troop and Corps. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, you will never be forgotten, Rest in Peace Royal, we will miss you.
Corporal Emile Ghessen, Fire Support Group, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads was a Bootneck through and through. A man who strived to be the best at everything he did. Ads was liked by all that knew him, it’s easy to say this but it is true. When talking about Ads you will not find a man who could say anything bad about him.
It’s hard in life to find people who genuinely display the qualities which he had. A loyal and courageous man who was one of the team, ready to lead and pass on his experiences to all; he loved the men he worked with and we loved working with him.
Ads, we will all miss you, but you will never be forgotten. If we could all be like Ads, we would be all the better for it. When we all go home people will call us heroes, but the real heroes are men like Ads because he has paid the ultimate price. He was a true hero that will never be forgotten by all who knew him.
Corporal Ash Morris, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads was a man liked by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. Ads had an infectious smile and a friendly personality that made you instantly get along with him. I had the privilege of working with Ads for 11 weeks, I wish it had been longer. Every day was a pleasure.
Ads was never shy of cracking a funny or spinning a dit about his Rest & Recuperation or how he was going to spend his weekends surfing around the UK, always speaking with a genuine smile.
Ads was always the first to help anyone who needed it, whether it be a working detail or simply someone to confide in. I’m going to miss you so much; a true friend and a brother-in-arms. Our thoughts now go out to your wife Amy, and your family. Goodbye friend.
Corporal Carl Saunders, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Like everyone in Alpha Company and 40 Commando, the loss of Ads has hit us hard. Testament to what a legend he was. Always morale to talk to, we always laughed about how awesome the Signals world was!
We spent five days before our Rest & Recuperation putting the world to rights and deciding how we were going to live the dream on leave.
He always looked out for his mates and if it wasn’t for him, and his spare sleeping bag, I would have frozen in Patrol Base Almas! Ads Brown, a true Bootneck and a true friend. You will be missed mate, sleep well.
Corporal Dexroy Edwards, Commando Headquarters Registry, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I first met Ads when I joined Command Company on completion of Operation HERRICK 7. We shared the same flat at Norton Manor Camp and our cabins were adjacent to each other. Ads had an immediate effect on me, especially his infectious nature and witty sense of humour that I have had to suffer on a daily basis.
Never one to back down from a good bit of banter; everything from my choice of music, jewellery, food and fashion sense all received a thrashing from Ads’ sharp wit.
Ads, it was a pleasure to have known and served alongside you Royal. You will forever remain in my thoughts and your sacrifice will not be forgotten.
My prayers and condolences go out to his wife Amy and his parents Jenny and Robert, and also to his family and friends at this very difficult time. See you at the re-org Royal!
Corporal Ryan Turner, 3 Section Mortar Troop, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I have known Ads since 2007 when we were both in Charlie Company for Operation Herrick 7. Ads was a great bloke and an all round hoofing Marine. He was always ready to help out no matter what the job, and was always there to help bring on the younger Marines.
Wherever Ads went he always became an integral part of that troop or section, mainly down to his great personality. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace mate.
Lance Corporal Hugo Wilton, Fire Support Group, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I only had the privilege of knowing Ads since he joined Alpha Company. He was one of the friendliest and most genuine blokes you could hope to meet. Everyone in the troop got on well with him, that’s the sort of man he was. I don’t know anyone who so well personified the phrase ‘instantly likeable’.
He was an extremely hard worker and the type of bloke who would see you doing a working party and be the first to come over and offer a hand. He would wear a smile whilst doing it too, now matter how arduous the task was.
“Ads was awesome at his job, and I know I speak for everyone when I say we were gutted he went to 3 Troop instead of staying with the Fire Support Group, although it probably says a lot about his skills as a signaller.
I’m going to miss him, the lads are going to miss him, and all our thoughts and prayers go to his loved ones. Rest in Peace Royal and goodbye my friend.
Lance Corporal Jonathan Ratcliffe, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I first met ‘Ads’ when I was attached to 3 Troop back in April; he was the first person to welcome me to the troop. My first and everlasting impression of ‘Ads’ will be what a hoofing all round bloke he was.
Whenever he went through villages on patrol around Patrol Base Almas, the kids used to love him and always be around him, and he was always happy to chat and have a laugh with them. He always had a smile on his face.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Amy and his family. ‘Ads’, it was a pleasure, you will always be in our hearts. I and 3 Troop will miss you. Goodbye mate.
Lance Corporal Gary Sinar, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Having Ads in the troop brought knowledge, experience, and an absolutely quality bloke to our time here at Patrol Base Almas. I could talk to him about anything and take in his wealth of knowledge, not only about being a ‘Bootneck’, but life in general.
He was so calm when he needed to be, and he always stayed switched on for the sake of others around him because he loved being a Royal Marine.
He would always talk about his wife, Amy, who I know he loved very much, and planned on living a long and happy life with her. My heart goes out to Amy and his family and friends.
Marine Perry Hooper, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads, or as he was more commonly known to 3 Troop, ‘Brown Bear’, was a perfect Marine, even though he would hate to admit it.
Ads wore his heart on his sleeve and you always knew where you stood with him. Whenever you felt down you could always count on him to put a smile on your face, with his good sense of humour and his non-emotional comments that came with a maturity of age. He always looked out for the lads and had his own opinions on how to run the Corps.
Ads, you were the finest master chef with a ten-man ration pack that I have ever met. I only wish we had that meal you planned to cook back at home.
“My heart goes out to his family and his wife at this sad time. He will be sorely missed, you will never be forgotten Royal, we will make sure of that.”
Marine Daniel Rowles, 3 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I hadn’t known Ads for as long as I would have liked to, but, during the time I did get to know him, I developed the utmost respect for him. I clicked with Ads from when I first met him, and that was down to his charismatic personality and a sense of humour that could raise morale on any occasion.
Ads was an ideal Bootneck, and loved soldiering. This love for soldiering was obvious from his constant professional attitude and outlook in whatever the circumstances. Ads was a very experienced Marine, having previous operational experience in Afghanistan.
He was also extremely intelligent and someone we all looked up to. My thoughts go out to his family and friends, especially his wife, Amy, whom he spoke of all the time. Thanks for being a good friend Ads, you will be sorely missed.
Marine Andy Hall, Fire Support Group, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
Ads, although I only met you a short time ago on the company Mission Rehearsal Exercise, straight away I knew you were a larger than life character. You had time for anyone and brought morale to everyone you met; be it through dripping or jokes, you always brought a smile to me and all who had the honour of meeting you.
I will miss not having anyone to talk motorbikes and Alan Partridge with! I always saw you as a credit to the Corps, an inspiration to me and all who met you. I always looked up to you and to call you a friend was an absolute privilege.
You were a true Bootneck and I know I speak for everyone when I say you will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with your family, whom you spoke so highly of, and loved so dearly. Rest in Peace Royal.
Marine Neil Adams, Fire Support Group, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I had the pleasure of being introduced to Ads on Operation HERRICK 7. He was always smiling and it made others around him smile as well. It was a huge ‘prof’ to finally work alongside him in Alpha Company. He was such a huge influence on the younger lads.
No matter what the task, he would carry it out with stacks of morale and professionalism. I was thredders to see him leave the Fire Support Group and even more thredders that I’ll never get to see him again.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. He’ll never be forgotten, Once a Saint, always a Saint. Rest in peace Royal.
Marine John Catlow, Fire Support Group, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:
I met Ads on a driving course in the summer of 2008 and had instant admiration for him as a man with excellent values who was also an all round, genuine, nice bloke. I stayed good friends with Ads and around Norton Manor Camp he would always make time to stop and talk to me, and make the effort to ask how I was doing.
He joined Alpha Company as our Troop Signaller and true to Ads’ nature he was an instant hit with the lads. He gained everyone’s respect because he was so awesome at his job; coupled with the fact that he was such a nice guy, he soon became a very influential member of the troop.
It was because of these values that he was transferred to another troop where his leadership skills were needed, to the detriment of our troop. Ads was a brother-in-arms and will be truly missed. Rest in Peace mate.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
It is clear from the tributes paid to Marine Adam Brown that he was a Royal Marine Commando highly respected by his colleagues and commanders alike, both for his professionalism and his ability to inspire.
He died for his country, playing his part in a mission crucial to the United Kingdom’s national security - but this will not lessen the pain felt by his family and friends during this most difficult of times, and my heartfelt sympathies lie with them at this time.