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Military Wife Learns of Tragedy through Facebook

Posted by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM
  • 30 Replies

Ariell Taylor-Brown, Military Wife, Learned Of Husband's Death Through Facebook (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 04/19/2012 8:02 pm Updated: 04/20/2012 12:06 pm

Ariell Taylorbrown
Ariell Taylor-Brown found out her husband, Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown died not from personal messagers from the Dept. of Defense but from another soldier via Facebook. The military is investigating how the breach of protocol happened.

Military wife Ariell Taylor-Brown always knew that her husband, Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, might be killed in the line of duty.

What she never expected was to find out through Facebook.

Brown, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was killed April 3 in Afghanistan by an insurgent bomb. He had just begun his fourth tour one week before he was killed,according to CBS Denver.

When a tragedy like this occurs on the battlefield, military protocol is for the soldier's next of kin to be informed by messengers who come to the house.

Taylor-Brown, who has two kids with Brown and is 11 weeks pregnant with the couple's third child, didn't find out through those messengers.

"It was a girl in his platoon. She wrote to me and told me to call her immediately,"Taylor-Brown told NBC4i.

Taylor-Brown, who was at her home with her children in Mobile, Ala., called the female soldier, who informed her of Sgt. Brown's death.

"She told me over the phone, right in front of my kids, and I completely had a meltdown. She wasn't supposed to but I guess she took it on her own power to do it," she said.

Officials at Fort Carson, Colo., where Brown was stationed, investigated the breach of protocol and said a total of three soldiers were involved in spreading the information,according to the Republic in Columbus, Ind. Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich told the paper that a soldier in Afghanistan sent a Facebook message to a soldier at Fort Carson, who passed it on to another soldier at the post, who passed it on to the widow.

Although it's standard procedure before deployment for soldiers to be instructed not to discuss deaths or injuries until after the Department of Defense has notified the soldier's family, Zentkovich couldn't say whether the soldiers involved had been briefed on the issue.

If commanders determine orders were broken there's a chance at least one of these soldiers could eventually face court martial, according to KKTV.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Sgt. Brown's hometown was incorrectly identified. He was a native of Columbus, Ohio.
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM
That's messed up!
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I hope they do get court marshalled. I mean nobody wants to see that car pull up but its common knowledge thats how it is supposed to be done
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I would reather that then them showing up at my door but im that type of a person id prefer a call an then be left alone
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM
That is not right. Poor woman. May her dh rest in peace.
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM
1 mom liked this

 The soldier should be court marshalled. WTF was she THINKING?!

by Susie on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I thought it was always done in person.  I guess its supposed to be.  I am also with the person that said I would rather get a phone call.  I would dread seeing someone in uniform at my door.  Worst nightmare. 

by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

They will be in trouble. The base usually goes on lock down until everything is sorted, I dont know how this woman was even able to call his wife. 

by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Why would a person take it upon themselves to call?? I get they may have been friends but the military has a protocol and it's done a certain way to help the family. They would have had someone with them to help with her grief. These soldiers that took it upon themselves to let her know should receive some sort of punishment.
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Wow.. people need to mind their own business and follow protocol.
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by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

 That is terrible : ( I can't even imagine :(

I found out my great-grandmother died on facebook and that my step-mother was pregnant via facebook.

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