Wife of Navy SEAL Adam Brown who is subject of a book about his life by Eric Blehm, Fearless
Mother of 2: Nathan, 12; Savannah, 9
Studied at National Park Community College
Kelley Brown: A Fearless Wife
CBN.com -THE MAKINGS OF A NAVY SEAL
Adam grew up in Hot Springs, AR in a family of six children (Adam was a twin with sister Manda). His blue-collar Baptist family went to church faithfully and his parents modeled good behavior for their children. Adam was described as a sweet child but one who lived with an adventurous streak. After moving around the country for work, Adam’s dad moved the family back to Hot Springs where Adam started playing football in sixth grade. He played football through high school and dreamed of playing in college but a scholarship wasn’t in the cards for him. Adam attended Arkansas Tech University and realized he wasn’t everything he thought he was on the football field. His grades began to slip and he took up a new sport: drinking. Adam lost direction and started dating a girl who introduced him to crystal meth and crack cocaine. Soon Adam was addicted and couldn’t go one day without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. He was stealing from his family and friends and writing bad checks. Sometimes, he disappeared for days getting high on drugs. His parents prayed they would get their son back.
For years, Adam struggled with his addiction. In August 1996, Adam was arrested for stealing thousands of dollars of property. After five days in jail, Adam gave his life to the Lord. His lawyer presented a plea to the judge: if charges were dropped Adam would go to Teen Challenge instead of prison.
Kelley was an honor-roll cheerleader, active in her church, never drank or smoked. At 13, her parents began fighting and later got divorced. In college, Kelley lacked direction but she still attended church and sought the Lord's direction for her life. Three weeks after he left Teen Challenge, Adam met Kelley. Within two months of dating, Adam began relapsing. Adam’s family told her to break up with him. For months, she either babysat Adam or looked for him in crack houses. One day, Adam visited his best friend and told him he wanted to be a SEAL.
Adam and Kelley got married in July 1998. Three weeks later, Adam left for eight weeks of bootcamp, the first hurdle of a long journey to becoming a Navy SEAL. Adam made it through BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL indoctrination and completed numerous months of training to earn his Trident – the gold insignia pin worn only by fully trained SEALS. Being a SEAL would require two full years of training and that Adam would need to remain drug free. By 2003, Adam stayed clean – a five year mark. One night, Adam slipped out of the house and was gone for two days. After he got back, Kelley left him with their two kids and disappeared for a night in a hotel room to teach him a lesson. He begged for forgiveness. “I can honestly say if he did it again, I would have left him,” says Kelley. “That was it, he never did it again. Not once.”
A couple months later, Adam was shot in the eye with a training bullet which left him with him one good eye. Adam learned to shoot a gun with his nondominant left eye. “He had light perception, shadows and peripheral,” says Kelley. “So they left the eye.” In 2005, the Humvee that Adam was riding in was involved in an accident and rolled over the fingers of his right hand. He had to learn to shoot with both a nondominant eye and hand, something unheard of in the world of special forces. In 2009, Adam’s sight became even blurrier so they had it removed and replaced with a prosthetic.
For many years, while Adam was serving overseas, Kelley, 34, assumed role of father and mother. However, no matter what time of day Adam came home, Kelley would pile the kids in the car and they would pick up their dad at the compound gate. Adam was a great dad and was able to transition back to home life more smoothly than many of his teammates. After one of his deployments, Adam told Kelley, “I’m not afraid. God gave me this gift – I don’t feel fear.” “That terrified me,”said Kelley.
Adam was tough but he lived out his faith completely, even reminding his teammates of the importance of a relationship with Christ. Many times, he merely lived out his faith without words. Once while overseas in Afghanistan, Adam called Kelley at Thanksgiving and asked her to send children’s shoes. So Kelley and her church sent Adam over 500 pairs of shoes. Reportedly Adam knocked on village doors and helped kids put on their new shoes.
On March 17, 2010, Adam, then 36, and his teammates were engaged in a special operations mission involving a high-value target (HVT) in a high-danger environment, something they did on a regular basis. One Army officer on a mortar team said of this mission, “Think of it like they infiltrated a hornet’s nest. That whole area was swarming with hard-core Taliban….so they snuck into the valley….they crept past all these hornets who were asleep” and went in for the HVT. “They still had to get out of the nest. Crazy thing is, these guys were okay with that,” claims the officer.
The precariousness of the situation escalated by the minute and the SEALs found themselves in a bad situation. They were being flanked and shot at from all directions. Adam caught a glimpse of one shooter inside a residence. None of Adam’s teammates were positioned to be able to throw a grenade in the window without becoming fully exposed. So when the SEALs decided that a 40mm grenade shot from a grenade launcher would work, Adam said, “I got it.” Ten minutes into the firefight, Adam was on a rock wall when he was shot and killed while defending his comrades.
LIFE WITHOUT ADAM
Back in Virginia Beach, Kelley waited to hear back from Adam in an email, but started to worry because she hadn’t gotten a reply from him. When she heard a knock at the door, Kelley knew. She says God has been her only source of hope. “If I ever have completely leaned on God,” she says. “It’s now.” From the moment it happened, Kelley knew God had a plan for her life. “I didn’t understand why,” Kelley says. “I didn’t have a lot of words for God at that time.” Kelley got a lot of her healing from praise and worship music. “When I was speechless, I knew God knew my heart. A lot of people prayed for me and that’s the power of intercessory prayer. I told the Lord, I’m gonna trust you God.” Kelley says God has unveiled a new life for her. “I see the brokenness of this world now.” Having lived through sleepless nights and dark days, Kelley has a heart for others. “I feel like you can really die of a broken heart,” she says. “God has carried me through with His Word and His promises. This is only an interruption of my life with Adam,” says Kelley. “Adam lived a very powerful life and his legacy is moving forward full throttle. One day all the sadness will go away. In the meantime, I have to focus on helping others.”
Adam was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. He was also the recipient of a Bronze Star with combat “V” for Valor and a Purple Heart.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.