Brown has every reason to be proud of his military service

I take exception to Brian McGrory’s attempt to discredit Colonel Scott Brown’s two weeks of service in Afghanistan by stating that it “was more like a visit” than having “served” in Afghanistan (“Real concerns,” Metro, Oct. 12). Whether it was two weeks or two years, Brown served in a war zone. He wasn’t on the front lines, but he was still subject to mortar attacks and suicide bombers.

McGrory apparently doesn’t realize that the largest number of our military forces are “in the rear with the gear,” as he quotes one unnamed analyst. For every brave soldier on the front lines, there are hundreds in the background providing support, from food servers to tank mechanics.

I served in the Navy during Vietnam as an aircraft mechanic alongside Senator John McCain during his fighter jet training at a base in Florida, and recently retired from the Massachusetts Air National Guard on Cape Cod after serving a total of 35 years.


Senator Brown started as an enlisted soldier, and worked his way up to colonel. He has proudly served for 32 years. Neither one of us, as a result of our specialties, was ever on the front lines, but we served, and proudly.

Bill Fihlman


The writer is a retired master sergeant.