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Isle grad's kin receive medal


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POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2009
                       
This story has been corrected.  See below.

Blake Brostrom remembered what his older brother told him: to keep pushing and make the most of horrible situations.

His brother, 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, was killed in Afghanistan last July and honored yesterday as his brother graduated from the University of Hawaii's ROTC program.

“;It's bittersweet,”; said Blake Brostrom, who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. “;It still feels good that he was recognized, but I'll always miss my older brother.”;

Brostrom accepted the Silver Star, the third-highest military honor, for his brother, a 2002 Damien Memorial School and 2006 UH ROTC graduate.

Jonathan Brostrom, who was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team's 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, was killed in Wanat, Afghanistan, when 200 insurgents surrounded a new base. He was one of nine soldiers killed.

“;A nation is poor that has no heroes,”; said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific, who presented the award to Brostrom's family. “;A nation is lost if it forgets those heroes. We will not forget ... 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom.”;

Blake Brostrom's first duty station will be aviation school in Fort Rucker, Ala., in 2010. He wants to be a helicopter pilot.

“;When he (Jonathan) died it was a struggle,”; he said. “;The most important thing he always taught me was suck it up, drive on and always try your best.

“;He always managed to make the best out of a horrible situation.”;

Brostrom's family decided to hold the Silver Star presentation on the same day as the commission ceremony so family could attend, Brostrom's mother, Mary Jo Brostrom, said.

“;Our heart swells with pride for Blake, and at the same time it's still broken,”; she said.

               

     

 

CORRECTION

       

Friday, May 29, 2009

       

Blake Brostrom, who was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the University of Hawaii Army ROTC program, will be attending flight school at Fort Rucker in Alabama. The story originally gave the name of another Army post.