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A Tribute to Gunner Callan

By Sgt. Greg Aurandman

    Gunner Brian Callan was a Marine, dedicated to country, duty, and his men.

    What happened to him is a tale that is so sadly not unfamiliar. You may read his story in the Phoenix Times by Paul Rubin at:Welcome Back Warrior.

   Sgt. Aurandman offers his memory the following tribute.

CWO2 L.Brian Callan was forced out of the Marine Corps after giving 15 years of his life to Corps and Country. He was seeking help for depression, anxiety and nightmares after participating in Operation Restore Hope and a bag full of personal problems from divorce to the illness of his father, and these symptoms may have been significantly increased by the drug Lariam. The Commandant told his Marines to seek out help and that is what he did, loud and clear! He was medivaced from Okinawa to San Diego in 1995, poked, prodded, and pushed around, put never really treated. He spent the next two years enduring two medical boards.

He was discharged in 1997 and his case was turned over to the VA.
His disability was eventually increased to 100% after being diagnosed with PTSD. And he actively sought out the best help available, which wasn't being provided by the VA. He has been given prescriptions to a host of drugs, none of which were cutting edge and he hadn't seen a doctor who cared in nearly half a year.

If you've read Paul Rubin's article in the Phoenix NewTimes, "Welcome Back Warrior", you will see his life ended tragically at his own hands. I think our Bro Mike at Camp Vishus said it best when he says Brian saved the lives of those around him that day by taking his own and killing the enemy within himself. He served so others live free!

"Chief Warrant Officer II L. Brian Callan II:  Operations in Lebanon;Desert Shield; Desert Storm; Task Force TARO; Restore Hope; and United Shield.  Hardest charging 02 in the Marine Corps!!!  Believed in,fought for, and died for Freedom and Liberty for us all.

Gallantly volunteered for duty during the Persian Gulf War.  Served with distinction and honor in Somalia and then brought the United Nations home.  A Marine's Marine!  Gunner Callan possessed uncommon drive and motivation, excelling well beyond his peers.  His counsel and knowledge were eagerly sought out by Field Grade and General Officers.

Marines in battle depended on his keen sense of the enemy for success and their lives, and he never let them down.  His devotion to duty and to his Marines was nothing short of miraculous.  His level of knowledge and his get-it-done attitude are rarely seen in the Marine Corps. He was gifted with a special ability to love so many and he made us feel like we were the only one he held in high regard, but when we gathered to honor him we found that he loved hundreds of us that way. He would hold us accountable for our actions, yet go out of his way to help and guide and motivate us. He led by example, and he set the bar high. He was a Peacemaker. And this is his legacy we share.

He is in God's hands now.  CWO2 Callan's exceptional professional ability, initiative, and loyal dedication to duty will be missed and reflect the greatest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, the Naval Service, and the United States of America.

Semper Fi!
Think 3/3!!  OOH-RAH!!!"

   "Navy Commendation Medal w/1*, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon w/1*, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation w/1 oak leaf, Navy Unit Commendation w/1*, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal w/2*,Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal w2*, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/1 silver *, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M (POSTHUMOUSLY 210203), Kuwait Liberation Medal Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)."

    Semper Fi!

Sgt Aurandman S-1, 3/3 (81-86)

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This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.


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