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    SEAL honored in hometown park

    BM1 (SEAL) Brian J Ouellette, KIA 2004, memorial park dedication

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Roger Duncan | WALTHAM, MA - Peg Ouellette, mother of slain SEAL, U.S. Navy Boatswain's Mate 1st...... read more read more

    WALTHAM, MA, UNITED STATES

    05.20.2017

    Story by Chief Petty Officer Roger Duncan 

    U.S. Southern Command

    WALTHAM, Mass. – More than 500 people gathered to honor U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SEAL) Brian J. Ouellette at the dedication of a portion of the town common Saturday, May 20. He was killed in action on May 29, 2004 in Afghanistan.

    Peg Ouellette, Brian’s mother said, “I’m overwhelmed – and honored. This is wonderful – not just for Brian, but for the people of Waltham -- to recognize one of their own who became one of the bravest of the brave.”
    Ouellette died with three others while conducting a mounted patrol in Zabul Province. Their vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as it swerved to avoid another IED on the road ahead. They had been returning to their base of operations near Kandahar Airport. He was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group TWO, Little Creek, Virginia.

    The city of Waltham erected an elevated signpost near the corner of the urban town park. Mike Ouellette, Brian’s older brother, worked together with city, regional officials and several veteran organizations to find the right venue for a memorial. “This has been a long time coming. But we got it done and this is the right thing for Brian. When we were kids we lived on Central Street, only a few blocks from here. We had a saying -- meet me at The Common,” he said.

    Francis Cormier played high school lacrosse with Ouellette and recently returned to his hometown. He remembers Brian as a hard-nosed guy whose upbeat approach built good teams. “He was always in charge – the driver.” Ouellette was driving the Humvee when he died.

    U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. (Ret) and local church Deacon Dan Donovan coached Brian Ouellette in martial arts classes in boyhood. “Brian had a chip on his shoulder then. I helped him decide on service as a career choice.” Donovan walked him into the recruiter’s office. “He was a good kid – a tough pain sometimes – but there was a part of him that really wanted to succeed,” said Donovan, who provided the invocation for the ceremony at the commons.

    “This is phenomenal,” said Michael Donnelly, of Miami, a retired member of SEAL Team 4 and a teammate of Ouellette’s. “It hit me hard.” Donnelly served on Ouellette’s boat crew at Basic Underwater Demolition School BUDS). He now is an entrepreneur and owner of a fire alarm company in Florida.

    Mark Hooper, a member of Ouellette’s BUDS class, number 173, said, “I’m proud of the brothers for getting it all together. It was great to send him off right.”

    Master Chief Special Operator (Ret) Eddie Everett roomed with Ouellette for three years and as part of the ceremony spoke to the crowd, telling stories of time together and of Ouellette’s character. He closed his remarks by saying, “Thank you Waltham. You raised a fine damn man.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.20.2017
    Date Posted: 05.20.2017 19:40
    Story ID: 234604
    Location: WALTHAM, MA, US 

    Web Views: 448
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