FRANKLIN, Ohio (WDTN) – Part Forrest Gump, James Bond and Abraham Lincoln. John Brown’s three decades of highly-decorated service in the U.S. Army reads like a movie script, spanning three wars, but it did not begin with delusions of grandeur. Far from it.
As Brown tells the story, “They asked me how I’d like to go into the ‘CIC’. I said, ‘What’s that?’ They said, ‘We can’t tell you. It’s classified.’ I said, ‘I’ll take it.”
Brown took it to avoid returning to the log cabin and cold showers back home. The “CIC” was military intelligence, and in the waning days of World War two, Brown found himself in the thick of it in Japan, rooting out the empire’s sympathizers and Soviet spies.
Brown recalls, “Our main job was to try to intercept them, call them out who they were, “Double” them, give them false information for them to take back and get information from them.”
The rudimentary operations involved grease guns, Jeeps and binoculars, and Brown says it was mission accomplished.
The Korean and Vietnam Wars followed, and Brown was armed a new intel weapon. He learned both Korean and Burmese. That is, however, as far as he will go in describing exactly what he was doing.
A tight-lipped Browns says, “It’s collecting essential elements of information that you need to know to fight a war. How you do it. I can’t discuss. It’s spying is all it is.”
Two Bronze Stars and accommodations at every level to include the Pentagon during the tense, final years of the Vietnam War, handling some of the most delicate information during a politically-charged era.
Says Brown, “One of my jobs was to put together the intelligence briefing manual, have it ready every morning for distribution to go on the president’s desk, the vice-president’s desk, the secretary of the Army.
29 years, three months and eleven days of decorated service, worthy of all medals and shadow boxes.
There was also a brush with the entertainment world. Brown was married for a time to Dorothy McGuire of the famed McGuire Sisters… and even met Frank Sinatra whom he says was a “smart alec”.
Brown will be honored Friday as this month’s CareSource Veteran’s Salute recipient at the Dayton Dragons game.