By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Speaking to a class of McNary High School students studying psychology, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark Brower said warfare requires “trying to normalize something that is truly abnormal.”
As an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, and with a career spanning two-and-a-half decades and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark could speak on the topic with some authority. So could his son, U.S. Army Specialist Kevin Brower. The pair, and many other veterans, attended McNary’s Living History Day to share their stories of military experience Friday, Nov. 15.
The abnormal reared its head in a variety of ways for both father and son during their deployments.
Mark coordinated an intelligence unit wherein the shortest female member of the team proved to be the most adept interrogator.
“She was only about 4-foot-10, but in Iraqi culture women are not expected to confront men. One of the things she would do is stand up on a crate and start picking apart a story piece by piece,” Mark said. “She was so good from a psychological point of view and identifying body cues that she had them in tears, and the guys told her everything they knew.”
For Kevin, one of the most surreal moments was being tasked with disarming a rocket.
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