Wed, May 23, 2018 12:29 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Pike Co. native among war dead

BSN staff report

ELKHORN CITY — A U.S. soldier with family ties in Eastern Kentucky was killed Monday by Iraqi gunfire near the city of Najaf.

Spc. Brandon Rowe, a 20-year-old machine gunner for his unit in the 101st Airborne Division, was reportedly a fond visitor of Pike County, where his father and late-grandmother resided.

During an interview with AP writer Eric Fidler earlier this week, Rowe’s older brother, Brent, said the soldier killed in war time got joy out of regular trips to Eastern Kentucky.

“One thing that we loved doing was going down to Kentucky each summer and jumping off the cliffs into the river,” Brent Rowe said. “That was a joy that we all had.”

Spc. Rowe reportedly maintained a close relationship with his grandmother until her death, and missed his platoon’s graduation from basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., to attend her funeral, according to his mother, Wendy Borowski.

Rowe’s father — Milton Rowe of Elkhorn City — reportedly said his son was a “hero because of what he did for his country...”

Spc. Rowe “wanted to help the people over there” and believed in what he was doing, Brent Rowe said.

“He really felt strongly about the reason he was going (to war),” Borowski said.

Rowe was reportedly trained for urban warfare and fast deployment from helicopters.

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