JEROME • As her 17-month-old twin daughters grow up, Jordan Brown talks with them about Memorial Day.
“I’ve started teaching them the meaning of today,” she said.
It’s just the second Memorial Day since their father — Army Sgt. Dan Brown — was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
Jordan Brown, 25, shows her daughters, Mattie and Marlee Brown, pictures of their father, who they’ve never met. They don’t grasp who he was yet, she said, but will someday.
On Friday, Jordan Brown smiled as she talked about her daughters and how proud she is of them. She said they’re so smart and one looks just like her dad.
Today on Memorial Day, she plans to take them to visit their father’s gravesite.
Jordan Brown said she hopes people will remember what Memorial Day is truly about. Since her husband’s death, the day is even more significant for them.
“Now that I have one soldier, it’s so important now,” Jordan Brown said.
Dan Brown, 27, of Jerome was killed March 24, 2012 as a result of injuries from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.
“I miss him more than the day I found out,” Jordan Brown said.
At the time, their daughters were just three months old. During a March 2012 community event at Jerome City Park to remember their father, the girls slept peacefully in their stroller.
Jordan Brown said serving in the Army was the best thing her husband ever did. After high school, Dan Brown worked his way up the ranks to become a sergeant.
“God took him too early,” Jordan Brown said.
Time has flown over the past year or so since finding out about her husband’s death, Jordan Brown said.
“It has been the fastest year of my life,” she said.
The widowed mother is working on fixing up a home in Jerome for her and her daughters, Jordan Brown said, and she has a good support system and “such good friends” nearby.
Dan Brown’s mother, Becky Brown, said her son joined the Army right after he graduated from Jerome High School in 2003.
“He felt like he could make a difference,” she said.
When Dan Brown was in high school, representatives from different branches from the armed forces came to talk with students.
“He liked what the Army had to offer,” Becky Brown said, so he joined after he graduated from high school.
Dan Brown graduated from boot camp in Fort Knox, Kent. After that he was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Within six months of arriving in Colorado, Dan Brown was deployed to Iraq for three months. Then, after spending a year back in Colorado Springs, he was deployed to Iraq for another 13 months.
In 2009, he was deployed once again – this time, to Korea. He was there for a year and decided to stay longer.
“He liked it there, so he re-upped for another year there,” Becky Brown said.
Once Dan Brown got home, he was deployed to Afghanistan in May, 2011.
He was killed by an improvised explosive device less than a month before he was supposed to come home. Becky Brown remembers the exact date her son was slated to come home: April 21, 2012.
Jordan and Dan Brown’s twin daughters were born Dec. 31, 2011. They were just three months old when their father died.
“He never got to see his twins because he didn’t have leave from the time they were born until the time he died,” Becky Brown said.
Becky Brown said her son always did the right thing and noted he had lots of friends, was outgoing and fun to be around.
“He lit up the room when he walked in,” she said. “He was the kind of guy you wanted to be around all the time.”
Becky Brown said she has always honored members of the armed forces who died for her freedom, but now Memorial Day is even more relevant.
“It’s a special day for all of us,” she said.