A Special Intern

LTJG Brandan McCombie

Through the years, hundreds of interns have enriched NGL’s staff. One in particular would become LTJG Brandan McCombie. He joined the military shortly after the 9/11 attacks. I first met Brandan through his father, retired Navy Captain Ryan McCombie, a SEAL Team member. Here are excerpts from a letter Brandan wrote to his parents two weeks after the terrorist attacks:

“When the time comes, if the time comes, I will go with honor. I have always said that I would be willing to give my life for our country if so required. However, never have I had such a cause that I could, and will, stand for. It is something everyone in the military has taken an oath to and voluntarily agreed to: To defend liberty, freedom, and our way of life for our families, loved ones, and all those to come in the future.
“I am not looking forward to dying in combat, only stating that I am willing to do so for this cause is much larger than any of us.
“If the time comes, I know that myself and my military brothers with full support of our civilian countrymen will do whatever is necessary. God Bless America!”

Brandan was killed on September 10, 2002, almost one year to the day of the attacks. When I heard the news, I was devistated. As I reflect upon this young man’s courage, bravery, and sacrifice, who died because he had chosen so unselfishly to serve his beloved country, we think of all the Brandans and remember how blessed we are to be Americans. No Greater Love honors his memory and all those whose sacrifices make possible the freedoms we enjoy and cherish.

“You will always be loved by your family, friends, fellow countrymen and me. You were God’s gift to us and the world.”

– Carmella LaSpada