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Nick Brewer Story

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This is veteran Nick Brewer's story written by Alex Beld, student reporter for War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 3, Warriors and Students multimedia project.

Major: Geographic Information Systems and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Military Rank: Sergeant E-5, 1-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion, Wisconsin Army National Guard, Madison, Wis., 92F refueler 
Tour: August 2010-June 2011, Iraq

Red-Shirt Friday

by Alex Beld
Student Reporter

It’s Friday and that means Nick Brewer is wearing his red shirt in support of veterans like himself. He is sitting behind a desk in the Veteran’s Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh waiting to help other student veterans. Most of the time he just chats with other veterans who come into the center. This is something he is great at, talking to other people. And even though he stands over six-feet tall and has a beard, he appears and acts as friendly as a teddy bear. But it’s also obvious he is a brawler. Brewer is easy to get along with and hard not to respect. Brewer is a veteran of the Iraq War, having served his tour from August 2010 to June 2011. He is currently a sophomore enrolled at UW Oshkosh, majoring in geographic information systems and urban planning. He lives in Oshkosh with his wife and recently became a dad.

Nothing but Trouble

Brewer was born and raised in Madison, Wis. in 1986, and shortly after he could walk, he started raising hell throughout most of the east side. In elementary school Brewer was already learning how to fight and towered over his peers. Brewer was arrested for the first time in 8th grade, he thinks, for trespassing. He got away without charges being pressed or tickets getting issued. Brewer just saw the police involvement as a scare tactic that, of course, did not work. As he got out of middle school and started his career as a high schooler his knack for causing trouble escalated. Long-haired and at 6’2”, weighing more than 200 pounds, Brewer looked like a mix between a hippy and a linebacker. Brewer’s drivers license and first car, a 1994 Chevy Cavalier, really opened up some doors. To this day he still says that when his parents let him get that car it was the worst idea they ever had. His beater with a heater left him with more energy for trouble and opened up new venues.

I was not a good child. I skipped a lot, I had long hair but was not a hippy. I got into a lot of fights. Brought home by the police quite a bit ... Mostly for breaking curfew, trespassing, loitering, all misdemeanors that didn’t result in anything. The police were mostly, 'we’re gonna take you home and let your parents deal with it.'

To read the entire story, please download this PDF

Podcasts

In this audio podcast, Nick Brewer talks about the injuries he received during his service. 

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In this audio podcast, Nick Brewer discusses his early years as a trouble maker and his transition into the military.

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In this audio podcast, Nick Brewer shares a humorous experience practicing shooting with a .50-caliber machine gun. 

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 Podcasts produced by student reporter Alex Beld.

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