HomeNewsArticle Display

Tech. Sgt. Brewer speaks at B-52 resiliency tactical pause

An image of TSgt Trevor Brewer, 72nd Security Forces Squadron, speaks to B-52 squadron for their Resilience Tactical Pause.

Tech. Sgt. Trevor Brewer, 72nd Security Forces Squadron flight chief and Wounded Warrior ambassador, tells a filled auditorium the story of a 2011 terrorist attack in Germany he was involved in during the combined B-52 Resiliency Tactical Pause on Sept. 10 in Fannin Hall. (U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Prather)

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein recently said in a note to commanders that suicide is an adversary killing more Airmen than any enemy on the planet.

In order to address rising suicide rates in the Air Force, a resiliency tactical pause was ordered with each wing at liberty to handle the day how they felt best.  

A combined B-52 resiliency tactical pause was held on Sept. 10 in Fannin Hall as part of Team Tinker’s efforts to address the problem and meet the directives of the Air Force chief of staff. Attendees were provided statistics and information from various helping agencies, as well as a personal account from Tech. Sgt. Trevor Brewer, 72nd Security Forces Squadron flight chief and Ambassador for the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2).

Brewer told the filled auditorium the story of a 2011 terrorist attack in Germany he was involved in that resulted in the death of two fellow Airmen and wounded two others.

“I had been in the Air Force for four and a half years. I was 22 years old and I had been a staff sergeant for seven months. A few months before that I was tasked to deploy to Kandahar airfield to be an intel liaison. January 2011 I went through my intelligence training and February 2011 I went through my pre-deployment training,” Brewer said. “March 2, 2011, was the day that my life changed forever.”

Brewer was travelling with 14 other Security Forces members from Royal Air Force Lakenheath to the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, where they were to board a bus that would take them to Ramstein Air Base before deploying to Afghanistan.

The group of Airmen with the 48th Security Squadron loaded their gear into the Blue Bird bus and awaited departure.

“It was one of the Airmen’s 21st birthday and, to be honest with you, I was thinking about how nice the beer was going to taste at Ramstein that night,” Brewer said. “While I was sitting in my seat thinking about the ice cold beer at Ramstein, I hear a faint pop outside of the bus.”

Brewer didn’t think anything of the sounds at first, but then he heard footsteps coming up the bus.

“I see a man in a gray sweatshirt with his hood up. He had his right arm raised up and at the top of his lungs I hear him scream, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and he had a pistol and shot Airman (Zachary) Cuddeback point-blank in his head and killed him instantly,” Brewer said.

In that moment, he said he thought the whole situation might be a drill.

“As a defender we do a lot of exercises and drills for certain situations and, in my naivete, I thought it was a drill. In that split second I realized I had nowhere to go and this man is probably going to kill every single one of us. So, I put my head down and I waited for my turn to die.”

Brewer continued to hear gunshot after gunshot as he took cover behind his seat until finally the shooting stopped.

“At this point I think that the shooter’s gone and I sit up in my seat and I’m staring down the barrel of a 9mm pistol, and this man screams ‘Allahu Akbar’ and pulls the trigger and the weapon malfunctioned,” he said.

The shooter pulled the trigger again, but there was another malfunction.

“At this point I knew I had to do something,” Brewer said. “I charged this man realizing that if I don’t do something now, we’re all going to die. I pursued him through the airport for approximately 300 yards and helped German authorities apprehend him.”

A retired Army soldier who happened to be at the scene assisted Brewer in translating what had just happened to the German police.

“I had two men get shot, two others wounded and we needed help,” Brewer said.

Brewer ran back to the bus where he verified the deaths of Cuddeback and Senior Airman Nicholas Alden and found his other Airmen providing first aid to those who were wounded.

Upon return to duty after the incident, Brewer noticed that he just wasn’t the same and that a good wingman stepped in and pushed him to enter into counseling with Mental Health.

“I couldn’t sleep, I was having nightmares, I was having flashbacks, I was very irritable, I was drinking heavily…so I went up to my supervisor a week after my return and told him that something wasn’t right. He scooped me up and put me in a vehicle and took me to Mental Health and that was the best thing he could’ve done for me,” Brewer said. “If it hadn’t been for the Wounded Warrior Program and the Mental Health counseling that I received, I probably would’ve committed suicide shortly after my return, or I would’ve committed a felony or driven drunk and hurt somebody else.”

Brewer said the support he received from friends and family after the incident are what changed his perspective.

“I hope you understand the impact you can have on somebody’s life,” he said. “Even the small things can mean big things for people.”

Brewer also emphasized that reaching out for help when you need it is not something to be ashamed of.

“I wouldn’t be standing here today as a tech sergeant with a line number for master sergeant. if I hadn’t gone forward and sought the help, and if I didn’t have somebody who gave me the help that I needed.”

 

Twitter
Don't forget to tune into the #AFW2Socials we have planned this week! Invite your #wingmen, have your questions rea… https://t.co/IhwQIFgbb7
Twitter
@cjachimiec You did amazing Chris!
Twitter
Check us out LIVE on Facebook. https://t.co/fV4aUzUMjO
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Senior Airman (ret.) Ashley “Kaleo” Pittman. Kaleo is known as a “Warrior” in Hawaiian langu… https://t.co/jXbHWzFz2e
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Tech. Sgt. Jennie Ellis. She joined the #AirForce National Guard in 1994.Jennie continues to… https://t.co/xSs5NUtWuK
Twitter
Stay #AFW2social this week! Join an Ambassador testimony from an EOD technician blinded during his final deployment… https://t.co/txC3gsa3ZB
Twitter
Happening Now Live on Facebook - Mentor Testimony Hosted By Mentor SrA Jamie Biviano https://t.co/kLYEXnVedM via @FacebookWatch
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Lt. Josh Jerden enlisted in the #AirForce as an EOD technician, serving 8 years before comm… https://t.co/A5DJPAsRB6
Twitter
CALLING ALL WARRIORS! Lace up your running & throwing shoes for the first AFW2 Stars and Wings Virtual Track & Fiel… https://t.co/rShxhv3Qew
Twitter
In @usairforce Col Michael Flatten's parting message as Director of #AFW2 he wants all #WoundedWarriors to know tha… https://t.co/qlEIjS8IRp
Twitter
Many of our #Warriors rely on sports to be an essential part of their #Recovery. Join our #AFW2Social! This morning… https://t.co/xQM6zI3gXA
Twitter
Don't forget to tune into the #AFW2Socials we have planned this week! Invite your #wingmen, have your questions rea… https://t.co/cVTzF2l8bl
Twitter
Coping with Stress During Uncertain Times? Don't miss this special Monday AFW2 Live Resiliency Social on Facebook w… https://t.co/lcwQGBxqxL
Twitter
#AFW2_warriorwednesday Staff Sgt. Matthew Amick joined the #AirForce in 2009 and serves as a missile facility manag… https://t.co/uU9UkTmMWj
Twitter
The @USMC are lead planners for the 2020 @warriorgames and made the decision to cancel the games due to safety and… https://t.co/IIClisu1yn
Twitter
Don't forget to tune into the #AFW2Socials we have planned this week! Invite your #wingmen, have your questions rea… https://t.co/h3cPGjd6LD
Twitter
Happy Armed Forces Day to all service heroes for their patriotic commitment to this great Nation. Today we recogniz… https://t.co/04rvSEGq3V
Twitter
May is Mental Health Awareness month and this year it comes during a time of uncertainty and physical distancing th… https://t.co/ili23ToAKa
Twitter
Check out our #AFW2social featuring Master Sgt. Mike Meyers. https://t.co/WQadv8IwWF
Twitter
5,503
Follow Us