Springfield Sun-News / Associated Press
One day, Edward L. Brooks was interested in a patch on retired Army Sgt. First Class Stanley Andrews’ uniform. Brooks asked his ROTC instructor what it meant. “If you want to know, look it up,” Stanley told him. Brooks did look it up and came back two days later with a five-page report on the history of the 9th and 10th Cavalry units. Brooks, 25, of Dayton, Ohio, was killed Aug. 29 in Ramadi of wounds suffered from an explosive. He was a 2000 high school graduate and was assigned to Schweinfurt, Germany. Brooks had been a standout in the school district for his work as a student and was an award-winning leader on the Junior ROTC drill team, where he excelled at being a “spin master” in precision rifle drills, twirling his 9-pound rifle like a baton. “He was a winner,” said Major Odell W. Graves. “He was one of the true heroes in my book. He never complained. A stellar hero, a true Daytonian.” “A brilliant light has gone out, not just for me but all of us,” said Brooks’ mother, Sterling.