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Brian M Patton


Brian M. Patton was the kind of man who remembered to wish his wife of nine years a happy anniversary even from overseas.

He called to tell Amy Patton he missed her, and they talked about a trip they were planning to Hawaii. Then he hung up for the final time. Relatives say the 37-year-old from Freeport, Ill., was killed Nov. 19 in a vehicle crash near a base in Kuwait, where he had volunteered to deploy.

The Gulf War veteran spent time in the Air Force Reserve between stints with the Navy, most recently with a reserve unit based in New York. He had recently worked in Dallas, Pa., as an officer at a correctional facility.

Colleagues and comrades say they could always depend on Patton, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, to fill several roles: the jokester, the attention-grabber, the life of the party, the go-to guy.

He was a natural leader, said Senior Chief Petty Officer David Kinnaird. People would follow him. Definitely a wonderful sailor, one of my best sailors.

Patton also is survived by sons Brian and Nicholas; a stepson, Tyler; and two brothers, Robert and Scott.

Months after he was laid to rest, charges have been filed in a military crash that killed an area serviceman and severely injured another.

Those charges were filed in the deadly wreck that took the life of Petty Officer Second Class Brian Patton of Nanticoke. He was serving his country in Kuwait when his military vehicle crashed back in the fall of 2009.

“It’s something I think about every day. It’s not easy to get used to with him not around because he had such an outrageous personality,” said Amy Patton, widow of Brian.

It was just a few months ago when PO2 Brian Patton was laid to rest in Glen Lyon, Luzerne County. The sailor died when his military vehicle crashed head-on with another car in Kuwait.

This week federal authorities completed their investigation and charged a military contractor in the wreck. Morgan Hanks of Virginia faces involuntary manslaughter, as well as assault charges for severely injuring Wilkes-Barre native Dave Morgan. They claim Hanks was speeding and passing a convoy on a hill when he caused the head-on wreck.

Thursday Patton’s widow, Amy, opened up on the tragedy.

“It was such an outrageous and reckless behavior that caused one man to lose his life and one to become seriously injured. He ruined the lives of two families and their friends and our lives will be changed forever,” Amy Patton said.

She added Dave Morgan is still in rehabilitation where he is in and out of a coma-like state. She said her children have struggled with the loss of their father.

“I’m hoping justice will be served and whatever sentence that they hand down, do I think it will be enough? Probably not, but I have to take whatever they decide,” she said.


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