Since 2012, the Braman family has worked closely with the non-profit organization Support U.S. Armed Forces. Each year, SUSAF connects veterans, wounded warriors, and purple heart recipients with the Braman family for a hunt at Mellon Creek Outfitters.
WildLifers TV host Stephanie Braman said, “The veteran hunts we host each year are certainly special. We love to give back to those that have gone above and beyond for our country.”
On Oct. 25-28, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) M. Sean Malo (U.S. Army, OIF, Iraq, Bronze Star, Purple Heart), TSgt. Patrick Auton (U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Bronze Star), and SSgt. Stephen Morrison (U.S. Army, Vietnam, Silver Star, Bronze Star (2), and Purple Heart (2)) will join the Bramans at Mellon Creek Outfitters in southeast Texas for a whitetail hunt.
Lieutenant Colonel (R) Maloywas born in Johnson City, Tennessee, but has lived his life in the Piedmont of North Carolina. In 1982, he enlisted in the North Carolina Army National Guard as a Private in the Field Artillery Corps. He is a graduate of Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC, and holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business Management.
He earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant through the North Carolina Military Academy-Officer Candidate School at Fort Bragg, NC and he was recognized as the Distinguished Graduate. He has served over 32 years in the North Carolina Army National Guard and the United States Army, combined. He retired in 2014 with 22 years of active duty service.
In his military career, LTC (R) Maloy spent over eight years as an enlisted Non-commissioned Officer achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. As a Commissioned Officer, his many assignments include: Rifle Platoon Leader, Rifle Company Executive Officer, Aide-de-Camp, Commander – Medium Truck Transportation Company, TAC Officer – Officer Candidate School, Commander – Officer Candidate School, Mobilization Officer – US Army Special Operations Command, Chief of Operations – Training Support Brigade at Ft. Bragg, Team Chief – Special Police Transition Team – Iraq, Brigade S4 (Supply Officer), Battalion Executive Officer, Commander – 42nd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction), and his final assignment culminated as, Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, US Army Forces Command, Ft. Bragg, NC – a Four Star Active Duty Command.
LTC (R) Maloy’s awards & decorations include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, three North Carolina National Guard Meritorious Service Medal, the North Carolina National Guard Commendation Medal, and the National Guard Association of the United States – Valley Forge Cross for Heroism.
LTC (R) Maloy and his wife, Jennifer, permanently reside in Leasburg, North Carolina and have four children and two grandsons. His wife and oldest son are still actively serving in the US Army.
TSgt. Patrick Autongraduated high school in 1988 and enlisted in the Army National Guard and went to Basic Training in March 1989. Almost a year after his graduation of Army Basic Training and he was attached to the 1450th Transportation Company. Auton was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in October 1990. His unit supported elements of the 24th Mechanized Infantry in the ground war pushing into areas outside of Basra, Iraq and viewed the carnage and destruction of the retreating Iraqi Army trying to escape from Kuwait. He assisted in given medical care to Iraqi Enemy Prisoners of War. Shortly after Auton’s return home from the Gulf War in May 1990, he stayed in the North Carolina Army National Guard until 1996. He left with an Honorable Discharge. Auton was employed by the City of Hickory, North Carolina in September 1991 as a career Firefighter. This was Auton’s career ambition during his high school years as he severed with a community volunteer fire department.
After the 9/11 attacks, Auton stepped up for the calling to help his country once again. He re-enlisted in the North Carolina Army National Guard in January 2003 and attached to his original 1450th Transportation Unit. In January 2004, his unit was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His unit was based near Safwan, Iraq in support of hauling critical supplies to Forward Operation Base (FOB) throughout Iraq. Traveling in areas of Iraq such as Ramadi, Baghdad, Tikrit, Balad, Balad Ruz, Taji. During the deployment Auton encountered small arm fire, mortar fire Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) on multiple occasions. The deployment ended in March 2005 and after the deployment, Auton was awarded several Army awards such as the Bronze Star Medal, Army Accommodation medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and Combat Action Badge. He served in the unit September 1997 and transferred to the North Air National Guard serving with the 145th Civil Engineer Squadron. He was attached to the Fire and Emergency Services serving as a Firefighter. In May 2005, Auton deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to FOB Warrior. During this deployment his duty was fire protection and emergency services for base operations. He assisted in the fire protection on the Army’s 25th Combat Aviation 2/6 Cavalry Squadron FARP meaning Forward Arming and Refueling Point. His deployment ended in August 2005. Auton continued to train in my Air National Squadron for my next assignment gaining valuable certifications until January 2016. He was deployed to Kuwait to Ali Al Salem Air Base. During this deployment of Operation Freedom Sentinel. Auton assisted in supporting fire protection to the base and the aircraft operations. His deployment ended in August 2016. On February 1, 2017, he retired from the Air National Guard of having twenty-one years of Honorable Service to the North Carolina National Guard. Auton is currently serving as Fire Captain on Engine 2 for the City of Hickory Fire Department.
SSgt. Stephen Morrison started attending Ferris State College taking trade school courses year-round and graduated in 2 1/2 years. When applying for a job afterwards, employers would say to come back after your duty in Vietnam. The Draft Notice came shortly afterwards; Morrison was inducted in the US Army on August 13, 1968. Basic training was held at Fort Knox and jungle training at Fort Polk Louisiana. From there, he came home to Michigan, and got married
The Morrison family then spent their honeymoon in Ft Benning GA at NCO School and on to Fort Lewis WA to try out the E5 stripes and help train AIT cycle. August 1968, Morrison was assigned to the 25th infantry, Division 3/22 in Rocket city in Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam.
On February 20, 1970, Morrison was on a company size operation and were in a triple canopy jungle when ambushed. The initial ambush was in the CP group losing two service men among many casualties. Morrison’s lieutenant was down, and he went up to help him and at that point was wounded. He set up a quick perimeter, and at that point, he was trying to figure how to take care of the wounded. Another round came in to the injured, creating more damage. His captain’s watch stopped at that time at 7:20 p.m., and he wasn’t medevac’d until 2 a.m. Morrison’s dust-off came in contact with the rotor blade and jungle but made it back safely to Tay Ninh which the helicopter was taken out of service after that time. He then returned back to the world after seven months in country. Morrison received a Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster, Bronze star with an oak leaf cluster, a Silver Star and an Air Medal with a rank of Staff Sergeant E6.
Morrison worked at Dow Corning Corp in Midland Michigan for 30 years. It wasn’t common knowledge that Morrison as well as others were veterans from the Vietnam war served; many of them did not speak up and were silent about serving our country because the way some were treated. Morrison explained that it wasn’t until recently that he felt all veterans were given the respect for serving their country, and he was proud to serve. Morrison’s friend Lowell Thomas from Midland, Michigan was an educator, a veteran and a freelance writer wrote a book called “Silent Heroes.” In this book, there is a write up about Morrison’s experiences. He represents the Vietnam Era and there is a display about the Vietnam War at the Midland County Museum because of his book.
Up until last year of 2017, Morrison had no contact from the men in his unit. Facebook has allowed him to have communication with several veterans, and they have discussed openly more about our experiences. Morrison’s machine gunner was severely injured in that ambush, losing both legs and portions of his hands. Until this day, Morrison explained he still cannot contact and talk to him; however, he does have his phone number and hopes in the future he can.
Morrison’s hobbies have been hunting and fishing, as well as, woodworking. Morrison reveals that he has never gotten a buck larger than a 5 point, and this trip to Mellon Creek Outfitters would be a chance to see a trophy deer.
Support U.S. Armed Forces relies on generous contributions made by patriots like you. Your financial contribution makes a difference in a veteran’s life. Each dollar you contribute goes toward helping a veteran mentally, emotionally, and financially. For more information on Support U.S. Armed Forces or to make a donation, please visit https://susaf.org.