SSG Cliff Brackeen served in the Army from 1973-1976, after which he met his wife Winona and they wed in 1979.  Following 9/11, Cliff felt compelled to do more, so at the age of 49 he began to petition the Army National Guard to re-enlist.  Following a lengthy process and daily phone calls with the Army and State Representatives, Cliff finally proved to them he was sincere and was sworn in at the age of 51.  At this time, his son Jesse Brackeen USMC was returning from a rough deployment to Fallujah. In 2008, Cliff was deployed in Basrah, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cliff remained in the Army National Guard for 8 years and was a Blackhawk mechanic at the Springfield Missouri AVCRAD up until his death, when he was in an accident on his way to Annual Training. In his free time, Cliff enjoyed activities such as: swimming, cook-outs, roller skating, camping, fishing, and traveling the United States to see the sights. While spending time with his kids and grandchildren were important, he also loved to take his wife out to dinner, go the movies, going on trail rides, dancing, making pancakes on Sunday mornings and having LOTS of barbeques!!

Cliff was a true patriot, he bled red-white & blue!  He and his wife were married 35 years and raised 8 awesome children, two who followed in his footsteps and became Marines. Both of his sons continue to serve today. 

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