Veteran Spotlight: Lt. Col. Brent Finemore
FALMOUTH, Mass. — Brent Finemore served his country in the Army from 1982 to 2002, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
Born in Oakland, Maine, he attended the University of Maine at Orono and joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps in his junior year. ROTC basic training brought him to Fort Knox, Ky., in the summer of 1980.
"It was great, got me indoctrinated into the Army. I won a scholarship out of basic and did really well on my leadership skills," he remembered. He volunteered for expert marksmanship and with a class of 800, shot 48 out of 50 targets, attributing it to hunting all his life and was an expert in grenade throwing, attributing that to the baseball skills he learned in college.
He was sent to Ordinance School in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., as a second lieutenant. His first assignment would take him to Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was a platoon leader with 65 soldiers under his command that performed maintenance on tanks and military weapons.
He spoke about the responsibility as a young 22-year-old.
"I was a young man coming into a situation where guys already had experience and military service. Several were Vietnam veterans," he said. "My goal was to make them the best they can be a as a soldier and human being."
How were the holidays?
"There was no hierarchy. Holidays were spent with your peer groups and other families. It was a level playing field," he said. "We tried to support each other both personally and professionally."
Finemore cited two mentors during his 20 years of service: Lt. Col. Chrissey ("Good leader … let you do your job and supported you.") and Maj. Gen. John Urias ("Straight shooter who gave you 100 percent support. 'Here
it is, do your job.' He was a big advocate of mine in my future promotions.")
After his assignment at Fort Lewis, Finemore was sent to Germany with the 8th Infantry Division. He was there in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. He remembered his commanding officer telling the men when they were in formation and at attention "While you were asleep, the Wall came down."
He recalled a story during deployment with a (then) Czechoslovakian general that had to do with transfer of supplies up to the front and centered on lines of communication and nuclear weapons disrupting capabilities. Lt. Col.
Finemore was quite direct and to the point with the Eastern Bloc general, earning a salute from him and being told he "appreciated the lieutenant colonel's candor."
His last position was at Fort Monmouth, N.J., as a product manager for Defense Satellite Communications Systems that provided direct communication between President George W. Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin. During the 2001 terror attacks, the equipment was destroyed and Finemore and his team worked to establish the direct communications link quickly and efficiently.
When asked about his service, he responded, "besides my family, it was the most meaningful thing to serve my country. As a leader, it was my duty to ensure that soldiers and civilians had the best training and tools to execute their mission."
He and his wife, Kate, have two children, Andrew and Emily. Both Finemore and his wife continue to serve their community with the Falmouth Walk Committee and are involved with Wesley Church. He also serves on the
board of directors for Fishing For The Mission 22, a popular veterans organization.
Lt. Col. Brent Finemore, thank you for your service to our great country.
Wayne Soares is the host of the popular new veterans cooking show, "The Mess Hall" firstname.lastname@example.org our troops around the globe and is the host and producer of the Vietnam veterans documentary "Silent Dignity – The Chapter That Never Ends." He can be reache
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