ALTUS, Okla. (AP) Growing up, Sergeant Brent Brian played baseball and basketball, worked and was voted class clown during his senior year of high school in Elmer.
These days, Brian's work has taken him half-way around the world to lands where he helped keep the peace or tried to restore it, and it's been no laughing matter.
Brian's eight-and-a-half years in the military have included peacekeeping missions in Slovenia, Yugoslavia and Cuba, and well as helping to fight the war in Iraq. That latter experience brought him the Army Commendation Medal for Valor.
In June 2004, Brian and members of the 89th Military Police unit were on the way to an Iraqi police station in Sadr City when they were fired upon.
When the gunner was injured Brian volunteered to man a .50-caliber gun on his military vehicle, even though he had no idea how to use it.
During a 14-hour firefight, Brian took out 12 enemy combatants, including a sniper, and rocket-propelled grenade and machine-gun teams.