After graduating from West Point, Andrew Brennan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania trained to fly UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and then he deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.
When we kicked the door in Afghanistan, Andrew Brennan admits, the army didn’t have a lot figured out. In the field, missions were—literally—being planned on the hoods of humvees. When Andrew made captain, he left the flight line and became a staff officer at battalion headquarters. The flying was challenging, he admits, but being a staff officer was probably my most difficult experience. “The most stressful thing for any junior officer is dealing with the bureaucracy.”
We first met Andrew Brennan at Christ United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh’s suburban Bethel Park neighborhood. Our mission on that cold but sunny day in late February 2016 was to film interviews for a promotional video for the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation—Andrew’s nonprofit organization spearheading efforts to build a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor our fallen warriors, US services members, their families, and all those who supported our nation’s longest war.
After filming several testimonials from local post-9/11 veterans, we invited Andrew to sit with us for an extended interview to be include in our veterans oral history project.
This interview was conducted by Veteran Voices executive producer Kevin Farkas and recorded by Bryan Chemini.