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Spotlight on Community: Brian Behnke, USMC 1999 2003

Today is November 11, 2016, Veterans Day. As promised, Envoy Mortgage-Burlington has made a commitment to
showcase individuals in our community that make a difference.
On this very special day, Envoy is showcasing one of Burlingtons very own veterans, Brian Behnke! We thank him
for his service and continued efforts to be a positive influence in our community as a father, brother, son, friend,
coach, Marine, combat engineer, corporal, with qualities of strength, courage, and determination.
Brian served in the USMC from 1999 to 2003. His journey with the United States Marine Corps proved to be one
filled with dedication and inner strength. In 1999, he graduated from boot camp marking the beginning of
challenges that he would face and conquer. The USMCs Crucible marked the end to one chapter and opened the
door for more to come. This rite of passage, consisting of 54 hours and 45 miles, built one tough Marine!
With boot camp and the Crucible behind him, it was off to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he completed his schooling to
become a combat engineer. Brian was sent back to California to Camp Pendleton where he worked as a
demolition expert. His training consisted of cold weather survival in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and working at
the demo and machine gun range.
When not in training, Brian enjoyed learning new sports, boogie boarding, and surfing -- much needed R&R from
all the training and regimented schedule of Marine life.
The song, Great Balls of Fire, and the classic quote, You can be my wingman anytime. from the movie Top Gun
should be reminiscent to many people. Well, Brians journey led him to the set of the movie, MCAS Miramar! This
young Marine thought this was pretty cool, but soon realized the movie was much cooler and his time there was a
little on the dull side. Im sure the sunsets were still amazing. He was stationed there for only a year.
Back to California and Camp Pendleton to serve under the 7th ESP, the engineer support battalion. This was a short
stay as Brian was deployed within 3 months to Kuwait in February 2003. Operation Iraqi Freedom officially began
on March 20, 2003. Brian and his crew were the front men, clearing the Iraq and Kuwait border for other troops.
Everything was very fast paced. As he and troops moved through a lot of different cities, gun fire and C-4
explosions were left in their wake. With war and the sound of gunfire all around him, he found moments that will
stay with him forever. One of those moments was staying in one of Saddam Husseins palaces that overlooked the
Tigris River, near the ancient city of Babylon.
Entering the military fresh out of high school, stepping off the bus onto the yellow footprints, it all began. What a
journey it was. He conquered the Crucible, achieved the title of combat engineer, fought in a war, and completed
his stay as a Corporal of the USMC! Brian left Iraq in July 2003. Shortly after this, his four years were served. Not
your everyday run to the office where one hits the drive-through for a cup of Joe, kinda job. Brian Behnke, you
rock! Thank you for all you have done for this country!
To his credit Brian has earned the following:
Combat Action Badge
Good Conduct Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Brian is an excellent role model, not only for his two boys, but also, the boys he coaches on the Burlington Blue
Devils Youth Football Team. Brian has coached the Blue Devils for the last 4 years. I have personally seen a growth
with this team. The respect the players have for their coach is priceless. Thank you, Brian, for all you do for our
community in Burlington! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!