Thursday, November 09, 2006

Words in Memory of Robert Brewer
Major Russell Custer
7 November 2006

I’ve never spoken at anyone’s funeral before and I struggled at length for words to say here today. Rob passed away almost a month ago and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what he meant to me…to us. But then it suddenly hit me…and it’s really quite simple…how would Rob wish to be remembered? First, he’d tell me to cut out all the flowery words & to keep it real. Second, he’d tell me to schedule in a smoke break. Well Rob, I’ll keep it real, but unfortunately I can’t do away with the flowery words and smoking at one of these things where we’re interring your ashes would be very, very bad form.

Robert Brewer was a man who filled many roles, and in doing so, touched so many lives. He was a son, a brother, a husband, an uncle, a father, a grandfather, a teacher, a counselor, a co-worker and a friend. Along with these roles, he carried a number of names. His family called him Robby, some called him Bob, most called him Rob, and his cyber-friends called him Tyree.

But titles and names aren’t overly important. Actions are what counts. There are a lot of people in this world content with mediocrity, but Robby, Bob, Rob & Tyree certainly weren’t. Ask anyone in the Field Training business & they’ll tell you that Brewer was the best. Period. Almost a month after his passing and we’re still struggling to come to grips with his workload. Ask his friends at & they’ll tell you the same. Look around you & it’s obvious that he operated the same way at home. Uncompromising excellence was Rob’s hallmark.

Candid & smart. That’s how I, personally, remember Rob. As I said at his eulogy, if your baby was ugly, guess what? However, he was smart enough to know that if he called your baby anything less than adorable, you’d probably punch him. Yes, Rob also had a diplomacy mode…he just didn’t activate his as freely as some others. And smart? The guy had a brain the size of a planet. No crossword puzzle was safe around Rob Brewer!

Rob used this candor & intelligence with great effect. Particularly on-line. One of the things that disturbs me the most about Rob’s passing…aside from the fact that I feel he was too young…is the fact that I knew so little about his important work outside of work. If you visit his memorial blogsite, you’ll quickly see what I mean. The guy was a quiet hero who helped countless victims of cyber-crime. He went about his sensitive, complicated duties without boasting or fanfare, without pay and without complaint. He used his numerous talents to bring safety and comfort to those in need.

Rob, if you can hear me, I want you to know just how much I admire you for what you did for us down here. You truly made a difference & the world is a better place because of you. We miss you dearly and we’re looking forward to joining back up with you somewhere down the road. I’d say that I hope God grants you peace, but I think you’re the happiest when you’re fighting criminals or struggling with a puzzle of some sort. So instead, I’ll close by saying that I hope God continues to bless you with blissful challenges. Thank you Rob; you were a true blessing to us all.


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