It was 7am on the morning of 9/12/ 2001 as the C-141C Starlifter descended across the battlefields of Princeton, Paoli, and Valley Forge, and crossed the Delaware on it’s way to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. Battlefields that Brodheads would fight along side George Washington during the revolution.
One of only a handful of military aircraft in the skies of America that day, the Aircraft had flown from “Sea to shining sea” without hearing one radio call from another aircraft. The Starlifter had taken off from March AFB, California at 11PM on 9/11/2001. We were hauling FEMA assets, and rescue dogs which were bound for New York.
As the dawn settled across the Eastern seaboard, the C-141C crew could see the smoke from the collapsed twin towers from 35,000 feet and over a 100 miles away, the sun burning brightly in the back ground.
on August 27th, 1664, at basically this same location on Manhattan, my Great plus Grandfather, Captain Daniel Brodhead I , “Second in Command of the Nichols Expedition,” would disembark from British “Man-O-Wars” along with 500 British troops, and force the surrender of New Amsterdam.
New Amsterdam would be renamed New York and English speaking rule established.
In late August of 1776, and within blocks of this same location, my great plus grand uncle Colonel Daniel Brodhead of the 8th Pennsylvania rifle regiment, would defend George Washington’s midnight retreat across the East river. He would be among the last boats that left Brooklyn Heights after the devastating defeat at the “Battle of Long Island!” On the Manhattan side of the East river, Daniel Brodhead and his Pennsylvanian riflemen, while under the command of Thomas Mifflin, would tend the encampment fires in order to fool Howe’s forces as George Washington and his army retreated to Fort Washington..
Daniel’s son Ensign would be captured, and spend time on a prison ship. Daniel’s Brother Luke would be musketed , captured, and also spend several months in a disease ridden British prison ship on the Hudson. Previous to the “Battle of Long Island,” Luke would be a soldier in the 1st American Rifle regiment, and protect the “Guns of Ticonderoga” atop “Dorchester Heights” at the siege of Boston.
The Brodhead brothers would later join their “Band of Brothers” at “Valley Forge” and “Take the oath of Allegiance “to America.
Daniel Brodhead would become one of George Washington’s generals, a dear friend, and commander of the Western department headquartered at Fort Pitt. Luke Brodhead would be on Marques De lafayette’s staff and be wounded several more times
While at Valley Forge, Daniel Brodhead would be the first officer that talked about VA benefits for the offspring of Continental soldiers that were killed in battle.
The Brodheads from Pennsylvania were non-slave owning free soilers. They rose up and supported the Patriots in Boston early in 1775.
Garret Brodhead and Richard Brodhead would fight during the War of 1812
During the Mexican American War, Thornton Fleming Brodhead would fight in the 15th Infantry under the command of his cousin General Franklin Pierce at the battles of Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec. He along with Lee, Grant, Jackson, Longstreet, Pickett and other American civil war generals would be present as they hung the “San Patricios” and hoisted the American flag over the Chapultepec castle. This heinous event changed Franklin Pierce’s views on Catholic oppression within New Hampshire government. Thorton would also serve with Washinton Territory’s first governor Isaac Stevens.
In 1861, Thornton F. Brodhead would raise the First Michigan cavalry (Wolverines) at the personal request of Abraham Lincoln. He and his Wolverines would be among the first to come to the defense of Washington DC. In August of 1862, Col. Brodhead would command the Verdiersville raid and almost capture Jeb Stuart. Instead, they took Jeb Stuart’s cavalier hat and purple overcoat as war prizes. He would also capture a dispatch between Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson detailing the entrapment of Pope’s Army between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan possibly saving Popes troops from a severe beating.
Thorton F. Brodhead would be shot by Jeb Stuart’s men at Lewis ford of Bullrun creek during the 2nd battle of Manassas. Stuart’s men would field strip him of his horse, saddle, boots, sword and pistols. Brodhead would be brevetted to general on his deathbed September 1st, 1862. Isaac Stevens would also die on September 1st, 1862, shot through the temple at the Battle of Chantilly. George Armstrong Custer would take command of the 1st Michigan later that year. The Michigan Cavalry Brigade would avenge Brodhead’s death at the “Battle of Yellow Tavern,” when Wolverine Sgt. Huff put pistol lead into Stuart. Meanwhile, Lt. Edgar Brodhead was Captain of the U.S.S. Saratoga and blockading Charleston harbor under the command of Admiral John A. Dahlgren
At Appomattox, Robert E. Lee would have to ride through the mounted ranks of the 1st Michigan Cavalry on his way to the Appomattox courthouse and accept Grant’s terms of surrender.
Brodheads have always been first. We were the first to establish English speaking rule in the New World. We were first to rise against British tyranny. We were the first delegates to the 1st Continental Congress. We were the first to join the 1st American Rifle regiment. We were the first to talk about Veteran’s benefits. We were first among the “Founding fathers!” We would have been the first to get the British hangman’s noose. Now Brodheads seek to put our children’s futures first!
A total of five Brodheads have served in Congress and one in the Senate. During the 1840s and 1850s, on the House and Senate floor, we debated the great issues that confronted this nation like The Kansas Nebraska Act, The Wilmot Proviso, The Missouri Compromise, slavery in the territories, and the Postal service bill just to name a few. We would pass legislation that funded the Mexican/American war. We would vote for legislation that created the Washington Territory, the Oregon Territory, the Utah territory, the New Mexico territory. The annexation of Texas, the Gadsden Purchase, the Fremont/Carson expeditions and the topography surveys for the Transcontinental railroad and telegraph. The list goes on and on. We would also pass legislation that provided 160 and 460 acre land grants to Oregon and Washingtonian pioneers. We would work diligently to provide free land for all Veterans that fought for this country. In addition, we passed funding for the Capitol building extension which built the East, and West wings, Capitol Dome, and Congressional library. Senator Richard H. Brodhead from Pennsylvania would marry Jefferson Davis’s niece. He would lose his senate seat to Republican Simon Cameron who would run for president and then cut a deal with Abraham Lincoln at the 1860 Republican Convention. My great grand uncle would die a few months after Gettysburg.
We worked with the finest statesmen of the age. Leaders who understood that legislation must be visionary and facilitate progress and economy. Today, our legislators are beholden to special interest and are either reactionary or engage in oppressive protectionist policies.
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Throughout the history of this great nation, Brodheads have erred on the right side of history and stood with the things that were beneficial to this country. Our finger prints are all over the blueprint of the American dream. We fought for English speaking rule, independence, Manifest Destiny, and emancipation.
Now we fight to create a robust future for our children. We fight for an “Alternative energy age” that will rival the transcontinental railroad and put millions of our youngsters to work. An age that will create “total” energy independence, protect our environment, and launch America into decades of prosperity..
Lastly, I am proud of my British German heritage and how we have helped build this country into the greatest nation on earth. This wonderful country stands as a monument to the world and I will not let it be torn down by those that would seek to divide us. We are a wonderful melting pot work in progress. We relish our past and understand our history. We will not repeat the horrendous mistakes of the past and we as freedom loving Americans condemn violence, ignorance, and racism in all their forms. The Brodhead story is the story of this country. While we are not perfect, we always strive to elevate human equity in order to form a more perfect union. We reach across the aisle and shun partisan hackery. We give way to our better angels.
Stephan Brodhead’s resume:
Colorado State University
A.S. Flight Engineering
A.S. Aircraft Maintenance Technology
Private sector experience:
25 year small business owner, ASE certified auto mechanic, residential housing handyman to include all phases of construction, electrical and plumbing, Currently managing and maintaining personal residential rental property portfolio.
FAA Flight Engineer
FAA Airframe and Powerplant
Boeing Manufacturing Engineer
Acft. types B737, B757, E-3A, E6B
United States Air Force and Air Force Reserves
Acft. types B-52G, B-52H, KC-135A, KC-10A, C-130, C-141B
United States Air Force Reserves
Acft. types C-141B, C-141C 4200 flying hours
Military campaigns and C-141 missions
Bosnia support missions
Cuban refugee relocation
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Northern watch
Al Qaida relocation to Gitmo
Afghanistan support missions
Stephan’s father and uncle both served over 20 years in the Strategic Air Command . Milton Brodhead, would serve in the Strategic Air Command’s 1st Combat Evaluation group as a radar technician. These are the folks that directed B-52 strikes at the Siege of Khe Sanh. He also performed a tour in the “Agent Orange” contaminated jungles of Vietnam.
Douglas Brodhead would serve as a pilot and fly the B-17, B-29, KC-97,KC-135 and B-52G. He would operate the the B-52 during Operation Chromedome (Airborne nuclear alert)
Stephan served in SAC for 4 years as a B-52 G/H aircraft technician .He would also pull “Nuclear alert”.
The rest of his military career was spent in MAC and the Air Mobility Command “Reserves” as a C-141B/C Flight Engineer. He would fly worldwide in support of our national interest 7 to 10 days a month for 16 years, and be activated for Iraq for 18 months. He performed the dedicated C-141C Air evacuation mission from Baghdad & Balad to Ramstein AB and Andrews AFB. He has logged over 1,500,000 to 1,764,000 miles in the air in support of our national interest, and has been to countless cities on every continent save Antarctica.
Stephan was a member of the 728th Airlift Squadron at McChord AFB from 1991 to 2000 and the 730th Airlift Squadron at March AFB from 2000 to 2005. His service was from 1978 to 2006 with total active duty time of about 12 years.
Stephan’s mother was an immigrant from Germany. He was born at Westover AFB, Mass, and grew up in Nevada and Colorado. He has lived in Tacoma or Kirkland since 1989. The only mark on his private sector record is a DUI 27 years ago. Today, I might enjoy a pint of Northwest Hefeweizen a dozen times a year. I also had an article 15, a couple letters of reprimand, and busted a stripe 35 years ago.