Tony O'Brien, Navy veteran
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Tony O'Brien served in the Marines, then was selected for the SEALs. A Gulf War veteran, IRONMAN Triathlete & Dad, his father is a Marine Corps veteran & many  family members served our country honorably incl. his "Blue Star family" has members serving today.
Tony is the oldest of the 4 children of Mr. & Mrs. Donald O'Brien and a native of Brockton, Mass. His heroic Mom (age 28) & brother (age 1) died in a home fire when Tony was age 5, his family is forever grateful to Brockton Fire Dept. for rescuing his family. His Dad "Deacon Don" of St. Edward Church later married Lorraine, also a widow also with 3 young children, and he grew up in a wonderful step-family with 7 siblings. His Dad served on the Parish Council & was the first Deacon at "St. Eds." 
We later lost our beloved Lorraine to cancer, please join us in donating to cancer
research to one day beat this scourge.

In his youth, he enjoyed art classes at Fuller Art Museum and his first job was delivering morning newspapers from the 5th grade until after high school graduation. He also enjoyed mowing lawns in the summer & shoveling snow in the winter for extra income. 
He attended Cardinal Spellman High School, Massasoit Community College & Stonehill College. At Spellman, as a freshman he played football & baseball but didn't enjoy sports then so he joined the theater program and the track & cross-country teams and was selected to the National Honor Society. In Drama & several Broadway-type plays & seasonal shows, he had several roles and participated in singing & dance choruses and served with the stagehand team. As co-captain of the track & cross-country teams in his senior year, he ran 3 marathons (26.2 mi.) starting his career in  running & triathlon incl. finishing 15 marathons & IRONMAN Triathlon Hawaii. During high school & college he was active in his Church with his Dad Deacon Don incl. volunteering with charity groups, and worked his way through school in several other jobs incl. as a Teamster warehouseman. In college, he played hockey & baseball in regional adult leagues and also served as head coach for youth basketball & baseball teams.
In 2011, he was inducted to the Cardinal Spellman Robert McEwan Drama Hall of Fame.
 

In the Marines, he served at Camp Pendleton CA as a platoon leader with infantry & reconnaissance units like his Uncle Richard, a retired Marine Colonel and past National Commandant of the Marine Corps League. A highlight of his training in California was attending the Mountain Leader Course in the Sierra Nevadas incl. climbing Matterhorn Peak.
Tony's recon unit served as extras in the Clint Eastwood movie Heartbreak Ridge.
Then he was assigned to the historic USMC boot camp Parris Island SC as a series commander supervising drill instructors & as a battalion executive officer.

He earned his FAA pilot license while stationed in South Carolina.           
I
n the Marines, he attended Navy Diver School & Diving Supervisor Course in San Diego CA and Army Airborne (Jump) school & Army Jumpmaster Course at Ft. Benning GA, competed in military marksmanship matches, participated on the Marine Corps Virginia rugby team, and was a military rock climbing & skiing instructor, water safety survival instructor and a competitive triathlete; and received the Navy Diver insignia, Army parachutist wings, Navy parachutist wings, French Fourragere Award (5th Regiment), Navy Achievement Medals (1st Marine Division & Parris Island), National Defense Service Medal & Meritorious Unit Citation. 

He & his family are honored to be part of the Marine Corps legacy and grateful for unsurpassed leadership training from outstanding Marine leaders.
He was selected for transfer to the Navy, graduated from the iconic basic SEAL training (BUD/S class 156) (considered one of the most challenging military training programs in the world), assigned to SEAL Team FIVE as a platoon commander, and participated in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm & Provide Comfort throughout the middle east in support of SEAL Teams THREE & EIGHT and participated in operation Sea Angel in Bangladesh with SEAL Team THREE.
When next assigned to SDV Team ONE as a platoon commander (DDS), he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander; and then assigned as the USCINCPAC Maritime Operations Counterterrorism Chief for the Pacific theater headquartered in Honolulu HI.
An accomplished skydiver, he was a member of the PACFEST Pacific Armed Forces Exhibition Skydiving Team serving military public relations that jumped into DARE events hosted by Hawaii Police & schools and charity & sports events incl. college football games & NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. 
He was later assigned as NavSpecWar Group Training Officer & Reserves Coordinator in Norfolk VA, then as Maritime Special Operations Officer for a USSOCOM Task Force in Ft. Bragg NC, and also as Commander of Special Operations Detachment Kosovo in Europe in support of SEAL Team TWO participating in operation Joint Guardian.
His Marine & SEAL units trained & operated throughout the U.S. (over 30 states) & overseas with numerous federal, state, and local intelligence & law enforcement agencies including operation Long Fuse & Secret Service details for 3 U.S. Presidents; and made eight deployments to over 30 countries throughout Asia, the middle east, central America & Europe including Kuwait, Kosovo & Iraq.
The Association of the U.S. Navy selected him as the National Officer of the Year in 1997.
His deployments included onboard several ships & submarines incl. USS Peleliu (LHA-5), USS Blueback (SS-581), USS Tarawa (LHA-1), USS Okinawa (LPH-3) & USS Tunny (SSN-682).
In the Navy, besides BUD/S & SERE school, he attended Army HALO School at Ft. Bragg NC & Yuma AZ (course challenge) and the legendary Army Ranger School (class 11-00) at Ft. Benning GA & Eglin AFB FL, finished 15 marathons & IRONMAN triathlon Hawaii (1993), and was an award-winning competitive boxer and certified as a law enforcement firearms instructor.
He is one of only 4 students over the age of 40 who ever graduated from Ranger School in the course's long history. 
He completed Command & Staff College in Quantico VA with studies in Strategic Planning & Policy.
In the Navy, he received the Navy SEAL insignia, Army Ranger tab, military freefall parachute badge (HALO), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (USCINCPAC), Meritorious Service Medal (NSWG-2), Navy Commendation Medal (SEAL Team FIVE), Joint Service Achievement Medal (JSOC), Army Achievement Medal (Kosovo Task Force Falcon), Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Battle Effectiveness Award, Humanitarian Service Medal, other unit & campaign awards, and received the SEAL basic training (BUD/S) Top Shooter award, Army Ranger School Leadership Honor-man award, and a U.S Presidential Commendation.
(Note: One of the most challenging & respected small-unit infantry leadership training courses in the world, Ranger School attendance is open to all military branches which is unusual in most courses but less so in the Army since he also attended the Army Airborne, Army Jumpmaster & Army HALO courses but never served in the Army. Tony attended Ranger School while a member of the Navy. His classmates included 3 Marines & an Air Force member. To serve as an Army Ranger, one must:  be a member of the Army, graduate from Ranger School and be assigned to a Ranger Battalion. All other graduates return to their command that gave them orders to the school as Tony did. Only 2% of the entire Army are Ranger graduates & the large majority of them never serve as a Ranger. Tony never served as an Army Ranger & any source that says so is inaccurate. He is proud to be a graduate of Ranger School.)
For a copy of his DD-214, the official military discharge document that verifies his service, please contact him at NavySEALTonyOBrien@yahoo.com
He and his family are forever thankful to many teammates & fellow service members that kept him & his units safe and humbled by too many that made the ultimate sacrifice. Their Gold Star families are always in our hearts & prayers.
He has also served in leadership and staff positions in local government and nonprofit charities including many that serve veterans. He serves as DAV Hospital Service Coordinator for VA Healthcare Boston and as a board member & volunteer for several nonprofit charities incl. Board of Trustees for VFW Post 697, Whitman, Mass. cell (508) 868-2547 www.facebook.com/AnthonyOBrienSr

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