Growing up in a military and police family, Rich Brewer was instilled with a belief in service and devotion to country and community. Enlisting in the Marines at the age of 17, Rich was meritoriously promoted to every rank and became a Sergeant in just 19 months. Early in his career, Rich was selected for the prestigious Marine Security Guard School, which trains Marines to guard US Embassies around the World. After receiving a Top Secret Security Clearance from the US State Department, Rich was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983-84, during some of the heaviest fighting of the civil war there. Rich took part in one of the largest evacuations of western personnel from a hostile country, evacuating over 3,000 westerners from Beirut as the city fell to militia groups.
On September 20th, 1984 , Rich was severely wounded by a suicide truck bomb that destroyed the American Embassy of Beirut. Despite multiple lacerations, burns, shrapnel wounds and a broken arm, Rich continued aiding those wounded, until he lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital where he received minimum care and refused further treatment so he could return to stand duty with his fellow Marines. In honor of his bravery and fortitude, Rich is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Navy Commendation, Navy Achievement, Combat Action, Presidential Unit Citation, and numerous other personal and unit awards.
After leaving the Marine Corps in 1987, Rich joined the Massachusetts State Police, graduated first in his class and was honored with the top physical fitness award. He was promoted to the rank of Detective Trooper, and became a FBI certified Hostage Negotiator. After 4 years with the State Police, Rich moved to Washington, DC to rejoin several Marine team members in the private security industry, ultimately becoming the lead bodyguard for a member of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia.
Armed with his professional accomplishments, Rich turned his attention to his personal development, earning a BS in Special Education and BA in History in 1997, and launching a career in education that would take him back to Beirut, Lebanon to teach for two years at the American Community School of Beirut, followed by a decade of teaching at the Jesuit College Prepratory School Cheverus in Portland, Maine. While at Cheverus, Rich was honored with the “A+ Teacher Award” in 2002, and a yearbook dedication in 2004.
Despite his professional and personal achievements and by all accounts living the “American Dream”, Rich struggled for more than two decades with PTSD/TBI and the psychological trauma of his combat experience, often describing it as the “war within”.
Feeling worthless no matter how good it appeared he was doing, Rich reached a point where death looked better than life. Ever so close to choosing death, Rich decided to live to benefit his family and himself. From that fateful moment Rich began dedicating himself to helping those struggling with PTSd and educating the wider society about combat veterans who are returning home. Through his organization, OneWarriorWon, Rich is leading the movement to inform and educate the American people about the true multiple, complex issues facing returning combat veterans to their communities and assisting them in integrating into a more caring community and country.