Retired Army Capt. Samuel Brown was in Afghanistan when a former West Point classmate got caught in an ambush. As he was going to provide backup, Brown’s vehicle hit an IED and he was instantly engulfed in flames.
“You don’t see tragedy coming at all times in your life, but when it hit, there was no mistaking it,” he recalled on the Glenn Beck Program Thursday. “The first thing I did was I threw my arms in my air and I screamed, ‘Jesus save me.’”
Brown said that though he was physically fit and academically accomplished, he knew he could not put out the flames himself. He tried rolling on the ground. He covered himself in dirt. But Brown estimated that he was on fire for 30 to 60 seconds before his gunner broke free to help him.
“I can see nothing but flames. All I can hear is my own voice screaming,” Brown said.
But he still remembers thinking, “How long will it take for me to burn to death?” and “When I burn to death, what will the transition from this life to the next be life?”
Though Brown had resigned himself to dying, he said everything changed when he heard his gunner say: “Sir, I got you.” At that moment, Brown recalled, not only did he know he was going to survive, but he knew he had survived for a reason.
“At that point, I gave up my will to live,” Brown said simply. “And so every moment from that point forward, I can’t take credit for. I’m on the Lord’s time. And so my motto has become, ‘the life I live is not my own.’”
Brown is currently seeking the GOP nomination for Texas House District 102. He married and has two children with the dietician who ran the burn unit where he was recovering, and says she is his “first line of defense” against the corrupting influence of politics.
“I’m getting into politics for the same reason I went into that fight to begin with,” Brown said. “There’s people in trouble. There’s chaos all around. And people are crying for help. People need support. And … we don’t have a cavalry that’s running in to do anything about it.”
Brown said with a laugh that he’s “certainly not the most beautiful” candidate, but he feels a conviction that it is the “right thing to do.”
“I don’t know [how this story ends],” he admitted. “But I can be faithful. I can be faithful to my God. I can be faithful to my country. I can be faithful to this state, and to the people that I would represent.”
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