Mar 4, 2016 Issues: Veterans

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Jones (NC-3) saw to the conclusion of a 14 year journey to clear the names of two Marine pilots who died in a V-22 Osprey crash in Marana, Arizona, on April 8, 2000.  The pilots, Brooks Gruber and John Brow, were incorrectly blamed for the crash in a Marine Corps press release in the aftermath of the accident.  In 2002, Connie Gruber, the widow of Brooks Gruber and a resident of Jacksonville, North Carolina, wrote to Congressman Jones asking for his help clearing the name of her husband and John Brow.  For the past 14 years, Congressman Jones has petitioned the Department of Defense to correct the press release misconception and clear the names of the pilots.  In the past year, he and Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work worked on a statement that clarifies the causes of the crash. This week, Secretary Work issued a letter concluding that “it is impossible to point to a single ‘fatal factor’ that caused this crash.” Congressman Jones released this statement about the journey to clear the names of Brooks Gruber and John Brow:

“Words cannot express how happy I am that Secretary Robert Work and the Department of Defense corrected the public perception of the Marana crash.  I owe thanks to the many people who lent their support and talents over the years in this journey to clear the names of John Brow and Brooks Gruber.  Through many years of research, it was clear to me that these pilots weren’t at fault for the Marana crash.  For me, this has also been a spiritual journey in pursuit of the truth.  I joined Trish and Connie, the widows of Brow and Gruber, on this journey, and many times we did not know if we would see a resolution—until I met Secretary Robert Work.  I prayed every night that these two Marine pilots would rest in peace with their names cleared. Now those prayers have been answered.”

To read Secretary Work's letter, click on the link below.