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NFL hopeful Brandon O’Brien re-enlists in Marines following Boston attacks

Marines Getty Images

In a move reminiscent of Pat Tillman’s decision to enlist in the military following the attacks of 9/11 over a decade ago, a NFL hopeful is heading back to the Marines following the attacks at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Brandon O’Brien was training in hopes of making the jump from the NAIA ranks to the NFL. O’Brien played at Montana State University-Northern in Havre, Mont. after serving four years in the Marines. The 30-year-old wide receiver was still hopeful his dreams of playing professional football would come true despite his age and the level of football he’s been competing in the last few years.

However, after the blasts tore apart the innocence of the Boston streets on Monday afternoon, O’Brien felt life pulling him in a different direction. According to Andy Fenelon of NFL.com, O’Brien has elected to re-enlist in the Marines.

The events “left (a) big hole in his heart,” agent Brad Berkowitz told Fenelon.

So instead of starting a new career, O’Brien will return to his old one. A massive amount of respect to O’Brien is due for making a sacrifice not many of us would be willing to make.

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79 Responses to “NFL hopeful Brandon O’Brien re-enlists in Marines following Boston attacks”
  1. melkipershero says: Apr 17, 2013 12:12 AM

    If it wasn’t for people like him the U.S.A. wouldn’t be the best damn country in the world. Respect to you and thank you!

  2. tedmurph says: Apr 17, 2013 12:15 AM

    Godspeed

  3. somtoiro says: Apr 17, 2013 12:16 AM

    Military personnel are the most under-appreciated members of our society, followed closely by teachers. As much as i love football, i sometimes wonder why we idolize the man who threw 3 touchdowns in a game more than the one who saved 3 lives in a day. These men and women put their lives on the line and return home to bleak job outlooks and poor support. I’m in highschool now, and i hope that by the time i am older we have more laws to support people like O’Brien who choose to serve their country in order to help others. I am actually ashamed that i could name the entire cowboys roster, as well as each stat leader, but i cant name one military hero who served our country. Much respect.

  4. onekumar says: Apr 17, 2013 12:17 AM

    Rare for someone to give up the chance for good money but god bless him and his patriotism. Hope he stays safe as he serves our country.

  5. kuranda84 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:19 AM

    God speed brother.

  6. Stiller43 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:20 AM

    Awesome news. BIG kudos to him.

  7. MyTeamsAllStink says: Apr 17, 2013 12:21 AM

    Much respect to this young man.

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 17, 2013 12:22 AM

    Wow. Sounds like he found the Team and position he was looking for all along.

  9. zoltan378 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:23 AM

    Awesome…go get them Brandon. Thank you!

  10. canadabaseball says: Apr 17, 2013 12:25 AM

    This deserves more recognition

  11. jayovalentine says: Apr 17, 2013 12:29 AM

    More power to him

  12. williamjheinecke says: Apr 17, 2013 12:31 AM

    God speed, sir.

  13. raiderinva says: Apr 17, 2013 12:34 AM

    Brandon:

    Great for you, follow your heart….

    HOOHA….

  14. dboydc says: Apr 17, 2013 12:34 AM

    Sender Fi brother! Make us proud we got your back. Look death in the eyes and handle it!

    Cpl Ramirez
    USMC

  15. slew55 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:34 AM

    Many Americans have put their own personal desires aside to serve our country and keep us safe. Godspeed Brandon O’Brian and Semper Fi!

  16. orndorf2 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:38 AM

    Honorable.

  17. lennydpocketqb says: Apr 17, 2013 12:41 AM

    Respect.

  18. davidschap says: Apr 17, 2013 12:50 AM

    Good job sir. Hope to see you at camp Pendleton soon.

  19. 619sdfan4life says: Apr 17, 2013 12:54 AM

    Thank you Brandon for your service and your continued service. Some people were born for this (LIKE YOU SIR) God bless you and thank you.

  20. sickoe47 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:03 AM

    God speed mr o’brien.semper fi.

  21. richiesaurus310 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:08 AM

    He wasn’t gonna make the NFL, but that doesn’t make him any less of a patriot.

  22. charliereno says: Apr 17, 2013 1:09 AM

    Football players make entertainment. Marines make history. Welcome back, Brandon.

  23. avo15 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:10 AM

    God Bless!!!! Do the deed, come home safe and play some football! SEMPER FI!!!!

  24. zeeman911 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:11 AM

    Congrats!!!!

  25. Fist of the Raven says: Apr 17, 2013 1:23 AM

    I applaud you sir. Stay safe once you get there.

  26. mec693 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:27 AM

    unbelievable. god bless him, he’s got bigger cajones than any NFL player

  27. acorp11 says: Apr 17, 2013 1:29 AM

    Wow. Incredible. May God watch over him wherever the Marines takes him.

  28. bwhick says: Apr 17, 2013 1:29 AM

    Semper Fi!!!!!! All the respect in the world for this man.Stay safe and keep your head down.

  29. bearsstillsuck says: Apr 17, 2013 1:34 AM

    Good luck. I’ve been trying to get back in for years.

  30. gator2006 says: Apr 17, 2013 2:12 AM

    3 people dead so he decides he wants to kill some more. Lives are lives, even the innocent civilian lives we destroy in the Middle East that do not get charities or moments of silence. War sucks.

  31. larryboodry says: Apr 17, 2013 2:18 AM

    What a true hero…May God watch over him and keep him safe.

  32. larryboodry says: Apr 17, 2013 2:21 AM

    @somtoiro:

    Love the great post you wrote…I wish most adults had your wisdom and common sense.

  33. siege102 says: Apr 17, 2013 2:23 AM

    Respect and props to him and all…. but doesn’t it seem strange that he is attributing this to the Boston tragedy, when we don’t even know whether it was a domestic or foreign incident. For all we know, it was the same class of sicko that shot up the Batman theater in Colorado.

    It’s awesome that he wants to go serve our great country, but attributing it to this tragedy says, to me at least, 1. He wasn’t going to cut it in football or 2. His heart is really not in football (and therefore he really has his priorities straight).

  34. delusionalcardsfan says: Apr 17, 2013 2:34 AM

    Semper Fi Devil Dog!

  35. coachbeck says: Apr 17, 2013 2:38 AM

    We idolize athlete over a marine because we can watch a TD pass live, however we can not watch a sniper taking people out with head shots in real time.

    Teachers are not appreciated because of the goverment. Standard pay has killed the teaching industry. If they had pay for performance then you would have some rock stars.

  36. louhudson23 says: Apr 17, 2013 2:51 AM

    Watch your back,cover your brother….Semper Fi

  37. chawk12thman says: Apr 17, 2013 3:25 AM

    Worthy of National News……

    Every time I start to believe all that we have left are lazy, unmotivated, drug addict criminals growing up I hear something like this to show how great American’s truely are. In fact, this is probably not as unique as we think. It is a great reflection of our great country, even with our faults.

    Best wishes to you, Mr. O’Brien and a big thank you for your previous service and present commitment. Keep your head down and be safe.

  38. duncanthecat says: Apr 17, 2013 5:20 AM

    No femanized men taking this hero’s guns.

    Congradulations and much warmth. You make us
    all proud.

    Give them hell, and may God look after you, your fellow Marines,
    and your family.

    A very sincere thank you.

  39. cylondetector says: Apr 17, 2013 5:40 AM

    Misguided and naive. Cannon fodder for America’s expansionist foreign policy.

    Hope he comes back alive.

  40. thesteelers says: Apr 17, 2013 5:43 AM

    Another guy who doesn’t understand the politics. In this next war, let’s see if we can top 300,000 civilian casualties this time.

  41. section112 says: Apr 17, 2013 6:51 AM

    Being a vet myself, I applaud this great American for his service AGAIN to our country !!

    May God bless you and protect you Brandon O’Brien.

  42. barrywhererufrom says: Apr 17, 2013 6:53 AM

    Semper Fi!! A real hero..God speed

  43. blackngoldmachine says: Apr 17, 2013 6:54 AM

    OOH Rah Marine! A stand up young man that alot of players could learn from. They dont need to go out and enlist, but maybe they learn a lesson in Patriotism from him.

  44. omegaichiban says: Apr 17, 2013 7:08 AM

    All props to my Marine brother, but if this is domestic terrorism, the Marines have no jurisdiction. He more than likely could have tried out and if he didn’t make it, still reenlisted. Again, good on him for reenlisting.

  45. sewalters79 says: Apr 17, 2013 7:19 AM

    Brandon, you are a true American and people like you are the real heros! Godspeed

  46. reed20fence says: Apr 17, 2013 8:05 AM

    Much respect to o’Brian for his committment to serve.

    Since no one else seems to be pointing this out I will: we don’t know if this was domestic or international terror. If it ends up being some local nutjob acting out their own sick and deluded idea of patriotism, the example of our servicemen and women is even more important. You want to be a patriot? Go defend our freeedoms.

  47. therolandobottom says: Apr 17, 2013 8:21 AM

    I joined after 9-11. Best decision I ever made. Good luck brother! Hooah!

  48. rmzthefirst says: Apr 17, 2013 8:23 AM

    Kudos brother…!

  49. nyfan63 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:24 AM

    Sempre Fi Brandon. God bless.

  50. stillworker says: Apr 17, 2013 8:26 AM

    God Bless!!………Be Safe!

  51. rgtre10 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:28 AM

    somtoiro says:
    Apr 17, 2013 12:16 AM
    Military personnel are the most under-appreciated members of our society, followed closely by teachers. As much as i love football, i sometimes wonder why we idolize the man who threw 3 touchdowns in a game more than the one who saved 3 lives in a day. These men and women put their lives on the line and return home to bleak job outlooks and poor support. I’m in highschool now, and i hope that by the time i am older we have more laws to support people like O’Brien who choose to serve their country in order to help others. I am actually ashamed that i could name the entire cowboys roster, as well as each stat leader, but i cant name one military hero who served our country. Much respect.

    ____________________

    I concur as I’m retired military and served during Desert Shield/Storm, and everytime someone commits an act like this my mind goes to give me a pair of boots and my weapon let’s lock and load and kick some arse. It’s not very hard for some to make a decisision such as this and I applaud him and all others who choose to serve, protect and defend our country.

  52. patsfanhere says: Apr 17, 2013 8:31 AM

    Good luck. Much respect and Semper Fi.

  53. vikescry1 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:39 AM

    good luck young man stay safe!! and thank you. if we only more young people would fell/think this way.

  54. 49erstim says: Apr 17, 2013 8:52 AM

    Much respect, Devil Dog. Get home safe Marine.

  55. conormacleod says: Apr 17, 2013 8:59 AM

    He’s an idiot, and so is Pat Tillman. Tillman is dead. You think his family wouldn’t give everything they have in life to have him back? Both these guys made the selfish choice in life. The hard choice is to do what’s right by the ones you love. Most will dislike this comment, but that’s because you know I’m right and you are afraid to admit that both these guys had better options in life than the military.

  56. green41563 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:10 AM

    We’d be a lot better off if we spent less time and money on military defense and more time figuring out why so many people want to kill us in the first place.

  57. seals1 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:23 AM

    Everytime you start to lose a little faith in the American public and our leader you see a sign that we ain’t dead yet.

    Thanks Brandon, God Bless you and your family!

  58. dariusmyles says: Apr 17, 2013 9:40 AM

    You think seeing your team win the Super Bowl is a thrill? Try pushing through an ambush and killing all of them….than again I’m a Bills fan so I don’t know what it feels like to win a Super Bowl. I’m still sure it doesn’t compare though.

  59. kobuffalo says: Apr 17, 2013 9:43 AM

    gator2006, you are right when you say “war sucks.” However, so do TERRORISM and cowardice. Sticking your head in the sand and taking shots at those who devote their lives to protecting your right to do so is an act of cowardice in and of itself. I pity you.
    A Desert Storm Vet

  60. pdennis33 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:54 AM

    Nothing but love and respect for him, and I wish Brandon only the best.

    Since we’re on this subject of terror and violence, it’s important for me to say something. Before I do, know that I have a huge amount of love and respect for everyone in the military.

    What I want to say is that you can’t solve something by using the same thing to solve it.

    What I mean is that you can’t solve violence by using violence, you can’t solve anger by punishment, etc. Even if it seems to fix it, it is only temporary, and the source is still there, unresolved.

    I pray that we all look to the military as a last defense for protection only, and not to “get back at them”, because as easy as it is to want that, it will not solve anything. It will seem to ease our anger for a bit, but will not heal it.

    I pray that we as individuals use our interactions with each other every day to show each other love, peace, and understanding, and THAT is what spreads throughout and heals. That is how each of us can take responsibility and make this world a better place, one human interaction at a time. Each of us really does have the power to make a difference, are you up for the challenge with me? Thanks so much for your time.

    Wishing nothing but love and the very best to you all…

  61. bricktop02 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:02 AM

    Good luck,God bless& Thank you. SEMPER FI !!!

  62. spiderperv says: Apr 17, 2013 10:15 AM

    Faux patriotism in a hack story. Scrub from Montana-Havre at 30 years old is equivalent to Pat Tillman?

    Don’t even know who the perpetrators are and already the idiots are oozing out of the woodwork.

  63. vegaskid21 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:19 AM

    Freaking Patriot!!!! Semper Fi! Respect and stay safe..

  64. fground says: Apr 17, 2013 10:30 AM

    So let me get this straight – this guy is some kind of hero because he is joining the military that is at war with nations that have never attacked America. A military that has killed thousands of innocent civilians in drone attacks because they think they are getting some bad guys and to hell with the collateral damage.

    And the precipitating incident could very likely been just another crazy American carrying out another mass murder which happens it seems about once a month.

  65. shackdelrio says: Apr 17, 2013 10:33 AM

    Admirable story but lets hold off on the “reminiscent of Pat Tillman” talk. Tillman gave up millions of dollars from the NFL to fight for this country. This guy is a 30 year old NAIA player who likely would not have even been invited to a training camp.

  66. painsyndicate says: Apr 17, 2013 10:57 AM

    God bless you Brandon. Keep your head down and your powder dry.

  67. metalhead65 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:05 AM

    so the liberal in charge won’t publish my comment on the scumbag libertards who are trashing this man’s brave decision but has no problem with putting there comments on here? you suck florio!

  68. bigbeefyd says: Apr 17, 2013 11:17 AM

    Semper Fi, brother!

  69. r8derfan33 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:24 AM

    Who are the idiots that keep hitting the thumbs down button? Stupid morons that should go hide in Iran or North Korea.

  70. alienz999 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:33 AM

    Hero??? Really. If they would do it for free then hero, but its not like he was gonna be a first round pick. Dude was smart and took a job plain and simple. Hero please. He just wants to be talked about

  71. gucciseki7 says: Apr 17, 2013 11:55 AM

    Semper Fi!

    Cpl Cho
    USMC

  72. green41563 says: Apr 17, 2013 12:02 PM

    It’s amazing that so many people still think the military exists “to protect our freedom.”

    The military exists to protect corporate interests—period. It serves as a private security force for oil companies, banks, and other elite American companies, none of which gives a flying flip about you or me.

    You think the people at ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs are sending their kids to the military to “fight for our freedom”? Uh, no. They’re busy making calls to get their kids into Princeton while your son goes and has his legs blown off.

    They make the money. You take the bullets.

  73. 4evrnyt says: Apr 17, 2013 12:14 PM

    Just because I kid realizes that he basically has zero chance to make it as a 30 year old rookie wide receiver in the NFL he’s now a HERO because he had no legitimate career skills other then to join the military.

  74. cowboylover says: Apr 17, 2013 12:33 PM

    If you don’t like war (who does?) and don’t like these atrocities happening in America, then go read “The Harbinger” and drop to your knees. Brandon O’Brien takes action and doesn’t type smarmy comments in his safe little bedroom.

  75. lgbarn says: Apr 17, 2013 12:34 PM

    Those who are “thumbs down” on this guy’s decision, just remember that it is guys like this that allow you to sit in your mommy’s basement all warm and comfy, typing on the family computer. Disrespect him all you want, but people died for you to have that right.

  76. gvboot says: Apr 17, 2013 1:22 PM

    Brothers in arms.
    God bless you

  77. footballfan says: Apr 17, 2013 1:46 PM

    He’s an idiot, and so is Pat Tillman. Tillman is dead. You think his family wouldn’t give everything they have in life to have him back? Both these guys made the selfish choice in life. The hard choice is to do what’s right by the ones you love. Most will dislike this comment, but that’s because you know I’m right and you are afraid to admit that both these guys had better options in life than the military.

    The selfish choice is being more worried about self and family. Unselfish is fighting for those you don’t know. Huge difference.

  78. racistchecker says: Apr 17, 2013 1:53 PM

    What is the correlation between the bombing and joining the military? For instance, did people join the military because Tayvon Martin was shot or because a man flew an airplane into the IRS building in Austin Texas a few years ago? Using this logic, because we live in the most crime ridden country in the world, all of us would be in the military!

    Coming form a disabled Air Force veteran, this just seems like a publicity stunt and more military propaganda to get young people to go and die for our “interests” which have never been concisely defined.

    Every time I go to the VA clinic and see veterans who are severely injured get the run around with there healthcare, it makes me sick!

    If you really want to honor those who have sacrificed their lives so you can live a lifestyle that the vast majority of the people on this planet can only dream of, support them when we get back!

    Stop all the flag waving and parades and let your representative and senator know that you want them to put the money where your mouth is!

    I think people will truly appreciate G.I.’s and veterans if everyone had to serve a few years like Israel requires their population to do. Then, maybe people would know what it is like to truly be a “patriot” and not just give lipservice to those who serve!

  79. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 17, 2013 3:26 PM

    Not sure I get it since at this point we don’t know who is responsible for the cowardly and horrible crime.

    Sounds like the NFL was a long shot for O’brien but still admire his courage and service.

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