Life Scout gives ultimate sacrifice
Fort Wayne native Specialist Brian Hamilton Penisten, United States Army, was assigned to Air Defense Artillery Battery, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.
Penisten was an active member of St. Vincent’s Boy Scout Troop #2. He served as Team Captain of Varsity Team 6402. Brian went to Philmont and participated in numerous troop and team activities. As a Life Scout, Brian completed his Eagle Project but didn’t get his Eagle rank due to extenuating circumstances. Both Brian’s parents were Committee Members for the St. Vincent Troop, remaining active even after Brian’s scouting days were through. Brian graduated from Bishop Dwenger High School in 1993 and was a member of St. Vincent Catholic Church.
Brian and 14 other Army men and women died Sunday morning, November 2, 2003 when the Chinook helicopter they were flying in was shot down near Fallujah, Iraq. Penisten and the others were on their way to Baghdad International when they were shot down. He was planning to return to the states for R&R. He was to be married during his leave and would have returned to Fort Wayne when he was discharged from the service in July.
The 28-year old was buried with full military honors on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at Highland Park Cemetery. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.