Unable to attend today’s funeral due to the House of Representatives’ voting calendar, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) issued the following statement on the death of Tacoma resident and friend, Brownie Braunsteiner:

“I would like to offer my condolences to Brownie Braunsteiner’s family.  This is a hard day for all of us; Brownie will be missed.  

“Brownie was the chairperson of the Pierce County Veterans Advisory Council, but that doesn’t begin to describe either who he was or the depth of his commitment to life.  A man with a big heart, Brownie fought for issues he believed in.  After serving our nation with a decorated career in the Army, Brownie worked tirelessly for the rights of veterans.  Brownie was a passionate, dedicated citizen who gave so much to Pierce County and our nation.  He was patient and kind in teaching me not just about veterans and military issues, but also a wide range of other concerns close to his heart.  

“Brownie was a leader within the veterans community.  We worked together on veterans’ issues ranging from concurrent receipt to VA health care to continuing education and reform of the Montgomery GI Bill.  Brownie was not only a critical participant in conversations about improving the quality of life for veterans, but was also instrumental in rallying the community behind positive change.  

Brownie was someone who was so well respected it defies belief.  Everyone in the veterans’ community, every elected official, everyone in Pierce County knew him and loved him.  His tireless work earned him not only the respect, but also the love of everyone who knew him.”