Staff Sgt. Trevor Brittell Named ‘Veteran Of The Month’ [Courant]

June 30, 2014
A photo of Trevor Brittell was taken in the mountains of northern Afghanistan, during his second deployment. (Courtesy of Trevor Brittell / July 1, 2014)

A photo of Trevor Brittell was taken in the mountains of northern Afghanistan, during his second deployment. (Courtesy of Trevor Brittell / July 1, 2014)

By JESSICA MOORE | Hartford Courant

SIMSBURY — Staff Sgt. Trevor Brittell has been recognized as veteran of the month by state Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton.

Brittell, 35, has spent nearly 17 years in the military. He is currently serving as a squad leader for a military police unit in West Hartford.

Brittell said he wanted to attend college, but he couldn’t afford it, so he joined the Army during his senior year at Simsbury High School.

“I spoke to a recruiter and he said if I served, state tuition would be waived. I thought it was the best thing for me, so that’s what I decided to do,” said Brittell, who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Army National Guard in 1997.

A few years later, Brittell was training in New Jersey when the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place.

“We were right in the middle of everything,” he said. “All of a sudden it was game time and it was very, very, real very, very fast.”

The 29th Infantry was sent to Bosnia a week after the attack. Brittell was deployed two more times, first to Afghanistan in 2006 then to Iraq with the military police in 2009.

During his final deployment, Brittell was stationed in Baghdad, where he worked in one of the prisons.

“Our main mission was to run the prison and train Iraqi correction officers so they could take over when we left,” he said. “It was kind of cool working with them hand in hand… they really wanted to do right by their country and they were glad to have that opportunity.”

After returning home in 2010, Brittell became a military police instructor, training soldiers to become police officers for three years before transferring to the 143rd Military Police Company in West Hartford.

Currently a squad leader, Brittell said his unit is constantly training and preparing for potential missions.

He said the veteran of the month honor has allowed him to connect with other local veterans from different generations.

“It really means a lot … to be mentioned with some of the people who have come before me is a huge honor,” he said.

Witkos has said he started the veteran of the month program as a way to share the stories of local veterans with the community. He said he chose Brittell for his selfless and service to the country.

“Brittell has proudly served his country, protected the lives of countless individuals, and has also been a teacher and leader to many,” Witkos said in a statement.

Outside of his military career, the Brittell, of Simsbury, said he’s trying to get back into hockey and is enjoying family life with his wife, Kateri, and 14-month-old daughter, Cara.

He said parenthood had been an amazing experience, “I’m a little bit tired, but it’s so worth it.”