Brent was born in Sioux City, IA and was raised in South Sioux City, NE. While growing up, he developed a love for fishing after his dad put a rod and reel in his hand at the age of 5. In the following summers, fishing on Leech Lake in Minnesota, he knew that fishing would be a big part of his life, but he couldn’t have imagined just how important fishing would become and the extent to which it would affect him later in life.
After graduating high school, Brent enlisted into the Army Infantry Branch and was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia in June of 1997 for basic infantry training. Upon completing basic training, Brent was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas as a member of 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, where he served as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Driver, Turret Gunner, Rifleman, and M60 gunner.
In March of 1999 Brent was assigned to South Korea with 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division where he served as a Team Leader in an Infantry Platoon. After completing his tour of Korea in March of 2000, he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. There he served as a Team Leader, Gunner, Squad Leader, and Section Leader.
While with 1st Cav, Brent served two tours in Kuwait and was eventually deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2004 to 2005, Brent was stationed Baghdad, Iraq. He later redeployed to Balad, Iraq between 2006 and 2007.
This second tour came to an abrupt end for Brent in June of 2007 when the Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was in was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), commonly referred to as a roadside bomb.
Despite sustaining life threatening injuries from the blast, Brent survived the attack. The explosion claimed Brent’s right eye, caused a traumatic brain injury, shattered his right arm, wrist, and hand, he lost half of his thumb, and suffered severe nerve damage throughout his right arm. Nonetheless, after countless surgeries and two years of intense physical rehab, along with endless support from his wife Kelly, Brent has regained much of the function that he originally lost.
A Growing Family and a New Mission
It was during his rehabilitation, in January of 2008, that he was introduced to the Army Bass Anglers (ABA). From that meeting, Brent found a way to combine his abiding love for fishing with his deep desire to support his fellow wounded soldiers. As part of the ABA fishing team, Brent helped to buoy the spirits of soldiers who were being cared for in the same hospitals he was, while raising awareness of the plight that soldiers faced when they returned home with life-changing wounds.
In November of 2008, Brent’s life changed yet again as he and Kelly celebrated the birth of their first child, a 9-pound baby boy.
In September of 2009, Brent was medically retired from the United States Army. This was a bittersweet time for Brent. He was leaving the service and soldiers that he loved, but it presented the opportunity to pursue his passion for fishing on a full-time basis.
Brent continued to fish with ABA until early 2011, when he retired from the team as a necessary step to commit himself entirely to attaining his lifelong dream of fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail. He did not, however, forget his commitment to his wounded brethren, and so partnered with the Freedom Care Warrior Project as an ambassador for the organization.
2016 and Beyond
2016 promises to be another life-changing year for Brent as he competes in the Bassmaster Central Opens with the goal of qualifying for the Elite Series.
Brent appreciates the support of his sponsors, friends, family, fans, fellow soldiers, and of course, his loving wife, as he works toward the eventual realization of his Bassmaster Elite dream. He is resolute, however, that no matter how far his fishing career takes him, he will never abandon his most important mission of serving as an advocate for all soldiers – retired and active, wounded or otherwise.