Racing in memory of: “Buck Vaughn, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, and the president of Vaughn Lumber Company. He helped a lot of people through founding the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, which benefits the Boys and Girls Club; and for his service and philanthropy to Interfaith Health Clinic. Buck impacted me through his selfless service and in his faith in God.”
1979 – 2008
Craig Brown’s military career began earlier than most. He enlisted in the United States Army while he was still in high school. Later attending college, he received a commission from the University of Tennessee Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
His service included assignments with the 101st Airborne and U.S. Army Cadet Command, which took him to stateside assignments, as well as foreign places such as Panama and Germany. He was also deployed to Iraq with the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “All of the difficult challenges I faced while in the Army have become life lessons,” Craig says.
After becoming eligible for retirement, Craig returned to civilian life. He’s been able to apply all that he has learned in the Army to a variety of pursuits on the home front. Craig has an extensive list of credits as an actor and producer. Today he recruits past football players to compete in high school alumni rivalries with Alumni Football USA. That has led to Craig owning a semi-pro football team, the Alcoa Alloys in the IAFL.
But he has never forgotten his comrades in service, and continues to support them in various ways. He remains active with UT Army ROTC alumni, and in 2018 Craig presented the University of Tennessee Army ROTC Distinguished Alumni award to the family of Buck Vaughn, a veteran who served in the 82nd Airborne.
Craig’s next adventure will be the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. Ultimately, he’d like to complete a full marathon of 26.2 miles. “My greatest challenge is going from zero to marathon; I have completed a few half marathons before,” Craig says, “so I just need to double my thinking and training.”