BRIAN R. HOKE
Brian Hoke '96
Date of birth: April 4, 1974
Date of death: October 21, 2016
From the 1996 Lucky Bag:
From the January-February 2017 issue of Shipmate:
BRIAN RAY HOKE ’96
Lector Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice.
"Reader, if you seek this man’s monument—look around you,” the priest spoke as 500 friends and family filled Memorial Hall on 28 October 2016 to reflect on the life of Brian Ray Hoke. A life cut far too short, but one lived more fully than most, Brian died in the service of his country on 21 October 2016 at the age of 42.
The youngest of three children, Brian was born on 4 April 1974 in Cambridge, NE, and grew up in South Dakota. From an early age, Brian loved the outdoors, hiking and fishing whenever he could. He excelled at every sport, notably football, basketball, and baseball, and later in life he developed an enduring passion for surfing. He was well-read, painted beautiful artwork and played the violin.
Brian graduated from USNA with the Class of 1996 and realized his dream of becoming a SEAL, graduating from BUD/S class 210 in April 1997. He served at SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team Two and SEAL Teams Three and Seven with deployments to EUCom and CentCom. Following his military career, Brian remained in government service as a civilian with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.
Brian married his wife, Christy, in 2008. His love for family apparent, Brian adopted Christy’s two boys, Sean and Stuart. Brian and Christy added to their family in 2015 with the birth of Adelaide, whom Brian adored. Always a role model, Brian organized outings between cousins and siblings to knit his extended family closer together with outdoor activities and adventures. Despite a hectic work life, he stayed close with friends around the world.
Through his humility, sense of humor, talent, dedication and love for others, Brian became a larger than life figure who touched the souls of people from all walks of life. Most recently, Brian devoted himself to helping those from his group who had been wounded or killed, raising thousands of dollars for those who could no longer serve and those left behind.
Brian is survived by his wife, Christy; their three children, Sean, Stuart and Adelaide; his parents, Dan and Virginia; sister, Mary; brother, Dan Jr.; and their families.
Brian loved his family, his friends and his country. He gave his life protecting those he loved. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
Brian will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Brian wrote the following for the site Crowd Rise, where he sought to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation:
After a childhood spent in South Dakota, I began my military life by attending the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1996. While at the Academy I became friends with Navy SEAL Foundation Board member Mike Martin. Together we graduated BUS/s Class 210. As a SEAL, I was stationed with Special Delivery Vehicle Team 2, SEAL Team 3, and SEAL Team 7 with multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. I am currently serving this great country as a civilian in the Department of State with overseas tours in Greece and Denmark. My beautiful wife, Christy, and I are raising our three great children, Sean, Stu, and Adelaide in Northern Virginia.
From the Loudoun Times-Mirror of Loudoun County, Virginia, on October 28, 2016:
A Leesburg man was recently killed in the conflict in Afghanistan, according to neighbors of the deceased.
“Brian Hoke of [Leesburg] died in service to our country this past weekend in Afghanistan," reads fliers posted alongside American flags in Leesburg's Oakcrest neighborhood.
“As we give his family time to grieve and come to grips of the situation," the note reads, "we thought it would be a kind gesture if the neighborhood could pay tribute and honor Brian and his family by displaying the American flag."
From the Daily Mail (UK) on September 6, 2017, Brian was killed "in a battle with ISIS militants outside the city of Jalalabad."
Hoke, a native of Park River, South Dakota, [VMH note: Park River is in North Dakota] and graduate of the United States Naval Academy, became a NAVY Seal in 1997, and joined the CIA in 2004.
He was taught how to become a spy handler, recruiting and managing agents in the field, and as a member of the SAD he was deployed both in warzones such as Iraq.
But he was also sent to Greece and Denmark under cover as a foreign service officer to broaden his knowledge and skills, and would unwind while at home from his missions by painting.
He was 'the kind of person movies are made about, as are most of his colleagues,' his wife, Christy, with whom he had three children, told the New York Times. 'Unbelievable human beings.'
'He lived by a code that I will not break for anything. Even writing this email feels like a small betrayal.'
His wife, Christy, is running a marathon on Antarctica. From Crowd Rise:
Si Vales, Valeo - When you are strong, I am strong
We lost Brian in Afghanistan in October 2016. Never in my life have I relied so heavily on my friends, his friends, and the amazing special operations community of which he was a part. A tribe of people -- both from Brian's work as well as our personal friends, family and local community - have stood guard around us like sentinels, keeping us safe and strong. Although I am the one physically going to Antarctica, many people have signed up for their own races to give me moral support and to help raise money for this campaign.