As a child, Cory was very active in sports. Cory participated and lettered in football, basketball, and golf at Philip High School, however his proudest moments came while playing baseball, having the privilege of being coached by his father. Cory grew up in the comfort of a small town and cherished most, the time he spent on his family’s ranch.
Cory’s success and pride continued while in college. He began college at the University of South Dakota in August, 1990 after completing Basic Training for the National Guard. While in college, Cory maintained a successful education while being honored as a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Cory was also selected to participate in the notorious Strollers program while at the University. Cory graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BS in Psychology. He continued on in dignity to obtain a Law Degree in December of 2000, while on the same day obtaining a MS in Administrative Studies. Cory was published in the South Dakota Law Review and succeeded in Law School, while continuing to be dedicated to the National Guard. Prior to his activation for military duty, Cory was scheduled to take the Bar Examination in February of 2004.
Cory returned to Philip to pursue his legal career while spending as much time as he could on his family’s ranch. There was no man more proud to be from a small town than Cory. He loved where he came from and those that represented Philip. His desire was to give back to a community those things he had treasured the most; integrity, pride and family values. Cory devoted his time to scouting for the Philip High School football team, as well as refereeing high school basketball games. Cory loved sports and entertained many by his vast knowledge of any and all sports. He carried on that love of all sports with his nephew Hunter, playing many games of baseball in the backyard. In addition, Cory loved playing golf and spending time with his yellow lab, Zeke.
Cory’s most treasured accomplishments came in the National Guard. At the time of his death, he had served his country in the National Guard for nearly fifteen years. He was a member of the Wheeler-Brooks American Legion Post #173 of Philip. Cory received many awards and was promoted quickly due to his hard work and dedication. He received the following awards; National Defense Service Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommisioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Overseas Training Ribbon, and the South Dakota Distinguished State Service Award and the Army Commendation Medal.
SSG Cory W. Brooks lost his battle with PTS, April 24, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq, while bravely serving his country during Operation Iraqi Freedom.