About Drew Brown

Drew Brown, Afghanistan, 2010

Drew Brown is a writer and photographer based in Macon, Ga. He reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for Knight Ridder Newspapers, the former national chain, and Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for U.S. troops serving overseas. 

Drew started in journalism in 1997 as a general assignment reporter for the Times-Georgian in Carrollton, Ga. He was hired in 1999 by the Macon Telegraph to cover nearby Robins Air Force Base and local military and veterans issues. 

He reported from Panama later that year about the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion and the end of the American era with the handover of the Panama Canal. He reported from Bosnia in June 2001 about Georgia National Guardsmen serving as NATO peacekeepers in the country and the tensions that remained five years after the end of the civil war. 

After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Drew volunteered for overseas duty with the Washington Bureau of Knight Ridder Newspapers, the parent chain of the Macon Telegraph. He reported from Uzbekistan and covered the defeat of Taliban and al Qaeda fighters at Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. He spent weeks covering the aftermath of the Taliban’s collapse in Kandahar, the group’s birthplace and spiritual capital. He was hired full-time by the Washington Bureau of Knight Ridder Newspapers during this period. 


Drew returned to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the summer of 2002 to reconstruct how al Qaeda fighters escaped from Tora Bora the previous year. He interviewed government officials and tribal leaders on both sides of the border and Afghan fighters and commanders who had been in the battle. He and photographer David Gilkey, then of the Detroit Free Press, hiked extensively around the battlefield and to nearby villages to interview residents about what had transpired. They are among the few Western journalists to have done so. 

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Drew accompanied the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division as an embedded reporter. He spent that summer and fall reporting from Baghdad on the worsening daily violence and the rise of the insurgency against the U.S. occupation. 

Drew took a job as a writer and photographer for Stars and Stripes in 2007. During the next three and a half years, he deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan as an embedded reporter with U.S. troops. He spent two and a half years documenting the war against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, and was one of the longest-serving Stripes correspondents to have covered the two wars. He left Stars and Stripes in December 2010. 

Drew won the small-market photography award from the group Military Reporters and Editors for a series of pictures that documented U.S. and Iraqi forces retaking the insurgent stronghold of Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad, in June 2008. 

Drew served as an airborne infantryman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment from 1989 to 1993, and is a combat veteran of Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama. He has reported from Panama, Bosnia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, the West Bank, the Philippines and Vietnam. 

Drew lived in Vietnam from 2011 to 2015, where he photographed and wrote about Agent Orange victims and other legacies of the U.S. war in the 1960s and 1970s. He returned home to Macon in 2015, where he now lives with his wife, Tram Le, and their cats.