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081: Thomas Brennan, Founder of

081: Thomas Brennan, Founder of

April 28, 2016 by | Be the first to comment »

On this episode of Cigars and Sea Stories, Juslin and Mike sit down with fellow Marine and combat veteran, Thomas Brennan. Thomas joined the marines in 2002 and attended boot camp in August of 2003. 

He served with Alpha Company of 1/8 ,first deploying to Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 with a line platoon. He also deployed to Afghanistan and did hurricane relief after Hurricane Katrina.  He was medically retired from the Corps in 2012.

After getting out of the Corps, Thomas attended University of Massachusetts’€™ online journalism program and worked for local papers. After getting called out by his five year old daughter, he applied to and was accepted to Columbia University’€™s Graduate School of Journalism. Ironically, the G.I. Bill paid for his further education in Journalism so that he could turn around and investigate the V.A. in his current project €“ The Warhorse.

The War Horse is an investigative journalism effort founded by Thomas and several colleagues. Coming off a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Warhorse seeks to become the trusted authority on Post-9/11 conflict through sharing on the ground, personal perspectives from both those who were ‘€œboots on the ground’€ and those who stayed at home and kept the home fires burning.

The first stories will start coming out in the end of May or early June.  They will range from a long form biography and profile of a Marine killed in Helmand Province in 2010, which will include interviews with the departed’s family and platoon, to investigative pieces on Guantanamo Bay and profiles of those who served. 

He and his team are doing great things for the veteran community; they’€™re sharing the real stories of our warfighters and shining the spotlight on the VA’€™s pain points within the systemic chaos. He’€™s an educated grunt with a bold pen.

As originally posted on

Thomas J. Brennan is the founder of The War Horse. Thomas’ passion in writing is exploring war, trauma, and loss. Prior to studying at Columbia University, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantryman. He was awarded a Purple Heart and is the recipient of the 2014 American Legion Fourth Estate Award and an Honorable Mention at the 2013 Dart Awards for his reporting with both the New York Times and The Daily News in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Thomas is also co-writing a book, Shooting Ghosts, which will be published through Penguin Random House in 2017.

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