Remembering Brian Kanterman Honors a Life of Service

4Patriots recently donated several items for a raffle that raised funds for Remembering Brian Kanterman, Inc. of Somerset, New Jersey. They were Patriot Power Cells, a 72-Hour Survival Food Kit, a HaloXT Tactical Flashlight and a Patriot Pure Personal Water Filter.

When he reached his teen years, Brian Kanterman was already considered a very nice and respectful kid. But an incident that would be etched in his mind for the rest of his life was the catalyst for turning a propensity for kindness into a life of service. 

A close friend died in a fire at age 13. The volunteer fire department was unable to reach the burning house in time. Devastated, Brian could have turned to unhealthy habits to help him cope. 

Instead, at age 15, he became a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT). He eventually attained the rank of captain. As soon as he was legally able to do so, he volunteered for Community Fire Company 25 fire service. And became a nationally certified firefighter. 

Brian attended Rutgers University, then became a police officer and eventually a deputy sheriff. Later, while rehabilitating from an injury sustained in duty and waiting to become a K9 officer, he served as a correctional officer in a Virginia prison. 

It was there that Brian tragically passed away after an adverse reaction to an over-the-counter medication. It caused his heart to stop on Christmas Day 2018 at age 25.

Always Polite and Respectful

‚ÄúAs kids, both Brian and his older brother, Jason, were very competitive,‚ÄĚ said Stan Kanterman. He is the boys‚Äô father and a private investigator licensed in multiple states. ‚ÄúBoth were black belts in martial arts and played traveling baseball.

“Brian played the trumpet and guitar. He was a drum major in the high school marching band. And a member of a first-aid squad and local fire department. Later he was a fanatic about going to the gym. Even when his back was hurting

“He would volunteer for any kind of community thing he could get his hands on. He was an umpire for Little League baseball and a volunteer at our temple for many projects.

“I remember many a day until he got his driver’s license when he would wake me up at 2 a.m. He wanted to respond to an emergency call and I had to drive him. I was very proud of him for the things he did.

‚ÄúBrian was in the ROTC at Rutgers. He was one of only four cadets who completed the Washington 10K Run. Even with knee, hip and back issues. I‚Äôd call Brian a gentle giant. At 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, he was formidable looking. But very polite and respectful.‚ÄĚ

Physical Setbacks Didn’t Stop Brian

Even outside his chosen professions, Brian set an example of service. Somerset citizens were never surprised to see him helping the elderly load groceries into their cars. Or assisting an unsteady person crossing a street.

When he’d see a man or woman in uniform, he would thank them for their service. And offer to buy them a cup of coffee. He also volunteered at animal shelters. 

A number of physical issues slowed Brian down from time to time. But they never stopped him from fulfilling his life mission of serving others. 

At age 19 he needed a hip replacement due to a deformity in that joint. The next year he underwent a back operation after a ceiling fell on him while he was battling a fire. As a police officer, he broke all the toes in both feet while pursuing a suspect. 

Nonprofit RBK Established in 1999

Realizing the importance of carrying on Brian’s legacy, Stan and his wife, Tina, established the Remembering Brian Kanterman Inc. (RBK) nonprofit organization.  

The RBK mission is multi-faceted. It includes:

  • ¬† Purchasing police dogs for agencies that recently lost a dog in the line of duty
  • ¬† Providing service dogs to veterans
  • ¬† Partnering with local shelters to provide emotional support animals to veterans and first responders
  • ¬† Paying the costs of training individuals who wish to be police officers, firefighters or EMTs¬†
  • ¬† Offering scholarships to individuals who want to go into criminal justice, law enforcement or legal fields¬†
  • ¬† Assisting veterans and first responders struggling with addiction to obtain support
  • ¬† Awarding "go bags" to first responders

Eliminating High Price Tags

Many of these mission components involve high costs. The average police dog costs between $17,000 to $21,000. A PTSD dog is about $32,000 and a ballistic vest goes for $3,000. 

A go-bag containing a medical kit for an officer and a dog, plus handcuffs and flashlights, can run up to $1,000. The average cost to train an EMT and firefighter is $750 to $2,000.

‚ÄúWe donated two K9s ‚Äď one to the Allentown PA Police Department, a patrol K9, and another to the New Jersey Ocean County Sheriff‚Äôs Department, a bomb-sniffing dog,‚ÄĚ Stan said.

‚ÄúWe have also purchased a PTSD K9 for a New Jersey veteran, which will be awarded in the next few months.‚Ä̬†

Fundraiser Nets $25K for Charity

Last October, a Remembering Brian Kanterman event raised $25,000 for the charity. There were approximately 230 attendees at the fundraiser, held at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, New Jersey. 

‚ÄúWe truly appreciate the donations 4Patriots sent in,‚ÄĚ Stan said. ‚ÄúAnd the quality of your stuff is important to us. People come back to our event because we don‚Äôt sell junk.‚ÄĚ

Stan summed up the volunteer organization’s mission in one sentence:

‚ÄúWe wanted to make sure what Brian did didn‚Äôt stop with Brian.‚ÄĚ

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