We Honor Our Veterans November 11, 2010
We thank the many men and women who have proudly served in our military to protect and defend our country. Special thanks to these Pirates for their service to the people of the United Stated of America. Click on the names in blue to see their photo from back in their career in the service.
Damon Ackerman - US Marine Corps
Bernardo Blanco - US Marine Corps
Richard Bovitt - US Navy
Robert Bowling - US Army
Robert Burgess - US Air Force
Matthew Collis - US Army
Donald Engelberger - US Navy
Alexander Figueroa - US Army
William Gaynor - US Coast Guard
David Marshall - US Air Force
Kenny McDaniel - US Army
Brian Pettis - US Navy
Donna Scofield - US Army
Dris Stephen - US Marine Corps
Pirates with family members who also served:
Randall Hornick - Father - U.S. Air Force
Andrew Lopez His Brother Frank Penula served in the Marines
Tyler DiCarlo His brother Nathan Dicarlo is serving in the Army
Joseph Eubanks His brother Jordan Eubanks served in the Marines
Ryleigh Aubin Her Grandfather Tim Aubin served in the Army, WW 2
Eric Schappacher His grandfather Richard Schappacher served in the Marines, Vietnam
Samantha Thiesing Her grandfather Albert Thiesing served in the Army
Ariel Boozer Her dad Robert Boozer was in the Air Force
Anthony Mason His grandfather Ramon Piasecki served in the Army
John Howell Jr, Howard Grant, Grandfather, USN John Howell, Father, USMC Timothy Mohler, Uncle, USMC William Dixon, Cousin, Army
In addition to these we would like to honor Lt. Brian Bradshaw - US Army, who was killed in combat June 25th, 2009. The attached letter from the flight crew that started the final flight to take him home shows the compassion that the military has for their own:
Lt. Brian Bradshaw - US Army
Dear Bradshaw Family,
We were crew members on the C-130 that flew in to pick up Lt. Brian Bradshaw after he was killed. We are Georgia Air National Guardsmen deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. We support the front-line troops by flying them food, water, fuel, ammunition and just about anything they need to fight. On occasion we have the privilege to begin the final journey home for our fallen troops. Below are the details to the best of our memory about what happened after Brian’s death.
We landed using night-vision goggles. Because of the blackout conditions, it seemed as if it was the darkest part of the night. As we turned off the runway to position our plane, we saw what appeared to be hundreds of soldiers from Brian’s company standing in formation in the darkness. Once we were parked, members of his unit asked us to shut down our engines. This is not normal operating procedure for that location. We are to keep the aircraft’s power on in case of maintenance or concerns about the hostile environment. The plane has an extremely loud self-contained power unit. Again, we were asked whether there was any way to turn that off for the ceremony that was going to take place. We readily complied after one of our crew members was able to find a power cart nearby. Another aircraft that landed after us was asked to do the same. We were able to shut down and keep lighting in the back of the aircraft, which was the only light in the surrounding area. We configured the back of the plane to receive Brian and hurried off to stand in the formation as he was carried aboard.
Brian’s whole company had marched to the site with their colors flying prior to our arrival. His platoon lined both sides of our aircraft’s ramp while the rest were standing behind them. As the ambulance approached, the formation was called to attention. As Brian passed the formation, members shouted “Present arms” and everyone saluted. The salute was held until he was placed inside the aircraft and then the senior commanders, the sergeant major and the chaplain spoke a few words.
Afterward, we prepared to take off and head back to our base. His death was so sudden that there was no time to complete the paperwork needed to transfer him. We were only given his name, Lt. Brian Bradshaw. With that we accepted the transfer. Members of Brian’s unit approached us and thanked us for coming to get him and helping with the ceremony. They explained what happened and how much his loss was felt. Everyone we talked to spoke well of him — his character, his accomplishments and how well they liked him. Before closing up the back of the aircraft, one of Brian’s men, with tears running down his face, said, “That’s my platoon leader, please take care of him.”
We taxied back on the
runway, and, as we began
rolling for takeoff, I
looked to my right. Brian’s
platoon had not moved from
where they were standing in
the darkness. As we rolled
past, his men saluted him
one more time; their way to
honor him one last time as
best they could. We will
never forget this.
Later that day, there was another ceremony. It was Bagram’s way to pay tribute. Senior leadership and other personnel from all branches lined the path that Brian was to take to be placed on the airplane flying him out of Afghanistan. A detail of soldiers, with their weapons, lined either side of the ramp just as his platoon did hours before. A band played as he was carried past the formation and onto the waiting aircraft. Again, men and women stood at attention and saluted as Brian passed by. Another service was performed after he was placed on the aircraft.
For one brief moment, the war stopped to honor Lt. Brian Bradshaw. This is the case for all of the fallen in Afghanistan. It is our way of recognizing the sacrifice and loss of our brothers and sisters in arms. Though there may not have been any media coverage, Brian’s death did not go unnoticed. You are not alone with your grief. We mourn Brian’s loss and celebrate his life with you. Brian is a true hero, and he will not be forgotten by those who served with him.
We hope knowing the events that happened after Brian’s death can provide you some comfort.
Braden River High School
The easiest way to
tell your friends and family to find the BRHS site is to go to
Please note that the School District of Manatee County and Braden River High
mail to the
webmaster Dan Crumpler for
Last modified: May 20, 2013