TRACY, CA, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, I CO, 3D BN, 1ST MAR, (RCT-2, 2D MAR DIV), 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA HAQLANIYAH, IRAQ 01/20/2006
Twenty-year-old Lance Corporal Brandon Christopher Dewey was serving his second Iraq tour when he was killed January 20, 2006 by a suicide bomber while on duty at a checkpoint in Haqlaniyah, Iraq. This was not the first time he had been involved in an Iraqi car bombing.
In the first incident, two cars exploded within about 20 yards of Brandon, who received shrapnel wounds to his hands and neck, as well as damage to his hearing. But Brandon, who received a Purple Heart, was back in battle in a week. Sadly, he received his second Purple Heart posthumously.
“I have been there on the other end so many times,” said his father, Mark Dewey, who in December 2004 retired from the Union City, California, police department in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I had to give people the horrible news of their loved ones. It’s not easy.”
“He was a happy, good-hearted, good-natured, squared-away, always smiling kid,” his father noted. “In many ways he was a man, but in other ways he was still a kid. He was addicted to video games and he loved to read. He was waiting for the paperback version of the Da Vinci Code to come out” so it would be light enough to carry in the field.
Brandon was in a Boy Scout troop that was run by Marines in Tracy, California. He signed up for the Marines early entry program while he was in high school and enlisted shortly after graduating from Merrill West High School in 2003.
At his funeral on January 30, 2006, young men and women in crisp military uniforms joined older men and women, also in uniform, some coming from as far away as Fresno and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, near San Diego.
“He was a good-natured young man and one of those Marines you really don’t have to worry about,” said Marine Captain Stan Delaned, 29, who served as Dewey’s executive officer during his first tour in Iraq with the Third Battalion, First Marines.
“I remember he’d always get the best packages from home,” recalled Lance Cpl. Chris Haukom, 24, who also served with Dewey in Iraq in 2004. “One time, his family made a gift package for the whole unit.”
Lance Corporal Dewey is survived by his father and stepmother, Mark and Shelly Dewey, of Chandler; his mother and stepfather, Julia and Scott Conover, of Tracy; and sister, Elyse, who at the time of his death was Navy seaman in cryptography training at Pensacola, Florida.