EARLEVILLE, MD, USA U.S. Army CPL, HHC, 4TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, FORT LEWIS, WA HUSAYNIYAH, IRAQ 07/19/2007
A soldier from Cecil County was killed July 19 in Iraq, the Pentagon announced July 20.
Corporal Brandon M. Craig, 25, of Earleville, died in Husayniyah, Iraq, of wounds from a makeshift bomb, the Department of Defense said in a news release.
Craig, an infantryman, was posthumously promoted to corporal, said Joe Hitt, a spokesman for Fort Lewis, Wash., where Craig was stationed. Craig enlisted in the Army in February 2006 and underwent basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. His unit was deployed to Iraq this April for a 15-month tour, Hitt said.
Craig’s parents told WBAL-TV that they last saw him on his 25th birthday, shortly after he was shipped to Iraq. They said he joined the Army because he wanted to improve his station in life. He leaves behind a wife.
“The service made a big difference in Brandon,” said his father, Danny Craig. “It turned him into a true man.”
He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), based at Fort Lewis, Wash. The combat team uses Stryker armored vehicles.
Brandon died in Iraq believed in what he was fighting for, family members said.
“He really believed in what he was doing over there,” cousin Dawne Allen told The Washington Post.
Craig was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor last month for his actions when his unit came under attack. Craig, an infantryman, was posthumously promoted to corporal, said Joe Hitt, a spokesman for Fort Lewis, Wash., where Craig was stationed.
“He was a great gentleman and a great young man,” Craig’s grandfather, Reginald Craig of Earlville, told The (Baltimore) Sun.
Allen said Craig had been a carpenter and a restaurant cook and joined the Army last year because he “wanted to make something of himself.”
“He just wanted to make his life better,” Allen said.