PORTLAND, OR, US
SPC, 671ST ENGINEER CO DETACHMENT 2, PORTLAND, OR 97217-7399
03/22/2003, CAMP VIRGINIA, KUWAIT
Army Specialist Brandon Scott Tobler died on March 22, 2003 in a non-hostile Humvee accident in Iraq. He was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 671st Engineer Company, Portland Oregon. The 19-year-old logistics specialist was part of a military convoy when a sudden sandstorm came up which caused the accident. The nineteen year old and his unit were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The young Reservist, and only child, was motivated to” go and help”; and had told his Mother that he’d be fine, saying: “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll be in the rear with the gear.” He had joined the Army to make a difference and to earn money to go to college.
Brandon Tobler dreamed of a career in law enforcement. His family says he loved to ride his bike, hike on Portland’s Mount Tabor and drink Beck’s beer. He also possessed a masterful and hilarious ability to affect French, English and Scottish accents.
Before leaving for Iraq, he worked in the inventory department of a Best Buy electronics store near his home. His presence at work was always appreciated. Brandon didn’t want to be rich or famous. He only wanted to make the world a better place. “I feel that if I make a difference out here, I’ve done my part,” he wrote in his last e-mail message home. “If you see a soldier,” he urged his parents, “thank them for the service they give,” adding that some will be asked to “make the supreme sacrifice.”
“He was 19 and pretty darned cool.”