CALEDONIA, MS, USA U.S. Army SSG, I TROOP, 3D SQUADRON, 3D ARMORED CAVALRY, (TF BAGHDAD), FORT CARSON, CO BAGHDAD, IRAQ 11/07/2005
Brian Lee Freeman was born the son of Glen and Patricia Freeman of Caledonia, MS on 9 June 1978. The Freeman family also included brother, Matt, sister, Lisa – and Brian’s beloved dog Ginger. Brian loved Mississippi but wanted to experience the world beyond his state borders.
Brian joined the Army after graduating from Caledonia High School in 1997. The Army satisfied his eagerness to travel, sending him far afield to the likes of Germany, Serbia, Kosovo, Korea, and Iraq. Mike Putnam, his former assistant principal, recalled Brian as “. . . never a person who liked the limelight himself. He just wanted to be part of it and make sure things were done right.”
In some respects, the Army also brought Brian and his wife together. While serving in Germany in 2003, Brian met Leah Christian in a chat room for Mississippi residents. He courted her virtually until he could get home on leave in July of that year. The two grew ever closer and married on April 17, 2004, in Laurel, MS.
Brian deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. In 2005, Brian was due to come home on leave for an early Christmas. Plans for that family celebration never materialized. On 7 November 2005, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED) killed Brian. Three other members of their dismounted patrol also died in that Baghdad attack. His widow, Leah, remembers that Brian’s favorite part of Army life revolved around, “being a role model for the younger soldiers.” He died a mere 19 months after their wedding.
Brian will live on in the cherished memories of family and friends. Beyond that, Brian will continue to serve as a role model for others. At Caledonia High School, The SSG Brian Freeman Memorial Scholarship is helping other students further their education.