STEILACOOM, WA, US
U. S. Army
1LT, CO C, 1ST BN, 501ST PIR, 4TH AB BCT, FT RICHARDSON, ALASKA
06/25/2009, PAKTIKA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
1st Lieutenant Brian N. Bradshaw of Steilacoom, Washington died Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Kheyl, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska. He and his unit were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Lieutenant Bradshaw was twenty-four years old.
During a night landing not often done, Georgia National Guardsmen flew Brian out on their C-130 after a silent service as Brian’s entire unit transferred Brian into the care of the air crew. Aircraft power was turned off and the air crew participated in Brian’s company formation. In order to honor the silence and darkness of Brian’s farewell transfer, operation of the aircraft’s power was shut down.
Shutting down aircraft power is not done in order to ensure both safety and aircraft performance. The silence and darkness was lit only minimally to where Brian would be placed within the aircraft. “That’s my platoon leader, please take care of him.” These were the tear-filled send-off words from one of his soldiers to the air crew who carried Brian away from Bagram.
First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw left this earth on the same day as Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Amid the media flurry, and in Brian’s world of the soldier and family, his world will remember Brian’s words penned in 2002 which will carve many memories. Brian said:
“Service is the foundation of life. Without service, our lives have the same impact and meaning as a stick lying on the ground. No one remembers the sticks stepped on in the woods, but everyone remembers the flowers they see and smell in the meadow. If we serve and work throughout our life we will be like the flower that everyone remembers and always comes back. In our memory many more, especially those that we touched during our life will carry on the legacy of service, thus we had a positive impact on others and life had meaning. The whole meaning of life is to pass on to others that which we value most and what I value is service and throughout the rest of my life I will serve the community of my brethren to the best of my ability.”