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Michael C Anderson


U.S. Navy


05/02/2004, AR RAMADI, IRAQ

Naval Petty Officer Anderson was assigned to a Seabee unit out of Jacksonville Naval Air Station, that was charged with carrying out humanitarian aid including water treatment, sewage treatment, and re-establishing electricity.

Brandi Anderson’s father Michael Charles Anderson was killed in Iraq when she was 7 years old. She keeps memories like the picture of her with her Dad drawn by artist Michael Reagan and a photo wall of fame of celebrities she’s met. And adds “I would trade them all to get him back.”

Brandi explains, “I know what the price of freedom is. It does not come without a very high cost. Every man, woman and child who lays their head down each night in peace does so because some other American, at some time laid down his or her life.”

Brandi describes her life as “good and difficult.” Her daily thoughts are of a man she loved and knew for just a brief time. People aren’t numbers, and every ‘one’ has a family member or a friend, and all their lives are destroyed when one person dies.” The future offers Brandi a difficult emotional road. “I feel sometimes sad and think about who’s going to walk me down the aisle some day? He won’t be at my graduation and things like that,” Brandi explained.

Day-to-day life continues at a hectic pace. Karen Anderson, Brandi’s Mom keeps her busy in addition to her school work where she excels at math and Bible study. And there have been outstanding people in the public and private sectors who have secured Brandi’s future for her education and life in general.

Freedom is Not Free By Brandi Anderson

For almost 10 years, every American was touched in some way. The war had a profound effect on my life, though. My dad, Michael Charles Anderson, left for Iraq on April 1, 2004. One month later, on May 2, he was killed, when his camp was mortared. He was the first casualty in Volusia County. I was 7 at the time, and my destiny was about to be forever changed.

Fearlessly my Navy Seabee dad answered his nation’s call. Respect is what I feel for every troop who has ever put their life at risk for our great country. Everlasting is the love I feel for my father, who I lost at such a young age. Eternity will pass, so it seems. My prayer is that we will meet again someday.

Daddy, everyone says I am so much like you in so many ways. One parent will celebrate my triumphs and victories. One parent will console my heartbreaks. Miss you, dad, every day of my life. I understand, now, why you had to leave us and fight for our country.

Sunday was our day to hang out together. Now it just seems like another day. Not a day goes by that my heart is not filled with happy memories of you. Out of love of country, you sacrificed your life. Out of love for you, I’ll live my life to make you proud.

Terrific people, from all walks of life, have reached out and befriended my family throughout the years. Family photos are incomplete because you are no longer in them. Regardless of your politics, we must all respect our military. It is those who keep us safe. Eternally grateful to be an American.

End of war. Welcome home heroes. Thank you for all your sacrifices. All gave some, some gave all.


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