LONGVIEW, WA, US
SPC, CO A, 201ST BDE SUPPORT BN, 3RD BDE COMBAT TEAM, FORT KNOX, KY
12/21/2011, FOB SALERNO, AFGHANISTAN
Mikayla Bragg joined the Army to earn money to pay for college and she hoped to go into a field helping people or animals, Amber Bragg said, adding “She’s always been a kind-hearted person. She’s always gone out of her way to help out other people in whatever way she could.”
When the soldiers came to notify Mikayla’s family about her death, Amber Bragg recalled a man working for a tree service across the street who noticed something was wrong and offered to help without giving his name. It was a bright moment in an otherwise tragic day, she said. “He brought us dinner for our family and brought us a gift card to help out with whatever we needed. You don’t see that anymore,” she said.
Linda Wheeler a family friend, described the changes in Mikayla Bragg as she grew from the meek 12 year old girl she first met into an outgoing woman.
“You would’ve had to have met her to know Mikayla,” said Mrs. Wheeler. “We watched her grow up into a mature, wonderful woman. She was a heck of a character, she would always help people smile. And she’d always let you know if you were doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing. … She died a hero in my eyes.”
Fellow soldiers said farewells to Army Specialist Mikayla Bragg at Fort Knox in an emotional service. “Having that moral support — that was really neat. It just makes me feel closer to her being here,” explained Mikayla’s mother, Sheyanne Baker.. Baker was grateful to meet her daughter’s fellow soldiers. Mikayla often mentioned them during regular chats with her mother.
The most emotional part of the service was the roll call, in which an Army officer calls the names of all members of SPC. Bragg’s unit, Sheyanne Baker said.
“They called out my daughter’s name. They call out Specialist Bragg, and there was no answer. They call out Specialist Mikayla Bragg, and there was no answer. And they call out Specialist Mikayla Anne Bragg, and there was no answer,” she said.
“That was hard.”