Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Edward W Brabazon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

March 9, 2004

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
20 Army Spc

2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Brabazon died March 9 in Baghdad, Iraq, of a non-hostile gunshot wound.
It's been two years since you left us and honestly I don't know how I've made it this far. I miss you everyday and can't seem to figure out what exactly happened that day. Each day gets harder for your parents and loved ones and I know that they keep you in their prayers everyday. I remember the time you were late for guard duty at TOC in Afghanistan and you said that breakfast was you favorite meal and you were starving so me and Renee brought you a big plate of food. I swear by the look on your face when we came back you looked like we just handed you a plate of gold. You were so happy! I always think about the time you lost your key to your barracks room and you came over to use my shower you were so funny. Along with everybody else I wish you were still here. I know that the company and unit miss you and each time they push out to do a mission whether its a jump, FTX, weapons range or whatever that it's not the same without. A.CO isn't the same and it was a hard loss for them. MY condolences to Mr. and Mrs. Brabazon and family. I met Eddie towards the end of my second tour in Afghanistan. He's a very motivated and driven person. He could make the best out of any situation that he came across. From one paratrooper to another you are not forgotten. Even though you're gone you spirit still exists. RIP my fellow paratrooper your job is done. To your parents Eddie loved what he was doing that's all he wanted to do was be a soldier. He accomplished his goal and dream about becoming that and it's sad to know that he's not here to finish doing what he always wanted to do. Take care Mr.and Mrs.Brabazon and stay strong.

Keep your feet and knees together Airborne all the way!!!
From Phily Burbs

Bensalem soldier's parents suspect foul play in death

Bucks County Courier Times

The parents of U.S. Army Spc. Edward W. Brabazon said they believe their son was murdered in Baghdad by members of his military unit.

Conflicting military reports and months of unanswered questions have led them to suspect the military is closing ranks concerning his death on March 9 of an apparent gun shot wound to the head.

"I believe my son was murdered," Edward's mother, Margaret Brabazon said as she ran her hands over the differing military records strewn over the lawn furniture outside her Bensalem home.

A March 17 casualty report read "nonhostile death."

A certificate dated April 27 ruled that death a suicide.

A June 30 letter from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command denied access to further records because an "investigation has recently been reopened in the field."

As Margaret Brabazon read through the papers, a FedEx truck drove down the street. "Oh God," she said, turning to her husband. "It's slowing down."

The truck rolled on. No more letters this day.

Edward's father, who bears the same name as his fallen son, is also convinced of foul play in his son's death. Edward Brabazon said he is haunted by the last phone conversation he had with his "Crazy Eddie" on the phone in Baghdad.

"He said he wasn't so afraid of the war as he was about the people in his unit," said the father. "He couldn't say any more because he was on a military phone."

"We get dribs and drabs from the military," he added. "Guys who knew him and who are still in the military say they'll look into it, but we never hear back from them again."

A military spokesman said the Brabazon case is one of hundreds of war deaths that remain under investigation and that such investigations take time.
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The Army Criminal Investigations Command always looks into suspected suicides in the military to rule out foul play, command spokesman Chris Grey said Thursday.

Grey would not elaborate on why the investigation had been "reopened in the field," as the June 30 letter stated.

As the military investigation casts a shadow over Edward W. Brabazon's death, the community of Bensalem, local officials, state and federal lawmakers have joined to comfort the family and honor their son's sacrifice.

At a U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors concert at the local Commerce Bank Amphitheater last night, Bensalem mayor and council as well as state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, R-6, read proclamations honoring Edward W. Brabazon's "ultimate sacrifice."

Margaret Brabazon lifted her eyeglasses to wipe away the tears streaming down her face as councilmen Joseph Pilieri and Joseph Szafran and Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo presented the family with a special plaque.

A second proclamation was offered by Tomlinson on behalf of himself and state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-18. Edward's father then thanked the crowd. "I'd like to thank everyone from Bensalem for this tribute to my son," Edward Brabazon said, his voice quivering.

Minutes later, the Brabazon family sat alone on the grass just off the amphitheater stage. There they quietly read the proclamations and plaques in Edward W. Brabazon's honor.

"That was hard," Margaret Brabazon said as she descended the stage.

And, as she sat with her family, she again began to cry.

James McGinnis can be reached 

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