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

Bryan E Bolander

Bakersfield, California

April 29, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
26 Army SSgt

1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 Killed in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.


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Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Bakersfield Soldier: Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Bolander

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Bolander, of Bakersfield, CA:

"My heart goes out to Staff Sergeant Bryan Bolander's family and friends as they mourn the loss of this brave Californian. Bryan's dedication to his country and fellow citizens will never be forgotten by the people of our state. We are deeply grateful for his courage and service. Maria and I extend our deepest sympathies to Bryan's loved ones during this difficult time."

Bolander, 26, died April 29 in Baghdad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Bolander was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), United States Army, Fort Campbell, KY.

In honor of Staff Sgt. Bolander, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff. 
From Marcia Wardwell 07/11/08:

These are photos of SSG. Bryan E. Bolander and our son one is of the two of us together the night before he left for Kosiovo it is my fondest memory of him and I. Please post all of them he should not be forgotten... 

I miss him everyday, and I am sure our military does as well. He was a damn good soldier, father, friend, and person. He was on his third tour in Iraq when he was killed not his fourth as some news reports have claimed. 

He was born in Santa Anna California and his future plans were to take his son to the water park--he planned his whole midtour-leave around his son's birthday. He was due home on the 30th of May. Tyler was born on May 31, 2002 (Memorial Day). He is now six years old. He wanted to take him to the water park in Eddyville Kentucky "Venture River". According to Bryan's own words, "All I want to do is come home and see my son, I don't care who is at his party just as long as I am there." I talked to him almost everyday via Yahoo messenger. 

The same day he was killed he instant messaged me to see if I was online, but I missed him. That was his most important future plans, at least to my knowledge. The picture you see of the little boy over his head stone is his son on his sixth birthday reading the inscription. The photo was taken by Bryan's girlfriend, possible future wife. 

Those are the facts as I know them. I am sorry if you sense any hostility but our little boy as well as myself have been dismissed by many who should care. In fact at Bryan's funeral I was seated in the back a way from our son. He had to sit there without his father and without his mother next to his not yet step sister who is eighteen years old. As you know Bryan was only 26. I could not even comfort my son as they handed him his father's flag and tried to explain to a then five year old little boy what a great man his father was... 

I am bitter, and angry and tired of being polite and silent. I don't think Bryan would have cared much for it himself. I hope the whole world feels my rage, pain, suffering, and broken heart. Bryan and I were never married but we were family, and we had nothing but respect and love for each other. 

To my knowledge he was never officially married to anyone, and we did make a beautiful little boy together. That is for life, every time I look at my son I see his face. My intent is not to seek publicity but to set the facts straight. If my name is forgotten forever that is perfectly fine by me, but I will be treated with respect and these name should not EVER be Forgotten: Bryan E. Bolander and Tyler Chase Bolander. 

Sincerely, Genuinely, Accurately, and even if it doesn't seem like it Lovingly...
ps. I hope this note doesn't sound petty but if it were your son, and your son's father or mother. How would you feel???

Marcia D. Wardwell

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