Brian S Freeman
January 20, 2007
Killed in Karbala, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his meeting area came under attack by mortar and smalls arms fire.
Brian and his son Gunnar
|Brian grew up in the northern part of San Diego, graduating from Torrey Pines High School in 1993. After high school he attended WSU for 2 years before gaining admission into West Point.
He graduated from West Point in 1999, and his awards include two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, a National Defense Service Medal and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He also earned Combat Action, Air Assault, Parachutist and Marksmanship Qualification badges. After serving as an Armor Officer in Fort Knox, he entered the U.S. Army's World Class Athlete Program.
He competed in three skeleton club races in Lake Placid in 2002 and reached national-caliber status a year later, finishing 16th in the U.S. National Championships at Utah Olympic Park.
He also competed in bobsled, earning a bronze medal in four-man bobsled at an America's Cup race in December of 2002, one month after finishing fifth and sixth in a two-man America's Cup competition.
He was deployed to Iraq in May and thankfully was able to see the birth of his daughter Ingrid before he left.
|BOBSLED: A Friend of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Community Dies in Iraq
by Amanda Bird - U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
Lake Placid, N.Y.-Capt. Brian S. Freeman, a member of the bobsled and skeleton community, died in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Jan. 20, 2007. Sliding from 2002-2004 in both bobsled and skeleton at a national level, Freeman continued to offer support, encouragement and inspiration to his teammates and friends after he finished his sliding career to start a family.
“I served with Brian in the World Class Athlete Program for three years. Over that period he became not only my teammate, but also my friend,” current World Cup leader and 2006 Olympian Steven Holcomb said. “He was one of the greatest men I have ever known. The time I spent with Brian not only made me a better person, but a better athlete. He was a brilliant, honorable humanitarian.”
In the 2002-03 season, Freeman competed in three skeleton club races in Lake Placid, N.Y., placing seventh on both Jan. 19 and Feb. 2, and as high as fifth on Jan. 26. In March 2003, only months after learning the sport, Freeman competed in U.S. National Championships, placing sixteenth.
“I met Brian in my first skeleton camp in 2002, and it was both an honor and joy to have known him,” Europa Cup skeleton slider Kyle Tress said. “I will forever remember him as a shining example of Olympic ideals- goodwill, courage, and dedication to a cause.”
Freeman also had success in the sport of bobsled, receiving a bronze medal as a brakeman in the four-man sled with 2002 and 2006 Olympian Mike Kohn at the Lake Placid, N.Y. America’s Cup race in Dec. 2002. Freeman also slid with bobsled driver John Napier, reaching two podium finishes in the two-man America’s Cup competition in Lake Placid with a fifth and sixth place result in Nov. 2002.
Freeman was selfless with his time, always willing to slide with any bobsled driver, regardless of their experience level.
“Brian will always be remembered for his willingness to ride with any driver so that the driver could gain more valuable experience driving the track, even if that meant crashing a few times,” U.S. Skeleton National Program Manager Steve Peters said. “As a result, many of those drivers later went on to make future World Cup teams and the 2006 Olympic team.”
Freeman was a magnet for attracting people, and easily became a beloved and integral part of the sliding family with his charisma, humor, and willingness to help anyone on or off the ice.
“As evidenced by what he was doing when he died, it seems that his selflessness was his legacy,” Peters said.
Freeman was serious at the starting line of the track, determined and focused, ready to not only conquer the clock, but to better himself with every step. As soon as the sled crossed the finish line, he’d remove his helmet to reveal a smile, which spread from athlete to athlete. Freeman never failed to remind us to keep balance in our lives- to remember there were moments to be serious and focused, and moments to laugh and truly live.
“He had a fantastic sense of humor that made you want to be around him all the time,” World Cup skeleton slider Bree Schaaf-Boyer said. “This isn’t just the loss of a close friend of the bobsled and skeleton community, it’s the loss of an amazing person, father, husband and son.”
If you have any comments or photos of Brian Freeman you'd like to contribute, please send them to Amanda Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org or Terry Kent at email@example.com so that we can post them on the Federation web site at www.usbsf.com.
Below is the Army release sent Jan. 24, 2007 about Freeman.
Capt. Brian S. Freeman
Died on Jan. 20, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Capt. Brian S. Freeman was born on June 13, 1975, in California. He was a trained civil affairs officer assigned to the 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, Whitehall, Ohio.
He died from wounds sustained when his team encountered both mortar and small arms fire near Karbala, Iraq. Freeman deployed to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism in 2006.
A resident of Temecula, Calif., Freeman began his Army career Aug. 21, 1995, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Upon graduation in spring of 1999, he received both his baccalaureate degree in economics and his commission as a second lieutenant.
Freeman joined the active-duty Army for a five-year tour, serving as an armored scout platoon leader assigned to Fort Knox, Ky. In 2002, he was accepted into the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Fort Carson, Colo., with satellite duty at Lake Placid, N.Y., where he trained with other Olympic hopefuls from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.
Freeman began as a brakeman on the America’s Cup Bobsledding Team in 2002, and in the following year, he began sliding skeleton – a single-man, head-first luge. Two of his notable achievements earned him a 3rd in the America’s Cup for bobsledding at Lake Placid, N.Y., Dec. 10, 2002. He later placed 7th in U.S. BSF Lake Placid Skeleton Club Jan. 19, 2003.
In May of 2004, Freeman separated from active duty and joined the Inactive Ready Reserve where he remained until September 2005. Freeman answered his nation’s call to duty and mobilized and deployed with the 412th CA Battalion in April 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His military education included the Armor Officer Basic Course, Scout Platoon Leader Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, Air Assault Course, Basic Airborne Course and the Civil Affairs Course.
Freeman’s military awards included two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, Army Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and his two children, Gunnar and Ingrid, all of Temecula, Calif. Freeman is also survived by his father, Randy, and step mother, Kathy, of Bakersfield, Calif., his mother, Kathy Snyder and step father, Al, of Mendon, Utah. Lastly, Freeman is also survived by his grandmother (paternal) Dottie, of Bakersfield, Calif., and his grandparents (maternal), Dwight and Irene Pound, of Solana Beach, Calif.
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Columbia Sportswear Company, CW-X, KBC Helmets, Schenker Logistics, Speedo and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.
U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
|From The Washington Post washingtonpost.com
Quest to Heal Iraqi Boy Became a Final Mission
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