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Bradley Scott Beard
Specialist, United States Army
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NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1039-04
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 17, 2004
Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died on October 14, 2004, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their convoy.

Staff Seregeant Omer T. Hawkins, II, 31, of Cherry Fork, Ohio.  Hawkins was assigned to the Army's 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Howze, Korea.

Specialist Bradley S. Beard, 22, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Beard was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Korea.

Private First Class Mark A. Barbret, 22, of Shelby Township, Michigan.  Barbret was assigned to the Army's 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Howze, Korea.

     For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.



IMMEDIATE RELEASE  October 17, 2004
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
UPDATED:  6 December 2004

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  They died on October 14, 2004, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, when improvised explosive devices detonated near their convoys.

Staff Sergeant Omer T. Hawkins, II, 31, of Cherry Fork, Ohio.  Hawkins was assigned to the Army's 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Howze, Korea.

Private First Class Mark A. Barbret, 22, of Shelby Township, Michigan.  Barbret was assigned to the Army's 44th Engineer Battalion, Camp Howze, Korea.

     In a separate incident later that afternoon:

Specialist Bradley S. Beard, 22, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Beard was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, Korea.

     For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.


Published: October 19, 2004
Courtesy of The News & Observer

Chatham soldier dies in Iraq
Beard had sense of humor, serious side. 
By ANNE BLYTHE

Specialist Bradley Scott Beard could keep a roomful of people in stitches doing impressions of celebrities, presidents and his favorite, Austin Powers -- cinema's kooky spoof-spy.

BS Beard PHOTO

But there was a serious side to the tall, burly, hazel-eyed 22-year-old who was drawn to the Army after the September 11, 2001, attacks. He believed in the mission in Iraq, his parents said; he thought it was important.

Beard, an artillery mechanic, was one of three soldiers killed in Ramadi, Iraq, on Thursday, when a roadside bomb detonated near their convoy, Army officials said this week.

His parents, Randy and Betsy Beard, learned of their only son's death early Friday. On Monday, their gray clapboard home in The Preserve neighborhood in Chatham County, North Carolina, was filled with memories -- tearful but proud recollections of a young man whose life was cut short while serving his country.

"I'm so proud of him," Randy Beard said Monday. "Believe me, I would give the world to have my son back, but believe me, I was proud of what he was doing."

Brad, as his family and friends knew him, was born September 13, 1982, in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, a small suburb of Pittsburgh where he spent most of his life.

It was there that he became a big Steelers fan, and it was there that he would often get the neighborhood children to gather in his back yard for football, baseball or basketball games.

The family moved to North Carolina in 1997 and settled in southern Apex, where the Beards home-schooled their son.

He was an avid reader who relished science fiction and a good adventure or action story. He showed a talent for language by picking up Japanese quickly during a family visit to Japan. But math and computers were his passions, so much so that he took community college courses at Wake Technical Community College during his high school years.

He played basketball in the Apex town league, took tae kwon do, went to Peace Presbyterian Church in Cary and did some acting with the Christian Youth Theatre, which now is in Angier.

"He was very bright," said Richard McKee, the father of one of Beard's best friends.

Beard set out for North Carolina State University in 2000, a scholarship student who seemed destined for a career in engineering. But after three semesters, he decided to go in a different direction. He enlisted in the Army in May 2002.

While doing basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Beard showed the determination that family and friends spoke fondly of this week. Despite dislocating his knee on a rope course after only two weeks in camp, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound soldier kept up with the physical rigors and moved on with his class to the next training step.

After a stint in Maryland to become an artillery mechanic, Beard was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was sent to Korea and based there until this summer, when, according to family, his unit was told two people would have to go to Iraq. Beard volunteered.

"Brad, when he was in the military, he gave 100 percent," said George Arroyo, a family friend. "It's tragic that we lost Bradley, I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss him. He was just a good kid. He was a brave young man, and he believed in what he was doing."

Mementos of a life

Outside the Beards' home in Chatham County, a flag fluttered in the wind and a gold star rose from the flower bed just beyond the front door. Inside, a black ribbon was in the middle of the dining room table covered with photos and tangible memories of a son's creative side: the thoughtful poem he wrote during basic training, a Scooby-Doo doll on the mantel as a reminder of his favorite cartoon character, the photograph of him, his younger sister Staci and their cousins dressed up in old saloon costumes during an annual summer trip to Litchfield Beach, South Carolina.

"Brad always had an inexhaustible supply of jokes," Betsy Beard said. "From an early age, he seemed to think it was his job to make people laugh."

The family is planning a memorial service at Peace Presbyterian Church in Cary although a date has not been set. Burial is planned at Arlington National Cemetery.

While family members wait for more details, there will be many conversations about a young man who was protective of his younger sister, about a son who sent his parents a piece of a howitzer that exploded while he was working on it in Korea, and about a friend who liked to talk about sports, girls and much more.

"I was able to talk to him a couple of weeks ago," friend Adam McKee said.

"What was encouraging to me was that I was able to tell him how proud of him I was, and how much I loved him. He was the poster child for being an all-American kid. I've never met a more sacrificing, dedicated man all my life."


Fallen soldier picked Iraq post 
 Courtesy of the Herald-Sun 
BY ANDREA UHDE
October 18, 2004

The window of the Chatham County home where a blue star hung, representing Army Specialist Bradley S. Beard's deployment overseas, is now bare except for curtains.

There's a star planted outside in the soft ground near the porch, but this one is gold, its fresh paint smudged with fingerprints.

It's a memorial to 22-year-old Beard, a computer whiz and amateur comedian, who was killed Thursday while he was hunting for explosives in Iraq.

Beard was one of three soldiers who died when a bomb exploded near their convoy in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, a unit normally based in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea.

He'd only recently requested to be moved to Iraq because "he thought it was important," his father, Randall, said Monday.

Randall Beard and his wife, Betsy, both live in the Preserve in Chatham County. They spent Monday wrapped in hugs, tears welling in their eyes as they remembered the son they refer to as "our hero."

Their dining room table was filled with pictures of their only son in camouflage uniform, his expression serious.

Bradley Beard landed in Iraq in September, just before his 22nd birthday. While there, he was charged with escorting contractors to their jobs and monitoring radios. He later volunteered to ferret out explosive devices in the field.

"He could have easily made the decision to be in the field and take intelligence, but he chose to be in the field and do reconnaissance work," said George Arroyo, a longtime family friend.

For a young computer fanatic and former engineering student at North Carolina State, the job was fulfilling, Randall Beard said.

"He was more upbeat in Iraq than he was in Korea," he recalled. "He wanted to be there. He felt it was the right place to be and the right thing to be doing."

Beard dropped his engineering classes and joined the Army in May 2002, not long after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

He enjoyed his first assignment in Korea so much that he signed up for a second year. When he later chose to go to Iraq, his parents supported him.

"Bradley wasn't the type of individual who did what somebody else wanted him to do," Randall Beard said. "He pretty much determined what he was going to do."

But before going off to Iraq, Bradley Beard came home for a week in June, when he shared laughs with aunts, uncles and cousins who came in for the occasion. At that time, they didn't know about his next mission. Until he arrived in Iraq, Beard would have to keep it a secret.

One day while he was in town, Beard traveled to Wrightsville Beach with his parents. "It was just a day trip, but it was time we will be forever grateful for," Randall Beard said.

At 6 foot 3 inches and about 230 pounds, Beard was a fan of football and video games. He once built his own computer.

But Randall Beard also remembers the laughs.

"We said that he and a couple of his friends should have been stand-up comics, because he just loved to imitate, do impressions and stuff," he said.

When Arroyo remembers Bradley Beard, he envisions the excellent student who, after being home schooled, aced his SAT exam, and a boy who at age 16 was his best resource for computer advice.

In Iraq Bradley Beard kept in touch with calls to his parents once or twice a week. The last time they heard from him was two weeks ago; they chatted for an hour and a half.

After that day, the phone lines were down more and more often, which is policy when soldiers are killed and family has yet to be notified, Randall Beard said.

Beard always knew his son was at risk.

"We knew it was a possibility; he knew it was a possibility," Beard said. "I was broad-sided with this. I was confident he was going to come home."

Bradley Beard was scheduled to return next September.

Beard leaves behind his parents and younger sister, Staci. Randall Beard said his son will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A date has not yet been set for a memorial service.


BEARD, BRADLEY SCOTT
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF BIRTH: 09/13/1982
DATE OF DEATH: 10/14/2004
DATE OF INTERMENT: 10/20/2004
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8008
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Dear Mr. Patterson,

I wanted to thank you for the website that you have maintained here.  It is a comfort to know that my son, SPC Bradley Scott Beard,  is not forgotten.

We went to Arlington this past weekend because Brad's headstone has been placed, and I guess, because we just needed to go there.

I was wondering if you would be willing to post the picture we took, now that the permanent headstone is in place.

I also wondered if you would mind putting the "corrected"  DoD release on the website.  They had several errors in their reporting and I spent weeks getting them to make corrections.  http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2004/nr20041017-1402.html

Thank you,
 Betsy Beard, 
Mom of Bradley Scott Beard, recently deployed to heaven



BC Beard Valentine Day 2006
Photos & Valentine's Day Remembrance By Holly February 2006

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 19 October 2004  Updated: 1 November 2004  Updated: 4 December 2004 Updated: 17 January 2005 Updated: 11 February 2006 Updated: 12 May 2008 Updated: 30 May 2010
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Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze Star Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BS Beard Gravesite PHOTO 2010 Rose Event
2010 Rose Event Photo By M. R. Patterson

BS Beard Gravesite PHOTO May 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, May 2008

BS Beard Gravesite PHOTO
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 2 December 2004

BS Beard Gravesite Photo - January 2005
Photo Courtesy of Betsy Beard, 17 January 2005