Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Kenneth Stepp salutes North Carolina soldiers killed in Middle East Wars!
Soldier killed in Afghanistan had ties in Asheville, mountains 10:11 AM, May. 1, 2012 | Comments Brandon Eggleston, with his wife Karen, joined the Army in 2006 and was serving his third deployment when he died in Afghanistan. / Special to the Citizen-Times Military deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan 2011 • Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry L. Varnadore II, 29, of Mills River, died April 23, 2011, in Kapisa province in Afghanistan, during a crash landing of the helicopter he was co-piloting. The cause is under investigation. • U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Joseph Dutcher, 21, of Asheville, was killed in action Sept. 15, 2011, in Helmond Province, Afghanistan. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, stationed in Camp Pendleton, Calif. • U.S. Army Spc. Patrick Lay, 21, with ties to Fletcher, was killed Aug. 12, 2011, during enemy action in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan. He was an infantryman assigned to the Army’s elite 10th Mountain Division, based in Fort Drum, N.Y. 2010 • Sgt. Donald “Rocky” Edgerton, 33, of Murphy, died July 10, 2010, near Char Dara, Afghanistan, when he stepped on a land mine. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y. • Army Pfc. Christian “Kade” Michael Warriner, 19, of Mills River, died Nov. 14, 2010, in Kunar province in Afghanistan. He was one of five soldiers killed when insurgents attacked their unit with small-arms fire. Warriner was assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Fort Campbell, Ky. 2009 • Lance Cpl. Jessie Adam Cassada, 19, of Hendersonville, died Jan. 6, 2009, in Afghanistan while laying down covering fire with a machine gun so his men could escape a firefight. 2008 • Pfc. Cody Eggleston, 21, a native of Eugene, Ore., and the husband of Brevard resident Karie Alford Eggleston, suffered fatal injuries Oct. 16, 2008, in Iraq and died eight days later. • Sgt. Thomas Ray, 40, was assigned to the 105th Military Police Battalion in Asheville but volunteered to go with the 1132nd Military Police Company when it mobilized for Iraq. He was killed March 22, 2008, along with two other soldiers, when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle near Baghdad. 2007 • Staff Sgt. Charlie Bagwell, 28, of Lake Toxaway, was one of five 82nd Airborne Division soldiers killed May 30, 2007, when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade in southern Afghanistan. • Sgt. Joshua L. Morley, 22, a Hendersonville native and sniper team leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, was killed Aug. 26, 2007, in Samarra, Iraq, when insurgents attacked with small arms and hand grenades. 2006 • Sgt. Kevin Akins, 29, of Burnsville, and Staff Sgt. Joe Ray, 29, of Asheville, died March 12, 2006, in an improvised explosive devise attack in Afghanistan. • Chief Warrant Officer Mitch Carver, 31, of Asheville, an Army pilot, died Jan. 13, 2006, in Iraq when his OH-58 Kiowa helicopter was shot down. • Sgt. Kenny Hess, 26, was killed April 11, 2006, in Rawah, Iraq, after a suicide bomber detonated explosives near his patrol. 2005 • Sgt. Leonard W. Adams, of Mooresville, a supply sergeant with the Asheville-based 105th Military Police Battalion, died in January 2005 of an apparent heart attack. • Army Sgt. William Scott Kinzer Jr., of Weaverville, died Jan. 26, 2005, in Ad Duluiyah, Iraq, after a rocket-propelled grenade hit his patrol with the 1st Infantry Division. • Staff Sgt. Michael “Mike” Parrott, 49, a native of Canton, died Nov. 10, 2005, in Iraq, as he patrolled an Iraqi highway. He was a member of the 28th Infantry of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, stationed at Camp Habbaniyah, near Ramadi in Iraq. 2003 • Staff Sgt. Bobby Franklin, a member of the 210th Military Police Company based in Franklin, died in August 2003 after a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. • Pfc. Joey Whitener, of McDowell County, was among 17 soldiers killed in November 2003 when two helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq. He was with the 101st Airborne Division. "While Staff Sgt. Brandon Eggleston hailed from the central North Carolina town of Eden, he left a deep impression here in the mountains. Eggleston, 29, a member of the Army’s elite Special Forces, died Thursday in Afghanistan after the vehicle he was in encountered an improvised explosive device. Stationed at Fort Bragg, Eggleston graduated from Western Carolina University in 2005 and was an assistant wrestling coach at Reynolds High School for two seasons. “Brandon was a stand-up guy,” said Jeff Foster, the head wrestling coach at Owen High School who was formerly the head coach at Reynolds. “For a couple of years he, was a substitute teacher at Reynolds and helped me with the wrestling team. He had a good, positive attitude about life, and he was out there searching for something positive.” Eggleston, who leaves behind a wife and two young daughters, joined the Army in 2006 and was serving his third deployment. Foster wasn’t surprised that Eggleston gravitated to Special Forces and excelled in one of the more grueling branches of the armed forces. “I trained with him quite a bit — we used to run together and work out,” Foster said. “With Special Forces, it’s not just physically but emotionally and mentally challenging.” Fairview resident Chet McKee, whose sons wrestled for Foster and Eggleston at Reynolds, said Eggleston’s life “revolved around wrestling.” Eggleston excelled at the sport at Morehead High School. “The kids just loved him at the school,” McKee said. “He had a lot of natural leadership abilities. He flirted with the idea of the joining the Highway Patrol, then he decided to go into the Army. He was a natural for Special Forces — an overachieving kind of guy. He said it was the hardest thing he’d ever done, and he was a real doer.” Eggleston’s father-in-law said the family would travel to Dover Air Force Base this weekend to retrieve his body. Funeral arrangements have not been set. Eggleston was assigned to 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. Also killed in the attack was Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr., 31, of Orange Park, Fla., who was assigned to 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Sembach, Germany. The Associated Press contributed to this report." Kenneth Stepp salutes Staff Sgt. Brandon Eggleston and the many other men from the mountsins killed in the Middle East. Let's bring home our troops alive. Kenneth Stepp!