Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Marine Sgt. Bradley J. Harper

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Bradley J. Harper, 25, of Dresden, Ohio.

Sgt Harper died when his amphibious Assault Vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Force Reserve’s 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Norfolk, Virginia.

Bradley J. Harper traded his patrols of Virginia Beach in police blues for patrols in Iraq in camouflage gear.

“It’s two different worlds,” Harper said before he left.

“This is my chance to go, to do my part. The sooner you get over there, the sooner you get back.”

Harper, 25, of Dresden, Ohio, was killed Aug. 3 by a roadside bomb south of Haditha. He was based at Norfolk.

He studied criminal justice at Ohio University, then moved to Virginia Beach, Va., to become a police officer in January 2004.

“He was exactly what we wanted in an officer and a citizen,” said Harry McBrien, the recruiter for the Virginia Beach Police Department. “He was an all-around awesome guy and a real go-getter.”

When the academy staff “tried to stress him out a little bit,” he “just smiled” and kept going, McBrien said.

“What can I tell you about him?” asked Master Police Officer Rene Ball. “He was a stellar candidate” for the 750-member department, and he showed himself to be “an even better recruit.”

Harper is survived by his wife, Kendra.

Officer Bradley Harper joined the VBPD on February 16, 2004, and graduated from our 37th Basic Recruit Academy in July, 2004.

Officer Harper served the City of Virginia Beach with distinction during his brief tenure, and lost his life while serving our Nation in the Global War on Terrorism. Our community owes Officer Harper a debt of gratitude, as he chose to put his life on the line in defense of our rights and freedoms, both on the streets of our City and in Iraq.

A patriot and a hero, Officer Harper will be missed, yet will always be remembered.

Marine Sgt. Bradley J. Harper was killed in action on 08/03/05.

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