Monday, April 23, 2007

Army Sgt. Brice A. Pearson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Brice A. Pearson, 32, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Sgt. Pearson was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died April 23 in Sadah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his location. Also killed were Sgt. Randell T. Marshall, 1st Lt. Kevin J. Gaspers, Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Locker Jr., Staff Sgt. William C. Moore, Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan, Spc. Jerry R. King, Spc. Michael J. Rodriguez and Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll.

Arizona Central -- A Phoenix paratrooper was killed Sunday in Iraq when two truck bombs detonated near a building he was in, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

Sgt. Brice A. Pearson, 32, was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Eight other paratroopers from Pearson's unit were also killed in the blast in As Sadah, Iraq. Most of the casualties were caused when one of the bombs ruptured a building wall, collapsing its second floor.

Sgt. William Fleming, a team leader who served with Pearson, said the fallen soldier cared deeply about his comrades.

"Brice didn't talk about work much off-duty, but he always wanted to know how his guys were doing," Fleming was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Fort Bragg officials. "I've lost friends before, but nothing like this. It's very overwhelming."

The group had been in Iraq since August.

Pearson was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star medal and the Purple Heart. He is survived by his parents.

Friends remember fallen AZ soldier
By Rebecca Taylor / 3TV

A Valley soldier was among nine U.S. troops killed by a suicide bomber.

Sgt. Brice Pearson from Phoenix died Monday.

Longtime friends can't believe he's gone. Friends say Sgt. Pearson was home on leave just three weeks ago.

At the time, they had no idea their quick goodbyes meant forever.

“Definitely a good guy to have on your side,” Mark Eshelman said.

Eshelman is talking about his longtime friend Brice Pearson, a guy who at the age of 30 decided to join the army.

“I don't want to say he wasn't military material before he went in, but once the war went on he knew he wanted to go,” he said

Sgt. Pearson, nicknamed "Old Man" by his army buddies was a confident leader who moved up in the ranks quickly.

His first tour of duty took him to Afganistan.

“He said you know as much as it sucks over there, we're doing the right thing,” Eshelman said.

Sadly, just three weeks after returning home for a brief visit Sgt. Pearson was killed.

“Hopefully he didn't see it coming and it just happened,” he said.

He was one of nine paratroopers killed by a suicide bomber Monday in a town north of Baghdad.

“That is such a bad way to go, that's the brutality of these enemies, they don't have any shame,” he said.

Grieving friends and loved ones are now leaving heartfelt message on Brice's MySpace page.

They read, “you will always be in our thoughts! I love you. I will never forget you.”

Sgt. Pearson and his nine comrades who died were awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Army Sgt. Brice A. Pearson was killed in action on 4/23/07.

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