Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Army Sgt. Brandon E. Hadaway

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Brandon E. Hadaway, 25, of Valley, Ala.

Sgt. Hadaway was assigned to the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died May 30, 2007 in Upper Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, when his CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed apparently due to enemy fire. Also killed were Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher M. Allgaier, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua R. Rodgers, Staff Sgt. Charlie L. Bagwell and Sgt. Jesse A. Blamires.

An East Alabama family is mourning the loss of a 25-year-old son, husband and father, who was shot down by the Taliban.

Sergeant Brandon Hadaway, along with six other soldiers, was killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

According to family members, the Taliban shot down Hadaway's Chinook helicopter with a rocket propelled grenade. The Hadaway family says no words can express what they are going through. They tell me their tight knit family and prayers from the community is what's holding them up through this awful time.

Hadaway attended Valley High School, then decided to join the military about five and half years ago and was stationed at Fort Bragg. It's a military family, with Hadaway's brother just finishing up basic training at Fort Knox. Hadaway did three tours oversees, first in Afghanistan, then Iraq, then back in Afghanistan. He was the crew chief on the Chinook helicopter, when it was shot down by Taliban fighters, Wednesday.

He leaves behind a young wife and three sons, ages, six, three and a seven month old baby boy. Right now, the family still doesn't know when funeral services will be. We do know they will be held at Fairfax Congregation Holiness church. Johnson Brown Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Hadaway was one of five paratroopers killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last Wednesday, according to information released Monday by the 82nd Airborne Division.

Hadaway, who also served in Iraq in 2005, joined the Army in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, of Fort Bragg, and leaves behind a stepson and two sons.

Staff Sgt. Ronald E. Walton described him as “a big ol’ teddy bear” and said he was always “joking and having fun with the guys.”

U.S. military officials have said initial reports suggested the CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, but that enemy fire was one of several possible reasons for the crash in volatile Helmand province, in the southern part of the country. A Briton and a Canadian were killed along with the five Americans.

“Their courage and dedication will never be forgotten, and we will honor them by continuing our commitment to supporting the Afghan people and government while fighting the War on Terror,” Army Col. Kelly Thomas, the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s commander, said in a statement.

Army Sgt. Brandon E. Hadaway was killed in action on 5/30/07.

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