Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Army Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio

19, of Galloway, N.J.; assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; died May 29 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries sustained from a noncombat related incident May 27 in Tallil, Iraq.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Vincent Iorio told about 250 people at his brother’s funeral about going to a Christian music festival last summer with Bradley, who died last week from injuries suffered in the military in Iraq.

“We stood up on stage with all the staff for the candlelight vigil and got to share a view of 75,000 candles lighted over a field,” Iorio said at the funeral Monday, June 8 at Trinity Alliance Church. “We felt like we were on top of the world. Whenever you were with Brad, you felt like you were on top of the world.”

Iorio, speaking after his other brother, teachers and friends, said it was time to say good night.

“Goodbye just seems too final. Now I have an angel to watch over me, to help me be on top of the world forever.”

Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio, 19, died May 29 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, from an injury suffered May 27 that was unrelated to combat. It was just six days after he arrived in Tallil, Iraq.

The Army arranged for his parents and brothers to be at his bedside when he passed.

Born in Freehold Township, Iorio moved to the Smithville section of Galloway Township in 1996 with his family and graduated from Absegami High School in 2008. He enlisted in August.

According to an obituary prepared by the family, he loved Legos, Cub Scouts, video and computer games, which he played with his brother Rick; soccer, hockey, Absegami’s drama troupe the Emanon Players, his church youth group, camping with Vincent at Creation – the festival where they stood atop the world, “haunting the Village on Halloween, and one day owning his dream Mustang.”

With the Emanon Players he traveled to England and Scotland, was named National Honor Thespian, and received the MacGyver Award, the Door Knob Award, the Emanon Players Backstage Award twice, and Absegami’s Best Thespian award his senior year.

“Quiet by nature, Bradley never sat silently when a friend was in need,” the obituary reads. “He had the ability to lighten a serious moment with his amazing sense of humor.”

Hundreds passed his casket at viewings Saturday, June 6 and before the services Monday at the Wimberg Funeral Home in Egg Harbor City. Led by a military honor guard and motorcycle-riding veterans followed by about two dozen vehicles and escorted by Galloway Township police, the casket was transported the six miles to the church for an 11 a.m. service.

Assistant pastor and youth group leader Jeffrey Conley said it was not a time for tears.

“Brad would want us to celebrate his life,” Conley said.

He said there were three characteristics he associated with Bradley Iorio.

“First,” Conley said, “Brad had two speeds: 110 percent and sleep.”

The second characteristic was a propensity for suffering minor injuries.

“He wouldn’t get hurt climbing or swinging – doing something dangerous,” the minister said. “But he’d be standing and suddenly his foot hurt.”

The third, Conley said, was that Iorio was searching for something, and he found the object of his search through religion.

Vincent Iorio said Bradley was the best brother anyone could ever ask for.

“I’m so lucky I got to call him mine. Growing up he was quiet, but his heart had a lot to say. It’s funny to hear that one of the only places he should have been quiet he was really loud – offstage in the wings, cheering everyone on.”

His brother touched many in his 19 years, he said.

After speaking of the silly faces Bradley would make and how he brought the family together, Iorio closed with some words to his brother.

“Keep watching over us Brad,” he said. “I love you. I know I’ll see you again someday. You now wait in the wings for us to walk off the stage one last time. But for now, thank you for everything. Rest easy and good night – or as I found out you liked to say, see ya later.”

Most of those at the funeral walked behind the hearse about a quarter-mile from the church to Germania Cemetery for Iorio’s burial with military honors following a gun salute.

Bradley Iorio is survived by his mother, Laura, of Galloway Township, his father, James (Cheryl), of Middletown, and his brothers Richard (Tish) of Orange, Calif., and Vincent of Galloway Township. He was predeceased by his maternal grandfather David Williams and survived by his grandmother Bernice Williams, Uncle Dave, Aunt Judie and cousins Loren, Ashleigh, Frank and D.J. He was also predeceased by his paternal grandfather Anthony Iorio and survived by his grandmother Claire, Uncle Lenny (Roberta), cousins Liam and Isabella, and extended family members too numerous to name.

Donations may be made to Trinity Alliance Church or TAPS, an organization that helps children whose parents have died in this war. Checks can be made payable to TAPS, Note: Bradley Iorio c/o Ellen Lee, Nuance Comm., 23 Christopher Way, Eatontown N.J. 07724.

Army Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio died on 5/29/09 from injuries received 5/27/09 in a noncombat related incident.

1 comment:

Hunger in America said...

I was a soldier in Brad's platoon. He was one of the nicest guys I met. I trained with him everyday once he got to our unit however I was not allowed to stick by his side after we deployed. I believe if I had been allowed to be by his side I could have helped him. I am sorry for the families loss and I wish he had better sergeants to guide him