Thursday, November 04, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson, 21, of Arvada, Colo.

LCpl Pearson was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Nov. 4, 2010 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Knowing the dangers he would face in Afghanistan, Brandon Pearson took full advantage of life in the days before his deployment five weeks ago. "He always said he would come home safe, but just in case, before he left, he hung out a lot and tried to do as much as possible," said his younger sister, Ashley.

Pearson, a Marine, was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday morning, according to his family. He was on his second overseas tour of duty, but his first to Afghanistan.

In the days before his deployment, Pearson, 21, of Arvada, spent time with his family at a wedding and outdoor barbecues, and spent an entire day riding his motorcycle with his dad, Mike.

"It was great; we rode through Golden Gate Canyon and hung out in Evergreen," Pearson's dad said. "We were really close."

Family members said they were told Pearson died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. "It makes a huge difference that he didn't die here," his only sister said. "I keep thinking about what was going through his head; he had to know."

Pearson last contacted his family a week ago, letting them know he would be busy on patrol and unable to contact them for about a month. "He never wrote once that he hated it, though I know he didn't want to be there anymore," Ashley said. "He couldn't wait to come home."

Pearson was set to return in April and end his military service in September. Just before his deployment, the family celebrated that Pearson had been promised a job with SWAT as soon as he returned. "He had always wanted to shoot for that but wasn't sure if he had the right qualifications," his sister said. "So he was real excited."

On Friday, she remembered an outgoing and brave brother, who also made her feel brave sometimes. "I hate sharks, but on this trip to Hawaii he convinced me to go on a shark encounter, and I ended up loving it," Ashley said. "I definitely did it because he was the one constant person I always trusted."

As far as what her brother could have been thinking before his death, she thinks he made his peace. "He didn't want us to mourn but more or less celebrate his life," she said.

The family is considering an Irish-style funeral with Pearson's favorite whiskey, either Crown Royal or Jameson Irish. "We used to have a saying," said his mother, Wendy. "This too shall pass."

Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson, was a 21-year-old rifleman who enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2007. This was his first combat deployment.

His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson was killed in action on 11/04/10.

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