Marine Sgt. Brandon C. Bury
Died June 06, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
26, of Kingwood, Texas; was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died June 6 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Also killed were Lance Cpl. Derek Hernandez and Cpl. Donald M. Marler.
(The following was taken from www.hcnonline.com of June 18, 2010) Big is an adjective used by many of Brandon Bury’s family and friends when they talk about and remember him.
His big heart, big smile, big personality and his big frame.
The news of his death in Afghanistan June 6 while serving in the Marines came as a shock to many in his hometown of Kingwood. The shock was felt in Dallas where his parents live and his two brothers, and in San Diego where his wife, Heather, and their two young children live.
“I was in Dallas for the weekend when Bury’s parents, Brian and Terri, received the news he had died. I spoke with them and his dad said to me, ‘You play this scenario over and over but when it happens, you cannot believe it,’” said Nancy Johnson, a close family friend of the Burys and a Kingwood resident.
Johnson’s son, Chris, served in the Marines with Brandon and they became close friends during their service.
They both felt the urge to sign up for the military after 9/11 and Bury was using his service as an avenue to go into the CIA, according the Johnson.
Bury had been deployed twice to Iraq and volunteered to go to Afghanistan where he was a member of NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force.
He was embedded with three other Marines training the Afghan military police when their armored vehicle flipped and he drowned.
The Bury family held visitation in Oceanside, Calif., June 13 and his official funeral was held June 14 at the Marine Memorial Chapel at Camp Pendelton where he was stationed.
Johnson, also a member of the Blue Star Moms, organized a memorial service for his Kingwood friends and the community for June 19 at St. Martha Catholic Church with a reception to follow at Kingwood First Baptist Church down the street.
David Hoke, who has been a friend of Bury’s since seventh grade, remembers him as ever-evolving and being a big-hearted guy with a smile always on his face.
“For a while, Bury was not sure what he wanted to do so he joined the Marines; it changed his life. He went from a guy that slept in late to a dedicated soldier,” Hoke said.
“We were always a tight-knit group of friends and even though we all went different places, we never lost touch. I remember last time we hung out before this last deployment he did not really want to go because he just had his second son, but he volunteered to go so he could provide for his family.”
Both Hoke and Johnson recall the Bury household in Kingwood is where everyone hung out and hosted sleep-overs where the guys would play cards, goof around and have fun.
A couple of other friends talked about how much Bury loved Kingwood and was hoping to move back in the future.
“He truly was in love with his wife and family. We all hung out together last time he was here and their love was very strong for each other. It is sad his children won’t get to know their dad and how funny and outgoing he was,” Hoke said.
Johnson echoed his sentiments, “He lived life to the fullest and enjoyed life. He will be missed.”
There is a website now set up, www.brandonburyfamilyfund.com, where the community can donate to help the family.
Friends and Community remember Brandon
Fellow Kingwood High School Class of 2002 graduate Jeff Achilles — “In the past year before his deployment to Afghanistan, I have never seen Brandon happier in his entire life. He had so much love for Heather and the boys and that will never fade. He will always be there with them and with all of us. He was an unforgettable father, husband, son, brother, friend, Marine, etc. The list could go on forever. We love you, Brandon, and will never forget you.”
Fellow Kingwood High School Class of 2002 graduate Ryan Tucker —
“‘Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.’
- John Wesley
“I really like this quote because it describes all of the values of Brandon Bury: unselfishness, happiness, bravery, confidence, strength. He was the bravest, most unselfish and most honorable man I have ever known. He was a friend that could bring happiness in your life during the most despairing moments. I will never forget Brandon and I will always miss him. Thank you, Brandon, for being you.”
Meredith Miller — “I’ve known Brandon since kindergarten when my family moved into the neighborhood where his family lived. Greentree was a great neighborhood with tons of kids all the same age. Brandon was a part of our “street crew” and there were many great times with mock wars, water fights and general silly antics.
“I don’t know how I remember this, but Brandon and another Brandon (of which there were several growing up) got into trouble in our kindergarten class with Mrs. Sprick. To apologize, Brandon offered to say the Pledge of Allegiance, I guess an early sign of his patriotism.
“Though Brandon and I ended up more as acquaintances throughout high school and beyond, he was and will always remain a wonderful fixture of my childhood and will not be forgotten.”
Kingwood resident Clark Blackman II — “I would like to say that for the many folks in Kingwood that knew Brandon, it goes without saying that Brandon was a hero long before now. He was a great example of a good kid and a role model for our own kids. He was always smiling and generous, kind of a big lug of a guy that everyone just liked being around. Those that didn’t know Brandon missed knowing a wonderful young man, but they know now what a hero he is. God has a purpose for us all, and in Brandon’s short life, I believe he served many. We will all miss him and all his brothers and sisters that have fought and died in wars willingly, fearlessly and with great hearts, as warriors for a greater good that they believed was just and right. We will gladly, proudly carry their memories to our own graves.”
Kingwood Area Republican Women member and past President Halene Crossman — “I remember how excited Brandon and Chris (Johnson) were to be in the Marines. Brandon was soon deployed to Iraq and Chris was stationed stateside. I wrote both of these young men and sent them the photos from the parade and have been praying for them ever since I met them. We told Brandon and Chris how very much it meant to us to walk with them in the parade; we were so proud. They were and are our heroes. How I wish they could both be with us again this July 4.”