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Brian Anthony Medina
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
Virginia State Flag
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1155-04
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov 13, 2004
Media Contact: Marine Corps Public Affairs - (703) 614-4309 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

   Lance Corporal David M. Branning, 21, of Cockesville, Maryland
Lance Corporal Brian A. Medina, 20, of Woodbridge, Virginia

Both Marines died November 12, 2004, as result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.  They both were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

For further information contact the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Public Affairs Office at (808) 257-8840 or (808) 257-8839.


Local Family Mourns Marine's Death
Area Marine Killed In Fallujah Fighting
November 15, 2004

WASHINGTON -- A local family is mourning the loss of a son who was killed in Iraq last week.

Brian Medina's father said no one had to tell him that his son had died. Gregory Medina said he felt a sharp pain in his midsection and knew 20-year-old Brian was gone.

BA Medina PHOTO

Brian's family said he was looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday with his family, but his sister, Jen, said his letters always sounded a little ominous.

Gregory Medina received his son's purple heart Monday. Brian died in fighting in Fallujah. Gregory said he felt it Thursday and knew before word came. On Friday, has a received the official word from the Marine Corps Chaplain.

Brian arrived in Iraq in September. He sent home a folded Iraqi flag signed by all of the Marines in his company. Including Brian, 11 people who signed the flag have died.

Brian's body will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on November 22, 2004. His funeral service will be held at the Fort Meyer Memorial Chapel at 10:45 a.m. 



Gregory Medina said his son, Brian Medina, wrote of a foreboding in his letters home from Iraq.

"He was scared. He said in the back of his mind he didn't think he was going to make it home," Gregory Medina, 44, said Sunday.

Lance Corporal Brian A. Medina was killed in enemy action Friday in Fallujah, the Pentagon said in a brief news release late Saturday.

Lance Corporal David M. Branning, 21, of Cockeysville, Maryland., also was killed riday, the Associated Press reported.

Both were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe. They were the 10th and 11th members of the unit killed in Iraq since it arrived there last month.

An all-out assault on Fallujah began last Monday as U.S.-led forces sought to hunt down insurgents while the country prepares for crucial elections due by Jan. 31, the AP reported.

Gregory Medina said the Marines in his son's unit in Iraq were committed to the war.

The Marines, Brian Medina told his father in regular phone calls and e-mails, see a side of the war not reported by American media, Gregory Medina said.

It was Brian Medina's conviction that terrorist camps existed in Iraq prior to the war, Gregory Medina said.

"He said he was sitting in a former terrorist camp writing me a letter," said Gregory Medina, a retired Navy Seabee.

Brian Medina's last phone call home was November 3, 2004, Gregory Medina said.

"He said they belong there. There's nobody there who wants to go home," Gregory Medina said. "He called home as much as he could."

Brian Medina's grandfather served in the U.S. Army. His uncle, Cecil Medina, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

"The only branch we don't have covered is the Coast Guard," Gregory Medina said.

"We have over 80 years of combined military service," said Cecil Medina in his brother's family room in Dale City on Sunday.

Brian Medina, a 2002 Garfield High School graduate, told his uncle he thought troops should remain, "until everything was resolved in Iraq."

"He told me we shouldn't leave. It would be a slap in the face to those who had died." Cecil Medina said.

Nine other Marines from Brian Medina's unit were killed in an ambush during the early stages of the attack on Fallujah, Gregory Medina said.

He has an Iraqi flag signed by all of the Marines in his son's unit.

Brian Medina sent it home before the attack on Fallujah, the riverside city of about 300,000 that has proved a security problem for the Americans since they captured Baghdad in April 2003.

Fallujah has been controlled by militants believed responsible for numerous car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, the AP reported.

Gregory Medina keeps the flag in his lap to remember all of the Marines.

"My family still supports the Marines of Bravo Company and we're praying for them," he said.

The military on Sunday said at least 38 Americans and six Iraqi soldiers have been killed during the Fallujah assault. Earlier, U.S. commanders said more than 1,200 insurgents have been killed since the siege began, the AP reported.

Gregory Medina said his son and the other Marines of the III Expeditionary Force believed they would return home after the battle in Fallujah.

"He said, 'As soon as Fallujah falls, we can come home.' That was pretty much the take," Gregory Medina said.

In Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military's ground and air assault of Fallujah has gone quicker than expected, with the entire city occupied after six days of fighting, said Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, who planned the operation, in an AP report.

Brian Medina wanted to be a U.S. Embassy bodyguard and saw service in the U.S. Marines as an avenue toward that goal, his father said.

Gregory Medina said his son will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The family is awaiting the arrival of his remains at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, Gregory Medina said.

Arrangements have yet to be made, but Gregory Medina will accept calls from his son's high school friends at (703) 878-2769.



At Burial, Love and Remorse
Woodbridge Marine's Wounded Comrade Couldn't Save Him
By Ian Shapira
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

As friends and relatives bade farewell to Lance Corporal Brian A. Medina yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery, one mourner laid his crutches on the ground and put his fists on top of the silver casket carrying his comrade. Corporal Andrew Ethridge, 23, leaned over, put his forehead on his fists and began crying.

Gregory Medina, the father of the dead Marine, stood next to Ethridge, patting his back.

BA Medina Funeral Services PHOTO
At the Arlington Cemetery burial for Lance Corporal Brian A. Medina, his father, Gregory,
tries to console the Marine's comrade, Corporal Andrew Ethridge

"He was devastated and he was feeling that it was his fault, and I was telling him that it wasn't," the elder Medina said after the service. "He was saying: 'Sorry, I did what I could. I am sorry. I could have saved you.' "

Corporal Medina, 20, of Woodbridge was killed November 12, 2004, in Anbar province, Iraq, one of two Washington area Marines to die there that day, according to the Pentagon. Ethridge said in an interview that Medina had gone inside a gated home in Fallujah searching for weapons and was killed by insurgents' automatic gunfire.

Ethridge, who was part of a team of Marines behind Medina's, heard the shots ring out and charged toward the house to save his friend, but he was felled by a bullet to his right leg.

"I knew that with the amount of fire that was coming out [of the house], no one could escape that," said Ethridge, who roomed with Medina on Okinawa just before they were deployed to Iraq in September. Recalling how it felt to lie wounded, unable to reach Medina, he said: "I was just thinking that I couldn't get to him and that it was weird how getting shot didn't feel like I expected."

Yesterday, about 75 mourners, including high school friends and teachers from Prince William's Gar-Field High School, paid their last respects to Medina, who had joined the military because of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"He wanted payback. Something about that day hit home with him," said Medina's father, a construction inspector from Woodbridge and a former Navy Seabee. "But when he got to Iraq, I thought maybe he jumped into this too fast."

Medina was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment, which is part of the 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Hawaii. He joined the military after graduating from Gar-Field High in 2002, his father said.

Yesterday's funeral was preceded by a Catholic service at the Post Chapel, where the Rev. Robert McClanahan, surrounded by a U.S. flag and lighted candles, told mourners that the measure of a life should be taken by the quality of the years, not their number.

Small one-page programs with a photograph of the Marine dressed in his uniform were passed out to mourners. Excerpts of great works and maxims were printed on the back. The first one, under the headline "Brian's Legacy to His Friends and Comrades," quoted the famous lines from Shakespeare's "Henry V":

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

Medina was laid to rest near the cemetery's columbarium, in the first grave of a new row, in front of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gregory Medina, who sat next to his ex-wife, Lolita Converse of Newport News, accepted the U.S. flag.

Medina was the 93rd service member killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He left behind three siblings, Jennifer, 19, Patrick, 11, and Andrew, 8, and a stepsister, Stephanie Converse.

Harriett Rowe, a guidance counselor at Gar-Field High School who attended the funeral, recalled how Medina was well known for more than being an ROTC member.

Medina, it turns out, was a sweet break-dancer. He learned the acrobatic hip-hop dance style while living in Italy with his mother during his first three years of high school. When he returned to the United States to live with his father during his senior year, Medina started a break-dancing club at Gar-Field.

"When he started spinning on his head, I said: 'Brian, hold off. I don't think you should do that. I am not ready for you to break your neck,' " recalled Rowe, who was the club's adviser. "But he was real good and serious about it because he wanted to learn and wanted to teach."



A 20-year-old Marine from Prince William County killed in Fallujah, Iraq, on November 12, 2004, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday after a funeral mass at the Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer.

Lance Corporal Brian A. Medina, killed in action during the invasion of the insurgent-stronghold city, was someone who loved his family, the Marine Corps and his country, said the Rev. Robert McLanahan, the Catholic priest who conducted the service.

"The measure of a life cannot be marked by length of years, but by the quality of those years," McLanahan said.

Medina graduated from Gar-Field High School in 2002.

Like Jesus Christ, Medina came here not to be served, but to serve others, McLanahan told about 100 mourners inside the chapel, a brick and white-steepled 1930s-era church. The 20-year-old Marine embodied the Corps' motto "semper fidelis," which means "always faithful."

After the service Medina's family and friends went to his burial plot near several other U.S. service members killed in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A firing party of seven Marines fired a three-round volley of shots in honor of Medina, before another played "Taps" on a bugle.

Medina was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

He and several other Marines were moving house-to-house while clearing the city of 300,000 on the northern banks of the Euphrates River west of Baghdad of insurgents attacking American troops.

Medina had moved into a house facing a courtyard with other Marines when the group was ambushed. Medina fell in the fighting and fellow Marine Andy Ethridge ran to his aid. The troops called for backup. Ethridge also was shot but survived. Medina, who was alive when he was taken from the courtyard, died later.

Lance Corporal David M. Branning, 21, of Cockesville, Maryland, died with Medina.

Ethridge, who is being treated at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland, attended Monday's funeral on crutches.

"My grieving is over and my son's been rested," Medina's father, Gregory, 44, said. "I would just like to thank everybody who prayed for my son. Their support was overwhelming and greatly appreciated."

Gregory Medina and his family were presented with a Gold Star flag, one given by the Gold Star mothers, a group of women who have lost sons in combat.

He was also presented with an American flag "on behalf of the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps" by Staff Sgt. Charles Dorsey, the Marine Corps' funeral director at Arlington National Cemetery. Dorsey is a graduate of Osbourn Park High School, near Manassas.

BA Medina Funeral Services PHOTO
Brian Medina's father, Gregory Medina, is comforted by friends and family 
following graveside services for his son, who died in Iraq


Family relieved by local soldier’s fate/12-4
Lakota East grad shot in ambush in Fallujah
Saturday, December 04, 2004
By Benjamin Poston
Courtesy of Cox News Services

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — All it took was a touch to her face.

Following a November 22, 2004, burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Monroe resident Debbie Ethridge met the mother of Brian Medina, a Marine Lance Corporal killed November 12, 2004, during an ambush in Fallujah.

Her son, Marine Corporal Andrew Ethridge, a 1999 Lakota East High School graduate, was severely wounded in the same fire fight.

“It’s hard when your son is going to be OK but you know she’s grieving,” Debbie Ethridge said. “Brian’s mom touched my face and said ‘I’m glad your son is alive. You be happy he’s alive.’ It’s almost as if she gave me permission to go on with my life. You realize how blessed you really are.”

The Ethridge family is counting every blessing now that Andrew Ethridge is recovering in a military hospital at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

While his unit was raiding homes in northeast Fallujah, Andrew Ethridge, 23, was attacked by insurgents and was struck with a bullet to his right thigh as he tried to pull Medina and Lance Corporal David Branning from the line of fire.

Medina and Branning were the 10th and 11th members of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force killed in Iraq since it arrived there in October.

“They opened a gate to a courtyard and were assaulted with AK-47 fire. Brian and David had been hit. They don’t leave anybody behind and of course Andrew wanted to get them. That’s when (Andrew) realized he had been shot,” Debbie Ethridge said.

Medina’s family came to Andrew Ethridge’s hospital room where he described to them how their son died and his bravery. Medina and Ethridge were roommates in Okanawa, Japan, before being deployed.

“It gave them closure. Most families don’t get closure because they never find out what happens to their loved ones,” Debbie Ethridge said.

On November 13, David Ethridge received a call from his teary-eyed son who had been evacuated to Lundstuhl, Germany.

“When my husband picked up the phone, my heart stopped because I knew they were in the thick of things (in Fallujah). He told us he was fine between the tears,” Debbie Ethridge said.

Recommended for a purple heart, Andrew Ethridge is on crutches and is making a steady recovery at the base, his mother said.

“Andrew’s wound was so gapingly large, it required a lot of in-patient treatment. The swelling has gone down a lot, there’s a lot of flesh and muscle to be repaired. He’s hoping for convalescent leave before Christmas, but he told us not to hold our breath,” she said.

While a Lakota student, Andrew Ethridge attended D. Russell Lee’s automotive technology program. From there he attended the Universal Technical Institute in Illinois.

A close friend since they rode the bus together in the seventh grade, 1999 Lakota East graduate Natalie Herold invited Andrew Ethridge to be a groomsman at her wedding in 2001. The tragic events of 9/11 prompted him to join the Marines, Herold said.

“His first comment to me after 9/11 was ‘This is what I can do to protect my family,’” said Herold of Fairfield. “I’m so proud of what he did but I hate to hear that he’s hurt. He’s out there trying to protect us and he made sacrifices.”

His mother agreed.

“He came home the night of 9/11 and was so upset. He felt patriotic and wanted to do something for his country. There was a challenge that he was looking for and felt he could do better good,” she said.

Once Herold finds out when her old friend is coming home, she plans to be at his house before he arrives. The Marine has never met Herold’s 5-month-old son, Bradan.

“I want him to see my boys,” she said.



Family relieved by local soldier’s fate
MOTHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER ENCOURAGES MOTHER OF WOUNDED
Thursday, December 09, 2004

All it took was a touch to her face.

Following a November 22, 2004, burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Monroe resident Debbie Ethridge met the mother of Brian Medina, a Marine Lance Corporal killed November 12, 2004, during an ambush in Fallujah.

Her son, Marine Corporal Andrew Ethridge, a 1999 Lakota East High School graduate, was severely wounded in the same fire fight.

“It’s hard when your son is going to be OK, but you know she’s grieving,” Debbie Ethridge said. “Brian’s mom touched my face and said ‘I’m glad your son is alive. You be happy he’s alive.’ It’s almost as if she gave me permission to go on with my life. You realize how blessed you really are.”

The Ethridge family is counting every blessing now that Andrew Ethridge is recovering in a military hospital at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

While his unit was raiding homes in northeast Fallujah, Andrew Ethridge, 23, was attacked by insurgents and struck with a bullet to his right thigh as he tried to pull Medina and Lance Corporal David Branning from the line of fire.

Medina and Branning were the 10th and 11th members of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force killed in Iraq since it arrived there in October.

The unit was assaulted with AK-47 fire after opening a gate to a courtyard in Fallujah, where Medina and Branning were fatally wounded.

“They don’t leave anybody behind, and of course Andrew wanted to get them. That’s when (Andrew) realized he had been shot,” Debbie Ethridge said.

Medina’s family came to Andrew Ethridge’s hospital room where he described to them how their son died and his bravery. Medina and he were roommates in Okinawa, Japan, before being deployed.

“It gave them closure. Most families don’t get closure because they never find out what happens to their loved ones,” Debbie Ethridge said.

On November 13, David Ethridge received a call from his teary-eyed son, who had been evacuated to Lundstuhl, Germany.

“When my husband picked up the phone, my heart stopped because I knew they were in the thick of things (in Fallujah). He told us he was fine, between the tears,” Debbie Ethridge said.

Recommended for a Purple Heart, Andrew Ethridge is on crutches and is making a steady recovery at the base, his mother said.

“Andrew’s wound was so gapingly large, it required a lot of in-patient treatment. The swelling has gone down a lot, there’s a lot of flesh and muscle to be repaired. He’s hoping for convalescent leave before Christmas, but he told us not to hold our breath,” she said.

While a Lakota student, Andrew Ethridge attended D. Russell Lee’s automotive technology program. From there he attended the Universal Technical Institute in Illinois.

A close friend since they rode the bus together in the seventh-grade, 1999 Lakota East graduate Natalie Herold invited Andrew Ethridge to be a groomsman at her wedding in 2001. The tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, prompted him to join the Marines, Herold said.

“His first comment to me after 9/11 was ‘This is what I can do to protect my family,’ ” said Herold, of Fairfield. “I’m so proud of what he did, but I hate to hear that he’s hurt. He’s out there trying to protect us and he made sacrifices.”

His mother agreed.

“He came home the night of 9/11 and was so upset. He felt patriotic and wanted to do something for his country. There was a challenge that he was looking for and felt he could do better good,” she said.

Once Herold finds out when her old friend is coming home, she plans to be at his house before he arrives. The Marine has never met her five-month-old son Bradan.

“I want him to see my boys,” she said.

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson



MEDINA, BRIAN ANTHONY
LCPL   US MARINE CORPS
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 08/27/2002 - 11/12/2004
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/19/1983
DATE OF DEATH: 11/12/2004
DATE OF INTERMENT: 11/22/2004
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8074
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Holly, August 2005

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 15 November 2004  Updated: 23 November 2004 Updated: 29 November 2004 Updated: 2 December 2004  Updated: 18 April 2005 Updated: 21 August 2005 Updated: 14 October 2007 Updated: 12 May 2008 Updated: 30 April 2010
Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO 2010 Rose Event
2010 Rose Event Photo By M. R. Patterson

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO May 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, May 2008

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO October 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, October 2007

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO

BA Medina Gravesite PHOTO
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 2 December 2004

The Medina Family Gathers At Arlington National Cemetery To Commerate
Corporal Medina's Twenty-First Birthday - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004

BA Medina 21st Birthday Remembrance - December 2004
Photos By Gregory W. Medina