Scott W. Brunkhorst
Staff Sergeant, United States Army
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 267-10
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of one soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sergeant Scott W. Brunkhorst, 25, Fayetteville, North Carolina, died March 30, 2010, in the Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
For more information the media may contact
the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661.
Scott Brunkhorst, 25, was a 2003 graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School and an Army weapons squad leader based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife Krystal, and 3-year-old daughter Kendall.
His parents, Linda and Rick Brunkhorst, confirmed Wednesday their son died on March 30 in a homemade bomb blast while his unit was on a foot patrol. Brunkhorst was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.
In an e-mail sent to the family and obtained by the Courier News, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Guy Jones said,"This paratrooper gave his life for his men and his unit by forcing an attacker to detonate an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) against him before it could endanger his soldiers. On the same day, the battalion had three other great warriors wounded that will be returning to the United States to heal. Despite the sadness felt by leaders, paratroopers, and our partners here in Afghanistan, we need only remember the man that we have lost and what he has given us to determine the way ahead. Staff Sergeant Brunkhorst stood with us and lived the standard each and every day. He was a true leader of men, the drive and passion he put into his job was unmatched by all and envied by most. Please keep his family in your prayers as they face moving forward without this fine man.''
Linda Brunkhorst said her son wanted to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery — one of two national cemeteries administered by the Army — because he wanted to be with those who helped serve the United States. Two days following Scott's burial, the family will hold a memorial for friends and family at the division chapel, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a trust fund for Kendall.
"Scott followed a very strong belief in his country,'' Linda Brunkhorst said. "Arlington was the final resting place of all his heroes. He wanted to rest with people who believed like he did.''
6 April 2010:
An 82nd Airborne Division soldier from Fayetteville died in Afghanistan last week in a homemade bomb blast.
Staff Sergeant Scott W. Brunkhorst, 25, was killed in the Arghandab River valley just north of Kandahar city on March 30 while his unit was on a foot patrol.
He was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.
"Staff Sergeant Brunkhorst, or Brunk as we knew him, was a warrior and provided simple solutions to problems others couldn't figure out," said Captain Adam Armstrong, his company commander. "He had the exact type of courage that inspires men under extreme adversity."
For Brunkhorst's wife, Krystal, it was love at first sight. All it took was a phone number and 11 days before she said yes to his marriage proposal.
"If I could dream up a guy, it would be him," she said. "He knew everything about everything."
Brunkhorst enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in August 2003.
Brunkhorst deployed to Afghanistan for 15 months in February 2007. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant during the deployment.
Upon returning from the deployment, Brunkhorst attended Warriors Leaders Course and was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in October 2008. This was his second deployment.
Brunkhorst could put a car engine together as easily as he could decorate a room in their house, his wife said, describing her husband as a complete romantic.
"The last time he was home, he took us to the mountains skiing and showed me a DVD slide show he made for me," she said.
Brunkhorst last talked to his wife on the computer March 29. He wanted to wish her an early happy birthday before he left on a patrol mission, his wife said.
"He pursued a terrorist and forced him to detonate his bomb so he couldn't hurt his men," she said.
A week ago, on her 25th birthday, Ms. Brunkhorst heard a knock on her front door. She thought her husband had ordered flowers for her birthday. She opened the door to see two casualty officers standing before her.
"I knew right then," she said.
Brunkhorst's military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal among others.
"Despite the sadness felt by leaders, paratroopers, and our partners here in Afghanistan, we need only remember the man that we have lost and what he has given us to determine the way ahead. Staff Sergeant Brunkhorst stood with us and lived the standard each and every day," Jones, the battalion commander, said in a note posted on Facebook.
Twenty-one paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team have died since the unit deployed from Fort Bragg in August.
The 2nd Battalion is stationed in the Arghandab River valley, just north of Kandahar, as part of a team creating a ring of security around the city. The valley is sometimes called the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.
Brunkhorst is survived by his wife, Krystal, 25; his daughter, Kendall, 3 and his father and stepmother, Richard and Linda Brunkhorst.
BRUNKHORST, SCOTT W
Posted: 8 April 2010 Updated: 24 April 2010 Updated: 2 May 2010 Updated: 7 June 2010
Photos Courtesy of Eileen Horan, June 2010
Photos Courtesy of Eileen Horan, April 2010