Brett Eugene Walden – Sergeant First Class, United States Army

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NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 808-05
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2005

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Both died on August 5, 2005, in Rubiah, Iraq, when a civilian fuel truck collided with their HMMWV while performing a convoy mission.

Killed were:

  • Sergeant First Class Robert V. Derenda, 42, of Ledbetter, Kentucky.  Derenda was assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve's 1st Brigade, 98th Division, Rochester, New York.
  • Sergeant First Class Brett E. Walden, 40, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  Walden was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Army Sergeant First Class Brett E. Walden, 40, died in Rubiah, Iraq, on August 5, 2005, according to the Department of Defense. Walden and another solider, Sergeant First Class Robert V. Derenda, 42, of Ledbetter, Kentucky, died while on a convoy mission after a fuel truck collided with their armored Humvee. Two other unidentified soldiers were injured in the collision.

 Walden is survived by this wife, Autumn, and their 12-year-old daughter, Alexandria. The couple had been married 15 years and purchased a Dover Township farm last month, friends said. Autumn Walden recently accepted a job with York County District Attorney’s Office.

Walden was a Weapons Sergeant for the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, since May 2001.

He had gone to Afghanistan for one tour of duty and just recently started his fourth tour in Iraq.

Walden was a decorated soldier who won numerous honors, including the Combat Infantry Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.

Arrangements for Walden were incomplete, according to a spokesman from the Harrisburg funeral home handling his arrangements, Gilbert L. Dailey Funeral Home. At some point, the soldier will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia with military honors. His family could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

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Fatal Iraq wreck ended a dream life: Special Forces

Sergeant First Class Class Brett Eugene Walden achieved a boyhood dream by joining Special Forces, but it ended with his death in Iraq just seven months before he was supposed to retire from the Army.

Walden, a 40-year-old Kentucky-based soldier, lived in Fort Walton Beach when he was a teenager.

He died Friday when a civilian fuel truck collided with the Humvee he was riding in, according to the Pentagon.

Also killed was Sergeant First Class Robert V. Derenda, 42, of Ledbetter in Livingston County, Kentucky, a member of the Army Reserve's 98th Division, based in Rochester, New York.

Eddie Mae Owens, Walden's aunt, recalled that family members were not sure what to say when he told them of his ambition.

“There's not a whole lot of Green Berets, so nobody ever dreamed that that's what he would become,” she said.

But Walden became a member of the 5th Special Forces Group, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Walden was set to retire in February and had long talked of returning to the Florida Panhandle with his wife, Autumn, and their 12-year-old daughter, Alexandria, of Dover, Pennsylvania, Owens said.

Walden is scheduled to be buried August 19, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

WALDEN, BRETT E
SFC   US ARMY

  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/07/1964
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/05/2005
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8236
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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