NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 585-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2006
DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of four Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Corporal Christopher D. Leon, 20, of Lancaster, California
Lance Corporal Brandon J. Webb, 20, of Swartz Creek, Michigan
Private First Class Christopher N. White, 23, of Southport, North Carolina
Staff Sergeant Benjamin D. Williams, 30, of Orange, Texas
Leon died June 20, 2006, from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.
Webb, White, and Williams all died June 20, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. They were all assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
Red Mountain grad killed in Iraq
Courtesy of the The Arizona Republic
June 23, 2006
A Marine who was raised in the East Valley and graduated from Red Mountain High School in 2004 died in Iraq on Tuesday.
A roadside bomb exploded while Lance Corporal Brandon Webb, 20, was driving an SUV in Fallujah, killing him and two other soldiers, according to his mother, Ann Christofferson.
Funeral arrangements had been set for this weekend in Swartz Creek, Michigan, where Christofferson lives, but Marine officials told her Thursday morning that her son's body would not be released in time.
After the funeral next week, he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Webb was scheduled to return home from Iraq on August 2, 2006.
“He had always wanted to be a Marine, even when he was a little kid,” Christofferson said.
When Webb told his mom he had joined, “I was scared to death for him, but I wanted him to know he had all of my support,” she said.
Christofferson said she talked to her son last week. “He was joking and laughing. But he had also seen stuff he hoped he never had to see again.”
“The only thing he hated was not being able to sleep in a bed,” she said.
Webb grew up in Tempe and attended McClintock High School his freshman and sophomore years, where he pitched and played first base on the baseball team. When his mother moved to Michigan, he followed, but missed friends in Arizona so much that he returned to the Valley for his senior year.
“We were pretty much inseparable,” said Private Marcus Otero, 20, of Mesa. Webb lived with Otero's family during senior year. “He was the closest thing to a brother I've ever had.”
Webb and his mother worked as firefighters in Michigan after Webb graduated, but he decided to become a Marine a year later, persuading Otero to join the military as well.
The two saw each other at Christmas last year and were planning to spend time together in September after Webb returned and before Otero left for his tour of duty in Iraq.
Otero and Webb remained close with their McClintock baseball coaches, Terry and Kerry Reeder, after high school.
Webb called Kerry Reeder from Iraq a few weeks ago, saying he wanted to move back to the Valley after the military and help coach the team.
“He loved baseball,” Reeder said.
In his history classes this semester, Reeder used Webb as an example when discussing the conflict in Iraq and offered the students extra credit to write Webb letters.
With the hectic pace of the end of the semester, Reeder hadn't had time to mail them yet.
“I've got 30 letters on my desk right now,” he said. “It gives new meaning to those letters.”
He plans to give them to Christofferson when he and his brother go to the funeral.
“He was one of those kids that didn't want to be in the limelight, but he liked being around everybody,” said Reeder, whose brother owned a Water & Ice store where Webb worked. “He was just a good kid.”
Christofferson said the community in Swartz Creek has been supportive, bringing food to her house, calling and dedicating a brick for Webb at the city's proposed veteran's memorial.
Otero said Webb's death still doesn't seem real.
“He had all kinds of things going for him. He was almost done with Iraq. He was even figuring out what kind of car he wanted to get when he came home,” Otero said.
“The last thing he said was, ‘I'm almost ready to come home. I'll see you soon.' ”
6 July 2006:
A 20-year-old Marine lance corporal from Michigan was buried today at Arlington National Cemetery.
Brandon Webb of Swartz Creek was killed last month when a bomb detonated under his vehicle in Iraq.
Family members say he always wanted to be a Marine since he was a young boy.
Webb lived in Arizona for most of his life.
However, while serving as a firefighter in Swartz Creek he decided to enlist in the Marines in May 2005.
About 30 family members and friends gathered at the cemetery, which has more than 250-thousand grave sites.
He had served in Iraq since January and was scheduled to return to the U-S on August 2nd.
July 7, 2006
From the time he was a young boy, Brandon Webb wanted to be a Marine. Generations of his family had served in the Marine Corps and Webb saw public service – as a firefighter and a Marine – as his calling.
The 20-year-old Marine lance corporal from Swartz Creek, Michigan, was buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery after he was killed June 20,2006, when a bomb detonated under his vehicle in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
“He was committed to everything he got into,” said his mother, Ann Christofferson. “He never quit anything.”
Webb lived in Arizona for most of his life and was a 2004 graduate of Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona. Along with his mother, Webb served as a firefighter in Swartz Creek, about 10 miles southwest of Flint, and decided to enlist in the Marines in May 2005.
About 30 family members and friends gathered at the cemetery.
Under overcast skies, six Marines in dress uniforms gently removed Webb's flag-covered casket from the hearse and brought it to the grave site.
During a brief eulogy, Navy Chaplain Lieuetnant Ron Nordan asked mourners to “honor the memory of this great hero.” Following his remarks, a seven-member Marine guard fired three shots and a Marine presented Christofferson with the American flag that had covered his casket.
Young Marine Was Eager To Follow in Uncle's Path
Death Came Just Weeks Before Scheduled Return
By Tara Bahrampour
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Friday, July 7, 2006
Brandon J. Webb was good at a lot of things.
“He was an amazing student,” said his older brother, Austin W. Christofferson. “He loved baseball. He liked to pitch. And he loved painting Warhammer figurines.”
A Marine gunnery sergeant presents a folded U.S. flag to Austin W. Christofferson, brother of Lance Corporal. Brandon J. Webb,
who was killed June 20 along with two other soldiers from his unit in Iraq
The miniature models of game characters are hand-painted and assembled by the player, and Webb, 20, was a whiz.
“They were really realistic,” said Christofferson, 22. “He was great at it.”
He was also a firefighter, a job he did with his mother in Michigan after the family moved there from Tempe, Ariz., where he grew up, according to the Detroit Free Press. He took a leave from that job last year to follow another of his passions: the Marines.
“He always wanted to be a Marine,” his brother said. “His uncle Eddie was also a Marine.”
Uncle Eddie never went to war, but Webb was sent to Iraq. The lance corporal was due to return home Aug. 2, his mother, Ann Christofferson, told the Arizona Republic. But Webb was killed in combat in Anbar province June 20, 2006. Two other soldiers from his unit, Private First Class Christopher N. White, 23, of Southport, North Carolina, and Staff Sergeant Benjamin D. Williams, 30, of Orange, Texas, also were killed that day. The men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, California.
Corporal Jonathan Santiago, a Camp Pendleton spokesman, said the deaths are under investigation.
At Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, the sun beat down as mourners watched six Marines slowly lift Webb's flag-draped coffin out of a silver-colored hearse. As the Marines held the flag aloft over the coffin, Lieutenant Ron Nordan, cemetery chaplain, spoke of the cemetery's history as a place to lay the nation's heroes to rest.
“Today we add another hero to the list,” he said.
Seated a few feet from the coffin and dressed in black, Webb's mother listened and at one point dropped her face into her hands. A few mourners dabbed at their eyes as a rifle salute was fired and a bugler played taps.
Marcus Otero, 20, of Mesa, Arizona, told the Republic that Webb had lived with his family during his senior year of high school and was like a brother to him. The report said that Webb had persuaded Otero to join the military as well, and that he will leave for Iraq this fall; the two had planned to spend time together after Webb returned and before Otero left.
Otero told the newspaper that Webb was ready to come home and had even picked out the car he wanted to buy upon his return.
Austin Christofferson said he admired his brother's initiative.
“He led by example,” he said. “He put off a real example of how to live your life.”
Marine Honor Guards carry the coffin of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon J. Webb, 20, of
Swartz Creek, Michigan, during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, July 6, 2006
A Marine Honor Guard hands off the flag that draped the coffin of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon J.
Webb, 20, of Swartz Creek, Michigan, during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Thursday, July 6, 2006
Marine Honor Guards hold the flag that draped the coffin of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon J. Webb,
20, of Swartz Creek, Michigan, during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Thursday, July 6, 2006
Ann Christofferson, center, mother of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon J. Webb, 20, from Swartz Creek, Michigan,
receives the flag that draped her son's coffin during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery,
Thursday, July 6, 2006
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard