Brandon Taylor Islip – Sergeant, United States Army

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release


DoD Announces Change-In-Status of Army Soldier

The Department of Defense today announced the death of a soldier supporting Operation Enduring Freedom who was previously listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown.

Sergeant Brandon T. Islip, 23, of Richmond, Virginia, had been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown.  His status was changed Novmber 29, 2009, to having died in a non-combat related incident.

He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. and went missing, November 4, 2009, while involved in a resupply mission in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan.

For further information about this soldier, contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at (910) 432-0661 or (910) 432-0662.

ISLIP, Sgt. Brandon T., 23, was declared deceased on November 29, 2009. He was a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.



He was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Sergeant Islip had been missing since November 4, 2009. Eyewitness reports say that he dove into the Bala Murghab River to save one of his men during a re-supply mission in western Afghanistan. His body was recovered after a local Afghan citizen provided information on his whereabouts.

His decorations include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

Brandon is survived by his wife, Sonja Lynn Islip; his father, George W. Islip III; stepmother, Rosemary Hampton; his mother, Allison Chaney; a younger sister, Scarlett Chaney; and an extremely large loving family.

A funeral service will be held in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A memorial service with military honors will be held Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1 p.m. at Westover Hills United Methodist Church, 1705 Westover Hills Blvd., Richmond, Virginia. Memorial contributions can be made to Snowball Express, a charity for the children of fallen military heroes.

The widows of two soldiers that recently drowned in Afghanistan say they hope that Americans remember their husbands as heroes.

On Sunday, military leaders recovered the body of the second 82nd Airborne soldier who drown during a mission.

“It's just devastating,” Sergeant Benjamin Sherman's widow Patricia Sherman said. “He was so happy just to come home and be a father.”

Sergeant Benjamin Sherman was a soldier in the 4th Brigade Combat Team which is part of the 82nd Airborne Division.

On November 4, he and Sergeant Brandon Islip were swept away by a fast-moving current while trying to recover air-dropped supplies that slipped into a river in Afghanistan.

“When I found out the news I just, I completely lost it,” Patricia Sherman said. “So, I talked to him the day before he went missing. He told me he would call me and he didn't. So I knew something bad was going on.”

She is pregnant with her husband's first child. She's due in March on St. Patrick's Day.

The tragedy has bonded her and Sergeant Brandon Islip's widow's lives forever.

“He would give his life for anybody,” widow Sonja Islip said. “And during the circumstances he figured he would give his life to do something for somebody else.”

They both say their husbands died as heroes.

“He loved fighting,” Sherman said. “He loved fighting for his country. And there's no better way to describe him than being a true American hero.”

“He's always been a hero to me,” Islip said. “He's willing to put his life on the line for this country and that's all anybody really can ask for.”

Sherman has put yellow ribbons the tress outside of her house and despite her husband's death, she says she's not planning to take them down until her husband's entire unit returns.

NOTE: Sergeant Islip was laid to rest with military honors on 25 May 2011

DATE OF BIRTH: 11/03/1986
DATE OF DEATH: 11/29/2009







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