Hoby Frank Bradfield, Jr. – Specialist, United States Army

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 703-05

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Specialist Hoby F. Bradfield Jr., 22, of The Woodlands, Texas, died July 9, 2005, in Tal Afar, Iraq while he was conducting a dismounted cordon search.  Bradfield was assigned to the Army's 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.


A soldier from suburban Houston was killed last week while patrolling in Iraq, the Defense Department said today.

Specialist Hoby F. Bradfield Jr., 22, was shot Saturday while he was conducting a search of an area in Tal Afar, Iraq.

Bradfield was assigned to the Army's 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.

The Defense Department statement said Bradfield listed The Woodlands as his home of record. Army officials said Bradfield was born in Pensacola, Florida, and that his wife and mother live in different states outside of Texas.

Bradfield was at least the 159th Texas service member to have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, according to the Defense Department.

A U.S. soldier, who spent several months living with family in The Woodlands before enlisting in the Army, was killed in Iraq Friday.
Coutesy of the Houston Community Newspapers

Specialist Hoby F. Bradfield Jr., 22, a member of the Army's 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colorado, was killed during a firefight near Tal Afar, Iraq, Friday, according to the Department of Defense.

As medical personnel attempted to evacuate the injured Bradfield to a hospital in Mosul, their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The blast caused the vehicle, carrying Bradfield and the medical crew, to overturn, killing the driver and seriously injuring another passenger, said Bradfield's half-brother, Christopher Orr.

Bradfield, who had lived with Orr during his stay in Montgomery County, died before making it to the hospital.

“Hoby Junior was very patriotic,” said his paternal grandmother, Mary Sikes, in a telephone interview from her Mobile, Alabama, home. “He believed in what he was doing and was willing to do it.”

Bradfield, a scout with the heavy armor unit, was on his second tour in Iraq. He was deployed in March after returning home just a year earlier from his first one-year tour in the war-torn country.

“He re-enlisted after his first tour to stay in Fort Carson,” Orr said. “He knew pretty much as soon as he got back from Iraq the first time that they would be headed back.”

Bradfield originally intended to re-enlist for an assignment at Fort Hood here in Texas, to be closer to his older half-brother. But last winter, he met and married Crystin Bradfield in Colorado. Crystin is set to give birth to Hoby's daughter in September.

“It's a little girl, which is what Hoby Junior wanted,” Sikes said. “He wrote me a letter about his wife and the baby, and he said, ‘Nana, I never believed you could love anyone that you have never seen as much as I already love this baby.'”
That loving and affectionate person is the Hoby Bradfield that Woodlands resident Margaret Eichelberger will always remember.

“He was a neat kid, full of energy and great fun to be with,” said Eichelberger, whose niece is married to Orr.

Eichelberger said Bradfield was following in the footsteps of his father, who retired from the Navy, and half-brother, who spent six years in the Army, when he joined the military.

“He was excited about going in the Army because Chris was in the Army,” she said. “He took it very seriously. He knew the dangers and was still ready to go.”

Bradfield's younger brother Jared also joined the military. He is a Marine, currently assigned to guard the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

“He and his brother used to pick on each other because one was in the Army and one was in the Marines,” Sikes said. “Hoby Junior would always tell Jared that the Army was better, and Jared would tell Hoby Junior that the Marines were better.”

Jared Bradfield will return to the United States Thursday to attend his brother's funeral, which will be held sometime next week at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Bradfield, who was born in Florida and spent much of his childhood and teenage years in Virginia Beach, Va., moved to The Woodlands after he graduated from high school. During his time in Texas, Bradfield lived with Orr and his wife D'Ann and worked at an Academy Sporting Goods store.

He is survived by his father and stepmother, Hoby and Elizabeth Buck Bradfield, of Norfolk, Virginia; mother, Diane Sterling, of Chicago; siblings, Jared Bradfield, Chris Orr, Brandon Buck and Jessica Buck; and grandparents, Aaron and Mary Sikes.

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