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Army SGT Bryan Large

Army SGT Bryan Large

KIA October 3, 2005
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Assigned to 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC.

 

Bryan was on his second deployment in Iraq, third overall deployment, when he was killed by an IED explosion near Haqlaniyah in Anbar Province, Iraq. He was riding in a convoy when an explosion consisting of 155 mm artillery shells and an anti-tank mine hit his humvee. Also killed in the explosion were Pfc. Roberto Baez and Spc. Jacob Vanderbosch.

The below information was written by Larry Large, Bryan’s father:

Bryan cherished fatherhood and felt it was the most important thing in his life. He was so very proud of his daughters, Kylie and Devan, and talked about them nonstop. Wanting to provide a better life for them and to gain the skills for his ultimate ambition, to be a firefighter and paramedic, he joined the Army to be a Medic.

Being a member of the historic 82nd Airborne was a real rush for him. Not everyone can qualify for this unit and being part of an elite group gave him a great deal of pride. I could see this every time I talked to him, listening to him recount stories of his previous tours. He was a “high speed” guy, living life fast and always wanting to be where he was needed the most, which meant where the action was. In Afghanistan on his first tour, rather than being assigned to the hospital, Bryan volunteered to go to the outlying firebases. He wanted to be where he felt his skills would be better utilized and where he could get the experience that only a “hot zone” could provide.

Bryan’s friends from the unit always looked to him for guidance because of his confident demeanor. They would laugh and tell me how he never got flustered no matter how much was going on around him. He was like the rock they could always count on. Sitting in a cafeteria one day a fellow soldier next to him was nervous about his first combat experience and was asking Bryan for advice. “What happens if I freeze” he asked? Bryan replied, “Concentrate on what you’re doing and don’t worry about the rest. You’ll do fine.” Solid advice from someone who knew what he was talking about. Bryan’s men knew if they had a question or a problem they could count on a no-nonsense answer delivered with understanding and compassion.

Since he was on his third deployment several of the men in his unit who were worried about their families, would talk to Bryan and ask advice. “What should I do about my kids” they would ask? His answer was “love them the best you can”.

Bryan chose to go on his last tour even though he had only 5 months left on his enlistment. He was very loyal to his men and as the lead medic in his company, he didn’t want them to go with anyone but him. He was killed just one month after his 31st birthday. Bryan represented himself, his unit, the 82nd Airborne and his country with pride and distinction each and every time he put on his uniform.

On Memorial Day of 2006 Bryan’s commander and entire unit came to our hometown to march in the parade and represent Bryan. I can think of no greater compliment to a man who gave so much to so many. I watched them go by knowing that Bryan would be very proud and humbled by their feelings for him.

We miss him more than words can convey. His daughters know the sacrifices he made and why. They are both extremely proud of who he was and what he did. Medics are a dedicated group of people who put the welfare of others before themselves and we know there is a special place in heaven for them.

SGT Bryan Large was 31 years old from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

The original portrait was delivered May 29th,  2018 to his father, Larry, sister, Michelle, and family at a special presentation sponsored by BD Medical in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

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