KIA August 4, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas
SPC Braden Long died August 4, 2007 of wounds sustained when his tactical vehicle came under grenade attack, while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. He was just three days shy of his 20th birthday.
Braden wanted to be in the Army since he was in third grade. His father, William Long, recalled that Braden “wanted to join and signed up and enlisted right after his 17th birthday, but couldn’t go in for basic training until eight months later… He was unbelievably proud to wear the uniform.” SPC Long was sworn into the Army on October 2, 2004. He left for basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 28, 2005, than moving on to his first duty station, Ft. Riley, in November of 2005 and was finally deployed to Iraq February of 2007.
Braden is remembered for his infectious smile, interest in cars, love for his family, and the intense desire to serve his country. Chaplain Ken Sorenson of Faith Church in Sherman, Texas, remembers that one of the outstanding features of Braden was his smile. Sorenson said that Braden was an incredibly warm person, and it was easy to see how his wife, Teresa, fell madly in love with him. He was always determined to do the right thing, and always fulfilled his commitments. Sorenson referred to the scripture Romans 5:7-8: “Christ died for us,” he said, “There is something about a man who is willing to die for those he doesn’t even know…day after day, a willingness to sacrifice his all for people who didn’t even know him, much like his Savior did 2,000 years ago.” He concluded, “Freedom is never free and SPC Long’s death serves as a reminder of the cost.”
SPC Long’s military decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Badge. SPC Braden Long is survived by his mother and stepfather, Bobby and Melanie Thrasher; father, William Long; wife, Teresa; and brother, Bill Long.
SPC Braden Long was 19 years old from Sherman, Texas.
Original portrait was presented in March of 2008 to Braden’s mother privately at her home in Sherman, Texas
Sponsored for family by:
Fla and Nadine Strawn, Seguin, Texas