Sgt. Brandon James Thomas / 19th Special Forces (Airborne)
Brandon, my first born son, died in Baghdad, Iraq, while on a protective detailmission, serving the war effort and the War on Terrorism as a Department of Defense security contractor. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the car bomb that took his life. Brandon's dream was to follow his parents and brother into a law enforcement career, but the events of 911 compelled him to pursue service in the Utah NG and to earn the distinction of wearing the Green Beret. With the conclusion of his SF training, which coincided with the 19th's return from assignment in Afghanistan, and with an intense desire to serve his country, he put himself in harms way by hiring on with a DOD contractor. Brandon adopted as his own personal creedo the Special Fores motto, "De Oppresso Liber".... Freedom to the Oppressed. Brandon is my hero.
Sgt. Todd Venette
Sgt. Todd Venette/USMC
Todd, a former police officer, fireman and ex-marine, was a compatriot of Brandon's, working for the DOD as a defense contractor. He died beside Brandon in a fiery attack on their convoy in Baghdad, Iraq, when an IED laden car-bomb hit their vehicle. Todd exemplified those who serve through his history of service to community and country.