Thank God We Had Brad

Jim,

I read your Facebook post about starting a memorial page and thought I would share. I met Brad when his unit was augmented to Aco 2nd Mp Bn prior to my second deployment to Iraq in 05. I had mixed feelings especially about the NCOs due to the fact they were reservists, those feeling were changed well before the deployment was over. I was a Cpl in 1st Sqd 4th Plt Aco, and had worked and trained my butt off to become the best at my job that I could be. The Sgt we had as Squad leader had made some mistakes prior to the deployment that had caused him to be removed from his job; I expected to be moved up into the position. When they moved Brad into it I again had mixed feelings. I now am very great-full for it. I have no doubt that Brad was far more fit for the job than I. Brad was everything a leader should be and carried himself with such confidence and professionalism that words do not exist to truly portray it.

Brad and I quickly grew a close bond and friendship. He picked up on our SOPs so quickly I was amazed. He was quick to step up to bat for any of his Marines to the higher ups no matter what. He was always watching over and out for all of us and our well being. I learned so much from Brad its hard to explain. The manner in which he carried himself made us all want to be better Marines and better men. I think my transition to the civilian world would have been far more difficult without having known Brad.

As I sit here pondering on which stories to tell to best show Brads shear awesomeness I can’t help but smile¬† and want to cry at the same time, he is missed sorely. While stationed in Iraq our platoon was slated to do security for most any type of convoy from CLB-8 at Camp Fallujah. Some of the most stressful and exciting mission were the EOD and recovery asset missions. We would spend a week living in a hut in the lot always ready to go, waiting on 9 lines. The missions were sometimes so long as to seem never ending and required quick judgment and clear thinking. Thank God we had Brad.

Brad was always quick to give a compliment or to correct shortcomings tactfully. To crack a joke just to get a laugh out of his quick wit. He almost always had a smile on his face until it was game face time. He was a gentleman that was beyond reproach. A hero amongst mere mortals. A father figure to the bastards we were. I feel that Brad is the reason we all made it home with all of our fingers, toes and sanity relatively in tact. I am ever great-full and will never forget you Sgt. Fox you are my HERO.

-Nick Johnson

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