Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Brandon J Webb

Swartz Creek, Michigan

June 20, 2006

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
20 Marine L/Cpl

1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Camp Pendleton, California

 Killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

Family Tribute Site

http://www.scafd.com/memorial.html 

Red Mountain grad killed in Iraq
Rebekah Sanders
Courtesy of the The Arizona Republic
June 23, 2006

A Marine who was raised in the East Valley and graduated from Red Mountain High School in 2004 died in Iraq on Tuesday.

A roadside bomb exploded while Lance Corporal Brandon Webb, 20, was driving an SUV in Fallujah, killing him and two other soldiers, according to his mother, Ann Christofferson.

Funeral arrangements had been set for this weekend in Swartz Creek, Michigan, where Christofferson lives, but Marine officials told her Thursday morning that her son's body would not be released in time.

After the funeral next week, he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Webb was scheduled to return home from Iraq on August 2, 2006.

"He had always wanted to be a Marine, even when he was a little kid," Christofferson said.

When Webb told his mom he had joined, "I was scared to death for him, but I wanted him to know he had all of my support," she said.

Christofferson said she talked to her son last week. "He was joking and laughing. But he had also seen stuff he hoped he never had to see again."

"The only thing he hated was not being able to sleep in a bed," she said.

Webb grew up in Tempe and attended McClintock High School his freshman and sophomore years, where he pitched and played first base on the baseball team. When his mother moved to Michigan, he followed, but missed friends in Arizona so much that he returned to the Valley for his senior year.

"We were pretty much inseparable," said Private Marcus Otero, 20, of Mesa. Webb lived with Otero's family during senior year. "He was the closest thing to a brother I've ever had."

Webb and his mother worked as firefighters in Michigan after Webb graduated, but he decided to become a Marine a year later, persuading Otero to join the military as well.

The two saw each other at Christmas last year and were planning to spend time together in September after Webb returned and before Otero left for his tour of duty in Iraq.

Otero and Webb remained close with their McClintock baseball coaches, Terry and Kerry Reeder, after high school.

Webb called Kerry Reeder from Iraq a few weeks ago, saying he wanted to move back to the Valley after the military and help coach the team.

"He loved baseball," Reeder said.

In his history classes this semester, Reeder used Webb as an example when discussing the conflict in Iraq and offered the students extra credit to write Webb letters.

With the hectic pace of the end of the semester, Reeder hadn't had time to mail them yet. 

"I've got 30 letters on my desk right now," he said. "It gives new meaning to those letters."

He plans to give them to Christofferson when he and his brother go to the funeral.

"He was one of those kids that didn't want to be in the limelight, but he liked being around everybody," said Reeder, whose brother owned a Water & Ice store where Webb worked. "He was just a good kid."

Christofferson said the community in Swartz Creek has been supportive, bringing food to her house, calling and dedicating a brick for Webb at the city's proposed veteran's memorial.

Otero said Webb's death still doesn't seem real.

"He had all kinds of things going for him. He was almost done with Iraq. He was even figuring out what kind of car he wanted to get when he came home," Otero said.

"The last thing he said was, 'I'm almost ready to come home. I'll see you soon.' "

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