Sunday, September 25, 2011

Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Lundy, Jr., United States Navy

Brian Lundy, Jr., known as "Peanut" by his friends, was born July 29, 1986 at the Bergstrom AFB, Austin, Texas, and passed away on September 9, 2011, another casualty of the war in Afghanistan. At the time of his death, he was on foot patrol as a Corpsman with the United States Marines.

Brian accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Zion Rest Missionary Baptist Church. He sang with the Voices of Joy and was an active member of TCIA and JCIA Youth groups. He was a Jr. Deacon and early on demonstrated an eagerness to serve. He had a passion for animals and spoke of being a veterinarian. He loved his Great Danes, his iguana and his parrot. He loved motorcycles, which fulfilled his need to live on the edge and his need to go fast.

Brian graduated from Bowie High School, in Austin, in May 2004. He received a scholarship to Huston Tillotson University in Austin, and enrolled in August 2004. During this period of his life, he decided college did not provide the challenge and adventure that he was seeking. Determined to fill a desire to do more with his life, and serve his country, he enlisted in the United States Navy in May 2006. He completed Basic training and Hospital Corpsmen 'A' School in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Brian's first duty station was aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan from November 2006 to August 2008. He was next assigned to the Naval Hospital, 29 Palms, California from December 2008 to December 2010. When he became eligible, he applied for and was accepted to Special Training as a Hospital Corpsman with the Fleet Marine Force. He completed that training in March 2011. He was then assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in March 2011.

Brian was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in July 2011. During his time there, he delivered a baby, treated an Afghani National for multiple stab wounds and removed a rock from the eye of a young Afghanistan boy. He had found his calling and his purpose in life. He was doing something that made him feel that he was making a difference.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short at 11:44 AM on September 9.

On September 14, 2011, at 10:00 AM, Brian made his last trip home aboard a Kalitta Charters aircraft, specially designed to return the remains of servicemen and women.

When the aircraft landed at the former Bergstrom base, where Brian was born, it was welcomed by a spray of water from two Austin Fire Department Fire Engines, dozens of Patriot Guard Riders, a Navy Honor Guard, a contingent of the Motor Detail of the Austin Police Department, his sister and other family and friends.

As the aircraft taxied into position, the Patriot Guard Riders stood quietly in front of their motorcycles. The Honor Guard stood at attention.

The pilots of the aircraft unloaded Brian's flag draped casket, which was carried to the waiting black hearse. Standing at attention throughout this process was a single Sailor, dressed in his Dress Blue Uniform, adorned with his many medals. This Sailor had accompanied Brian on this final trip home.

The Patriot Guard Riders accompanied the hearse in the procession, led by the Austin Police Officers, to the Cook-Walden Capitol Parks Funeral Home in Pflugerville, Texas.

At 10:00 AM on September 21, a Homegoing Celebration was held at Sweet Home Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas. In attendance were scores of Patriot Guard Riders from all over Central and South Texas, to welcome the arriving family and friends with a line of American flags at the entrance to the church.

At the completion of the service, the Patriot Guard Riders led the funeral procession, escorted by the Austin officers, to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.

Waiting at the cemetery were other Riders, fifty American Flags lined the roadway, and the Navy Honor Guard stood at attention. The flag draped casket was slowly moved from the hearse to the committal shelter. The Patriot Guard Riders, joined by the Austin officers, formed a honor line along the front of the shelter as full military honors were rendered.

The interment service began with final prayers by a minister. A seven rifle detail fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country. The Navy bugler played taps, as all present stood at attention and saluted or held hand over the heart.

The American flag that had draped the casket on the long trip home, was carefully folded into the traditional triangle and presented to Brian's mother, Ramona, on behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Navy and a grateful nation as thanks for his sacrifice to his country. A second folded flag was presented to Brian's father, Brian, Sr..

Brian was then laid to rest on the sun-drenched plain of the cemetery, deep in the heart of Texas.

Left to cherish his memory are his parents, his sister Joslyn, his grandmothers, his best friend Brandon, and a host of other dear family, friends, fellow sailors and Marines.

The world is a lessor place without Brian,
but Heaven is so much better.

With thanks to Cook-Walden Capital Parks Funeral Home for biographical information and to Amanda Carter for additional photographs.

No comments:

Post a Comment