Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Cpl. Travis J. Bradachnall

21, of Multnomah County, Oregon.
Bradachnall was killed in an explosion during a mine clearing operation near the city of Karbala, Iraq. Bradachnall was assigned to Combat Service Support Group 11, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on July 2, 2003.

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"Almos 13 years later and not a day goes by that I don't think about you. Semper Fidelis Warrior. The world is lacking without you. I hope to see you in Valhalla."
GySgt McCollough ( Retired) of SoCal

"semper fi travis I was honor severing with you R.I.P"
cpl chad drumbarger of iowa/usa

"Travis,

I think of you often and talk about your courage and dedication more. When we asked for volunteers to stay behind in Iraq, you were one of the first to oblige. Against my better judgment I relented and let you stay. We had informed you earlier in the deployment that your Grand parents had died. I told the squad leaders and guide of our platoon to keep an eye on you. Your resiliency showed when you were back in the fight all smiles and good humor, protecting your brothers and sisters thru the deployment. That spoke volumes of your character. You would be very proud of your mother Travis for the awareness she has brought to America and the Nations of the world dealing with cluster munitions. I was very proud of you Marine. You will always be missed but never ever forgotten."
Master Gunnery Sergeant Clemmons of Jacksonville, North Carolina

"Happy Memorial day! There isn't a day that goes by I wish we could share a drink, and laugh. You could always make me laugh. I miss you brother and I always said I would name my son after you. But god blessed me with a daughter, and I can't feminize the name travis, hahahaha."
Chris of Germany

"Cpl. Bradachnall,
I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"Still think about Travis and his family often. His sacrifice will never be forgotten."
Mark Fleming of Washington, DC

"Travis...not a day goes by that I don't think about you! The tattoo on my side is a constant reminder. Lynn, I met you when I attend Travis' funeral service...please continue to do great things with cluster mines. Travis loved you so much. I'll never forget when I asked him about the "Mom" tattoo on his back, he said it was because "my mom's always on my back". I'm definitely thinking about you today on Memorial Day. I can't believe it's been almost 10 years! It was a pleasure serving with you Travis. For he who sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother!"
Sgt. Justin Lamb of Pittsburgh, Pa

"Semper Fi, Travis."
SSgt. Walk

"Travis thank you for your sacrifice and may God be with you and your family. Thank you for everything that you have done for us all. I will never forget you and I know that you are guarding the Pearly Gates."
Nathan Dunmire (USMC, SGT) of Conroe, Texas

"My beloved Travis:
"Today I continue to complete the arrangements for my trip to LAO PDR were I will attend the First States Party Meeting to work on the Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions, signed into force 08/01/2010. It was while clearing a US cluster munition that Travis was killed. I have learned a great deal about this weapon since the loss of my son. I have learned that 98% of the victims are civilians, 30% of those are children and more of our own troops were injured or killed by our own cluster bombs in Desert Storm than any other enemy weapon. So in honor of my beloved son Travis I will continue to work to push all countries especially the US to stop manufacturing, stockpiling and using this weapon. I beg all other who value human life and our troops to join me.""
"Mama" Lynn Bradach of Portland, Or 97212

"Still think'n of you brother."
Cpl. Mac of Boston

"I served with Travis in Iraq with 7th Engineers and attended Travis funeral and got the pleasure of meating his wonderful family. This is my first post I have made. I have kind of a funny story of Travis. Our first sgt of the company we served in asked the formation of marines one morning (sarcasticly) "who does not want to get promoted". Travis was the only one who raised his hand out of about 100 marines. About 80 % of the formation started laughing. You had to be there to think it was funny, but that was the kind of guy Travis was. I later read an article when I was on float with my next unit 15th MEU and it had a picture and story of Lynn doing mine work. It instantly brought me to tears. I wish this would have never happened. No family or person deserves this. My heart goes out to the family and my fellow Marines who served with Travis and witnessed his passing. I live in Lincoln NE now and have a wife and 2year old daughter and am currently pursuing my masters degree.
Sgt Brent Foreman"
Brent Foreman of Lincoln NE

"Travis,
I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"May God Bless you all. I am so sorry for your loss."
Leila Shipman of Texas

"Travis, not a day goes by that I do not think of what I could have done better to ensure your safe return to your family. You are in my thoughts daily, and I hope that you know that what you were doing mattered. To Travis' mom, I should have written this 5 1/2 years ago to send my heartfelt sympathy and condolences on the loss of your son. I just could not put my thoughts to words and felt guilty for your loss. He was truly a pleasure to have in my squad. The Marines that were with him did everything and more that they could do to save him. I think of him all the time,and hope that time will help to heal your suffering. Copeland, you were one of the finest Marines that I ever had the pleasure of leading, though you didn't need much in the way of guidance. The Corps needs more Marines like you and Travis. Semper Fi bro."
SSgt McCollough of AL Asad, Iraq

"Blessings to one and all. After reading the moving messages about Travis I wish I could have known this special young man, but I didn't. I did, however, attend All Saints Elementary school from 91-94, and one of the male students just a grade under me was one with a last name of Bradach, though a different first name than Travis, and I wondered if they might be related and wished to extend blessings to his mother and others of his kindred.
I know nothing I say can bring him back or fix anything, but I wanted to wish everyone who survived him the very best. You are all loved, just the way you are, just because you are. Thank you for allowing this being to speak. To any among Travis's kinfolk who might be willing to accept a hug from me even though I be a stranger, please consider yourselves hugged. You are loved. Peace be with you. Love and peace, Lilla Elteto, All Saints c/o '94"
Lilla Elteto of Portland, OR

"Here is an editorial Travis' Mom, Lynn Bradach wrote in the L.A. Times today. She is in Oslo, Norway for the signing of the International Convention Against Cluster Bombs, in memory of Travis.

Great to see you on this page, Copeland. Come see us.

Opinion
Ban the cluster bomb
The U.S. should join a global treaty to curb the deadly devices. says the mother of one victim.
By Lynn Bradach
December 2, 2008
More than half the world's nations are meeting in Oslo on Wednesday to sign a global treaty banning cluster bombs. Although my government won't be there, I will.

I have a personal stake in this treaty. My son, Travis, a corporal in the Marines, was killed by one of our own cluster bomblets in July 2003. He was clearing an Iraqi farmer's field near Karbala of unexploded ordnance when one of the men from his unit mishandled a cluster submunition. It exploded, killing Travis and taking an eye and an arm from the Marine who touched it.

When the military informed me of Travis' death, they did not tell me that the "explosive device" was a U.S. cluster submunition; men in Travis' unit filled in that blank. It was the first I had heard of cluster bombs. In the ensuing five years, I have learned enough to know that I do not want my country using these weapons to protect me -- or our soldiers.

Cluster bombs scatter hundreds of small, unguided explosives over an area as big as several football fields. Usually, some of these small bombs, or submunitions, fail to explode when they hit the ground. These mini-bombs lie in wait like land mines, sometimes for years, unable to distinguish between a soldier and a child.

The weapons were developed during World War II for use against tanks on vast, unpopulated plains of warfare. They were never intended to be used in cities, villages or even agricultural areas.


But they are. In the last 10 years, the United States has used cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas of Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. Israel used them on the villages and olive groves of southern Lebanon. And the United States rained cluster bombs on Laos in a secret side war to Vietnam. The "bombies" in Laos are still exploding, 30 years after that war.

The Bush administration and the Pentagon say that cluster bombs are needed to protect American soldiers. I say that the cost to local civilians is too high and that U.S. cluster munitions also directly endanger U.S. troops. During the Persian Gulf War, according to the Government Accountability Office, our own cluster bombs killed or injured 80 U.S. troops who had to pass through desert areas scattered with hidden dud cluster submunitions. Professional de-miners and combat engineers see cluster submunitions as the most dangerous kind of unexploded ordnance to clear because they are designed to pierce armor and are very volatile.

I recently met a young man from Afghanistan named Soraj. In December 2001, while celebrating a holiday with cousins and friends, he picked up a bright yellow object on the ground. It was a U.S. cluster submunition. It exploded, ripping off both of his legs and one of his fingers. He was 10 years old.

I realized that our stories are linked. Travis died so that an Iraqi farmer, or that farmer's child, would not have to suffer as Soraj did. This is a sacrifice no one should have to make.

Among the more than 100 governments that will gather in Oslo are nearly all of our NATO allies, including Britain, France and Germany. These countries, fighting alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan, have decided that they can protect their troops without weapons that pose a terrifying and avoidable threat to civilians during and long after the battle.

President-elect Barack Obama will face many pressing problems when he takes office. This is one with a simple solution -- sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions soon after taking office and then push the Senate to ratify it. He should see it as part of helping to repair the United States' damaged global reputation and reasserting U.S. moral leadership.

This treaty will not give Soraj back his legs, and it will not bring me back my son. But it will save the lives and limbs of other civilians -- and U.S. soldiers.

Lynn Bradach lives in Portland, Ore."
John F. Bradach, Sr. (Uncle John) of Portland, OR

"This has been a long time comeing. I am formerly Sgt Bryson M Copeland and was one of Travis's best friends since we were stationed in Japan together a little over 7 years ago. My first memmory of Travis is not in Japan but back in Engineer school together when i had to sit with him for 12hrs doing phone watch for the camp, i thought who is this annoying kid that won't stop talking to me and beating on the table like it's a damn drum set. I din't talk to him much in school because every time we talked we never seemed to agree on anything. when we settled down in our rooms in OKI we both didn't know anybody so we started hanging out and he wouldn't leave me alone ever since. The day I wish i could take back is the day I convinced him to stay with the rest of us back in Iraq, then maybe he might still be here. Some how I feel like Travis took my place being that just minutes before Travis's explosion that killed him i just dropped a live mine right in front of myself and just looked at it in aww, wondering why it didn't go off. After my shock that it didn't go off, I was shocked again when I heard an explosion and the call for a medic. What I want everyone to know is that all of us there tried our very best to save him and the world would be better place if he was still here. I loved that kid like a brother I never had and somtimes I took him for granted. Travis you will always be in my heart forever and I hope to see you on the other side."
Bryson Copeland of St. Joseph MO

"We will never forget you Travis... I wish you wouldn't have stayed after we left, but I understand why you did, I clearly remember our last conversation, and the nice beard and scent you picked up. I've got the picture of you in me in Kuwait doing the Friday pose, it's in a shadow box in my "war room", and i play the drums now, i got a pretty rad set, every time i pick up my sticks i think of you... I remember when you got promoted to Cpl. and you were like "what the f@ck how did that happen" that makes me laugh to this day... I got Sgt. imagine that... my wife passed with cancer about a year ago so im on my way to be a regular person, Pratt already got out and so did pretty much everyone else. well I love and miss you man. I heard your mom is out helping clear mines all over the world...thats awesome. well i'm gonna go beat the * out of some EOD guy for ya, later"
Sgt. Warren Bujol USMC of Lake Charles ,LA.

"It's 2008 and Travis's legacy continues to live on. I'm a former Marine from WI and received a military wrist band with his name on it for a small donation. It has been on my wrist while I have helped train approx 1000 young men and women to successfully change their life. Travis has been an inspiration to me and I can't imagine doing this without him by my side. Travis will continue to inspire those around me and I can't think of a greater legacy than that. Semper FI Marines
Shane"
Shane Mikkelson (USMC) of Sparta, WI

"February 8, 2008
To the family of Cpl. Travis J. Bradachnall:
Travis gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I had the pleasure of serving with travis in iraq, I was already back home when we got the news of his death, i dont think there was a single soul that didnt feel guilty that we were home and he was still there.

thank you travis for your gift to us."
Cpl Joshua P Blessinger of Boise Idaho

"Travis was one of my best friends. It's because of him I've got two tattoos now, that he convinced me to get back in DLI when he was working on his sleeves. Every time people ask me about them, I tell a funny Bradachnall story."
Mike Karman of Evans, GA

"Hey Trav,
It's been a long time since we were together out in Monterey. Know that you and the other are not forgotten. Rest in peace, brother."
Phil Ratzsch of Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

"Travis was my roomate for six months in Monterey. I don't think there was anyone that could make me laugh when things were rough as much as he could. He was a good friend and comrad and I still have his offspring CD, he lent me. I hope to return it to him in a better place someday."
christopher williams of Seoul Korea

"Travis, even though you are gone, I'll never forget the time you came to my house and enjoyed the pleasures of my swing-set.
Later, we played in a heavy-metal band along with Forrester Karr and Rapheal (I forget his last name).
I remember your eagerness to become a Marine, and your contributions to Grant High School's drum line.
You are/were a great person, and I wish the best for you, wherever you may have gone."
Michael Wells of Portland, OR/USA

"I never had the pleasure of meeting Travis however, my family heard many stories and talked with him on the phone a few times when my brother called home. My brother, Sgt. Bryson Copeland, was very close to him, serving with him in the Marine Corp. and accompanying his family during his funeral. Not ever seeing his face, I knew Travis had a beautiful soul. It has been 2 1/2 years and the pain and grief my brother experiences is still very real. Our prayer to Travis' mother and family is to know that God is with you at your highest and lowest times. Travis' spirit lives within you. May you find peace in the memories of him."
Amy Parnell (Copeland) of St. Joseph, MO

"As an old 7th Engineer minesweepeer from back in the day, I know the bravery you exhibited by extending your tour. You're a better man than the rest of us and your effort and sacrifice will be saving untold lives from death and injury down the line. Semper Fi bro', and Rest In Peace."
Jim Hedman of Lake Oswego, Oregon

"It seems so long ago that Travis pulled me aside to talk to me. I was having trouble with some of our other marines and he helped me deal with the problem. When we got the word that he had died I was shocked. I have never cried for the death of someone until that day. I just don't see why him. I had just started looking up to him and the wisdom he had to offer. Well life will go on but I will never forget him."
CPL. Rice Patrick A. of Camp Pendleton CA

"travis was a good friend of mine. i was new to the corps. when we left for iraq together, he took me under his wing, and made things alot easier for me and the other marines. he always had a way to lighten the mood no matter what was going on. he will be remembered forever. im glad i had the honor of serving with him."
cpl. bujol of camp pendleton, ca.

"I was very hurt to hear the loss of such a great person. My thoughts are with his family as this Memorial Day aproaches us. I also had the honor to serve with Cpl. Bradachnall in Okinawa and he was a very kind person. When I heard he had voulnteered to stay to help clear minefields it did'nt suprise me at all. That was the type of person Travis was no matter the task he would always be there first to do it. He is one of the people who I will never forget. Semper Fi Brother"
Brett Eklund of Defiance ,Oh /Usa

"This goes out to the Family and apirit of Cpl Bradach:
It's been almost a year and a half now, since we recieved the news about one of our Marines, Cpl Bradach. Today, yet again I hear the news of another one of my brothers. When I heard this new news, it automatically brought me back to memories of Cpl Bradach. I was in the same company with him in Camp Pendleton, and was also with him in Iraq until he volunteered to stay longer. I practically stood next him almost everyday in formation, for we were in the same platoon and the same squad. The only memories I have of him are good ones and I will cherish them forever, for he was my Brother.
I am Native American, Navajo, to be exact. Before the war was kicked off, I took out my eagle feather and said a prayer for myself. Travis seen this, and asked me to say a pray for him and if I could bless him. I did. I am honored that he asked me to do that for him.
Your family and and Travis' spirit will always be prayed for. Bless you all.

As Travis used to say about me,
I am just one of guys."
Cpl Jolene Begay of Oceanside, CA

"I, too, was stationed at DLI while Travis was there and hung out with him many weekends in and around Monterey. Ran into him very briefly in Karbala right before I was flown out of Iraq. He had a kind heart, an infectious smile, and a way to cheer you up even on days when it didn't seem possible. Thoughts, prayers, and gratitude go out to his family. Thank you."
Cpl Jim Stanko of Chattanooga, TN

"I am actually a part of his family, and the last name his hyphenated, spelled Bradach-Nall. Please erase the previous "cousin" quote, as it is fake. Thank you, peace to all."
R.F. Bradach of Portland, Ore.

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"In Loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Marine!! Semper Fi! We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"I just want to thank Travis for all he has done for the country and his brothers here at Camp Pendleton. I was in Charlie Company with Travis while we were in Iraq. When they asked for voulenteers to stay back he was one of the first voulenteers. I will never forget him or his actions. He was a great NCO and friend."
Tyrone K. O'Brien of Camp Pendleton, Ca

"I'm so sorry for the loss of your loved one. I appriciate his willing to sacrifice his life for our country, God bless you."
Whitney of Oregon, Malheur

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Travis, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Corporal Bradachnall, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To the Family of Cpl. Bradachnall,

It is with a heavy heart that I write these words to you and other family members of Marines who have fallen. I come from a long family line of Marines; I too am a Marine Corps veteran. His service to his Country and his Corps will live forever in the minds of his fellow Marines all over this country.

While I never personally met this Marine, every Marine is my brother and it is with love and respect to his family that I say to them the words of retired GySgt Ermey, "The Marine Corps lives forever, and that means you live forever."

God Bless and Semper Fidelis"
Rob of Iowa

"I went to DLI the same time as Travis and, strangely enough, talked to him a lot in Karbala, where I was an Arabic linguist. Some of the very little I can play on the guitar was taught by Travis before we started our respective classes. It is something I will never forget when I pick out a tune. God bless Travis's family, let him still teach you some music."
Mike Cowles of Kaneohe Bay, HI

"To the Bradachnall Family,
My deepest condolences to your family for the loss of your son. I personally served with your son in Okinawa(C.E.C.& 31st MEU, BLT 3/5). I have nothing but great memories with him over seas. I will never forget his love for music, and the friendship he cherished with us as a platoon. I wish you all happiness during this hard time. He was a Marines Marine.
Semper Fi"
Sgt. Jacob M. Schuhlein of Camp Pendelton

"Thank you Travis Bradachnall, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"LIVE ON DEVILDOG"
CPL COZ of NAPERVILLE,IL USA

"May god bless you soldier !
I wish you could have returned home to Portland."
claudia of Portland Oregon

"I'm Travis' cousin. Thank you all for your support. My family has greatly appreciated it throughout this incident."
Bradach Cousin of Portland, OR

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Travis Bradachnall:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Travis for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Travis Bradachnall:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Travis, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on