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Memorial service scheduled for soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Memorial service scheduled for soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Fort Bliss, US Army
News

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 9:48am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 10:17am

UPDATE:  A memorial service is scheduled for five Fort Bliss Soldiers, assigned to the 1st Brigade,1st Armored Division, who were killed in an Improvised Explosive Device blast in Afghanistan on Saturday. Fort Bliss officials announced  the memorial service for all five Soldiers is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22nd at 1p.m. at the 1st Armored Division Chapel located at 11272 Biggs St. on East Fort Bliss.   

According to Fort Bliss officials, the soldiers were on a mounted patrol near Combat Outpost Hutal, when their vehicle was struck by the roadside bomb.

Fort Bliss Spokeman, Major Joe Buccino, says the following fallen comrades are:

1st Lt. Brandon J. Landrum, Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips IV, Spc. Kevin Cardoza, Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott, Spc. Thomas Paige Murach.

Landrum is survived by his wife, son, and daughter; Murach is survived by his three brothers and his parents; Phillips leaves behind a wife and daughter; Prescott is survived by his parents and three brothers; Cardoza leaves behind two daughters.  

All Soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Ready First), which deployed from Fort Bliss in December 2012.

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(Photos from Fort Bliss PAO)

Bios of each Soldier:

*First Lieutenant Brandon Landrum was born on 5 December 1986 in Lawton,
Oklahoma. After graduating from Cameron University with a Bachelor's of
Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, he was commissioned as a Second
Lieutenant in the Infantry Branch.

First Lieutenant Landrum enlisted in the Army on 10 November 2005 and
deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2008
through August 2009. Upon receiving his commission on May 2011, he
graduated the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course and Airborne School.
First Lieutenant Landrum arrived to Fort Bliss, Texas, in January 2012,
where he assumed the leadership of a Rifle Platoon in Company A, 1st
Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment until September 2012. In September 2012,
he was selected above his peers to be the Reconnaissance Platoon Leader and
in December 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom.

First Lieutenant Landrum's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple
Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak
Leaf Cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism
Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal
with a Campaign Star, the Afghan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, the
NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
First Lieutenant Landrum is survived by his wife, one son and one daughter.

*Staff Sergeant Francis Phillips IV was born on 18 August 1984 in Oceanside,
California.

Staff Sergeant Phillips enlisted in the Army on 29 April 2004 in Syracuse,
New York. He attended the fourteen-week long Infantry Training Course and
Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Staff Sergeant Phillips' first
duty assignment was to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where on 16 August 2004,
he was assigned to 3/504 Infantry Battalion as a Gunner. In September 2005,
he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January 2007,
he served in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for
fifteen months. In August 2009, he returned to Afghanistan as a Section
Leader for twelve months. Staff Sergeant Phillips completed Ranger School in
January 2011 prior to arriving at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was assigned to 1st
Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment and was immediately selected to be a Team
Leader in the Reconnaissance Platoon. He deployed in December 2012 in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sergeant Phillips' awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple
Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Army Commendation Medal
with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf
Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Global
War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq
Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, the Afghan Campaign Medal with a
Campaign Star, the NATO Medal, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge and
the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Staff Sergeant Phillips is survived by his wife.

*Specialist Kevin Cardoza was born on 26 August 1993 in Edinburg, Texas. He
graduated from Edinburg High School in June 2011. Specialist Cardoza
enlisted in the Army on 12 July 2011. He attended the fourteen-week long
Infantry Training Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Specialist Cardoza's
first duty assignment was Fort Bliss, Texas where he was assigned to Company
C, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment. One month later he was selected
to be a member of the Reconnaissance Platoon. He deployed to Afghanistan in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the driver for his Platoon Leader.
Specialist Cardoza's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart,
the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the
National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal with a Campaign
Star, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Specialist Cardoza is survived by two daughters.

*Specialist Thomas Murach was born on 16 May 1990, in Mountain Home AFB,
Idaho. He graduated from High School in Meridian, Idaho, in 2008.
Specialist Murach enlisted in the Army on 24 August 2010. He attended the
fourteen-week long Infantry Training Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Specialist Murach's first duty assignment was Fort Bliss, Texas, where he
was assigned to 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment and was selected to be
a member of the Reconnaissance Platoon as a Sniper. He deployed to
Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Senior Sniper
for his Platoon.
Specialist Murach's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart,
the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the
National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal with a Campaign
Star, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Specialist Murach is survived by his mother, and his brother.

*Specialist Brandon Prescott was born on 18 July 1988, in West Covina,
California

Specialist Prescott enlisted in the Army on 19 April 2010 in Portland,
Oregon. He attended the fourteen-week long Infantry Training Course at Fort
Benning, Georgia. Specialist Prescott's first duty assignment was Fort
Bliss, Texas, where he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment
as a member of the Reconnaissance Platoon. Shortly after arriving to Fort
Bliss, he set himself apart from his peers in the platoon and was assigned
as the Assistant Team Leader. He deployed to Afghanistan on 12 December
2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Specialist Prescott's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple
Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, the Army Good Conduct Medal,
the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service
Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, the NATO Medal, and
the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Specialist Prescott is survived by his parents.

===========================================================

Below is the Facebook message the Soldiers' Task Force Commander sent out on the unit's Facebook page today:

Dear Spartans Soldiers & Families,

It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the death of five Spartan heroes from Headquarters & Headquarters Company. These warriors were taken from our ranks on Saturday, 4 May 2013, when they were attacked by an improvised explosive device while conducting a combat patrol in the western sector of Maiwand District. They will be sorely missed.

The families of the Solders have been officially notified by an Army notification team. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.

This morning at 1:00 AM Afghan time, we conducted a dignified transfer ceremony at the Kandahar Airfield where we bid farewell to our fallen brothers and sent them back to America.

Each of them will forever be remembered for their discipline, competence and teamwork...but above all their love of being part of the Reconnaissance Platoon. They were proud to serve our country and their presence made a difference at this pivotal point in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.

On the afternoon of 8 May 2014, the men and women of Task Force Spartan will pay our final respects to honor the contributions and sacrifices that these five men made for their fellow Soldiers, the Afghan people, and our country.

We know the irreparable loss that the families have suffered and fully realize there is little we can say to help them in this moment of sorrow. In time, they may find personal reassurance in the knowledge that their Soldier died in service to the United States and that our gratitude as a Nation is deep and lasting. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the families and friends of the affected in this time of bereavement.

The Spartans will continue to maintain relentless pressure on the enemy in our area of operation. We will also remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting each other and ensuring that each member of this great team can move forward and focus on completing the mission here in Afghanistan with the same determination, professionalism and honor that we began with in December.

Deeds not Words,

LTC Kevin D. Admiral
Task Force Spartan Commander  

Comments News Comments

Spartans--please communicate with the families of these fallen heroes, if you can--each word from a buddy who served with their loved one is cherished. Stories are precious, as we do not get to hear them from our loved one when his tour is over. We cling to every memory you have. Thank you for your service, and God bless all of you! L.J. & Ginger Emerson, proud parents of Cpl. Matthew J Emerson, 2-7 CAV, D-Co, 3rd Platoon, KIA Mosul Iraq, September 18, 2007

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