Saturday, March 24, 2007

Christopher R. Brevard dies of injuries from I.E.D.

WASILLA -- The visitors all military spouses dread came to Amber Brevard's home.

A U.S. Army chaplain and another officer appeared on her doorstep near Wasilla on Friday with the news that her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Brevard, 31, had been killed by a roadside bomb during a patrol in Baghdad.

Surrounded by friends Monday at her home off Hyer Road, Brevard, 35, struggled for words to describe the man she met and fell in love with more than a decade ago. He was, she said, a fun-loving man, an avid outdoorsman and an expert handyman who rebuilt two VW Beetles and often lent his skills to friends. Above all else, he was a father who treasured his two daughters Emily, 9, and Jessica, 7, she said.

"His children were his life," she said, wiping away tears.

Brevard said her husband was born in Missouri and grew up in Tucson, Ariz., before moving to Alaska in the early 1990s with his parents. His father was in the U.S. Air Force.

Christopher Brevard graduated in 1994 from Dimond High School, where he was a member of JROTC. He enlisted shortly afterward.

The two met in 1995 when they were assigned to the same unit at Fort Richardson, she said.

On their first date, he took her for a motorcycle ride that ended when they were hit by another vehicle on Tudor Road, she said, laughing at the memory.

Despite the rough start, the two were married in May 1997 in a ceremony at Beluga Point off the Seward Highway. Christopher's uncle officiated.

Amber Brevard described her husband as a daredevil who loved motorcycles and skydiving and often spent his weekends four-wheeling or snowmachining with his family.

In the Army, he was a paratrooper, part of the airborne infantry, she said. Amber said Christopher enlisted for the adventure.

"He was very adventurous," she said. "He never liked to sit still."

He shipped to Iraq in October, his first combat posting, as a squad leader overseeing a half-dozen other soldiers. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Fort Richardson.

He was committed to his work in Iraq, she said. "He took his job very seriously." She said she knows few details of the circumstances surrounding her husband's death.

During phone calls, the two mostly talked about family, she said. He called March 9 to wish Amber a happy birthday, she said. It was his last phone call.

There's been no lack of support since she learned that her husband was dead.

Calls from friends, the parents of her daughters' schoolmates and other well-wishers kept the phone ringing Monday.

Five other military wives sat with her on a couch in her living room on Lower Road. She wiped away tears and shared stories of her husband. Four of the women have husbands serving in Iraq, they said.

Amber said that besides his immediate family, her husband is survived by his parents, his grandmother and a sister, as well as several nephews and nieces. Services have not been planned yet, she said.

From the Daily News