Saturday, March 24, 2007

Emerson N. Brand dies of injuries from I.E.D.

CADDO MILLS — A local soldier who died in Iraq last week will be remembered for being a wonderful family man and bringing love to those around him, the soldier’s fiancee said Monday.

U.S. Army Sgt. Emerson Noah Brand, 29, of Caddo Mills, died last Thursday when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.

“He was always such a giving person,” said Debra Welsh, Brand’s fiancee. “He brought so much love.”

Brand and Welsh had planned to marry as soon as Brand returned from Iraq.

“The love of my life is gone. He is my everything and he is gone,” she said.

Brand had been a member of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division based out of Fort Hood since June 2006 and was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

“He died fighting for this country,” she said. “He loved his job. He died doing what he loved to do.”

During his time in the military, Brand received the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism (Expeditionary), and the Global War on Terrorism (Service) awards.

When not serving, Welsh said Brand loved spending time with his friends and family, loved barbecues, baseball, the Cowboys, NASCAR and watching Friday Night Football.

Some of his survivors include Welsh, Brand’s parents John and Debra Brand of Claremore, Okla., and Welsh’s five children.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Faith Bible Church in Caddo Mills with Rev. Jim Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Caddo Mills. Arrangements are under the direction of Rentfrow Funeral Home of Caddo Mills.

Welsh’s sister Darla Foster said the family is asking area residents to line the streets with American flags as Brand’s body is escorted to the church Saturday afternoon.

“Every service man deserves that,” she said. “We need to show our patriotism for the man who laid down his life for us. He wasn’t just a number (and) he didn’t just give his life for nothing. ”

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