Thursday, May 24, 2007

Brian D. Ardron dies of 'wounds suffered when multiple improvised explosive devices detonated near his vehicle'

Sgt. Brian Daniel Ardron, 32, of Acworth, was killed Monday after multiple bombs exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad.

Ardron planned to finish his tour this November and leave the Army. He wanted to spend more time with his wife, Jessica, and their son, B.J., at their home in Anchorage, Alaska. He served with the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

To his mother, Deborah, he will be the wayward man who got his life together.

Eight years ago, Ardron was in his mid-20s and had run through a series of unsatisfying jobs. He had earned a GED after leaving Sprayberry High School in Cobb County.

He told his mother during a Thanksgiving 1999 visit to her home in South Carolina: "I made up my mind. I've joined the Army."

Surprised and a little concerned, Deborah Ardron asked her son if he planned to make a career of the military. There was no war at the time and Sept. 11 hadn't happened yet.

He told her he planned to stay in the Army "unless it stops being fun," she said.

Years later, after the Army sent him to the Middle East on three tours of duty, he called his mother from somewhere in Iraq.

"Mom, do you remember what I said about what I'd do when it's not fun anymore?"

She did.

"I have a wife and baby now," he said. "I love them very much. I'm getting out."

Daniel hoped to become a police officer, either in Alaska or in Texas.

On Monday, Deborah Ardron and her son's wife were chatting on the phone when Jessica Ardron told her mother-in-law she had to go.

Some men in military uniforms were knocking on the door.

"She sounded sort of funny," Deborah Ardron recalled. "Then she said, 'I'll call you later.'"

Deborah Ardron couldn't sleep that night. So she was awake around 4 a.m. when she caught sight of a van going up and down the road. The doorbell rang a little after 5 a.m.

She didn't want to know, she said, but she knew.

She looked at the officer and the chaplain and said, "Please don't tell me. I almost convinced myself he wasn't dead."

Daniel Ardron's family is waiting now to be told what happens next. What they have to do. They'll be together when his body is returned to Georgia, where many of his family members still live, for a memorial service.

From the Atlanta Journal Consitution