Monday, July 30, 2007

Brandon Bobb laid to rest

PORT ARTHUR — The spirit of true American heroism was in Thomas Blvd. Church of Christ Saturday morning as family and friends gathered with heavy hearts to celebrate the life of and pay tribute to Pfc. Brandon Keith Bobb.

After singing the always touching hymn, Amazing Grace, Bobb’s family was comforted by the words of the faithful who said their fallen soldier will live on forever in the hearts and memories of his loved ones.

“In a world of give and take, only a few are willing to give what it takes and Brandon was one of them,” said the Rev. Corey Shaw in his sermon. “Brandon did not die on July 17. He will not die until we destroy his memory from our hearts.”

Grasping to those memories, Bobb’s cousin Ashley Bobb said she always felt like Brandon was more of a little brother to her. Reminiscing about times she and Brandon played basketball together or got into mischief at their grandparents, Ashley Bobb said her cousin was an extension of herself.

“We were thick as thieves and I thought I could always protect him,” she said through tears. “But he protected me with his life and I stand here today as strong as I can be, but he stood out there with his courage for his family and for his country. He was a great man and a great American hero.”

Other family members also shared their memories of Brandon, who as a child always wanted to be a hero.

“He used to tie a towel around his neck and pretend to be a hero,” Bobb’s aunt said. “He wasn’t afraid to go to Iraq and he always encouraged his cousins to be the best they could be.”

A soldier spoke on behalf of the U.S. Army and read to the family a poem that said Bobb has arrived safely in his mansion above where he will serve as a soldier in another capacity — a soldier of Christ.

“I no longer fear for tomorrow and the Lord has told me that my works were not in vain,” the soldier read.

Bobb’s mother was then presented with her son’s Bronze Star medal and a Purple Heart for his service to his country and for the ultimate sacrifice of his life.

“Greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for his brother,” said another Army representative to the grieving family and friends. “Brandon was one of the best the Army has to offer. In the Army, we respect our soldiers like our own children and now our responsibility to Brandon is to honor him not with our words, but with our actions.”

The third Port Arthur soldier to lose his life in the War on Terror, Bobb, 20, died July 17, after a roadside bomb struck his vehicle in Iraq. With Bobb that fateful day was his battle buddy and friend, Pfc. Ron J. Joshua Jr., 19, of Austin, who also died as a result of the attack.

The young men were in basic training together and had developed a lasting friendship during their time in the Army. Both men were assigned to the 401st Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood.

Brittany Joshua, Ron Joshua’s young sister, spoke at the funeral of her brother’s best friend.

“I felt like I’ve lost two brothers,” the teen said. “It’s hard to see what everyone’s going through, but I’m happy — sort of — that they went together. They were brothers.”

After Paula Bobb-Miles, Bobb’s mother, received the American flag that covered her son’s casket, Bobb’s body was escorted to Greenlawn Cemetery for burial by the Patriot Guard riders and the Port Arthur Police Department.

From the Orange Leader

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