Someone More Important than Michael Jackson Died

Yes I agree that MJ was a great dancer, singer, songwriter, and artist in general. I grew up on his music and would have loved to see him in concert when I was a kid. But that was then and this is now. I have lot of his music on my iPod and still enjoy it today, but he was a weird dude that did some weird stuff and I am not sure what all he was guilty of in life and it is not my place to judge. I think he got any judgment coming to him on Thursday evening as he stood at the pearly gates. I do know that I would never ask him to babysit.

So yes it is a loss for the music world that he died on Thursday, but you know someone a lot more important to me than him died Thursday. His name was Brian Bradshaw from Steilacoom, Washington. And I have never even met Brian Bradshaw or would recognize him had I saw him. Have you ever heard of Brian? Have you heard millions scream his name? Have you seen people and media flocking to his house?

No, you probably haven’t. Even though Brian was contributing a ton more to this country than Michael ever did, but will never be known like Michael. You know why? Because 1LT Brian N. Bradshaw was a soldier, an Airborne Soldier who gave his life serving this country and defending it. An American Airborne Soldier who was in Afghanistan, unselfishly trying to give the people of Afghanistan the freedom to live without oppression. So to me, Brian Bradshaw is a real Hero, a real Role-Model and someone who was real and in touch with reality.

Brian Bradshaw, along with the thousands of other Great Americans who have sacrificed their lives for our country deserve the millions of people screaming their names too. But will never get it, and will never ask for it. Because they are serving this country out of personal motivation, not for fame and certainly not for fortune.

So to Brian Bradshaw this is my tribute to you. This is my wreath of flowers at your Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this is me holding up a picture of you in Times Square with tears streaming down my face. You and all like you who have come home draped in the American Flag are and always will be more important to me than Michael Jackson.

God Speed Geronimo….Airborne, All the WAY!


No. 460-09
June 26, 2009

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw, 24, of Steilacoom, Wash., died June 25 in Kheyl, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

For more information the media may contact the U.S. Army, Alaska, public affairs office at (907) 384-1542.

54 thoughts on “Someone More Important than Michael Jackson Died”

  1. Let’s face it…what had MJ done lately besides get into the news for less than stellar actions and his escalating weirdness? I know that’s an unpopular stance, but that’s the say I see if from where I stand.

    I do give him his due for his earlier days & musical talents, but…whatever.

    On the other hand, what has the world lost with the death of yet another brave soldier? We will never know, and that is something to be mourned for sure…the loss of a promise, never to be fulfilled. God bless him, and the family he has left behind.

  2. WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT MJ? Hopefully the Jumpmasters in the sky are looking after the young LT now. Amazing piece Troy, good looking out! MT

  3. I feel the same. The operative phrase….”in touch with reality” says it all.

    RIP 1LT Bradshaw. Prayers for you and your family.

  4. Beautiful post Bouhammer, I too will remember 1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw along with all the brave men and women of our Military.
    Thank you.

  5. I was a close friend of Brian’s and trained with him in ROTC. Bouhammer got it spot on…we must not let this stuff in the news cloud up the loss of such brave men and women. Brian was a great leader, and his memory and sacrifice will live on through all of you. Thank you for your kind words, Bouhammer. Drive on.

  6. Thank you for your words. And you are right, those of us that got to know Brian count ourselves very lucky. My husband and Brian were very close, going through ROTC together and so much more. He lives on through us, and in his friends and families eyes he is way more a ‘super star’ than all those out there. Our soldiers as for nothing, but to help others, and many have given their lives, like Bradshaw, trying to do so. Thank you again, and I hope your message spreads. My prayers are with you and all other soldiers.

  7. Thank you for recognizing Bradshaw’s sacrifice.
    All of us that knew him have been feeling this way. We know that he was a brave soldier for our country, and instead of honoring him, we are obsessed with second autopsies and drug addicted rock stars.
    Brian is my rock star. And instead of listening to old hit songs, I will remember how Brian truly lived a full life of adventure and selflessness.
    Instead of paying tribute to MJ, I will proudly wear my BAMF shirt, the little piece of Brian’s spirit that I am blessed to hold on to in remembrance.
    Thank you for honoring him.

  8. Brian impacted me more than he knows… he was an amazing Soldier and an amazing leader… Thank you so much for writing this piece. It expresses exactly what I was thinking the day I found out he’d “…just faded away.”

  9. This s one of the best writen comments that I have ever read. Troy thank you for what you do and have done for a fellow brother in arms. May God Bless us all!

    1. Renee I miss him and I have never met him. But that does not matter as he was not only a fellow brother in arms, or a fellow paratrooper….he was a fellow Geronimo. I was in the 1/501st ABN from 1992-1996 and my time in the Geronimos will never be forgotten.

  10. Thank you for your tribute to Brian. He will be missed always by his family, friends, and all those who served with him. The others are right, Brian is our Rock Star!

  11. “I hope that Brian’s family finds peace in knowing that so many of us citizens are grateful for his sacrifice. My husband is Airborne, but they do not know one another and I will continue to pray that his family, friends, and fellow soldiers will always remember his spirit. I can tell he touched so many lives and brought joy to so many people.
    I pray that this world recognizes the great losses of this war and praises them for their honorable sacrifice.
    May God be with his family and guide them as they bring Brian home to rest in Jesus’ arms.”

  12. Brian was always my hero and maybe millions didn’t know him but he touched more lives and did more good than Michael Jackson ever did. Thanks for the tribute.
    -Brian’s friend

  13. Thank you for posting this. I was lucky to had known Bryan. He will be missed. I agree with Renee, He was a Rock Star. Rest in peace Brian

  14. As a close friend of Brian’s parents and someone who watched this fine young man grow into a real hero, I would like to say thank you for your tribute. This will help us all cope during the upcoming weeks. Bless you and all of our servicemen and women.

  15. What has this world come to when it worships a pedophile and a person who constantly gropes himself on stage?

    This young LT was more a man than MJ would ever have been. God Bless him and welcome him into Heaven with the Angels

  16. Thank all of you for the wonderful comments on Brian. We wanted to share something Brian wrote. When he was a junior in high school he wrote a reflection paper on service. Here is what he wrote:
    Service is the foundation of life. Without service, our life’s have the same impact and meaning as a stick lying on the ground. No one remembers the sticks stepped on in the woods, but everyone remembers the flowers they see and smell in the meadow. If we serve and work throughout our life we will be like the flower that everyone remembers and always comes back. In our memory many more, especially those that we touched during our life will carry on the legacy of service, thus we had a positive impact on others and life had meaning. The whole meaning of life is to pass on to others that which we value most and what I value is service and throughout the rest of my life I will serve the community of my brethren to the best of my ability.” Brian Bradshaw 2002
    He lived what he believed. He died doing what he believed. I hope many of you will carry on his legacy of service in the many ways available.
    We love him and will miss him terribly
    Mom and Dad

  17. Thank you for sharing. 1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaws death will leave a heartache that can not be healed but he leaves memories that will live on. 1st Lt. Brian Bradshaw is a true hero that will not be forgotten. My prayers are with you and yours.

  18. I DID know Brian. I worked at camp with him and he was a wonderful guy. He is a true hero and we will all miss him.

  19. Thank you for your support of our Soldiers and their families.
    As long as we remember 1LT Brian Bradshaw and his family and friends, the honor that he yet provides in every dimension of life, Nation and world, will never fade.
    It perhaps matters less that so many idolize broken celebrities; it may matter that who did not know him have missed his understanding of the deeper need to serve truly rather than the superficial impulse to self-gratify in the moment.
    As a dad and dad-in-law to two of dear Brian’s same-foxhile, battle buddy PLU ROTC classmates, I cry with our children, with my wife, and Brian’s parents, brother and family. We mourn his loss and will always miss him.
    He was and remains the profound human, man and role model. He was and will always be the selfless, principled and courageous leader. He was the platoon leader; he will always be an inspiration in our hearts and a loving reminder of how he identified True North for all he knew, and for many more, in the decades to come, who, even if they know not his name, will be inspired by him through those who knew him.
    Our hearts go out to Mary and Paul, as we all remember the Beatitudes, which were said for you and recited by us all.

    In Him,
    former Infantry and JAGC, Airborne

  20. I’ve known Brian for six short years, and he has touched me in so many ways. It didn’t matter that I was older, he took me under his wing and kept an eye out for me. He encouraged me to live, to not take things so seriously. Brian’s heart has always been so inspiring- a heart of service, adventure and friendship.
    The loss of such a dear friend has left a hole in my heart that only time and God can heal. All I know, when I head to the Big Man upstairs, I know Brian will be there with his smirk on his face, his arms folded, just waiting…
    Our hearts here on earth are breaking, but his is now free…
    I miss you, Brian… always will.

  21. I did know Brian, went to high school with him. He really is a great person. He will be missed greatly by many.

  22. Wow! I did not know that one human life was more valuable than another. Pretty scary! Michael was a father, brother, son and friend to many. I doubt he is looking down and sying “Wow look at all the attention I’m getting”! He is dead! It is not his fault that the media and a lot of the public has their priorities out of wack! BTW, he is in the guiness book of world records for giving back more than any other celebrity! Farrah Fawcett also died that day due to a three year battle with did many celebrities who died this year. I geuss they are less important too. They happen to be well known so of course they are gonna get media, does’nt make their life any less valuable. I’m pretty sure God would agree with me on that!
    I wish that soldiers were getting the attention they deserve as well, as I have a brother on his third tour there and a nephew about to go on his second, as well as two cousins serving. How about we gather up as much media on all the soldiers that have been killed and take it down to Texas and rub it in the man’s face who really wanted all the attention! He definitely got what he wanted!

    1. Susan

      I was actually going along with what all you wrote until I got the “Texas” comment. Apparently you spend all your time on the Daily Kos and Huffington Post reading. If you want to rub it into the faces of those that wanted the attention, why don’t you head over to the middle east and find those in charge (that we haven’t killed or captured yet) who started this whole war. They are the ones that wanted attention, and they got it. Just not the kind they wanted. I thank your brother and nephew and cousins for their service. They are to be commended, you on the other hand not so much for your misguided comments on this blog entry.

  23. Susan, I think what has most people upset is the way Jackson’s death has been covered. Non stop for nearly 3 days. We had an American Soldier murdered on an American street by someone subscribing to the same ideology as our enemies. How much coverage did that get?
    .-= M*A´s last blog ..Stand By Me…For Freedom =-.

  24. Brien was from my daughter’s deployment out of Ft Richardson, and was a student of my sister’s at Visitation School some years ago. Your blog and the various replies speak to every mother’s heart that has a deployed child. As they all are doing now, Brien was doing then when guarding that convoy; doing his duty for his country . I want to scream at CNN “Listen up!!! Someone really has died beside MJ!!! Pay him some respect too!!”

  25. Thank you for writing this. Brian Bradshaw was a true hero and role model. I wish more people could read, know and understand his story. It saddens me greatly to think that as a society we are more concerned with popular music stars that have no impact or value on our society. It is leader and soldiers like Brian that inspire me to be an Army Nurse, deploy and take care of soldiers and I know all of my peers will agree. He will be missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
    CPT Michelle Racicot

  26. it is estimated that MJ donated over 300 million dollars to charity in his lifetime. you cant really compare donating to charity to military service but MJ has done many many great things for people who need it in his life. i wish we could honor someone without having to put down another person. im not going as far to call it shameful but honestly, this article would never have recieved this much notice if it didnt have the same headline.

  27. October 12, 2002: Michael Jackson invited more than 200 Team Vandenberg members, who recently returned from overseas deployments, and their families to his Neverland Ranch. This was to show his appreciation for the sacrifices the military in his community make….

    please do some research before you bash a proud American like Michael Jackson.

    1. Dale,

      I don’t think I “bashed” Michael Jackson at all, short of calling him a weird dude. I think that feeling is felt by more than a few million Americans, if not by all. If you don’t think he was a weird dude yourself, then well you may have some issues. He was out touch with reality in my opinion, no thanks to this upbringing and his stardom, but that does not excuse it. That is my opinion, this is my blog and even though I can say whatever I want here. I felt I was kind to MJ in my words.

      I did not accuse him of anything out right and in fact stated that he would be judged by a power higher and greater than me. I said he would not babysit for me, but that is not a bash becuase there are many I would never let watch my kids. So before you come on here making accusations why don’t you put your emotions in check, re-read the post and then think about commenting. Apparently you are in a state of mourning right now over Michael Jackson so maybe your emotions are getting the best of you at the present time. Sorry for your “loss”.

  28. could not agree with you more. we really need to take more time to remember our brave soldiers. I mean really, what you are doing is much more important than making music, and the other weird things for which Michael Jackson has been in the news. a wonderful tribute, and I pray each day that you all come home safely.

  29. Michelle, my other daughter (I have two deployed in Afghanistan) is a flihgt nurse and between hearing from my two girls, one from the 4-25th BCT (ABN) and the other from the 455th EOG/EAEF, I can only say, God Bless You! The need for trained medical personel is critical. You go girl, and in my book, you rock!!

  30. No matter how many millions Michael Jackson gave to charity, his donations do not match the sacrifice and the service Brian gave to his country. Brian was a friend of mine; he had a big heart, was a true leader, and understood the value of service. He wanted to improve the lives of those he encountered in Afghanistan. Brian was an honorable, wonderful person, and an excellent friend and role model to everyone around him. He was intelligent, adventurous and had a passion for life. Though he only had 24 years on Earth, Brian had a positive impact on many people, and he leaves behind a legacy of kindness and service. It breaks my heart that I won’t see him again in this lifetime. Paul and Mary, you did an exceptional job raising Brian. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  31. Atonement (read that exploiting little boys) does not come from spending money, even lots of money. It comes from action….

  32. My husband was stationed at Fort Benning, GA with LT. Bradshaw during their Infantry training. Although my husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and unaware of Brian’s death, I am currently in contact with several of their classmates who are deeply saddened by the loss of their former classmate and fellow soldier. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family.

    Thank you Bouhammer for this blog honoring an American Hero.

    To Susan and Dale, go post comments somewhere else. It is evident you have no idea what American service members and their families give up and sacrifice for your freedom. How dare you compare the money MJ donated to the LIFE that Brian sacrificed for the freedom of all Americans. Rather than posting idiotic comments on a site memoralizing a true American Hero, maybe you should volunteer for military service so you have an opportunity to see what unselfishness is all about.

    Thank you to the Bradshaw family for your willingness to serve your Country and raising such an outstanding human being!

  33. My Son Hector Velasquez Jr. is with the 501st out of Alaska and i recived news of Lt. Bradshaws passing away via email. While searching the web for news, photos for maybe a glimpse of my son in action I found this site. This is real, to us the millitary families and until we are hit again on our soil main stream AMERICA will find out how real it is. Again. I hurt for the Bradshaw family and the ones who pay the price for freedom so we may live this life here in the USA. Shame on you who post your opinons at the cost of a families loss. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR CHILDREN WHO PROTECT IT!

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