U.S. Marine Brandon Garabrant, who school officials prevented from wearing his military uniform at his high school graduation last year, tragically was killed in action in Afghanistan.
A roadside bomb explosion yesterday killed Lance Corporal Garabrant, 19, along with two other American troops and a military K-9.
According to his mother, “Brandon was serving as the turret gunner on a mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle that hit an improvised explosive device.”
At the time of the headline-making controversy, ConVal Regional High School officials in Peterborough, NH determined that everyone at the high school graduation should wear the same cap and gown regalia. However, Brandon Garabrant was told he was welcome to wear his Marine uniform underneath and to reveal it once he received his diploma.
Garabrant even finished his high school requirements a semester early so that he could start boot camp. Just one day after completing boot camp in June 2013, he flew home to attend his high school graduation the following day.
Said the school principal in a statement, “On behalf of the entire ConVal community I extend my deepest sympathy to Brandon’s family and friends. We are all shocked and deeply saddened by his passing and we are incredibly grateful for his service to our country.”
The young Marine was also a volunteer firefighter in his hometown. “He absolutely loved doing what he was doing. He knew the sacrifice and he was still willing to do it and it was a total shock to hear the news,” said the fire chief.
Reacting to the passing of Brandon Garabrant, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hasan said that “The entire State of New Hampshire is devastated by the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan. Our service men and women courageously sacrifice every day to protect their fellow citizens and defend the enduring value of freedom that is our very core, and in doing so, Lance Corporal Garabrant made the ultimate sacrifice.”
A Facebook page has been established in memory of LCPL Brandon Garabrant.