Charles E. Bush Jr.
  • 34 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 26, 1969
  • Date of passing: Dec 19, 2003
Let the memory of Charles be with us forever
Army Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr. Died December 19, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom 43, of Buffalo, N.Y., assigned to 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 354th Civil Affairs Brigade, 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Army Reserve, based in Riverdale Park, Md.; killed while riding in a convoy Dec. 19 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Balad, Iraq. Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr. was a cook, and he had been expected home for the Christmas holiday. Instead, he volunteered for dangerous guard duty, working as a door gunner. Bush, 43, of Buffalo, N.Y., died Dec. 19 after his vehicle hit a homemade bomb in Balad, Iraq, just east of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. His Army Reserve unit was based in Riverdale Park, Md. "He put his life on the line when he could have been safe working as a cook," said his father, Charles E. Bush Sr. "He's my firstborn, my oldest, and I'm proud of him." Bush had joined the reserves "fairly late in life," Lt. Col. Hugh Van Roosen said, and had been stationed in Iraq for nearly a year. He also is survived by one child.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by William Jackson on 20th December 2015

"The world is less without you in it SPC Charles Bush.  Somebody told me there are some wind chimes at your grave site.  They are beautiful and haunting.  I tell many veterans and all that want to know our story about you. You are one of the best, in or off the battlefield - Bill Jackson"

This tribute was added by William Jackson on 25th September 2015

"I was Bush’s Convoy Sergeant.  I chose Him.

I needed volunteers on convoy duty, Charles was given to me along with a dozen others.  After going to the shooting range he proved himself a good shot with his 16, an AK and the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon).  I told him he was on my vehicle, the worst place in a convoy (the command vehicle is a sniper magnet). He acted like he won the lottery.

The first morning (2am)  I woke the crew up I saw a red lens filtered flash light flickering at the far end of the barracks.  Sneaking up on it I found Bush in full gear packing up his stuff.  “What are you doing Bush?” I asked.  Bush without missing a beat said “We got a mission Sergeant J” and that is how he was for the rest of his life always ready.
He never surrendered his position, always staying on his weapon.  Whenever we were in a safe compound to eat and take a piss, I had to order him off his gun.  Only then would he dismount but he would clean his weapon always staying focused.

The day before he died I told Major Mott, our commander we needed a day off.  The troops had been working too hard and needed a day of recovery.  We had been working 7 days a week for 2 to 3 months.  Major Mott agreed.    But on 9 December that morning we woke at 8am with another mission.

It was the worse time of day but we were stuck with the job.  Bush moved into the gunner’s position and off we went.   At about 9am about mile from Ballad Air Base we were hit.  Something was thrown into our vehicle by a motorcycle passenger and we blew up.  I was crippled and SPC Bush was dead.  A SF (Special Forces) team was in a follow on convoy and secured the perimeter and brought Bush back to life.   But when the medivac came in they took him and he died a second time.

SPC Bush told me and Major Mott he was saved a month before he died, this is comforting but that day is still one of my greatest heart aches."


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