Let the memory of Jeffrey be with us forever
  • 19 years old
  • Born on July 24, 1984 .
  • Passed away on December 12, 2003 .
Army Pfc. Jeffrey F. Braun Died December 12, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom 19, of Stafford, Conn.; assigned to Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.; died from a non-hostile gunshot wound Dec. 12 in Baghdad. Soldier from Stafford Springs killed in Iraq By Peyton Woodson Cooper Associated Press STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — A 19-year-old soldier who grew up in Stafford Springs has been killed in Iraq, his mother said Dec. 12. Pfc. Jeff Braun died this week, Meredith Braun said. She had not been told how her son died, but was to be briefed by the military Friday afternoon. “This is devastating to us and our community,” she said. “He was supposed to be back in February. He was supposed to be back in a month and a half.” Braun graduated from Stafford High School in 2002, where he played soccer, wrestled and ran track. He also performed community service. “He was a very good student, a good wrestler, a hard working kid,” said wrestling coach Shirzad Ahmadi. “He never quit. He was a very dedicated man.” The military had not confirmed Braun’s death, or released the circumstances. The Rev. Richard Forcier, pastor at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Stafford Springs, said Braun joined the military after graduating from Stafford High School in 2002. “He really wanted to join the military to get the experience and get his education,” Forcier said. “He was planning a college career after this experience was over.” Braun had a close friend killed in Iraq about three weeks ago, and that really hit him hard, Forcier said. “His eyes were opened quite a bit to other people’s needs, and I think he was already preparing himself to give something back when he got out of this experience,” he said. Stafford High School Principal Francis Kennedy said Braun often spoke about teaching one day. “He still wanted to pursue his dream (of becoming a teacher) when he got back to the states, but he first wanted to be a soldier,” Kennedy said. Students at Stafford High School made a mural in memory of Braun. Hearts colored as the American flag and pictures fill the banner. Some notes say Braun was “always smiling.” State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, said Braun’s death is something felt by everyone in the community. “We’re out here in the rural northeast corner of Connecticut and this just brings home how involved each and every one of us is,” Bacchiochi said. “My heart breaks for that family.” Braun is survived by his mother, his father William, and a 16-year-old sister, Julie. Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday. The family expects the body to be returned home in three to six days, Forcier said. Braun is the seventh member of the military from Connecticut killed in Iraq this year.

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