Army Reserve Center Dedicated In Honor Of Local Fallen Soldier

Story by SGT H. Marcus McGill on 02/20/2018
Brandon's father Michael, himself a retired Soldier, expressed gratitude for the event.

"We are so grateful our son is being remembered this way," he said. "It means so much to see all of these people come out to celebrate Brandon and to honor his sacrifice."

Sgt. Read graduated from Greeneville High School and attended Walters State Community College prior to deploying to Iraq in 2004. Read served in multiple units in the area before being assigned to a Kentucky unit for deployment. Read died in Qayyarah, Iraq when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was in September 6, 2004.

Fellow Soldier and friend, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Donald Dillon put in a request to nominate him for the honor.

"We wanted to do something to never forget Brandon, and for the Soldiers who come through these doors to know him and to take pride in his sacrifice. No matter what unit occupies the building, it will always bear Brandon Read's name."

The Greeneville Army Reserve Center is home to the 733rd Engineer Company and is used for training and unit administration. The center, opened in 1940, has hosted several different units during its tenure and is the future home to 380th Engineer Company, a multi-discipline engineer unit, whose mission includes combat capability, and facility and road construction.

Read's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

The idea for the dedication was born when Dillon visited another Army Reserve building and realized that Read needed to be honored.

"We had started to forget," said Dillon. "I wanted to do something to make sure Brandon was never forgotten."

From the time that Dillon started work on the Memorialization packet until Saturday's event, it took nearly a year to complete the process. The most intensive planning occurred over the past three months and involved a team of about three to five individuals. Three of whom were actually recognized, and received 81st Regional Support Command coins from Major General Arlan M. DeBlieck prior to the ceremony for their work to honor Sgt. Read.

The event received widespread media coverage and was covered by local newspapers, radio, and television stations

There were numerous guests, including more than ten members of Read's family, Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels and U.S. Rep. Dr. Phil Roe. In addition to the invited attendees, there were many members of the East Tennessee community who just came to show their support for the military. Some of those citizens were former military or family members of military. All came to honor the memory of a Soldier who was taken far too early.

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe spoke at the ceremony about the importance of remembering Read and other Soldiers.

"You carry these memories in your heart, and that is how they are never forgotten. Take him everywhere you go."

The 81st Regional Support Command supports 50,000 Army reservists in nine southeastern
States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands through facility operations and customer support functions.

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