Monday, March 2, 2009

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2009) -- Capt. Brian M. Bunting of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was "something special," his friends and family say.

The captain, a 1998 graduate of Bullis High School in Potomac, excelled academically and athletically in football, lacrosse and wrestling. He was a 2002 West Point graduate in civil engineering.

"Just sitting here thinking about how you measure the true value of a man or a woman -- with Brian you didn't measure it with money or things -- you measured it with heart," said his father, Robert Bunting. "He was something special."

Capt. Bunting, 29, of Potomac died Tuesday, Feb. 24, with three other soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when an explosive device detonated near their vehicle, the Defense Department said Thursday.

The officer was part of the Individual Ready Reserve. In May of 2007 he retired from active duty service, then welcomed the birth of his son in July.

"He loved his wife dearly and his son, Connor, meant everything to him," said his father.

In March 2008, Capt. Bunting received mobilization orders and moved back to Maryland so his wife and son would be close to family during his deployment.

"He was proud to have the job that he did. He always went into it with no reservations," said his older sister, Stephanie Graver.

The captain had been serving in Afghanistan since June, the commander of a 15-man team responsible for mentoring the Afghan National Police. He had just returned to the field, after two weeks of "R and R" with his family in Potomac.

Survivors include his wife, Nicki, and his son, as well as his father, two grandparents and five siblings.

"Family was the most important part of Bubba's life. He had an extremely tight-knit family whose love for one another was truly an inspiration," said his sister-in-law Sue Bunting.

He was popular among both staff and students at Bullis High School.

"Bubba was a true icon in our little Bullis community and grew up to be an All-American hero," said past schoolmate Katie Sugar Scheiner, posting her sentiments on a Web page set up in-memorium.

Graver described him as a man of enormous potential, and cited his graduation from West Point in 2002.

"I feel his graduation was one of my parents' proudest moments," she said.

Bunting received three Army Achievement medals, an Army commendation Medal and six additional service medals. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal posthumously.

Richard Varney, a past teacher, adviser and friend during his years at Bullis, posted his thoughts on this loss, hearing echoes of a West Point farewell speech in the struggle.

"It is not possible to rationalize Brian's death and the depth of our sorrow," Varney said. "The words of General McArthur seem most fitting. 'In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give.'"

Capital News Service contributed to this report.


Denise said...

Sending love and prayers to his family..... I hate war!

MightyMom said...

many thanks to his family.

AirmanMom said...

denise...thank you for stopping by!

AirmanMom said...

mm...prayers for this family to find comfort for their aching hearts.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

How inspiring and yet reflective and sad all at the same time. I pray for peace for his family in knowing that he was defending our freedom and fighting for The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave.
Her personifies the brave, no?

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Tami said...

My heart breaks a little more each time I read a story like this.
My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

God Bless,

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

Hand Salute.

AirmanMom said...

RG...It truly is a sad story for his family! As a nation we are truly blessed to have such brave and dedicated soldiers!

AirmanMom said...

aam...I grew up in Potomac, so this is an especially sad story.
May God comfort the hearts of those who love Capt. Bunting.

AirmanMom said...

grandpa...thank you for stopping by!

Greg C said...

Well I was off to bed but I saw your post which lead me back to your blog. I couldn't sign off without making a comment. These men and women fighting for our freedom are truly heros. I gues because I served in the Military stories like this hit me very hard. When I see anti-military people it makes me want to fight and I am by no means a violent person. This is so sad. I will pray for his family. They are heros as well.

AirmanMom said...

greg...thank you for stopping by. It is such an honor for me to have a veteran take time to read my blog. Thank you for your service!

Fragrant Liar said...

Yes, I send many prayers and warm wishes to the family of this beautiful young man.

I'll be so glad when this war is OVER!

Call Me Grandma said...

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

AirmanMom said...

fl..thank you for stopping by!

AirmanMom said...


Mary said...


God bless the family of this hero. May he rest in peace.


AirmanMom said...'s always good of you to stop by!

Kathy and Paula said...

As I look at his young wife and his beautiful son, I think of how we are unaware of the depth of sacrifice endured for our freedoms. I pray God will comfort their hearts in the wake of this great loss.

AirmanMom said...

K&P...I thank you for these beautiful words.