Explosive device claims Newbern soldier in Iraq
Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:01 pm
A Newbern soldier and former University of Tennessee at Martin student was killed in action Friday while serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Israel “Izzy” O’Bryan, 24, died Friday in Jalula, Iraq, as the result of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive de-vice, according to a U.S. Department of Defense news release.
O’Bryan was a sergeant assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Bri-gade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Also killed in the attack was Spc. William C. Yauch, 23, of Batesville, Ark.
O’Bryan — the son of Eddie and Denise Jones of Newbern and Richard and Linda O’Bryan of Portland — is survived by his wife, Brenna, and their toddler son, Turner.
He graduated Dyer Coun-ty High School in 2004 and received a U.S. Army scholarship and a UT Martin Collegiate Scholarship. He was enrolled at UT Martin from fall 2004 until spring 2006 and was a secondary education major, according to university officials.
While at UT Martin, O’Bryan was a member of the university’s ROTC program and was a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity member.
“The university community is saddened by Israel O’Bryan’s death in service to his country. We’ll remember him as a dedicated soldier and freedom fighter. The UT Martin family extends our thoughts and prayers to Mr. O’Bryan’s family and friends,” UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes said.
O’Bryan enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 2006 and this was his second deployment to Iraq. The first was in 2007. He was deployed for his second tour in Iraq in August 2009.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Combat Infantry Badge.
Published in The Messenger 6.15.10