| RIP YOUNG SOLDIER – Sgt. Israel “Izzy” O’Bryan of Newbern and former University of Tennessee at Martin student was killed in the line of duty in Iraq on Friday by a vehicle-borne IED. |
A Newbern soldier and former University of Tennessee at Martin student was killed in action Friday while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
According to a United States Department of Defense news release, 24-year-old Israel “Izzy” O’Bryan died on Friday, June 11 in Jalula, Iraq from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
O’Bryan was a sergeant assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
The Newbern soldier graduated Dyer County High School in 2004 and received a U.S. Army scholarship as well as a UTM Collegiate Scholarship.
He was enrolled at UT Martin from Fall 2004 until Spring 2006. O’Bryan was a secondary education major according to university officials.
While there, O’Bryan was a member of the university’s ROTC program and 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,” UTM Chancellor Tom Rakes noted.
O’Bryan enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 2006. 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.
The 24-year-old soldier leaves behind a wife, Brenna, and their toddler son, Turner. According to an engagement announcement in “The Wilmont (S.D.) Enterprise” in December 2007, O’Bryan is the son of Eddie and Denise Jones of Newbern and Richard and Linda O’Bryan of Portland, Tenn.
Spc. William C. Yauch, 23, of Batesville, Ark. was also killed in the attack.