Bryant Wayne Mackey—2008 Shipment Honoree
Fallen staff sgt. remembered as selfless, hard workerSources: The Associated Press, Military Times
“I needed experienced leaders to prepare all of these young soldiers for the war in Iraq,” he said, and Mackey “was one of the hardest workers in my troop.” Olsen recalled when Mackey injured his foot, refusing to take time off even though he couldn’t put his boot on.
Mackey, 30, of Eureka, Kan., was killed Feb. 20 in Mosul, Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. He was a 1996 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
“On his second combat tour, even to his last breath, he would not give up,” Brig. Gen. David Quantock told Mackey’s family and friends at the funeral.
Mackey enjoyed football, especially watching the Washington Redskins and Kansas State Wildcats. Trained to drive tanks, Mackey enlisted in August 2001. He had been injured in his first tour, trying to move a comrade out of harm’s way, said his mother, Karen Nielsen.
He also is survived by his wife, Marie, and children, 10-year-old Ryan, 7-year-old Koby, and 5-year-old Stephanie
Friends Remember Eureka Solder Killed in Iraq
Source: by Jim Graw, KWCH
Another Kansas soldier has died in Iraq. The Pentagon says 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Bryant Mackey died after a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle.
People close to Mackey say he was funny, a team-player who was dedicated to both his family and his country. They say he was well aware of the dangers of war but was proud to be a soldier.
Waylon Stitt and Kelly Ebberts both graduated with Mackey from Hamilton High School in 1996. SSgt. Mackey joined the U.S. Army just before September 11th and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. The first time he was injured by gunfire, but his friends say that wasn’t about to scare him away from serving his country.
“We graduated with 17 people in our class,” says Stitts. “It was the biggest class in 28 years, and with a class so small you can just imagine how big our hearts were for each other.”
Ebberts says, “When you hear about it happening on TV and then it’s someone that you know, went to school with, palled around with, that’s when it hits your heart.”
SSgt. Mackey leaves behind a wife and three small children who have been living in the Howard area during his second tour in Iraq.
In Memory of Sgt. Bryant MackeySource: Kansas Patriot Guard
The Patriot Guard paid tribute to SSGT Bryant Mackey and his family with a two-part mission.
First part was the escort of SSGT Mackey from the Independence KS Municipal Airport to Countryside Funeral Home in Fredonia KS on Wednesday 27 February 2008. Riders from Independence, Caney, Fredonia, Yates Center, Chanute, and the Wichita area provided escort.
Second part was the funeral, followed by the graveside service on Friday 29 February 2008 in Fredonia, KS and Howard, KS. An estimated 300 or more motorcycles plus a couple dozen cages from all over Kansas and Missouri arrived in Fredonia early Friday morning to stand guard at the funeral. Following the funeral, we escorted SSGT Mackey to graveside services in Howard where he received full military honors provided by the US Army from Fort Riley. US Army Brigadier General David Quantock presented SSGT Mackey’s wife, Marie, and his parents a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and many other heroic medals that Mackey had earned. Kansas Highway State Troopers were present in large numbers. SSGT Mackey’s brother is a Master Trooper. They provided an honor guard at the funeral.