Bomb kills NH Marine
Garabrant was one of three Marines killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, where he was serving in the final months of America's combat mission there, according to officials.
Jessie Garabrant, who lives in Rindge, said her son was an extraordinary person. "He was such a good kid, with such a good heart, he's going to be missed by a lot of people," she said.
The family plans to be there when Garabrant's body arrives at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. A second dignified service will take place when he arrives at the Manchester airport, which could come as early as Tuesday, she said.
"Part of it was serving others, and the other part was the brotherhood that came along with being a Marine. And the fact that he earned it ... was overwhelming for him. That was just his dream."
Last evening, members of the Temple Fire Department draped black and purple banners at the fire station, "just to let people know that we've lost a firefighter," said retired Fire Chief Michael Connolly.
Garabrant "was a Marine from day one," Connolly said. "That's all he ever talked about, ever since I knew him."
"He was just an all-around good kid," Connolly said. "Everybody liked him on the department. I know he'll be greatly missed."
"With deep sadness we have learned of the ultimate sacrifice USMC Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant has made for our country. Our grief is palpable and we are honored to have worked by your side.
Kate Williams, owner of Kate's Cuts in Peterborough, has known the Garabrant family for more than a decade. Brandon's death was all anyone could talk - and often cry - about at her salon Saturday.
She remembers he always had a "flat-top" haircut like his dad's when he was a kid, and he would offer to let new stylists practice the difficult cut on him. "He would even give hints to the stylist on how to make it easier," Williams said. "He just wanted to help others and make people safe and happy. The world has lost a real gem."
Williams told him it was good he was going now, as the war is ending, and told him to come home soon. "That's the plan," he replied.
On April 4, as he was preparing to leave Camp Lejeune for Afghanistan, he wrote: "Going to do what we do best. Fighting for our country, our brothers to the left and right, our friends and families back home. So that you can have the right for freedom and to live the American dream without fear of anything. May God be with us on this journey. Guardian Angels be watching over us and protecting us.
The next day, he posted a photo of his newly shaved head - "cause it's tradition."
His mother wrote back with a passage from the Bible's book of Joshua: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
On April 28 came evidence that the war truly was winding down: "...as time goes on here, things are starting to get very rare and certain places are being shut down, if you would like to send me a care package or even a letter then please do so."
"You would be freezing here, it's only 56 & raining," his mother wrote back.
Garabrant's final post was on June 15, congratulating girlfriend Ashley Gryval on her high school graduation. "Can't wait to come home and see all the pictures of it!" he wrote.
That night, his mother also posted this tribute to her oldest child: "The high price of freedom is a cost paid by a brave few."
Yesterday, a new sign hung in her window: "Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant RIP. You are a true hero! We love you & will miss you!"
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