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Air Force Staff Sgt. Bryan D. Berky

Died September 12, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

25, of Melrose, Fla.; assigned to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; died Sept. 12 near Bala Baluk, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from enemy fire while supporting combat operations.

Was interested in punk rock

The Associated Press

Bryan D. Berky had the focus to disarm bombs in faraway places like Afghanistan, but friends say he was also a dedicated punk rocker.

Berky and his high school classmates would often jam at Berky’s house, said former Bradford High School classmate John Moore. Berky would play guitar — the precursor to his band, My Friend the Artery, Moore said.

At school, he did what he had to for his video class: Berky would often burst into a classroom during lessons, and simply tell the teacher he had to do it for another class.

“He was really a charismatic person who got away with quite a bit,” Moore said.

Berky, 25, of Melrose, Fla., died Sept. 12 when he and other soldiers were ambushed near Bala Baluk, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Berky enlisted in 2003, a year after graduating from high school.

A former teacher, Christie Torode, said Berky always kept busy and focused, so it didn’t surprise her that he became a detonation specialist.

“He was good at paying attention to detail, but he didn’t like to sit still for too long,” she said.

Berky is survived by his wife, Erin, and his infant son, Harrison.

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