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Marine Sgt. Bradley J. Harper

Died August 3, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Dresden, Ohio; assigned to the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, Norfolk, Va.; attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Aug. 3 when his amphibious assault vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device while he was conducting combat operations south of Hadithah, Iraq. Also killed were Marine Lance Cpl. Timothy M. Bell Jr., Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz, Lance Cpl. Nicholas William B. Bloem, Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman, Cpl. David Kenneth J. Kreuter and Cpl. David S. Stewart.

Marine wanted a chance to do his part

The Associated Press

Bradley J. Harper traded his patrols of Virginia Beach in police blues for patrols in Iraq in camouflage gear.

“It’s two different worlds,” Harper said before he left.

“This is my chance to go, to do my part. The sooner you get over there, the sooner you get back.”

Harper, 25, of Dresden, Ohio, was killed Aug. 3 by a roadside bomb south of Hadithah. He was based at Norfolk.

He studied criminal justice at Ohio University, then moved to Virginia Beach, Va., to become a police officer in January 2004.

“He was exactly what we wanted in an officer and a citizen,” said Harry McBrien, the recruiter for the Virginia Beach Police Department. “He was an all-around awesome guy and a real go-getter.”

When the academy staff “tried to stress him out a little bit,” he “just smiled” and kept going, McBrien said.

“What can I tell you about him?” asked Master Police Officer Rene Ball. “He was a stellar candidate” for the 750-member department, and he showed himself to be “an even better recruit.”

Harper is survived by his wife, Kendra.

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