Air Force Master Sgt. Brad A. Clemmons
Air Force Master Sgt. Brad A. Clemmons, 37, of Chillicothe, was killed August 21 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was deployed from the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron based at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.
Sergeant Clemmons died when his Humvee struck an improvised explosive device (IED) while part of a convoy en route to Taji, Iraq. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
Clemmons was a weapons intelligence flight team leader from the 732nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron. According to a citation read at his memorial service in Iraq, Sergeant Clemmons was on the mission to perform forensic analysis and intelligence collection on two reported improvised explosive devices when his vehicle struck an IED hidden in the road.
"Nearly 20 years ago," Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stan Giles said, "Brad entered perhaps the most dangerous of all career fields. He became an instructor in the most dangerous of all professions and then volunteered to work in the most dangerous of all neighborhoods here in Iraq." The primary job of an EOD team is to disarm, or "render safe," bombs of all types.
"Sergeant Clemmons fulfilled a critical
role," said Lt. Col. Frank Freeman, the 732nd EMSG deputy commander.
"He led his team in collecting crucial evidence and post-blast analysis of
the No. 1killer in Iraq -- IEDs."
Clemmons graduated from Southeastern High School in 1986 and joined the Air Force shortly after. In May of this year, he left for 2 1/2 months of training in Maryland, where his wife last saw him at the end of July. He then left for Iraq, where he was to stay until early next year. Clemmons had about three more years to serve before he retired from the military.
"Military life is kind of tough for families. But he was a devoted family man," said his father, David. "He was really proud of his children." Sergeant Clemmons had just found out Aug. 17 he was going to be a father for the fourth time.
Rebecca Clemmons said her husband expressed optimism about the military's work in Iraq in an e-mail message on Sunday.
"He wrote, 'We are making a difference out here.' He was a very positive person," she said.
Clemmons is survived by his wife, Rebecca, children Nicholas, 16; Zachary, 14; Isabelle, 2; and a fourth child due in April, parents Pam and David Clemmons, and siblings Michael, Shelley and Amy.