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Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson Died November 4, 2010 Serving ...Marine Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson

Died November 4, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Arvada, Colo.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Nov. 4 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Marine deaths down range under investigation

Staff report

Military officials in Afghanistan are investigating the deaths of two California-based Marines, the Defense Department said.

Lance Cpls. Brandon W. Pearson, 21, and Matthew J. Broehm, 22, were killed Nov. 4 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, according to a news release. Pearson, of Arvada, Colo., and Broehm, of Flagstaff, Ariz., were assigned to Camp Pendleton’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.

Military officials have said they are investigating Taliban claims that an Afghan soldier killed three U.S. troops on Nov. 4 in Helmand’s Sangin district, where 3/5 Marines are based, according to reports. It’s unclear whether these incidents are related.

Agence France-Presse has reported that a NATO official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Marines had been shot by an Afghan soldier who had been on the base for two to three weeks and was now missing.

More information was not immediately available.

Flags to be flown at half staff for Colo. Marine

The Associated Press

DENVER — Gov. Bill Ritter has ordered flags to be flown at half staff on all state and federal buildings in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Pearson, who was killed in Afghanistan.

The flags will be lowered to half staff Saturday, the day of the funeral for the 21-year-old from Arvada. Pearson was killed Nov. 4 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

‘I was so proud of the man he became’

The Associated Press

When he was growing up in Colorado, 5-year-old Brandon Pearson took his father’s surfboard sledding.

The destroyed surfboard at the time wasn’t funny. But 16 years later it gives Pearson’s father a laugh as he remembers a son who became a man who looked out for others.

“Brandon always had the back of those he loved,” his father, Mike Pearson, said at a memorial service held for his son in his hometown of Arvada, Colo.

“I still have that surfboard,” Mike Pearson said, according to The Denver Post. “And I’m never getting rid of it.”

The 21-year-old Pearson died Nov. 4 in Afghanistan. He was serving his second combat tour and had been assigned to Camp Pendleton. In less than a year, he would have completed four years of service with the Marine Corps.

“I was so proud of the man he became,” said Pearson’s girlfriend, Alexa Mantas. “He was such a genuine good guy.”

Friend and fellow Marine Spencer Elrod said he enlisted after accompanying Pearson on his trip to the recruitment office.

“I was not for the military at all, but I had to be around him,” Elrod said. “He gave me the life I have, and I can’t thank him enough for it.”