GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Bradley Atwell's remains will be flown in to Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., during a dignified arrival ceremony Sept. 28. Atwell, 27, died Sept. 15 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner)
A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, of Kokomo, Ind., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Sept. 19, 2012. Atwell was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
9/28/2012 - GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- A fallen Hoosier Marine will return home to be laid to rest today.
Sgt. Bradley Atwell's remains will be flown in to Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., this morning during a dignified arrival ceremony and will be taken to Chapel Hill Church in nearby Kokomo, Ind. The Kokomo native will be laid to rest tomorrow surrounded by his family, friends and fellow Marines.
Atwell, 27, died Sept. 15 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
The Marine sergeant lost his life as nearly 20 insurgents infiltrated the perimeter of Camp Bastion and attacked International Security Assistance Force personnel and facilities using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide improvised explosive device vests. The attack, which began shortly after 10 p.m., killed two Yuma-based Marines, including Atwell, wounded several others, and caused damage to multiple aircraft and structures along the base's flight line.
ISAF forces reacted to the assault, returned fire and killed all but one of the known insurgents, defeating the attack. ISAF personnel wounded the remaining insurgent attacker, who is in ISAF custody.
"The deaths of Lt. Col. Chris "Otis" Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell are a stark reminder of the selfless service and extraordinary sacrifices made by our Marines and Sailors and their families each and every day," said Brig. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those brave Marines.
"We will honor their memories and continue to support our Marines and Sailors still in the fight and their loved ones here at home," Busby added.
The commanding general and several other Yuma-based Marines will arrive at Grissom to pay their final respects to their fallen comrade.
Atwell enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005 and served as an electrical systems technician. His personal awards include two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and NATO Service Medal-ISAF.
Marines from Grissom's Detachment 1 Communications Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group will participate in the dignified arrival and in the military funeral honors.
In addition to being the home of the Marine Corps Reseve Detachment 1, Grissom is also home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing, the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command, as well as three Army Reserve units.