Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Dean R Bright

Sutherlin, Oregon

October 4, 2006

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
32 Army Pfc

7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

Fort Hood, Texas

 Killed in Taji, Iraq, after being attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire and other weapons.

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October 14, 2006

Terrorists Killed, Captured; Helo Crash Response Draws Praise
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 Coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured numerous terrorism suspects yesterday and today, and military officials praised the teamwork involved among responding forces after a coalition helicopter crashed yesterday. 
Coalition forces captured an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist and two other suspects during a raid today near Baghdad, military officials reported. The targeted individual is reported to be an "Umar Brigade" member and recruiter with control of several terrorist fighting cells, officials said. The Umar Brigade is an al Qaeda-sponsored Iraqi insurgent group known to target Shiite Moslems and specifically intending to incite sectarian violence. 

Officials said the assault force received inconsequential small-arms fire upon arrival to the target area. The troops quickly secured the target location and detained the terrorists without further incident. No coalition forces were injured during the operation. 

Elsewhere, coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist and captured another suspect in a raid in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib neighborhood today. The raid's targeted individual was linked to a foreign fighter facilitator killed along with two other terrorists June 12 during a coalition raid northeast of Amiriyah, officials said. Credible intelligence also connected the targeted individual to a Saudi Arabian terrorist killed in a June 28 coalition raid near Iskandariyah. This foreign fighter had extensive dealings in helping finance terrorist activities such as car-bomb attacks, officials said. 

Overnight, Iraqi security forces conducted a raid in Baghdad as part of Operation Together Forward, the Iraqi government's plan to improve security conditions in the city. Officials said the purpose of the raid was to capture insurgent leaders responsible for numerous deaths of Iraqi citizens. The insurgents are also responsible for running false checkpoints, kidnappings, torture and other intimidation tactics, officials added. No Iraqi or coalition forces were wounded or killed during this operation, and officials said "multiple" insurgents were detained. 

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed two terrorists and wounded one after engaging four terrorists in a small-arms firefight early yesterday in northern Baghdad. Soldiers from the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, spotted several individuals carrying what appeared to be a mortar tube. Following a brief firefight, the soldiers found a PKC machine gun near the bodies of the two dead men and saw two other terrorists fleeing the scene into nearby houses. 

Iraqi army soldiers assisted in establishing a cordon and searching the houses, where the third suspect was found with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Three more terrorists were then discovered hiding in a ditch, each armed with AK-47s and ammunition. The wounded terrorist was transported to a U.S. medical facility for treatment, along with a wounded Iraqi army soldier. 

In other news, the pilots of a Multinational Division Baghdad AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter that crashed yesterday near Yusufiyah, southwest of Baghdad, at approximately 2 p.m. walked away from the wreckage and have since been returned to duty, officials said. 

"The great skill and quick reactions of the pilots enabled them to walk away," said Army Brig. Gen. David Halverson, assistant division commander for support, 4th Infantry Division. 

A UH-60 helicopter from the 101st Airborne Division flying in the area picked up the pilots less than 10 minutes after they exited their aircraft. Ground troops from 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, responded to secure the site and assist in the recovery of the aircraft. The soldiers secured the crash site as the downed aircraft recovery team went to work. 

"This incident has shown what great teamwork is all about," Halverson said. "Coalition forces brought expertise from all areas and displayed that warrior ethos in record time to recover our pilots and begin recovery of their aircraft." 

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)
The Oregonian 10/06/06:

Ex-Sutherlin official dies in Iraq
Oregon Guardsman - Army Pfc. Dean Robert Bright, father of two, was going to remarry his ex-wife
Friday, October 06, 2006

A decorated soldier from Sutherlin who had been in Iraq for six months was killed Wednesday when his unit came under attack, his family said Thursday.

Army Pfc. Dean Robert Bright, who would have been 33 next week, died when a bomb exploded in Taji, Iraq, said Becky Bright, his former wife. Family members had been notified by Oregon National Guard officers, she said.

Bright was a cavalry scout assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas. He was the 77th member of the military from Oregon or Southwest Washington to die in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Bright, who served on the Sutherlin City Council five years ago, "always wanted to make a difference, both in his community and for his country," said Becky Bright.

"He was proud of being a soldier," she said. "After 9/11, he felt it was a calling. It's something he always wanted to do."

Bright joined the Army in September 2005 and was sent to Iraq in March. He received the Bronze Star this summer for helping rescue soldiers from a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that had been demolished by a remote-controlled device.

Becky Bright said she received a phone message from him earlier this week telling her "things weren't good there, but not to worry." She said they had been divorced for five years but planned to remarry in January in Reno when he was scheduled to be home for the Christmas holidays. They have two children, Jarrod, 9, and Maddie, 6.

Dean Bright, who was born in North Bend, was a 1992 graduate of Sutherlin High School, where he played football and baseball and was active in FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America.

John Lahley, superintendent of Sutherlin schools, said Bright "had a personality who could make you laugh. He got along with everyone."

Bright was a volunteer coach for youth soccer and T-ball leagues in Sutherlin, Lahley said. "He was one of those guys who saw the value of all these activities he did when he was younger and wanted to pass that along to kids," the superintendent said. "He wanted to make a difference and give something back to his community."

After high school, Bright worked for Bayliner boat company in Roseburg and later for Roseburg Forest Products.

Survivors include his father, Robert, of Myrtle Point; mother Norma Lane of Sutherlin; and sister, Sandra Powell of Roseburg.

Richard L. Hill: 503-221-8238; richardhill@news.oregonian.com

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