|Birth: ||Apr. 22, 1983, Haiti|
|Death: ||Jan. 1, 2005|
SPC, US ARMY
PERSIAN GULF, IRAQ
A 21-year-old soldier who dropped out of college to join the Army out of a sense of patriotic duty was killed in Baghdad when his military vehicle struck an explosive device.
Spc. Jeff LeBrun was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y.
His father, Joseph LeBrun, 50, said Army representatives told him his son was driving to a hospital Saturday when the explosion occurred.
LeBrun quit his computer studies to join the Army. He wanted to ease the financial strain on his parents, who are Haitian immigrants, friends and family members said. His father, a painter, has a bad back after years of work as a welder, and his mother makes sandwiches at the Orlando Sentinel cafeteria.
The LeBruns moved to Kissimmee from New York in June 2002 to escape the cold. Lebrun cited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as his reason for joining the Army.
"He was a really, really, really sweet, sweet young man," his mother Daniela LeBrun said Monday. "I am lost now."
BY Sgt. Antonieta Rico
Installation PAO NCOIC
CAMP AL-NASR, Baghdad, Iraq – Members of a five-person choir lifted their voices to the mournful notes of "Amazing Grace" during a memorial service Friday to honor a fallen comrade. The voice of the fifth member of the choir, Spec. Jeff LeBrun, was missing, however. Instead, LeBrun's M16, Kevlar, identification tags and boots were mute participants in the poignant harmony.
LeBrun's singing was forever silenced Jan. 1 when an improvised explosive device went off near his vehicle during a security escort with C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but raised in Brooklyn, LeBrun will be remembered by his fellow Soldiers as a hero who always wore a smile on his face.
To Pfc. Derek Jent, LeBrun was the only choice for best man at his wedding.
"He always supported me no matter what I was doing," Jent said. "He was the person to have at your back."
LeBrun had a joy of life he shared with his fellow Soldiers.
"From the time I met him he was always smiling," Jent said.
"He made people smile because he was always dancing around like Usher," said Spec. Kevin Vaughn, another friend of LeBrun.
He also had the vocal chords to go with the dancing.
"He had the voice of an angel," Vaughn said. "He put a smile on everybody's face."
When LeBrun had some free time he would sing karaoke at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent here at Al-Nasr (Camp Liberty) or talk to his family in the Internet café and download music, Jent said.
LeBrun was looking forward to seeing his family and was planning to buy a car when he returned to the states.
"He was ready to get serious with a girl back home," Vaughn said.
Vaughn reflected on the fact that people in the states are detached from the effects of a war they only see on TV.
Vaughn stared blindly off to the distance for a few moments, looking inward. "It's not a joke," he said finally. "It's real out here. It's real. At any given moment someone could just go down."
But although LeBrun is one of those who went down, his memory won't go down with him.
"He is inside of us at all times," Jent said. "Everything he did had music to it."
Florida National Cemetery
Plot: SECTION 402 SITE 66
Created by: Cindy
Record added: Jan 04, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10214798