Fallen Hero SGT Bradley W. Atwell, United States Marines” title=

SGT Bradley W. Atwell

February 20, 1985 - September 14, 2012
U.S. Marines

On that fateful day in September of 2012, under cover of night, fifteen Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan. What followed was a fierce confrontation that took the life of Bradley Wayne Atwell, one other soldier, and also wounded many. With hundreds of millions in materiel loss as well, the Battle of Bastion was the worst day for American airpower since the Tet Offensive. It is worth reading about…….how 15 insurgents with automatic rifles, grenades and other explosives penetrated the mammoth base, Camp Bastion, inflicting the largest loss of American aircraft in combat since Vietnam. In the first moments of the attack they destroyed a complete squadron of attack aircraft.

Upon hearing the explosions from the burning aircraft SGT Bradley Atwell heroically sprang into action. His mother describes it best: “He saved a lot of lives by waking his Marines up under this surprise attack and going ahead of them towards the fire until help could arrive. He received a purple heart for his heroism. I, Brad’s mom, am the proudest as a parent can be. I love and miss him more each day.”

SGT Atwell's courageous and selfless actions delayed the enemy’s assault and allowed the marines to coordinate a counterattack; ultimately saving the lives of Marines and allied coalition forces.

Bradley Wayne Atwell was born in Kokomo, Indiana to Victor and Cheryl Atwell. He married Danielle Cross in 2011. He was a very loving husband, son, brother, and friend. It was my honor to paint this extremely courageous Marine.

Portrait sponsored by:
: Jerry and Ruth Grandbois, St. Charles, Minnesota; Canadian Honker Restaurant, Rochester, Minnesota