Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 18, 2012

Afghani insurgent attack kills Taylor grad

Body to arrive in Kokomo later this week.

A U.S. Marine who graduated from Taylor High School in 2003 was killed Saturday in Afghanistan after about 15 insurgents dressed in U.S. Army uniforms infiltrated a military base with rocket-propelled grenades and explosive vests.

Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, 27, Kokomo, was killed while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, the Department of Defense announced Monday.

The attack commenced just after 10 p.m. Thursday when approximately 15 insurgents executed a well-coordinated attack against the airfield on Camp Bastion, according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.    

The insurgents, organized into three teams, penetrated the perimeter fence. The insurgents appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed.

Dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, the insurgents attacked rotary wing aircraft parked on the flight line, aircraft hangars and other buildings.

Six AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two were significantly damaged. Three refueling stations also were destroyed. Six soft-skin aircraft hangars were damaged to some degree.

Insurgents also killed Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, Huntington, Pa., and wounded eight military personnel and one civilian contractor. The ISAF reported none of their injuries are considered life-threatening.

Jimmy Coates, fiancée to Cheryl Atwell, Bradley’s mother, said the family received the news of his death late Friday.

“It was just grief and shock,” he said. “We are devastated. There’s 20,000 troops over there, and it happens to our boy. He’s a hero. He protected and defended our way of life.”

Danielle Brewster, a cousin, said Atwell married Danielle Cross, a Russiaville native who graduated from Western High School, just 10 months ago on Nov. 5, 2011. They moved to Yuma, Ariz., where Atwell was stationed with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Oct. 17, 2005, and served as an electrical systems technician.

Brewster said Atwell first joined the Air Force shortly after graduating from Taylor, where he played on the baseball team.

“He was always very dead-set on joining,” she said, noting he briefly attended the University of Evansville. “He never thought twice about doing it.”

Brewster said Atwell was set to permanently return to the U.S. next month after first being deployed to Afghanistan in February.

Atwell’s military awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and NATO Service Medal-International Security Assistance Force.

“Bradley was a piece of American apple pie,” Coates said, noting he loved being a mentor and role model to others. “Any life he ever touched, they benefited from knowing him. I just can’t say enough good things about him.”

He said Atwell considered Kokomo his home and would come here every chance he could while not deployed.

Coates said Atwell’s remains will arrive at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Wednesday, where the body will receive a dignified transfer. He estimated the body will arrive in Indianapolis and receive a military transport to Kokomo by Friday.

“He gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could live our lives,” Coates said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters now require license With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

  • Council committee to present dog ordinance draft Aug. 11 Kokomo Common Council committee members will provide a draft of proposed changes to its dog ordinance at its Aug. 11 meeting. The release date for the draft was pushed back following a committee meeting where 25 members of the public aired their conc

    July 29, 2014

  • NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA's Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo. "The Y is a great resource for the community, so we're glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Woman killed in overnight wreck near 31-931 split

    One person was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries