Milligan graduate killed in Iraq
MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (May 8, 2006) — Capt. Brian S. Letendre, a 2000 graduate of Milligan College, was killed May 3 when a suicide car bomber attacked his observation post in Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad according to the Department of Defense. He was 27 and had just volunteered for his second tour in Iraq.
Letendre grew up in Woodbridge, Va., and attended Milligan College from 1997-2000, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and minor in communications. There he met and married his wife, Autumn Crane Letendre, a 1999 Milligan graduate from Indianapolis. They married in 2001 and have a 3-year-old son, Dillon.
Letendre was commissioned a lieutenant by the Marine Corps in May 2000 at his Milligan commencement. He trained to become a military infantry officer and was part of the force that invaded Iraq in 2003. He received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for Valor.
After returning from Iraq in 2003, Letendre was assigned to be the inspector-instructor for Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, a Marine Reserve unit headquartered in Plainville, Conn. His job was to prepare the unit’s members for deployment. When the unit was called up recently for its first Iraq duty, Letendre voluntarily joined them for a second tour.
“Brian was an extremely hard worker. He was very determined in everything he did,” said Dr. Bruce Montgomery, associate professor of communications at Milligan and Letendre’s academic advisor.
Montgomery, who will officiate at the funeral service and burial, got to know Brian and Autumn well through his role as chaplain of the Milligan soccer teams and through speech and communications courses.
Besides his wife and son, Letendre is survived by his parents, Milton and June Letendre of Woodbridge, Va., and two brothers, Justin and Nick. Letendre’s father-in-law, Larry Crane of Indianapolis, is a 1971 Milligan alumnus. His wife’s grandparents, Earl and Ann Griffith of Bluff City, Tenn., are also Milligan alumni.
Funeral services will be held next week, in Woodbridge, Va., with burial at Arlington National Cemetery. (Information on arrangements will be updated here as it becomes available.)
At the family’s request, a soccer scholarship fund has been established in Letendre’s memory at Milligan College. Contributions may be sent to The Brian Letendre Memorial Soccer Scholarship Fund, Milligan College, P.O. Box 750, Milligan College, TN 37682. Donations may be made online at https://www.applyweb.com/public/contribute?mcacnew.
For more information, please call 423.461.8719.
|Sunday, May 14|
|3:00pm- 7:00pm||Viewing at Mount Castle Funeral Home, 4143 Dale Blvd, Dale City, VA 22193 www.mountcastle.net|
|Monday, May 15|
|7:30am- 8:30am||Service at Hylton Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192, www.hyltonchapel.org|
|11am||Funeral/Burial at Arlington National Cemetery|
MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs. To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.