Author Topic: 'He was my hero'- father of three killed in Iraq-Article  (Read 7792 times)

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Offline Spr.Earl

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Saanich man, father of three, killed in Iraq while protecting client, says wife
   
Bill Cleverley   
Times Colonist


Tuesday, March 30, 2004
 Andy Bradsell, an Island-based security expert, was doing his job -- protecting the lives of other people -- when he died in a hail of bullets in Iraq, his wife, former television anchor Tasha Larson, said Monday.

Bradsell, 33, died Sunday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul while blocking gunfire directed at their convoy, which was protecting an executive of General Electric, witnesses told Larson.

The couple has three children -- eight-month-old son John Hunter, daughter Shayden, 6, and son Tycho, 9.

"He was my hero, the love of my life," Larson said of her husband. She met the former British Marine in Edmonton when he was assigned to protect her from a stalker.

After his military career, he made his living, often in dangerous parts of the world, trying to keep others safe.

On Sunday, his convoy was heading to a power plant in Mosul when it was ambushed by masked gunmen.

"Andy was in the rear vehicle and they were escorting the client to the power plant," Larson said from her Saanich home Monday. "When they were close to the power plant three vehicles with armed men came alongside."

When the attack came, Bradsell and his partner sped forward to put themselves between the gunmen and the client, Larson said. While they took the fire, the other vehicle sped ahead. It reached the power plant and got away safely. Bradsell and his partner were killed.

Bradsell was working for Olive Security, a British international security company. He was wearing body armour and carried both an AK-47 and a handgun.

"He did what he was trained to do and what he had done for so many years successfully, and that was protect people," Larson said.

Bradsell was born in England, came to Canada with his family as a child, growing up mostly in Alberta. He returned to England as a young man and joined the elite Royal Marines Commandos. While in the marines, Bradsell worked with a team in Northern Ireland while undertaking anti-terrorist duties for the British Ministry of Defence.

Intelligence gathering, surveillance and documenting terrorist activities were his primary duties. Bradsell worked with the London Metropolitan Police diplomatic protection team and was part of a guard of honour for Queen Elizabeth in 1989 at Earl's Court.

After doing extensive dignitary protection work in Europe, he moved to Miami, where he supplied VIP protection to celebrities and entertainers such as Madonna and Jean Claude Van Damme and to corporate CEOs.

After moving to Manhattan, he was a security consultant and provided personal protection to Wall Street's investment bankers.

Bradsell returned to Canada to take the position of chief instructor for the former International Academy of Security and Close Protection in Edmonton.

That company also set up operations in Manila, the Philippines, where Bradsell headed up both instruction and operations. From 1997 to 2001 he was chief security officer for a natural resources company primarily operating in Madagascar, South Africa and Israel.

Larson met her husband in Edmonton about four years ago after the television station where she was a reporter and anchor did a story on the security training he was providing through his academy.

A short time later, it was Bradsell that the station called for help when she was being stalked and receiving threatening letters while at that job.

"There came a point when I had a stalker and a fellow writing letters. So we had a public event I was hosting and we phoned him to provide some security. That was how we met," she said.

Sparks flew, but conflicting travel schedules meant they didn't really connect until a year or so later after the station again called for Bradsell for security.

"I didn't really need the security at the time because he had dealt with the problem, but it was a pretty good excuse to see him," Larson said.

He was heading back to Madagascar and suggested they meet in Africa after he finished his job in six weeks. They did.

"We went on a whirlwind African safari and fell in love. We came back and we were married in a few months."

The couple each brought a child to the marriage -- she a son, nine-year-old Tycho, and he a daughter, six-year-old Shayden. John Hunter was born eight months ago.

The marriage took place just before they relocated to Victoria in 2001 for the opening of The New VI.

Larson anchored The New VI's evening news until November last year when she was one of a number of staff members to lose their jobs to cutbacks.

Bradsell had been in Iraq for a month and was scheduled to stay about a month longer.

It was to be his last "operational" job. When he returned and John Hunter reached his first birthday the couple was going to decide what part of the world they were going to make home.

Nothing was more important to Bradsell than his family, Larson said.

"He was a larger-than-life guy. There are a lot of people who have a lot of shock today," she said.

"We're all in shock here today," said Laura Acton, community relations director for The New VI.

"Andy was just one of those people who was full of life. He loved what he was doing. He loved his work. He loved life. He lived it to the fullest. And I guess he died protecting people, and that was Andy."


 http://www.canada.com/victoria/story.asp?id=D71CF98F-C0EB-4203-98B9-E605CAFA0BEE
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 18:43:29 by Bruce Monkhouse »
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Offline bossi

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Re: ‘He was my hero‘
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2004, 22:44:00 »
As one of the guys at work said today, when your time is up ... your time is up ...

It is very sad when any brave man is killed, whether in the line of "duty" to king and country, or protecting another life ...

 
Quote
"Death is lighter than a feather; duty, heavy as a mountain."
-- Emeror Meiji of Japan, Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883
 
Recently I had to explain the Samurai to a good friend:

   
Quote
Samurai had no fear of death. They would enter any battle no matter the odds.
To die in battle would only bring honor to one‘s family and one‘s lord.

The samurai‘s life was like the cherry blossom‘s, beautiful and brief.
For him, as for the flower, death followed naturally, gloriously.
"Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another."

RIP
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

Offline Spr.Earl

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Re: ‘He was my hero‘
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2004, 23:09:00 »
I could not put it better.
Thank‘s Bossi.  :salute:
THE PRECEDING POST AND OTHERS MADE BY MYSELF ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS, NOT FOR REPRODUCTION, NOT FOR CUT AND PASTE OF ANY PORTION THEREOF, NO QUOTES ARE PERMITTED ELSEWHERE,ANYWHERE OTHER THAN EXCLUSIVELY IN THIS WEB FORUM.




UBIQUE
Be Safe

Offline Slim

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Re: ‘He was my hero‘
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2004, 23:13:00 »
My god!

Most people have no idea what it takes to do something that brave...That man knew he was going to die and did what he was supposed to do anyway.

RIP Andy.  :salute:
"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke

Offline absent_element

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Re: ‘He was my hero‘
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2004, 05:33:00 »
Definitly a strong example of courage under fire.

RIP
$quot;Laws change, justice remains the same.
   ---Odo Chief Security officer of Deep Space 9