Fallen Spartan paratroopers remembered on JBER

The names of 77 paratroopers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, who were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan were read during a Spartan Remembrance Ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Wednesday.

Rena Hite of Wasilla was one of several family members who attended the ceremony; other family members viewed the ceremony virtually. Hite was there for her grandson, Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, who was born and raised in Anchorage and died from injuries sustained in a vehicle rollover in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, on Dec. 11, 2017.

“This ceremony is very important to me, especially since we’re not doing the ceremonies at the cemetery this year,” Hite said. “I didn’t want to lose my grandson. He died doing what he wanted to do. I miss him a lot.”

Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News.