The Associated Press…
Bill Haunert of Blue Ash, Ohio, said his 21-year-old son Branden enlisted in the Army last year and his unit was deployed to Iraq about five weeks ago…
Branden Haunert was a 2005 graduate of Sycamore High School in suburban Cincinnati, where he played baseball. He attended the University of Cincinnati before enlisting. His father said military representatives told the family on Sunday that the Humvee Branden Haunert was in was hit by a roadside bomb and that he died at the scene.
The entire Haunert family is “devastated,” Bill Haunert told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday. “His brothers are taking it pretty hard.”
Bill Haunert said he and his wife, Tammy, have five other sons.
Bill Haunert said Branden wanted to serve his country.
“He knew he’d probably be going to Iraq,” his father said. “He was doing what he wanted to do.”
Branden Haunert joined the Army in the summer of 2007 and went through basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., before being assigned to the 327th Infantry, 2nd Battalion, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, an Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
His father said he was doing well in the Army. “He was thinking about re-enlisting. He’d been recommended for Ranger School. I think there’s a very good chance Branden could have made a career out of the military.”
Chris Shrimpton, Sycamore’s varsity baseball coach, described Branden Haunert as fiery, stubborn and competitive. “He wanted to win,” Shrimpton said. “He would do anything for you, and he just loved the game of baseball. He’d try hard, and that’s the thing I liked about him. He always gave 100 percent, no matter what he did.”