Son of a small town, Brian Safford headed for boot camp at the first opportunity. Eagle River, Wisconsin was a great place to start, but Brian was moving on.
In 2003, while assigned as the unit corpsman for Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Petty Officer Safford deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brian and the Marines of 2/1 fought their way from Kuwait to Baghdad, some 415 miles, seeing significant combat actions during the spring offensive.
Brian deployed a second time to Iraq as a member of Regimental Combat Team – in March 2004. Shortly after arriving in Al Anbar province, the Marines made their way to Fallujah where they took part in Operation Vigilant Resolve. During a battle that saw some of the most intense urban fighting since the Vietnam War, Petty Officer Safford’s unwavering courage, dedication and professionalism saved the lives of countless wounded Marines.
On July 5, 2004 Brian was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device. After being stabilized, he was evacuated to the United States where he recovered at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. Brian was medically retired from the United States Navy as a Petty Officer on July 12, 2005.
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