KIA August 28, 2007
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, Fort Lewis, Washington
SGT Bryce Howard died August 28, 2007, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device (IED). Also killed were SFC Rocky H. Herrera and SGT Cory L. Clark, all fellow members of the 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade. The three Soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing occurring while they were helping to build a bridge in eastern Jaji, Afghanistan, on the border of Pakistan. This was SGT Howard’s second combat tour to Afghanistan.
Bryce graduated from Battle Ground High School in 2001. Later that year, he met his future wife, Amber, and they married in December 2001. Together, the couple had two children: Caleb and Ryen. In a memorial page dedicated to Bryce, his son, Caleb, wrote, “I learned a lot from my dad … I have this one picture of me when I was like 4 or 5, and I was wearing some of his Army gear. Thank you dad! You will never be replaced as being my Hero and my loving, caring dad.” Bryce was an avid snowboard and motorcycle enthusiast. Bryce’s father, Dean Howard, a Vietnam veteran, said, “He was just good-spirited. He had a smile that could get him out of trouble.” Bryce is also survived by his mother, Annette; sister, Casey; and brother, James.
SGT Howard, a technical engineer, entered the military in January of 2002, underwent basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, then spent a year at Camp Henry, South Korea, before reporting to Fort Lewis in August of 2003. A previous Commander of SGT Howard recalls a memory that emulates not only the great Soldier that he was, but the spirit that he leaves behind: “I found him “surveying” an existing road with several of his new Soldiers. I watched, and I determined that survey work appeared to be absolutely boring. So I asked how everything worked. He was patient, and explained, very thoroughly, how they input the information into the computer, and how they translated everything into pounding staked into the ground. I said, a bit overwhelmed, “Wow, you have to be pretty damn smart to do this stuff.” SGT Howard paused, raised an eyebrow, and said matter-of-factly, “No Sir, just smarter than you.”
SGT Bryce Howard was 24 years old from Vancouver, Washington.
Original portrait was presented to his wife, Amber Howard at an America Supports You- Texas event May 18, 2012, in Amarillo, Texas.