Army Veteran Brian Keith Van Dusen is today’s Veteran of the Day.
Brian Keith Van Dusen was born in Columbus, Ohio, in June 1963. He enjoyed spending time with his family, racing motorcycles, skiing, hunting deer and pheasants, playing golf, scuba diving, fishing and playing softball. He lived with his wife and two children in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He joined the Army because “he believed in saving lives, not taking them,” as reported by his brother, David Van Dusen.
Van Dusen flew military helicopters in the Army for a total of 19 years, including service in the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was assigned to the 571st Medical Company (Air Ambulance) based in Fort Carson, Colorado.
In early May 2003, two UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters were dispatched to evacuate an injured 11-year-old Iraqi child that had stepped on a landmine near Samarra, Iraq. The evacuation was successful, but during the mission, Van Dusen’s helicopter inadvertently snagged a seven-strand, one inch-thick steel cable and flipped over, causing it to plunge 20 feet into the Tigris River below. Van Dusen and two other soldiers were killed. The crash was classified as a hostile action.
For his service, Van Dusen was awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and an Air Medal. He was given a memorial service at Holy Family Catholic Church in Security, Colorado, and was later honored by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment with a memorial dedicated to the fallen service members who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His remains were interred at Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in April 2019.
To post a tribute this Memorial Day for Brian Keith Van Dusen, please visit the Veterans Legacy Memorial at https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/BRIANKEITHVANDUSEN/3AB7EF7.
We honor his service.
Carry the Load
In 2022, VA is joining forces with Carry The Load to honor veterans during the “Memorial May” March, a national relay visiting 50 VA national cemeteries to honor our nation’s fallen service members. A link to this webpage is here. The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found here. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Kim McAdams
Editors: Theresa Lyon, Brooke Wolfenbarger
Researchers: David Charles Deprez, Raphael Romea
Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley
Project Manager: Oasis Diaz