Brent was in the second Humvee. He immediately pulled his vehicle around to protect the wounded Marines in the damaged Humvee. As he did, his Humvee was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade. No one was wounded, but Brent knew they were surrounded by insurgents. He didn't want to turn the convoy around, because he'd have to abandon the injured men in the lead Humvee.
"So he made a split-second decision and told the guys in his Humvee to dismount. Then he took off running toward the insurgents," Molly says. "It sounds suicidal to most of us, but that's just Marine training."
His action changed the momentum of the battle. The insurgents weren't expecting a full-frontal assault. Brent and the other Marines were firing as they ran. As Brent raised his arm to give an order, an insurgent shot him at close range in the armpit. The bullet pierced both lungs.
Brent died in the medic helicopter. But the rest of his team survived.
"Brent was a good-hearted kid who was so focused on being a Marine. He believed in his mission. He believed the Iraqi people deserved better. He wrote us that he felt so sorry for the children," Molly says. "He believed they'd end up with a better world than they'd ever had."
Flyer staff writer Bianca Phillips interviewed the families of Shelby County servicemen killed in Iraq. Their moving stories can be found here.