Blue Ash soldier killed in Iraq

Brandon Haunert
Brandon Haunert

(BLUE ASH, OH) -- A soldier from Blue Ash has been killed in the line of duty.

Friends and family have confirmed to FOX19 that Brandon Haunert died Sunday in Iraq.

Haunert was a 2005 graduate of Sycamore High School, where he played baseball. He was one of six boys and lived with his family in Blue Ash before serving in Iraq. He spend a few years in college before he found his calling in the Army.

Haunert had only been in Iraq for five weeks when his Humvee was hit by an explosive device.

"He always talked about joining the army so he really felt like that was a big decision something he really wanted in his life and he went for it," said his father, Bill Haunert.

Haunert's younger brother currently plays baseball for Sycamore, and played in Monday's game against Moeller. The team dedicated the game to Haunert, wearing his initials on their hats and wristbands.

"He's a hero, an absolute hero. I'm proud to be associated with him and his family," said Sycamore baseball coach Chris Shrimpton.

Brandon's dad says losing him has made his family appreciate the sacrifice that all members of the armed forces make everyday.

"We've got a lot of good men and women out there who are doing awesome jobs and they're in harms way," he said. "We live in a great country that's why we can stand here and safely today."

Haunert isn't the only Sycamore High School grad to die in the line of duty. Daniel Freeman, 20, was a 2003 graduate of the school. He died in 2005 in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan. Another grad, Army Sergeat Phillip McNeill, 22, died in 2007. will update this story as more information becomes available.