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New Hampshire Honors LCpl Brandon Garabrant, KIA Afghanistan

(Ledger-Transcript Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
June 22, 2014

LCpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was killed by an IED Friday morning in Afghanistan. Garabrant was best known outside New Hampshire as the young Marine who had asked to attend his high school graduation in his Marine uniform. The school had refused.

.According to Breitbart Big Peace, The principal, Brian Pickering, this week praised his former student and said the school community was upset to hear that Garabrant had died.

“The entire State of New Hampshire is devastated by the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan,” Governor Maggie Hassan said in a statement. “Our service men and women courageously sacrifice every day to protect their fellow citizens and defend the enduring value of freedom that is our very core, and in doing so, Lance Corporal Garabrant made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Garabrant was a 2013 graduate of ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, NH. At that time, according to the New Hampshire Ledger-Transcript,

Garabrant, 18, graduated from Marine Corps basic training in Parris Island, S.C., on Friday. He flew home with his family after that ceremony in order to attend his high school graduation, getting back late Friday night to their Greenfield home. He had completed his academic work earlier this year, and spent the past 13 weeks in boot camp.

Garabrant, who had arranged the timing of his training so that he’d be a full-fledged Marine prior to the ConVal graduation, had asked permission to wear his uniform instead of a cap and gown in the high school ceremony. ConVal Principal Brian Pickering, after discussions with the Student Council, turned down that request several weeks ago. A week of so before graduation, Garabrant’s mother, Jessie Garabrant, went public, saying she felt Pickering’s decision was “a disgrace to the uniform.” After stories appeared in the Ledger-Transcript and other papers, the issue quickly drew nationwide attention.