vet spotlight 062422

Brandt Bersani/Army National Guard

Brandt Bersani served his country in the US Army and Army National Guard, retiring as a lieutenant colonel after 39 years of military service. His family has a bit of history in Falmouth; his great-grandfather opened the first barbershop in the old Falmouth Hotel. He enlisted in the active component of the Army in August 1982 and attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Still, Oklahoma. Upon graduation he was stationed at Pinder Barracks, Federal Republic of Germany for 2½ years, followed by 18 months in Fort Lewis, Washington. After receiving his discharge, he joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

After being commissioned, he held many posts with the 1⁄211 Field Artillery and 1/101 Field Artillery. His first deployment was in 1996 to Bosnia with a 40-man Fire Support element. In 2004 he was deployed to Iraq with the 42nd Infantry Division Artillery. In 2007 he was deployed with a small detachment of the 26th Infantry (Yankee) Division to Afghanistan. In 2010, his fourth and final deployment would again take him to Afghanistan with a special team composed of Massachusetts Army National Guard personnel. It was during that time that he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

He continued to serve in different capacities with the Massachusetts Guard, among them state equal opportunity officer and radar platoon leader of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery.

When asked about being away for the holidays, Lt. Col. Bersani said this; “The Army did its best to make its soldiers feel at home during the holidays…we always had great meals in the mess halls during Thanksgiving and Christmas…the serving lines were always made up of commanding officers…the leadership went to great efforts…those were times of great camaraderie because we knew we were all in this together and we only had each other to celebrate.”

Lt. Col. Bersani shared this dark memory: “We were in Iraq and there was a Navy crypto guy at my headquarters in Tikrit…he went out for a cigarette and was standing a couple of feet from a bomb shelter…I had just come outside and heard a mortar firing…knew it was incoming…one of the shells struck right at the sailor’s feet…I was first on the scene…we applied tourniquets to his legs, started an IV and got him casevac (casualty evacuation)…he survived but with horrible injuries…it bothered me that he didn’t know what incoming sounded like and therefore made no effort to take cover in the bomb shelter…he should have received better training in recognizing the threat of land-based weapons.

He called Staff Sergeant Harold Leedom “the greatest mentor I ever had…he went to great lengths to motivate me and to make the best out of my Army experience.”

Lt. Col. Bersani’s awards are numerous but he is most proud of his Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge and Parachutist Badge.

He lives in East Falmouth with his wife, Susan.

Lt. Col. Brandt Bersani, thank you for your service to our great country.

Contact Wayne Soares at waynesoares1@gmail.com

Contact Wayne Soares at waynesoares1@gmail.com

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