Parris Island Marine killed in motorcycle crash was expecting birth of third son

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BEAUFORT

Parris Island Marine killed in motorcycle crash was expecting birth of third son

By TOM BARTON
tbarton@beaufortgazette.com
Published Friday, December 28, 2012   |  530 Words  |  

A Parris Island Marine killed Thursday while riding his motorcycle on Joe Frazier Road was looking forward to the birth of his third son in April, his family said Friday.

Cpl. Cameron P. Branum, 23, was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, serving as a company clerk, helping handle administrative matters and barracks maintenance, Gunnery Sgt. Bill Lisbon, base public affairs chief, said Friday.

Branum leaves behind a wife, Timi, who is pregnant, and sons Gavyn, 3, and Ayden, 1; according to his father, Gregory Branum.

The Marine grew up in a military family with service dating back to the Revolutionary War, his uncle Jeff Branum said. Both he, Branum's father and grandfather served in the military. A cousin serves in the Army, according to family.

"Cameron will never be forgotten," said Gregory Branum, who retired as a master sergeant in the Air Force in 2007 after 24 years.

"And as the military says, 'No man left behind,'" he said. "Cameron will be by our sides forever."

The collision happened at about 7 a.m. The S.C. Highway Patrol said a 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driven by Tyshan Bentley, 23, ran off the side of Joe Frazier Road, overcorrected and headed into oncoming traffic.

Branum, a native of Newalla, Okla., was trying to avoid being hit and laid his bike down, but the truck ended up hitting him, according to the patrol. He was wearing a helmet.

Bentley -- also an active-duty military member, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office -- has not been charged, and the crash remains under investigation, patrol Sgt. Bob Beres said.

Branum enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2007 and served as a rifleman with the 1st Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company based in Norfolk, Va., from April 2008 to April 2010, Lisbon said.

He served with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., from May 2010 to March 2012. He was deployed to Afghanistan from February 2011 to September 2011 and reported to Parris Island on March 31, 2012, Lisbon said.

Branum had been awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the NATO Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

"Our most sincere and deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Branum," Lisbon said. "It's definitely a tragic loss any time we lose a Marine, and we wish his family and friends the best in this time of grief."

Funeral arrangements were pending in Oklahoma, and Marine Corps officials were working with the family on a military burial with proper honors, Gregory Branum said.

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