Based: Schweinfurt, Germany
9th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,
1st Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 16, 2004
Tikrit (near), Iraq
High School: West High (Torrance)
Burial: Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach
"He never told us that he was going to be defusing land mines," said childhood friend Kevin McDonald, 19. "He didn't want us worrying."
Wood, 21, a combat engineer from Torrance, was killed April 16 when his military vehicle struck a land mine in Tikrit.
Born in Culver City, Wood was a quiet kid who could be funny while talking to those who knew him well. He played Little League baseball, was a Cub Scout and, from an early age, loved reading books on history, philosophy and physics, his parents said. In 2001, Wood graduated from West Torrance High School, where he played trumpet in the marching band.
Wood was a good student who could have gone to college, but decided during his sophomore year of high school that he would join the Army after graduation, his family said. He was inspired by his father and three uncles, all military veterans.
"It is a family tradition of serving our country and giving back," said his father, Greg. "Bryan was a patriot, a very strong lover of his country and what it stood for, and that was one of the things that he felt that he should do."
Wood did his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri and later was stationed in Germany. When he arrived in Iraq in March, "he expressed how important he thought what he was doing was," his father said.
When he called home, he wanted to know about his family and friends. "Even though he was in Iraq and his life was at stake, he wanted to know how things were with us," McDonald said.
Wood also is survived by two sisters, Katie, 25, and Carrie, 22; and his grandparents, Bob and JoAnn Nunn. He was to be buried Saturday at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach.
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Sergeant Brian M. Wood here.
Sergeant Wood's picture can be found at