Funeral held for fallen soldier

Sunday, September 28th 2008, 8:29 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Family, friends and service members paused Sunday to remember an Oklahoman killed in Iraq.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon Southern Hills Baptist Church for Chief Warrant Officer Brady Rudolf who, along with two other Oklahoma soldiers, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq on September 18th. 

It was a tearful farewell for National Guardsman Brady Rudolph, who dedicated 20 years to his country. He was also an active and faithful member of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

"Well, the loss of one life is a very traumatizing experience, especially for the families. I think that when you have three soldiers involved in the same incident that come from a close-knit organization, military formation, it hurts," said Major General Bud Wyatt of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Rudolph was a hero at home to his three sons, 8-year-old Braden, 5-year-old Ty and one-year-old Nate. His wife Jennifer, who is grieving over the love of her life, gave this statement,

 "He had this captivating smile that drew me in the moment I met him, and had a natural ability to take care of people," Jennifer Rudolph said. ""Our life together was so perfect; it was the kind that not many people even get to experience in their lives.  I am thankful for the time we had and that our boys will grow up knowing Brady is a hero and lived for God, family and our country."

National Guard jets flew over the church to honor Rudolf, who as a boy, dreamed of being a pilot and as a man, flew Chinook helicopters for the Army.

"It's a sad day for the Oklahoma Army National Guard, but also a proud day," Major General Wyatt said. "I think all the members of the guard are trying to put their arms around all this and our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

Rudolph was awarded five medals, including the Bronze Star, during the services.

The military said the cause of the deadly helicopter crash is still under investigation.