Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
The blurb read, “A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Cpl. Brandon Javier Alvarez of Newbury Park, California, June 10, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Alvarez was assigned to FAST Co., Central Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Bahrain.” that was all that was written. But he was so much more than just that…just remains. He was everything to the people who knew and loved him.
Who was Brandon Javier Alvarez?
Brandon Javier Alvarez was born on January 31, 1999, in Thousand Oaks, California. He is the beloved son of my Tia Suzy. He is one of three sons in a family of six children, a devoted boyfriend and a doting uncle. He loved and in return was loved by so many.
Nobody deserves to die far away from home, alone under dubious circumstances. My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a good man. He was a bright young man, who loved his country, loved his family and friends and was excited about the future that he was building for himself and his loved ones. Brandon’s sudden and unexplained death has implications that go way beyond just how it affects our family, this could happen to any son or daughter serving in the military.
Brandon was only 22-years-old on June 6, 2021 when he was found dead in a non-combat-related incident (his nose appeared broken and there were marks on his neck) while serving in the U.S. marines in Manama Bahrain. He was a brother, a son, a boyfriend, a friend, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle and a proud United States Marine. He was not disposable. He was loved. He is missed. The hole left behind in the heart of those who knew and loved him can never be filled. The loss of a child is insurmountable and unfathomable and his life deserves better than to just be discarded.
His family deserves to know what really happened. They don’t deserve to be ignored and pushed aside when they want to know what happened. At the very least, they deserve the truth. Instead, they are be parceled out very little information. But how can they grieve and mourn their loss when it is so abrupt and unexplained?
What happened to Brandon?
My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a 22-year-old, healthy and happy United States Marine serving in Manama Bahrain. He was found dead in his room on June 6, 2021. It is being referred to as a “non-combat incident”. His family is devastated. They sent him to Bahrain 2 weeks previous, with his entire future ahead of him. Only to have him returned to them in a casket draped with the American flag, no explanation and no answers.
His body was returned to American soil on June 10, 2021. Family members flew across the country from California to Delaware just to meet the body with plans to identify him. They were refused and restricted to stay 40 yards away from the casket. They were refused the right to identify his body.
This video is Brandon returning home to California on June 17, 2021. This is the first time his family is allowed to receive him, 11 days after two Marines came to my aunt’s house in the early morning hours to inform her that her son had been found dead during the night, while she slept. At minute 9:51 you can see the reality of a mother’s pain.
No family should have to go through this. No mother should ever have to bury her son and endure this kind of pain and loss. As parents and family members of men and women in the military, we understand that when our sons, daughters and beloved family members volunteer to join the military and dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the lives and freedoms of the American People, there are implied risks. But no family, expects their child to return in a casket from a non-combat incident. No family expects to be kept in the dark.
Everybody who knew Brandon loved him. He was kind, warm, funny with a verve for life. His joy was infectious. He loved to to laugh and brighten the atmosphere. He was a loyal son, a loving boyfriend and a beloved brother and friend. Brandon was the kind of man who inspired others to be and do better. He loved his country and had big dreams and aspirations. He just wanted to do better and give a better life to the people he loved. That was his American dream.
He’s gone and the family left behind to mourn him is being kept in the dark as to the circumstances of what actually happened. This is not okay, not in any way. We need answers. Nothing will bring Brandon back but at the very least, we need the truth. His mother needs justice for her son. We cannot forget.
Say his name… Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez
The military can’t just make this go away. We need explanations and proof. It took almost 2 weeks for Brandon’s family to be allowed access to his body. Maybe this would pacify some families. Maybe blind faith in the system would be enough for some but not this family. But Brandon was in constant contact with is family. People checked in on him daily, even in Bahrain. Our family will not quit. Brandon deserves more. Those who loved him are now tasked with being the protectors of his legacy and the seekers of justice in his name.
The bottom line is that my cousin is dead. Something uncertain happened the night of June 6th, 2021 in his room and someone has answers. We need those answers. A healthy, happy 22-year-old marine went overseas to protect the people of this country and in return he was found dead in his room. Don’t let his death get swept under the rug. Help us find #justice4cplBrandonJavierAlvarez and for the next son or daughter serving who could be in danger of never coming home to their mothers and fathers. Share his story and use the hashtag.
Rest easy, primo and know that everyone who knew and loved you won’t stop until we know what really happened to you and get the justice you deserve. You mattered Brandon Javier Alvarez and your life was not disposable. We will find the answers, someone will be held accountable and you will get justice.