Monday, December 27, 2004
Steamboat Springs Funeral services will be held today for a 19-year-old Hayden High School graduate who died of hypothermia in Idaho last week.
Thomas Brannan, a 2003 Hayden graduate, was found dead the night of Dec. 21 in a field in Mountain Home, Idaho. Brannan was an airman first class stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
A funeral service with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. today at Hayden High School. A memorial service also will be held Thursday at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Stepmother Glenda Brannan said Brannan was inspired by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to serve in the military and enlisted in the Air Force after graduating high school. Following basic training in San Antonio, Texas, Brannan served in Port Hueneme, Calif., before being assigned to the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron in Mountain Home. She said Brannan did a three-month stint in the United Arab Emirates and had been scheduled to go back to the Middle East in the coming months.
"He was good at what he did," Glenda Brannan said.
Brannan had gone to a bachelor party Dec. 19 at an apartment complex in Mountain Home, said Det. Mike Barclay of the Elmore County, Idaho, Sheriff's Department. At some point, Brannan, who had been drinking, left the party to go for a walk. That was the last time he was seen alive.
A missing persons report was filed Dec. 21 with the Mountain Home Police Department after Brannan did not show up for work. A search was launched, and just before it was about to be called off for the night, Brannan's body was found, Barclay said.
Brannan had his shirt with him but he was not wearing it when he was found, Barclay said. "It was extremely, extremely cold those nights," Barclay said. "Basically, he succumbed to the elements."
Alcohol contributed to Brannan's death, Barclay said. An autopsy performed by the Ada County Coroner's Office in Boise showed Brannan's blood alcohol level was 0.14.
Glenda Brannan said Brannan was home for several days during the Thanksgiving holiday and that family members were thankful for the time they were able to spend with him.
She said Brannan was quiet and sometimes liked to keep to himself, but that he also was fun to be around.
"He had a big, old silly grin all the time. He was a jokester," Glenda Brannan said. "And he loved animals. His best friend was his dog, Buddy."