Fallen: September 24, 2003
Army Specialist Michael Andrade of Bristol, Rhode Island was 28 when he made the ultimate sacrifice. He was attached to 169th Military Police Company, U.S. Army National Guard, of Warren, Rhode Island, assigned to the 115th Military Police Company. Michael became a hero on September 24, 2003 of injuries he sustained when a 5-ton truck struck his humvee in Balad, Iraq.
Specialist Michael Andrade loved to sing and everyone around him knew this. He used to sing along with the radio while he was on the job at JRA Collision Center in Bristol, R.I., and he was a big fan of karaoke. “When he went to boot camp, he left a tape of some of the songs that he liked to sing,” said his office manager. When he wasn’t singing or working at the Collision Center, he was a volunteer firefighter with the Bristol Fire Department. He had been a member of the Bristol Fire Department since 1993 and worked out of Dreadnaught Hook, Ladder, and Hose Company #1. He was also a member of the Rescue Squad since 1996.
Michael was affectionately known as ‘Flea’ by his peers in Bristol. His Army colleagues remember him fondly and recall that “he was a very good soldier.” Another former soldier who was assigned to the same armory as Andrade remembers that “he was always just a nice person.” Further adding that “everybody would say how devoted he was to his family.” A fellow fire fighter remembers him as “by far one of the nicest people [they] ever had the pleasure of knowing.” Further stating, that “he was a great kid and was exceptional as a volunteer fireman.”
On September 24, 2003, Michael was taking part in a convoy moving supplies in support of troops moving to Kuwait. His humvee was struck by a 5,000-gallon fuel vehicle, according to guard officials. He became a RI fallen hero due to blunt force trauma from the crash. At the time of his passing, he was 28 and married with a step-son. Michael leaves his parents, 2 brothers, and 1 sister.