Bryan Christopher Black
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Bryan Christopher Black

August 3, 1982 ~ October 4, 2017

Bryan Christopher Black, 35, was born August 3rd, 1982 at Camp Pendleton, CA; he passed away October 4, 2017 in Niger, Africa. Bryan was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC with 3rd Group as a Green Beret Medic. Growing up, Bryan was very competitive and strong-willed. He became irritated in the 4th grade when his brother won a trophy at a chess tournament and he didn't. He turned his frustration into action, spending an entire summer studying and learning chess. Bryan then dominated scholastic chess in Washington state, tied for 2nd in the nation in the 6th grade, and competed well at the adult level. His competitive and challenging spirit drove later masteries of poker, carpentry, stock trading, martial arts, medicine, and roofing and home repair. During his previous deployment to Niger he learned the local dialect Hausa because he wanted to be able to communicate directly with the people. He also spoke French and Arabic. Bryan was often in high demand within his team and with locals due to these efforts. He began wrestling in high school, wrestling in the state championship his senior year, and was his weight class varsity wrestler at Central Washington University. Wrestling revealed one of Bryan's amazing traits: he never quit. When he began suffering heat injuries during a wrestling camp in high school, he refused to quit until he collapsed from heat stroke. After five days in the hospital, he returned to the wrestling camp and finished the training. Bryan graduated from Puyallup High School in 2000, at the same time earning his AA from Pierce College. He went on to graduate from Central Washington University with a degree in Business Administration in 2002. Upon graduation from college he went to Mammoth Lakes, CA where he taught skiing and worked in construction in the off-season. This is where he met the love of his life, Michelle Richmond Black. They married in 2005. Bryan joined the Army in 2009. The Army provided the challenges that Bryan craved throughout basic training, Ranger school, Special Forces, and related specialist courses, while excelling at medical studies during many late nights and weekends. Bryan acted as a natural leader, helping his fellow soldiers where they struggled and maximizing their talents. Bryan was dedicated to his wife and confidante Michelle, and a loved role model to sons Ezekiel and Isaac. He also leaves behind parents Henry (Hank) Black and Karen Black, his brother Jason Black, grandparents Harold Ericsson and Gerry Ericsson; uncles Bob Ericsson and Batron Black; aunts Christy Hedesa and Bonnie Hernandez; cousins Jason Hedesa, Travis Hedesa, Kim Hernandez, Tammy Hernandez, Cynthia Hernandez, Debbie Hernandez, Connor Ericsson; and other family members. Bryan's life; as a son, parent, husband, father, neighbor; as a soldier; and as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant fighting for his country and comrades; is well described by his Lord Jesus Christ when He said: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13. Bryan was the staunchest of friends and a true hero. His formidable presence will be sorely missed. A wake will be held October 17, 2017 from 6:00-9:00 PM at Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home in Fayetteville, NC. A celebration of his life will be held October 18, 2017 at Northwood Temple Church in Fayetteville, NC at 2:00 PM. The public is invited. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. An educational fund is being set up for Isaac and Ezekiel. Please sign the guest book at

Published in Daily Breeze on Oct. 14, 2017.
06:00 - 09:00 PM
Funeral service
02:00 PM
Northwood Temple
Memories & Condolences
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53 entries
March 7, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you. I just read about your son. And it made me cry. What a wonderful man he must have been.
I just found out about his death a few minutes ago. I would like to thank you for his service. You are in my prayers.
Mariann Koper
October 5, 2020
You have not been forgotten, nor the sacrifice you have made.
May God be with your family and friends.
October 6, 2019
It's been two years since we got the terrible news of the ambush in Niger. Loved you from the day you were born & love & miss you still. Grandma
Gerry Ericsson
September 13, 2018
Thank you, Bryan.

Mike Dobos
September 11, 2018
I searched my name and found you.

what a Bryan Black you was.
Bryan Black
November 2, 2017
I saw your appearance on Fox recently and wanted to send a note of condolence. The strength I saw in you in the midst of this most grievous loss was inspiring to me. I was raised in a military home as my father was a career sergeant in the Air force. I had an outstanding experience traveling all over the world with my Dad. But I also sacrificed him for a year while he was in Vietnam. I understand the shadow that casts across the days of military families while their loved ones are in harms way and the challenges that exist when they make it home. However what you have realized is the sum of all fears daily faced by countless hundreds of thousands of waiting military spouses and families over the last 200 plus years when he did not make it back to you. Your presentation spoke so profoundly of your husband. I know he is so proud of you, as am I for the power, strength, and grit clearly on display for America in you. Thank you so much for sharing that profound gift created in your sorrow. When you have opportunity to speak realize THAT is in this terrible tragedy, in the midst of this awful darkness you have light for many you will never meet, that light has touched me. And I am grateful...for you, and your Husband who is an absolute HERO. Thank You again Mrs. Black.
Proverbs 3:5&6 Ephesians 1:18&19
Greg Clark
October 26, 2017
May God be with you.
Patsy Jefferson
October 25, 2017
Michelle, my name is Carrie Mills, I'm a Gold Star Mom. My heart brakes for you and your boys. Please give them a hug from me and back at you. There are no words,it's been a little over 2 years since I lost my son. MSG Corey Hood. Surround yourself with family and friends and use Taps, it has helped me a great deal. is free counseling through Taps. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk.
Your husband is a true hero, God Bless
Carrie Mills the mother of MSG Corey Hood
Carrie Mills
October 25, 2017
Prayers for the family and friends of Sgt. Black. God bless you all!
Bill Cloonan
October 25, 2017
So very thankful
I live in Ft Worth, Texas and watching Fox News this morning and heard Michelle Black speaking about the legacy her wonderfully talented husband left behind. Mrs Black touched my heart and tears rolled down my face. I'm so sorry that you have a broken heart and trying to be a strong Mother for your boys. That in itself will be difficult but seek your Faith, ask Jesus he is the man in your life right now and he will take care of you. I will pray for your family. I did not see a link to contribute to the children's Ed Fund. If someone will publish I would like to help. I was so moved by Mrs Blacks interview I looked up on the internet and read his obit. Just an amazing man with so many talents! He led a full life and his son's will prob grow up and display many same talents. I have a son who is 40 now and he just retired after 8 years as a Marine and 14 years in the Army. He too is so smart and never lets any obstacle hold him back. He did suffer the PTSS but with the Wounded Warrior Program we finally got our Ben back. He was one of the most decorated solider on his base. God bless you all ...with hugs from Texas!
Susan Witt (Henderson)
October 24, 2017
Karen and family,
Sending prayers for comfort and happy memories. Thank you Bryan for your service.
Best regards,
Diana Trani Coffman
Diana Trani-Coffman
October 24, 2017
My deepest condolences to Bryan's family. I went to Central with Bryan and remember going to a Pearl Jam concert in Seattle with him where we got moved up to the 5th row! A lot of good times with Bryan, he will be missed. Thank you for your service!
Jenny Garr (Hayashi)
October 24, 2017
Joy Block
October 24, 2017
Dear Black family, I want to express my condolences to you all. I did not know Staff Sgt. Black, but I want to thank him for his service. He is one of many brave men and women who has given the ultimate sacrifice and I don't feel as though saying thank you is enough. I pray that you all will soon find peace and know that I, personally, am so thankful for your loved one. I won't claim to know the personal pain you all feeling for the loss of Staff Sgt. Black, but I do however, know the pain of losing a dear loved one. Nearly two years ago, I lost my mother. I still feel that pain each and everyday. I miss and think about her all the time. Although it has been two years, the pain is still fresh for me, though a little easier to bare. I only wish and pray the same for you all. Thank you for your service Staff Sgt. Black, and to the family, I thankful, grateful and will pray for peace and comfort. God bless you all.

With the deepest of respect,

Lakeisha Rowser Thomas & Family.
Lakeisha Rowser-Thomas
October 23, 2017
Thank you for the thoughtful obituary giving those of us who did not know this fine young man the opportunity to learn more about him as a human being. This country, and I as one of its citizens, are so proud to have had this dedicated warrior in service for all of us...wish it could have been for a much longer time. May God's love and grace cover all of you as you face life without Bryan. He will not be forgotten.
Polly Kinnibrugh
October 23, 2017
Bryan was my roommate at Central Washington University in 2003. He loved playing chess, wrestling, working out, selling coins and other things on Ebay, skiing, and hanging out with friends. Bryan was a genuinely nice guy, a soft and kind heart. He was willing to try anything and was always pushing to better himself.

Thank you Bryan for your service and for being a good person. You will be missed dearly by all of your friends and family.
October 22, 2017
I wrestled with Bryan at CWU. He was very intelligent and fearless. More importantly he was a genuinely nice guy. Thanks for your service to our country. You were a true Hero.
Josh Brock
October 22, 2017
RIP ,my God bless the family out peace
October 21, 2017
Family of Bryan Black, we are so sorry for the loss of your precious husband, father and son. May this brave Navy Seal rest in peace in Gods loving arms. Thankyou for your service. Patty (FB)
Patty Gaugler
October 21, 2017
I salute you, Sir and thank you for your service. My prayers go out for your family during this difficult time.
October 21, 2017
Dear Black family,

May God grant you peace and comfort in your time of missing Bryan. My family is also a Gold Star family. We are proud of all soldiers who give their lives when killed in the line of duty. Thank you for your gift to our country through Bryan's service.
Mary Ann Deem Warner
October 21, 2017
~ Always please know that Bryan is thought of and remembered for his grand Love of us all in this Nation.
We persevere only because he's allowed us to do so, with such unimaginable courage.
Mike Dobos
October 21, 2017
To the Black Family, I am so sorry for your loss. May Gods peace and comfort surrounded you during this difficult time. Your sons courage, bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. God bless you and God bless America.
Jesse Romero
October 21, 2017
To the Black Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God give you peace in your hearts knowing that He is holding your courageous son in His loving arms. Bryan, Thank you so much for your service.
Scott Hughs
October 20, 2017
I wrestled with Bryan at Central Washington University during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons. He was one of the first people I met at CWU. To this day I still enjoy telling stories about Bryan and his unique abilities and traits. I distinctly remember him coming into the morning workouts for the wrestling team having not slept because he was up all night trading stocks and coins or playing chess. For me the first months of wrestling at CWU were intense, and at times, intimidating and discouraging. Bryan's sense of humor and presence made those times fond memories. I vividly remember Coach Pine standing over Bryan yelling while Bryan doggedly completed a set of mountain climbers. I would like Bryan's family to know that he will be in my heart and mind and the great memories I have of him will be passed onto my sons, friends, and family.
D.C. Hazen
Greenwood Village, Colorado
October 20, 2017
I'm so sorry for your lost I pray the almighty God strength you in this time of need ❤
Britney Graham
October 19, 2017
Bryan and I were good friends in Stuttgart through the awkward 7-9th grade years of life. He was an important part of my life. I remember walking around downtown, hopping on trains with him, and exploring Stuttgart with him and our friend Morgan. I'm so sorry for his families loss.
Melissa King
October 19, 2017
My sincere condolences to Bryan's family and friends. I am praying for you. Thank you for your son's service. I am very sorry for your loss.
Nancy Walker
October 19, 2017
What an amazing man. May his memory be a blessing.
Cathie Korey
October 19, 2017
I am truly sorry for your loss and spoke to his mother and she was so proud of the man that he became. I'm sending my deepest sympathies to his family.
Stacie White
October 19, 2017
Thank you to the Black family for Bryan's service and your sacrifice for this great country. I hope you take some comfort in knowing people all across the country will be praying for his wife and their children. God Bless the Blacks, and God Bless the USA.
Chris Davis
October 19, 2017
I was a former medic, I was told this one time Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Please know many people may not have known Bryan, but he will always live on, in our hearts thoughts and prayers. S, Lunsford.
October 19, 2017
The world has lost a hero, and a grateful nation mourns with you. May faith give you strength during these most difficult days..
Kate & Ralph Cafiero
Boston, Ma
October 19, 2017
After reading about Staff Sgt Bryan Black, I morn the loss of a hero. Moreover, he was a man every woman would want for a husband, every child would want for a father, and every parent would want for a child. What a remarkable man Bryan was! What a tragic loss this is for his family, his friends and his country. Go bless Bryan and offer comfort to his family and friends.
Virginia Bartlett
October 19, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
A. H.
October 18, 2017
To the Black Family-
So sorry for your loss- my families hearts go out to your family, and your sacrifice will not be forgotten. To my colleague member of the Black Family- Your work family will be there for you and you are in our prayers.
Tina Oxford
October 18, 2017
My heartfelt condolences to your family. I am heartbroken with you. I pray that God comforts and keeps you. The Nation stands with you, we love you! Thank you SSGT Bryan Black for your sacrifice.
October 18, 2017
I did not know your son but I am saddened by the news of his death. I wanted to take a moment to express my condolences and let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you all in this difficult time. May God give you strength and may your loving memories carry you through.
Ms. Frances Downey
Boston, MA
Frances Downey
October 18, 2017
To the Black family, and Hernandez family my heart is broken. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Know that Gods comfort is with you all during this time of deep sorrow.Thank you Bryan for your bravery and Courage.
Monica Hughs
October 17, 2017
Family,I grieve with thee.
Jodi Riker
October 17, 2017
thank you for your service and prayers for your family the lacanfora family
penny lacanfora
October 17, 2017
thank you for the ultimate sacrifice for our nation
gerald haskins
October 17, 2017
Thank you for your service. You are a Hero to me and represent the best of what it means to be American. God bless you and your loved ones.
Your love for chess inspires me.
October 17, 2017
To The Family of Bryan Black,

Please know that caring thoughts are with your family at this most difficult time. Bryan, we thank you for serving this great country. We will never forget you and your sacrifices.
Maureen Meadows
October 17, 2017
My nephew is a Marine and I feel as if I am part of Bryan's extended family. It is small comfort, I know, but hopefully it will help someday to know how grateful we are as a nation for his sacrifice and how we honor him for his courage and commitment to freedom for all. May God bless you during this sad time, and grant you His peace, presence and the surety of his promises that you will meet again one day.
Joanne Aarseth
October 17, 2017
On behalf of America

We weep with your family through their dark hours and we say thank you Bryan for sacrificing yourself for your country and all Americans. Rest in peace and may God embrace your family through this most difficult time.
Linda Elliott
October 16, 2017
Marina Leonard
October 14, 2017
In Your Honor for heroic service above and beyond the call of duty...
Judi Adler
October 12, 2017
To my Soldier and Brother in Arms SSG Bryan Black when I saw your picture in the Army Times my heart was broken into million pieces.
It seems like it was just yesterday when you told me you wanted to be a Green Beret Medic and I said follow your dreams.
I read the emails we shared about you wanting to be an Army Physician Assistant and asking me if I know someone who can help you with your application. I cried reading your emails.
SSG Bryan Black I will always cherish the moments we have together in our Mountain Medic Unit.
Til Valhalla My Brother!
Hector Hidalgo
October 11, 2017
Bryan was such an amazing guy married to the love of his life & raising two gorgeous boys. was blessed as his grandmother to enjoy watching him grow up & savor so many fun stories & what I call bryanisms. Tell we meet again with our Lord,missing you but present in my heart till then
gerry ericsson
October 11, 2017
Bryan black, I remember it like it was yesterday I came into the unit and met you. You've always been very humble even when everyone knew how much of a stud you were. Humble, kind, loving and generous are the qualities I remember most about you.. it's been a great honor to have served with you brother. May God comfort your family in this time of need. Thank you for your service and sacrifice my brother, til Valhalla....
Adrian Santellanes
October 11, 2017
Thank you for your service.
October 11, 2017
My condolences for the loss of your loved one. Keeping in mind the scriptural hope of everlasting life can help to sustain you during this difficult time.-John 17:3.
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