Steven Lee Bruderer

United States Navy
07 March 1947 - 16 December 1967
Brigham City, Utah
Panel 32E Line 008

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Steven Lee Bruderer

13 Jun 2004


by a friend,
George D. Munk
18 Apr 2005

Steven Lee Bruderer was my uncle. He was the only son of my Grandparents - Leonard Bruderer and Donna Bruderer (Andrus), and is survived by his three sisters: Barbara, Gwen, and Lola. I am the son of Lola.

Steven died before I was actually born. While growing up though, I spent a large amount of my youth with my grandparents and learned just how much he meant to them.

My grandfather was what one could call a true "Mountain Man". He and his wife lived and breathed the outdoors. Steven, their only son, spent many a time out hunting and fishing with his parents.

Even though Steven died in 1967, four years before I was born, as I grew up he was always larger than life to me. I grew up in his remarkable shadow. His mother and father, taught me the value of Honor, and Respect. He is a legacy to our family.

I saw the anguish first-hand that his death taxed my grandparents. I saw the pride in my grandfather's eyes when he could muster the strength to talk about his only son, his friend, his confidant. I felt their pain on the many outdoor excursions we went on. I know that more than once, when they saw me standing there, they had flashbacks of their fine son. I was so proud that, despite their loss, they could muster the strength to carry on his legacy and teach me the values that he stood for.

Even though I knew of his Courage, Honor, and self-sacrifice, I was still tainted because of the anguish I saw in their eyes of losing their only son. Inside, I used to despise the military for taking him from them.

After nearly 20 years, much growing up, and seeing the motion picture Band of Brothers (which I believe EVERYONE should see) the honor of those who have served takes on a whole new respect and reverence to me. I began to finally understand the "Why men go to war." The courage of these brave souls who place themselves in harm's way to protect their friends, comrades and the world, is such an act of self-sacrifice that today MUST ESPECIALLY be acknowledged and remembered -- even despite the uncertainty of political motivation. If only more Americans, and the world, knew of these heroic self-sacrifices of our finest ambassadors.

As a child, I remember the huge, beautiful painting of Steven hung proudly in the hallway of my grandparents' house. I saw his medals. I saw his Purple Heart. These, the lasting reminders of their great son. I remember looking into those piercing eyes in the painting which beckon one to learn about this great man that I never had the chance to meet in person. I wondered to myself, "What kind of man, who when the chips were down, seeing all of his friends going to Vietnam, even with an easy way out being an only son - STILL went?" Why? The answer was deceptively simple: "Because his friends, his brothers were going." The mark of True Honor... But then, that was Steven. Even to this day he is an example to me to try to remember the devotion he had to his brothers, his friends, and to his fellow man.

He was also "the big brother" to my mother. He was her "Knight in Shining Armor". I remember, as a child, of her telling me of the last memory she had of him. He came to say goodbye to her while she was at school, brightly shining in his Navy whites, before that final call to duty.

Now, as a father of two sons and two daughters myself, I look at my grandfather. I wonder if I could handle that grim reality of my sons going to war and not making it out. I simply do not know how I would be able to survive. But then, you see, I think Steven even left that with his father - his Honor, his Courage, and his lasting legacy of self-sacrifice.

I thank Steven for his example. Through his father, he will not be forgotten. His legacy lives on in every one of our extended family. We understand, quite literally, what it TRULY means to be a man of Honor and Courage: to be willing to pay the ultimate price and give one's life in the name of family, friends and your fellow man.

He will always be remembered and missed.

From a nephew,
Andrew Benjamin Bruderer

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a nephew,
Andrew Benjamin Bruderer
13 Jun 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/25/2005