The Daily Me


Captain John "Jay" Brainard III
NEWPORT – Captain Jay Brainard, 26, died in Wardac Province, Afghanistan, as the result of a helicopter crash on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012. He had been assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Ansbach-Katterbach, Germany, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was born September 1, 1985, in Waterville, the son of John and Susan (Bresnahan) Brainard. Since the age of 11, Jay has resided with his maternal aunt and uncle, Nancy and Donald White.

He attended Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, where he played jazz trumpet, was a member of the swim team, played football with the 2003 champion football team, and graduated with honors with the Class of 2004. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army through the ROTC program at the University of Maine at Orono, May 9, 2008, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Class of 2008. Jay was integral in expanding the ROTC program at Husson University in Bangor. He attended flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Jay served as a platoon leader and then brigade adjutant for 12th CAB before his first deployment April 30th as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.

He married the former Emily Southwick on December 22, 2008. They both shared the same birthday and had attended UMO together. Jay loved serving in the Army. Emily says that he was very career minded and “bled green”. He was a strong leader and believed his most important job was helping other soldiers. He also enjoyed camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, running and reading historical books, as well as traveling with Emily.

In addition to his wife, currently living in Germany, and originally from Standish, he is survived by his parents, John Brainard II, Susan Phelps, and step-father Ray Phelps, all of Newport; a half brother, Ben Hawthorne of Newport; half sisters, Brittany and Amanda Brainard of Newport; maternal grandmother, Louise Bresnahan of Atkinson; paternal grandparents, John Brainard, Sr. and wife Misa Brainard of Clarksville; and special aunt and uncle, Nancy and Donald White of Atkinson; mother and father in law, Linda and Steve Southwick of Standish; as well as other aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his grandfather Leonard Bresnahan.

Friends may call at Crosby & Neal, 117 Main Street, Newport, from 4 to 7 PM Friday, June 15th. Military funeral services will be held at 1 PM Saturday, June 16th, at St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, 64 Free Street, Dexter, with the Rev. Father Paul Murray officiating.

Military committal services will be held at Sawyer Cemetery, Plymouth, following the services.

Memorial donations may be made to the Brainard Memorial Fund, c/o Crosby & Neal, 117 Main Street, Newport, ME 04953. Those who wish may leave written condolences at

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