Small Town Hero, Big Time Heart
Marine Corporal Michael Brandon Presley
New Albany, MS and Batesville, MS
Died December 14, 2005 from wounds sustained in Iraq

“The neat thing that made him stand out for those of us who taught him was the way he made a point to reconnect with us periodically. Often when you teach, you have to guess at the work that you’re doing. But Brandon let us know that he appreciated us, and that made him stand out more than other students I have taught.”  Principal John Howell, North Delta School

Pam Presley Cousar spends her days bringing babies into this world, but her world came to a standstill the day she learned that her baby was gone. Michael Brandon Presley was by all accounts a hero. His actions in Iraq in December 2005 saved several lives. But his heroic legacy didn’t just begin on a dusty road outside Fallujah. He was a hero long before that. He was a hero to the children at North Delta School in Batesville, where he often visited decked out in his uniform.

Principal John Howell shared this story about Brandon, “I remember when he finished his boot camp experience, he came by and visited with our first graders and he taught them how to march and salute. He enjoyed that.” It was that kind of joyful personality that made Brandon popular with people.

On December 12, 2005 Corporal Brandon Presley’s convoy came under attack from a suicide bomber. Brandon was the commander of his MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement), sitting at his gunner’s position atop the large truck. As his convoy drove down the road, a taxi that had been sitting on the side of the road accelerated toward the truck in front of Brandon. Faithful to his training, Brandon aimed his gun to engage the lone driver of the taxi. The driver detonated his explosive device early, just prior to making contact with his intended target.

Unfortunately, Brandon was struck by shrapnel from the blast. His wounds would ultimately take his life two days later in a hospital in Germany. The men in his unit called him a hero for his actions, knowing that the death toll would have been much higher if he had not forced the driver to detonate early. He was a hero to them, to the children at North Delta School, but most of all to his mother.

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Marine Corporal Brandon Presley's official US Marine Corps photo is about the only one you will find of him without his trademark smile. 

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Photo Gallery
These photos are from the memorial service for Brandon held by his unit in Iraq. He was a very well liked member of their unit. These photos are from the memorial service for Brandon held by his unit in Iraq. He was a very well liked member of their unit. These photos are from the memorial service for Brandon held by his unit in Iraq. He was a very well liked member of their unit.
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Reader's Comments

Justin       Oxford, MS
Thank you for your sacrifice we all miss and love you. I wish I could have meet you but even tho I didnt not know you you left a impact on my life. I will be following your foot steps in a couple of months and joing the marines myself
Semper fi

Theresa Childers      New Albany, Ms
Thank you Brandon for giving your all .  I always have to smile when I see a picture of you.  Your friends and family miss you everyday .  Until we meet again.      Theresa

Lacy Hannaford     Batesvilke, MS
This article brings tears to my eyes! Brandon was always a hero and he will never be forgotten!!


Billie Lawrence    Batesville, MS
I never got to meet Brandon, but have heard much about him through his cousin, Brittany Ross.  Would loved to have met this heroic soldier.

Kim Alexander Jackson    Oxford MS
What a person he was ! To those who knew him; it was such a blessing !

Pam Presley Cousar   New Albany MS
Thank you for Honoring our Heroes !

Cole flint   Batesville, MS
Thank you for your sacrifice.

Brittany Ross   Batesville, MS
Such a great article about my amazing cousin... He will never be forgotten... Your family misses you so much Brandon. We will keep you forever in our hearts! I love you and miss you so much... Can't wait to see your smiling face again one day!

Becky Lambert  New Site, MS
This is a great article about Brandon.  Pam these are some wonderful pictures.  This GSM's heart skips a beat when I look at all of them.  Such special memories we have!

Martha Benson   Madisonville TX
Brandon was always a loving person and I thanks him for giving his life for all of us love and miss you Brandon love you Pam

Mary Presley   Pope, MS
I had the honor of being part of his life and loved him from day one. He was such a good nature baby and a go getter after he grew up. Always had a happy smile and would do anything for you. He made my life better for being part of it. LOve you Brandon and miss you everyday. Your mamaw (Mary Presley) RIP