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Lt. Brendan Looney (1981-2010): For him, 'brother' meant more than blood

When 29-year-old Looney died Sept. 21 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan along with eight others, Amy knew she wanted her husband buried next to his best friend in Arlington National Cemetery. The trouble was, Manion wasn't in Arlington. His family had buried him near their family home in Pennsylvania; they hadn't learned until later that their son had wanted to lie in Arlington. For three years, the family had agonized about whether they should move him; after Looney died, the decision became clear.

"I know that Brendan would just be touched by that," Amy said. "It just seemed like a natural thing for them to be together. They're both in heaven right now; I felt like if each one is going to be there, better to be a team together."

On Oct. 1, Manion was reburied in Arlington; three days later, his best friend was laid to rest next to him. Later that month, at a charity dinner honoring the two men, a ceremony program included a picture of them together, young and strong in their uniforms.

"Warriors for freedom, brothers forever," it read.

Lonnae O'Neal Parker is a Washington Post staff writer and can be reached at


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