Army PFC
Waterford, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

Crescent Hills Cemetery
5170 Civic Center Drive
Waterford, MI

Killed while protecting the Baghdad Airport when the Humvee he was riding in collided with a tank.

Assigned to A Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division. Armstrong Barracks, Buedingen, Germany.

PFC Damian Scott Bushart was born May 27, 1981. He was a native of Waterford, Michigan and was the older of two sons born to John (Skip) Bushart and Patricia McLatcher. Damian is survived by a younger brother Eric, 20 who resides in Waterford and a three and one-half year old son, Joshua Henry Arthur Bushart who lives in Mattoon, Illinois with his mother Toni Jo Arthur.

Damian graduated from Waterford’s Our Lady of the Lakes High School in 1999. He was a member of both the football team and the track squad. During this time Damian also studied martial arts, earning a brown belt with two stripes (just one step down from a black belt) in Tang Soo Do Karate and a yellow belt with stripe in Jujitsu. Traveling the tournament circuit, he won many trophies for both forms and fighting.

It was during his teen years that Damian had his first taste of military life when he joined the Oakland Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. As a CAP cadet he held numerous leadership positions including Ground Search Team Leader, Cadet First Sergeant and served as a member of the unit’s Color Guard. He excelled in land navigation and survival skills. Through Civil Air Patrol, Damian applied for and was accepted to attend the USAF Pararescue Orientation and Mountaineering Course of the U.S. Air Force Pararescue School. Upon completion of these courses, Damian was given an Air Force Pararescue badge, which remained one of his prized possessions.

After graduating from high school, Damian attended classes at Oakland Community College and worked at Clutch Cargo’s in Pontiac. The events of 9/11 affected Damian so dramatically, he became torn with a decision only he could make. In July of 2002 Damian made the decision to join the U.S. Army. He attended basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Following graduation he was assigned to the 1st Armor Division where he was trained as a crewmember on the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the tank crew and enjoyed being part of the “Big Steel Beast.” He once told his dad that "the Abrams is the ultimate off road vehicle, seventy tons at seventy miles an hour, nothing gets in my way."

In January of 2003 Damian was assigned to A Troop 1st Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment, 1st Armor Division at the Armstrong Barracks in Wiesbaden Germany. In April the unit deployed to Kuwait and to Baghdad, Iraq to join Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Baghdad, Damian wrote home that Americans don’t appreciate what they have. He saw children digging through garbage, looking for food and saw areas that were worse than any ghetto in the U.S. He felt his mission of bringing freedom to these people was meaningful and just. Although he did not return from the mission, Damian loved his country. According to his Sergeant, Damian gave 110 percent to being a soldier and building moral in his team. His dedication, perseverance and commitment to his duty as a soldier resulted in his paying the ultimate price, the loss of his life. Knowing Damian, cracking that crooked smile of his, he would want everyone to remember that although he is no longer of flesh and blood, know that he is safe and secure with God and will be watching and waiting until united with us again.

PFC Damian S Bushart's awards and decoration include, the Bronze Star Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.


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