Saturday, July 29, 2006

Astronaut Charles E. Brady, R.I.P.

What a cautionary tale. Even if you see someone who seems to have it all, there is a very good chance that you may not want to trade places with them. In the end, a lot of things in life are just window dressings. It can be a "failure" in a fundamental that can lead someone to do the most drastic of acts of self destruction. Picture the man,
...Eagle Scout, an athlete, a doctor, a Blue Angel (editorial note: the Flight Surgeon for the Blue Angles, not a pilot), and a space traveler. A huge mural depicting Brady and the Space Shuttle Columbia overlooks the railroad across from the Old Elise Depot and the town hall. ... Brady was celebrated for his many accomplishments. His space flight 10 years ago remains the longest such mission to date. Brady and six other astronauts orbited the earth 271 times and broke the shuttle endurance record by eight hours.
He didn't set out to go to space, but to follow in the footsteps of his father, a small town doctor. His father, the late Charles Eldon Brady Sr., was a family doctor with his practice in Robbins. An Eagle Scout, Brady graduated from North Moore High School in 1969, studied pre-medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his medical degree at Duke University in 1975.

From Duke, he went to the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville for his internship, then entered practice with a focus on sports medicine, serving as team physician for Iowa State University in Ames. He continued in sports medicine and family practice for the next seven years, working as a team physician at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University, then joined the Navy.

As a Navy doctor, Brady trained to be a flight surgeon at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. In June 1986, he reported to Carrier Air Wing Two on board the aircraft carrier USS Ranger and was assigned to the attack wing including Attack Squadron 145 and Aviation Electronic Countermeasures Squadron 131.

Two years later, Brady joined the "Blue Angels," the famous Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. He served with them through 1990, and was serving in Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 when tapped by NASA for the astronaut program.

Brady reported to Johnson Space Center in August 1992. In addition to his Columbia flight, Brady worked on technical issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; flight software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); was astronaut representative to the Human Research Policy and Procedures Committee; deputy chief for Space Shuttle astronaut training; and chief for Space Station astronaut training in the Mission Operations Division.

He logged more than 405 hours in space before returning to Navy duty as a surgeon
The fundamental,
"The call had come in for a verbal dispute, but [there were indications of] something more unusual," ... When they arrived at the scene, they spoke to a woman, Susan Oseth, and a 3- or 4-year-old girl.

Jon Zerby, undersheriff of San Juan County, said Brady and Oseth lived together on Orcas Island. Zerby said Brady was divorced.
The tragic loss.
A deputy reported that "Oseth told him Brady had left on foot and gone to a wooded part of the island. The Island is big, 58 square miles, according to Deputy Ray Clever, senior officer on the scene.
Seeking to render Brady aid, the deputies called for backup and began a search.

After a time, the officers discovered Brady's body in a wooded area. A paramedic pronounced him dead at the scene,
Now the town is puzzled and saddened by reports of the circumstances of his death. According to Chuck McCarty, a dispatcher with the Sheriff's Office in San Juan County, Wash., Brady died of apparently self-inflicted wounds.
It can be tough when you master and excel on everything you do, everyone thinks that you are at the top of your game, you have the world by the balls - but for whatever reason, something so basic as having a stable family life just doesn't happen. No matter what you do, in this one area, you fail. Hmmm.

Maybe I should walk away from the computer for the rest of the day and spend some time doing a bunch of 'nutt'n with the wifey and kids.
Correction to original story - Just to note, the report regarding a 3 or 4 year old little girl or daughter was an error by sheriff's deputies. Brady and Susen Oseth had a son, 4 year old Charles E. “Charlie” Brady, III.

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