"He worked really hard, he was an overachiever, loved playing the sport and brought intensity to the game."
Belvidere football coach Mike Hearn is remembering his former player, 22-year-old Branden Ramey, who was killed on Monday near Fallujah. Hearn speaks about the Marine's zest for life, his positive attitude and the profound respect he possessed for his loved ones and his country.
"He would always stick up for his friends and that's the way he looked at his country. He went over there to do what he thought was right and unfortunately the worst thing that could happen happened," says Hearn.
For four years Branden played football at Belvidere High School and it was the intensity, commitment and discipline he learned on the field that helped him in the battlefields of Iraq.
"Football players would make good soldiers. They have discipline and understand teamwork and commitment, but one, you're playing a game, and the other is life," says Hearn.
Ramey was studying to be a history teacher and engaged to be married, but Hearn says he was proud to serve his country and the number 1 jersey he wore through high school holds special significance.
"Some people shy away from it because they don't want to be number 1, but that wasn't him at all," says Hearn.
He’s a number one player, marine and son who was always be remembered and honored for his bravery and his courage.
Brandon also played for the Belvidere rush semi-pro football team. Ramey's the son of Pamela and Ed Trevino of Belvidere and Randy Ramey of Nadera, California.