Headquarters Marine Corps dedicated the recently constructed Fire Station 10 here, April 6, in commemoration of Sgt. Brian E. Dunlap, an advisor for the Iraqi Army and firefighter with the Camp Pendleton Fire Department.
Dunlap was killed by an improvised explosive device after a series of IED’s were detonated during combat operation against enemy forces in Abu Fleiss, Iraq, in 2005.
Dunlap’s family joined Pendleton Marines and firefighters and gathered inside the new fire station’s garage bay and unveiled the dedication plaque to be hung near the front of the building.
Retired Staff Sgt. Fernando Castellanos, who was patrolling with Dunlap the day they were struck by the IED’s, shared memories of their time together.
“Brian was one of the only advisors who actually lived with the Iraqis,” said Castellanos. “The rest of us didn’t want anything to do with them.”
Castellanos explained that Dunlap completely divulged himself into the Iraqi lifestyle.
“He took it to heart,” said Castellanos. “He actually ate, slept and lived with them and they returned the favor. Every time he went on patrol and the Iraqis sensed some danger, they would protect him.”
“He really immersed himself into everything he did," said Dunlap’s cousin, Tom Tellez.
CPFD’s Fire Chief, Tom Thompson, explained that Dunlap’s unselfish desire to serve his country should be an inspiration for all emergency, rescue or military service members.
“Sgt. Dunlap paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Thompson. “The motivation to forever memorialize him with our newest station was obvious.”
Dunlap’s mother, Dorothy Tellez, cried during the ceremony held in Brian’s honor and shared her appreciation for all those who came to see the buildings archway don the name of her fallen son.
“This is wonderful,” expressed Dorothy. “Brian would have loved this station.”
The fire station is dual tasked as a rescue station with responsibilities of Pendleton’s Camp Las Flores and the Interstate 5 freeway.
Contact Cpl. Derrick K. Irions at email@example.com