Brady Oberg was a small town boy growing up in Ulen, MN. He had a happy childhood, many friends, lots of interests and was very active in school and church-related activities. Brady was an active outdoorsman and learned the value of hard work at a young age.
He was always interested in the military and started talking about joining the army when he was quite young. He actually joined the army as an active infantryman in 2009. He was trained at Fort Benning, GA and was stationed at Fort Polk, LA as a part of the 10th Mountain Division 4th Brigade. Brady was deployed to Afghanistan serving in the front lines of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was a courageous, tough, highly skilled infantryman who earned the respect of his fellow soldiers and the Army Commendation Medal for saving four of his brothers. After his 12 month deployment, he returned to Fort Polk, LA to finish out his time on active duty. It was during this time that he married his wife, Katie.
Returning to civilian life appeared to go smoothly as he continued with college to finish his degree, found employment and planned to build a home on property he purchased with Katie. But the challenge of assimilating to his new life after combat proved to be more than he could bear and on August 6th, 2015 he took his own life.
Brady was a patriot with a strong love of his country. He was an avid reader and believed that education had the power to change the world. He had high ideals and talked of his desire to leave some kind of legacy behind him. Brady was looked up to and respected by everyone who knew him. He was very intelligent, willing to try anything to help others, and truly wanted the best for everyone he knew. He was very responsible, loved God, his wife and family and was extremely loyal to his brothers in arms. Brady’s family, friends, and fellow soldiers were devastated by his death. In retrospect, some signs of PTSD were there, but they weren’t recognized. No one realized how deeply he was struggling. It was a combination of this devastation, Brady’s talk about Legacy and a desire to prevent anyone one else from this suffering that was the impetus for starting the Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation.
In November of 2015, the Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation was established. It was formed by a group of people who loved Brady, grieved for him and wanted to stop this tragedy from happening to others. Eleven people connected to Brady; his wife, mother, father, sister, brother, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and four friends formed the Board of Directors. Some of the Board members are veterans and several other veterans attend the monthly meetings to give their input and advice. The Foundation was established under the auspices of the Dakota Medical Foundation, enabling its Board to focus on the Foundation’s goals. The goals were chosen because of their direct connection to Brady. After his return to civilian life, he tried counseling, but felt that those who tried to help him “really didn’t get it”. He believed that counselors who hadn’t been in combat can’t understand the mind of a combat soldier and that the best counseling came from time spent with fellow soldiers. Thus, the idea of soldier retreats became one of our goals along with providing scholarships to combat veterans wishing to go into the mental health field to help other soldiers. His strong belief in education reinforced the idea of scholarships. Our ignorance of PTSD prompted the goal of PTSD awareness. We work hard to inform the public, especially spouses and families, about the signs, effects and how to get help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Our hope and mission is that these goals will lead to “Happy, Healthy Lives for our Combat Veterans”!