Corporal Brandon Hardy

West Chester, PA − April 2, 2024 – A portion of Route 41 (Gap-Newport Pike) in Cochranville will be named in honor of Corporal Brandon Hardy, a soldier from our area who gave his life in service to our nation in Iraq in 2006.

Under legislation introduced by state Senator Carolyn Comitta, Route 41 from the intersection with Bernard Avenue to the intersection with Highland Road in West Fallowfield Township will be dedicated as the Corporal Brandon Hardy Memorial Highway later this month.

This span of Route 41, close to the Hardy family home and running to Octorara High School, is a route that Hardy would have traveled each day. 

“We are so honored to have this section of Route 41 dedicated to Brandon. We know Brandon was proud to serve in the military and would say the same as Nathan Hale, ‘I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.’  It warms my heart that even almost 18 years after his death, this community still remembers him and honors his sacrifice,” said Jill Hardy, Corporal Brandon Hardy’s mother. “A big thank you to Rich Miller who came up with the idea and Senator Comitta and her staff for making it happen!”

A graduate of Octorara High School, Hardy knew from a young age that he wanted to serve his country and defend our freedoms in the armed services.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1999 and, as an airman, was deployed three times to the Middle East, serving in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. 

In 2005, Hardy made the unusual decision to forgo his rank and pay – to basically start over – and enlist as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. As a crew chief of an amphibious assault vehicle, Hardy was deployed to Iraq in March 2006, as part of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. 

During his deployment, fellow soldiers took note of Hardy’s traits as a natural leader, as well as his concern for the children of Iraq. He would often take time to interact with them and give them food, water, candy, school supplies, and books. 

On April 28, 2006, Hardy was on an aid and assist mission while serving with the Scout Platoon of the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, in the Haditha Dam area of Anbar Province. Upon completing the mission, the vehicle in which he was a passenger, struck an improvised explosive device (IED). Three of the five passengers of the Humvee, including Hardy, were mortally wounded. 

Following Hardy’s tragic passing, Richard Miller, whose children attended high school with Brandon, approached Jill with the idea of dedicating a road in his memory.

“Both my children played in the marching band with Brandon, and I would help out with the instruments and transportation. I got to know a lot of the kids, but as a Marine, he was special to me. He was a fine young man,” Miller said.

Upon learning of Hardy’s story through Miller and the Corporal Brandon Hardy/Chester County Detachment Marine Corps #286, Comitta introduced legislation (Senate Bill 621) to enact the road renaming.

“Corporal Hardy was an exceptional American and his story is that of so many brave soldiers who put themselves in harm’s way in service to our nation. We cannot forget. We must continue to support our veterans and remember our fallen heroes,” Comitta said. “I hope that when drivers travel this road, they remember not only Corporal Hardy but all those who answered the call of duty and the sacrifices they and their families made for all of us.”

The bill passed the legislature with overwhelming support and was signed into law as Act 17 of 2023. The road dedication will not impact postal delivery or mailing addresses on Route 41.

For more information, please contact Adam Cirucci of Senator Comitta’s office at