NEWPORT, Maine — A change of venue was announced Wednesday for the funeral for Army Capt. John “Jay” Brainard III of Newport, who died on Memorial Day when the Apache helicopter he was piloting went down while on patrol in Afghanistan.
His wake is planned for 4-7 p.m. June 15 at the Crosby & Neal Funeral Home at 117 Main St. in Newport and his military funeral service is now scheduled for 1 p.m. June 16 at St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 64 Free St. in Dexter.
The Rev. Paul Murray will lead the service. Brainard’s body is scheduled to be flown from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and arrive June 14 at Bangor International Airport, Capt. Shanon Cotta, spokesman for the Maine Army National Guard, has said. The body then will be escorted by motorcade — with Maine State Police leading the way — to Newport.
Details about when the motorcade procession will occur still are being confirmed, said Cotta, who did not provide a reason for the change of venue.
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud will be attending the funeral, representatives with their offices said Wednesday. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is planning to attend the visiting hours on Friday evening at the funeral home, where she will have more of an opportunity to talk with Capt. Brainard’s family, spokesman Kevin Kelley said Wednesday.
Gov. Paul LePage is unable to attend the funeral, said spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett, and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is unable to attend because of a prior engagement but will be represented by staff from her office, said spokesman Willy Ritch.
Brainard, 26, was an active-duty helicopter pilot with Headquarters Company of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, based in Katterbach, Germany, when he was deployed to Afghanistan on April 30, his wife, Emily Brainard, who lived overseas with him, has said.
“Emily says that he was very career minded and ‘bled green,’” Cotta said, referring to the Army’s colors.
The Apache helicopter crashed in Kabul, Afghanistan, and killed Brainard and another member of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, according to the Department of Defense casualties list.
Brainard was born in Waterville to John and Susan (Bresnahan) Brainard, but lived with his maternal aunt and uncle, Donald and Nancy White, starting at the age of 11, Cotta said.
Brainard graduated with honors in 2004 from Foxcroft Academy, “where he played jazz trumpet, was a member of the swim team, [and] played football with the 2003 champion football team,” Cotta said.
He continued his education at the University of Maine, where he met his future wife, and graduated magna cum laude in 2008 with a political science degree. He also participated in UMaine’s ROTC program and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U. S. Army in May 2008. Afterward, he helped expand the ROTC program to Husson University.
Following his memorial service, a military burial will be held at Sawyer Cemetery in Plymouth.