Airman Bryce Powers makes final journey home

May. 10, 2013 @ 05:22 AM

Monroe native Airman Bryce Powers died April 26 due to injuries he sustained in a car accident in Misawa, Japan.

Powers had been in a coma since the Oct. 13, 2012 accident. 

His story and his family’s struggle has been documented on a Facebook page maintained by his mother, Cathy Powers. The page has garnered 13,810 followers from around the world. 

Powers graduated from Piedmont High School in 2010. He joined the Air Force using the “Delayed Entry” program during his junior year of high school. He served in the Air Force JROTC group and eventually served as cadet corps group commander, their highest position. 

“It was one (of) my proudest moments when he asked me if I would go to the (Military Entrance Processing Station) to swear him into the active duty Air Force,” Captain Louis D. Werder, lead ROTC instructor at Piedmont High School, wrote in an email. 

Werder remembers Powers as a strong leader who worked to include everyone. 

“He was always looking for something to keep the students happy and involved,” Werder said in an interview. 

He remembered Powers hosting several functions, including a Halloween party, sports days, community service events and other activities. If students are not involved in other groups, ROTC is their main social event, Werder said. 

“We always look for a good, strong leader, like Bryce, to run the corps,” Werder said. “Bryce was one of our leaders and a very good one.” 

In addition to his leadership, Powers was a drill team leader and was on all of the exhibition drill teams, Werder wrote. 

“I remember watching him perform for the New Salem Elementary students and how they looked up to and admired him,” Werder wrote. 

The drill team won numerous awards and trophies. Powers himself received the Union County Patriot award in 2009. 

“He was always a positive, happy student that others liked to be around–and he will be missed,” Werder wrote.