The life of one of Oklahoma's brave young sons was honored by the State Senate Wednesday. Senate Resolution 22, by Senator Jim Wilson, memorializes the life and the military contributions of U.S. Army Sergeant William J. "B.J." Beardsley who was killed in Iraq on Monday, February 26.
"There are no possible words to express how sorry we are for the Beardsley family's loss. We just hope that this resolution honoring B.J. gives them some comfort knowing how proud he made his state and that he and his ultimate sacrifice for his country will never be forgotten," said Wilson, D-Tahlequah.
Beardsley was a member of the 260th Quartermaster Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Troop Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia. The 25-year-old was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in an unarmored Humvee. At the time, he was traveling in a military convoy near Diwaniyah, Iraq, south of Baghdad. Beardsley was eight months into his first tour of duty in Iraq and was due back home on leave in April. He would have celebrated his 26th birthday in May.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Beardsley moved away from Oklahoma with his family when he was five years old and spent most of his youth traveling with his family to various military installations. He served three years in the Wayne County High School Air Force ROTC while living in Georgia. At the age of 16, he returned to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where he finished high school. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served 39 months, stationed in South Korea for much of that time. After a brief period as a civilian, he reenlisted, knowing he would be deployed to Iraq. He was honored posthumously by the U.S. military with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.