Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thank You Senior Chief, May You Rest in Peace.

I had to modify this blog post today because yesterday, we received word from the Chief of Naval Personnel that Chief Branum was selected by the FY-10 Senior Chief Selection Board for promotion to Senior Chief Petty Officer. Her effective date of rank was set at 2 June 2009, the day of her passing.

There are many days on this deployment that have had their difficulties, but none have been like today. This morning, Hospital Corpsman Chief Pamela Branum, our Reserve Liaison Officer, was found to have passed away last night in her sleep.

Chief Branum came to us from Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth. She has been responsible for managing the tremendous number of staff rotations that are the hallmark of this deployment. Just this week, she coordinated over 150 arrivals and departures from the ship.

Working just a few feet outside my office door, I saw her everyday and was always impressed by her competence, her work ethic, and her dedication to this important mission. She will be greatly missed.

This evening at 5:30pm, as all her fellow Chief's formed a gauntlet of respect, she was piped ashore for the last time. Her flag draped casket passed between her shipmates as the bo'sn pipe played and all saluted. As the helicopter's blades began to turn, two bells sounded and on the 1MC: "Hospital Corpsman Chief, Departing" rang throughout the ship. On the pier nearly 700 of her Shipmates rendered honors as our band played the Navy Hymn, "Eternal Father."

Chief Branum spent much of her adult life in service to her country, as a mentor to her Shipmates, and as a leader among leaders.

For many years this sailor stood the watch.
While some of us were in our bunks at night, this sailor stood the watch.
While some of us were in school learning our trade, this Shipmate stood the watch.
Yes.. even before some of us were born into this world, this Shipmate stood the watch.
In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history, this Shipmate stood the watch.
Many times she would cast an eye ashore and see her family standing there, needing her guidance and help. Needing that hand to hold during those hard times, But she still stood the watch.
She stood the watch for all these years. She stood the watch so that we, our families and our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, each and every night. Knowing that a sailor stood the watch.
Today we are here to say 'Shipmate... the watch stands relieved. Relieved by those You have Trained, Guided, and Lead. Shipmate you stand relieved.. we have the watch..."

Tomorrow morning, as we transit Gatun Lake in the heart of the Panama Isthmus, in a beautiful, picturesque place of calm waters, we will come together on the Flight Deck to bid farewell to a very special member of the COMFORT family. To Chief Branum's family in Tennessee, we send our heartfelt condolances at this time of loss. We will pray for God's Comfort to surround you and bring you through this time of trial.

Thank you Chief. Thank you for all you did for all of us. May you forever Rest in Peace.


  1. Pam was my cousin and shared many stories of her times traveling on her various assigments. She always managed to find humor in what I know were truly trying times.

    I thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I will make sure they reach the rest of the family.

    Please keep yourself safe as you continue serving our country.

  2. I'm sad. I left NMCP in January and Pam just said she'd see me when I got back. What a super gal. GREAT CHIEF and Friend.

    Rest in Peace Sister.

  3. What a great Chief! I served with Chief Branum at Naval Hospital Pensacola. She was looked up to by her junior Sailors as their mentor and role model and she took pride in giving them her all. Her dedication and work ethic were relentless. She will truly be missed in the Chief's community. Rest in Peace, Sister.

  4. Pam was a great leader, mentor and most of all my BEST FRIEND!!! She loved the Navy and wanted nothing more then to be on the USNS Comfort. "Sailors don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care"; Chief Branum we all knew how much you cared and you will never be forgotten. You were a true deckplate leader. The Navy has experienced a great lost today. I challenge all who came into contact with Chief Branum to "Give an honest Days work for an Honest days Pay". Those who served with her knows that is what she asked from each of her Sailors along with, "She will never ask you to lie, cheat, steal or compromise your integrity ONLY you can do that!" Lets carry on her tradition!


  5. To my former classmate.... May you R.I.P. What a shock this was to hear of this...
    She was a great friend to us all......And will be dearly missed.
    You will be in her hearts forever Miss Pam.....
    I am also sending my condolances to her family, and her shipmates....

  6. HMC(FMF) Kyle StrohlJune 3, 2009 at 6:15 AM

    Words cannot express the pleasure its been to have known Chief Pam Branum. Her mentorship has touched the lives of so many people in the enlisted and officer ranks, to include myself. I am extremely proud to have personally experienced her sound leadership, valuable mentorship and above all her unconditional friendship! I know Pam deeply loved the Navy and her service to her country was special because she was always a Sailor first! Although her loss is great, it almost seems fitting that her maker called her home while underway. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends but know that her legacy is firmly planted in the Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airman she has touched over the years! Ill miss you Chief Branum and I thank you for always pushing me outside of my comfort zone!

  7. HMC(FMF) John Q. LivingstonJune 3, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    What can I say....Pam you touched the lives of many and parts of you will live on in us, from your sound guidence to leadership styles and looking out for us. One thing I will always remember is that you taught me three rules "take care of the Sailors, complete the mission and always remember rule number 1!" I will remember the good times we had as well as the tough. You are an awesome mentor and great friend. I am sure you are telling the Lord that you had more Sailors to take care of. Take care sis!

  8. HMCS(SW/AW) Cheri R. SnazaJune 3, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    From the day Pam's name appeared on the Chief Petty Officer selection list there was no doubt in anyones mind that she would be a great Chief, Mentor and Sister. We were all blessed to have be able to stand beside her and call her "one of us". You will be missed more than words can express Pam, however you will always be in our hearts.

  9. HMCS(SW/AW) Cheri R. SnazaJune 3, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    From the day Pam's name appeared on the Chief Petty Officer selection list there was no doubt in anyones mind that she would be a great Chief, Mentor and Sister. We were all blessed to have be able to stand beside her and call her "one of us". You will be missed more than words can express Pam, however you will always be in our hearts.

  10. I've known Pam since the early days of her being a mere HN. She was always driven and dedicated in EVERYTHING she did. Aside from being a great sailor.....she was always a best friend. I'm thankful for the time having known her, but it will never fill the void in my heart for this country bumpkin, with her thick Tennessee accent. She was there at the birth of my son, 19 years ago in Guam and to me.....you can't get much more family than that! I loved her and will remain deeply saddened that I will no longer be able to have her in my life. As someone has already stated in a previous post - the Navy has suffered a great loss and anyone who knows her, will strongly agree.

  11. I can't begin to express the sadness in my heart for loss of my dear friend. My deepest sympathy to her family,friends and Shipmates. You will forever be in my heart <3

  12. HM3 Laurie WhalenJune 3, 2009 at 8:24 AM

    I was very fortunate to have served with Pam (then HM1 Branum) when I served in Iraq. She was an amazing woman, sailor and friend. She wa always the voice of reason and sanity in an impossibly stressful and scary time. Thank you Chief, for all the support and expertise that you shared with me. I learned alot from you and will always remember the lessons that you taught me. My deepest sympathy to her family, friends and all Shipmates from past and present. You will be deeply missed.

  13. I have know and been stationed with Pam several times since 1988. A true leader and friend. Today the Navy IS a different place...Few leaders have managed to live the corps vales to their full extent...Pam did this...everyday. - LT Tim Swansiger, MSC

  14. It is indeed a very sad day, HMC Pam Branum was an awesome Chief, mentor and friend. We were stationed together at NH Pensacola and I was always impressed with Pam's love for the Navy!! We kept in touch after we both transferred and she was always helping Sailors. She so enjoyed the Navy, rest in Peace shipmate, we have the watch!

  15. I have known Chief for many years and I have never known anyone else that cared more about people than she did. Chief, the Navy will not be the same without you, but it will be better because of you. Fair winds shipmate. You will be missed. HM1 (FMF) Tommy Childress

  16. I've known Pam since 1987 when we were just E-2s together. Years later, I was one of the Chiefs who watched this superstar make Chief Petty Officer. She loved being a Chief and LOVED Sailors! That smile was enough to brighten anyone. I will miss her very much!

  17. Chief Branum, may your soul rest in peace. Your love for the Navy and your brothers and sister in arms will forever be remebered and treasured. May God confort your family in such difficult time. (LT Efrain Rosario (Rosey)

  18. Kathy Rose ThackerJune 3, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    Pam was a great person who will truly be missed. My prayers go out to all her family and friends.

    Class of '86

  19. Chief was a great person and she always knew how to motivate anyone. I had the privilege to work with her at the Navy Hospital Pensacola. Though I wasn’t in the military (military wife if that counts) I valued her as a mentor, finding ways to push me past problems and hurdles and always offering a ear and then kind word after it all was said and done.
    Pam (she never liked me calling her ma’am) Thank you for everything; thank you for your Navy pride and spirit and thank you for your service to our country.

  20. Pam played a key role during my transition to Chief Petty Officer. Both as a mentor and a friend, she will be greatly missed.

    My deepest regards for her family, friends and the Mess. God Bless you Sister. Rest in Peace. Your Brother,

    HMC(FMF) Michael K. Young

  21. Ela, my dearest and closest friend in good times and bad. You will be forever in the hearts and minds of those you have mentored, befriended, loved and cared for in times of war, sickness, grief, pain, sorrow and joy. It would take a lifetime to tell others what you have so selflessly given to our sailors, families, Navy and nation. Thank you so very much. The "Ela" stories will continue...
    My prayers are with your family, your Navy family,fellow Chiefs and your friends.
    Tamie Bryan, HMC (Ret), USN

  22. Pam was a remarkable presence within the mess, so much so it inevitably carried over to every sailor she touched. Not only was she a true professional but one of the nicest and most caring people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We are all better Sailors because of you. Fair winds and following seas on your journey home my sister and until our paths cross again rest in peace with all our love.
    HMCS(SW/W) Eric Dutch Duchesneau

  23. Like a shooting star we see in the heavens, Pam Branum came into our lives here at NMC Portsmouth. Her bright smile and ever engaged leadership as a Chief Petty Officer is an example we can all learn from. Like that shooting star, everyone will have a different but lasting impression of this brilliant soul that touched each of our lives. She will be missed but not forgotten. God Bless and keep Pam Branum who touched my life in the brief time we shared in this world. Thanks Pam! Love you, miss you, mean it! HMCM(SW/FMF) Keith Barth, USN(ret)

  24. I was very lucky to have had the chance to serve with Chief Branum. Her duties were always focused on her junior staff. She truly was an amazing leader, person and she will be missed. I will never forget everything Chief has done for me and the example she showed what it really means to be a Chief. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

  25. Rest in peace friend, my thoughts and prayers to Pam's family. Pensacola friend - LY

  26. If you knew Pam, then you knew the many great things she brought to the Navy and the people she had contact with. There are so many words to describe my good friend and all that she meant to me and my family: supportive, strength, faith, family, and most importantly - contagious love. She was loved and respected by many. I will miss her terribly, but my comfort comes from knowing she is in paradise with her Lord and watching over all of us with a smile. To Pam's family, you all had a special place in her heart and you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  27. To our friend Pam whom we had the honor of serving with at Field Medical Service School, Camp Lejeune. What a true professional, who we admired and appreciated. You are missed in so many ways. May your family find peace and comfort and may your memory always be in our hearts. We will always love you! Semper Fi!

    RPCM [SW/AW/FMF] Robin Holdren, USN, Retired
    ACC[SW/Aw] Laura Taylor, USN, Retired

  28. Chief Branum was magnetic. I am honored to have served with her. She was my Chief at my first command in Pensacola, and I will never forget how much faith she had in my potential even when I felt I was being fed to the wolves! She was very good about finding the talent in her junior sailors and helping them grow and develop. She loved her job, her sailors, friends and family.....she was an amazing mentor and friend, and she always had my utmost respect. I will miss her so much, and I will cherish the memories. She made an impact on so many and lived by honor, courage and commitment. My thoughts and prayers to her family and friends, She will be missed. HM2 Brandi Webb (Bates)

  29. I did not know Chief Branum personally, but I knew her from passing her in the halls of the hospital(NCMP)...her smile was always contagious. As well as I have heard many speak of her great influences. Many thoughts and prayers to her family.
    She truly will be missed.

  30. Chief,
    Thank you for your words! I will always charish your advice in my Naval career. Hoorah Shipmate!!!

  31. I thank God for having the honor to with Chief Branum at Portsmouth since last September. I've been 28 years between the Army and Navy with a few USMC tours thrown in. She was simply great as a person, leader and Chief. She was loved by many, her shipmates and friends will miss her terribly.

  32. I never Met Chief Branum personally, but know of her through some of our other Brothers and Sisters. Her genuine love for her Sailors and Shipmates touches many more than the ones she knew directly. Her spirit and positive leadership will continue on in the Navy because of those she touched. My prayers go out to her family, friends, and those whose lives she touched during this time of mourning. Rest in peace Sister. HMC(SCW) BJ Malm

  33. Chief Branum was the first chief I ever had in the navy. Her enthusiasm for life and the Navy was contagious she always made me want to be a better sailor. And she always was there for advice and guidance whenever it was needed...or when she thought I needed it. She really cared about her junior sailors, when I made third she was one of the first people to congratulate me and we weren't even close to being at the same command anymore! Thanks for everything chief!! HM3 Davis (Wilkins)

  34. Chief Branum was always a pleasure to work with at Navy Hospital Pensacola, very sharp and a great person. She will be missed, and the Navy lost someone special. My condolences to her family and to her shipmates. - CDR Rings

  35. I knew Pam when she was HM2 Pam Branum. We were instructors stationed together at Field Medical Service School, Camp Johnson, NC. As many have attested, she was full of life. When it came to pushing herself she was an animal. She always wanted to go one step more, carry one pound more, do one more thing. She always spoke of her family, her friends, and her love for life. Though we lost contact after my retirement, I would occasionally hear of her accomplishments through mutual friends. When I had heard she made Chief I knew the Navy was better for it. The Navy has lost a GREAT warrior, we have lost a wonderful sister, and the world has lost another ray of sunlight. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers. I am honored to have known her and very saddened of her passing.
    HM1(SW/FMF) Rick Jasso, Retired

  36. Pam was a model student as she pursued her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management with Southern Illinois University's off-campus program at Camp Lejeune, N.C. I will always remember her smile as well as her determination to complete her degree. Pam and I emailed each other just 3 weeks ago. She was so excited about being a part of the USS Comfort and it's mission. She shared with me how much she enjoyed helping the less fortunate at the different ports and how God was using her to be a Christian witness for Him. I know Pam is in the presence of our Lord. For this reassurance I am truly thankful. I'll miss you my dear friend. My prayers and thoughts surround the family and friends of Pam Branum. Jo

  37. Pam was an exrordinary woman, she did all that she could an her dream was to help and thats exactly what she did. She's making it to Arlington! with all our other fallen heros. I cant express enough how much she meant to any of us, or how much i love her and miss her already. I may not have talked to my cosin as much as i woud have liked but she was always there. As I know she still is. i love her. and miss her. she will never be forgotten and her missions never abandoned. carry on the good work USS comfort. we're rooting for you everyday. Ill see you all at Arlington as we bid farewell to your AMAZING shipmate.



  38. Chief Branum was an OUTSTANDING shipmate, mentor and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She truly LOVED the Navy and what she did and she was always looking for opportunites to help others. My sincere condolances to the Branum family, and fellow shipmates that you have served with....

    Grief can't be shared. Everyone carries it alone, his own burden, his own way.
    -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  39. I am sorry to say that I do not know Pam as HMC, Chief or any other Naval term. She and my wife are life-long friends and I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know her for a year or so after she left the Navy in the early 90's. In that short time she impressed me as just the sort of person you folks have described her as; kind, caring, out spoken at times but always willing to help out a friend or a stranger in need. She was present at our daughters birth and was actually helping my wife in the Labor room prior to the doctors arrival. It was truly a shock to hear of her passing, but we know she was where she wanted to be, doing what she wanted to do.
    Rest In Peace Pammy, you will not be forgotten!
    PS Thank You to all of you serving in our Military, we truly appreciate it!

  40. HMCS(SW/FMF) Rodney S. Ruth, Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms, CAJune 4, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing Pam Branum, I am moved almost to tears by the many posts and can see she was a very motivational and inspirational force in many people's lives. To her family, friends, Brother and Sister Chief Petty Officers, and Officers and Crew in USNS COMFORT, my sincere condolences. And as the XO stated, "Chief we have the Watch!"

  41. there are so many shipmates and friends that have come out of the woodwork to express their love and admiration for the Chief and it honors not only me but the rest of my family that her legacy lives on through all those she has touched. With all my heart I know i speak for the rest of my family when I we thank each and every one of you for being so supportive. As a forrmer Petty Officer i would love the honor of correcting one thing... Senior Chief Pam Branum fare winds and following seas. forever your baby brother- Chris Wade

  42. From the families of the USNS Comfort our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  43. I just can't put into words the sense of loss this news brought. I always knew that somewhere in the world was this friend who I could call, even if we hadn't spoken in years, and she would be there. Those of us who shared time in Guam know what I am talking about. She was a fierce friend, an exceptional Corpsman, and an avid avodacate for her junior sailors. You will be sorely missed Pam.

  44. I knew Pam since she was an HM1. She felt everything strongly and was full of humor. Once, we were battle buddies during some field training. Battle buddies have to go everywhere together but one day I had to go to the bathroom badly and couldn't wait for her. It was a long walk to the porta john. On my way back, a Marine jumped out of the bushes fully cammied up with a leafy branch in his helmet. He leveled his fake weapon at me and yelled, "Peanutbutterjamjam." When I got back to our tent, I told Pam all about it. I was angry mostly because I was humiliated to be caught breaking the rules. Pam tried unsuccessfully not to laugh and finally, she couldn't hold it in anymore. She laughed so hard that I ended up laughing, too. Later that evening while in our racks and in the dark, Pam whispered, "Peanutbutterjamjam" and we both broke up laughing. It became a sort of nickname or pet phrase for each other that would make us crack up. No matter where I have been over the years or where she has been we would sometimes write each other an email that says only, "peanutbutterjamjam" and it would make me smile. That was how Pam was.
    The world is sad without you, peanutbutterjamjam. Your sister in service, Chief Petty Officer Lisa Blazer, USN (Retired)

  45. Rhonda Branum KeithJune 5, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Last night was the first REAL chance I have had to sit still and really reflect on remembering my dear precious Best of Best friends, MY SISTER.

    You can't know how much I appreciate EVERYONE's comments about Pam, SENIOR Chief Petty Officer, from all around the country, even some around the world. They all warm my heart and I know it is the same for rest of my family who reads them.

    She knew she had lots of friends and family that were behind her 100% but I don't know that she truly grasped her affect on each of us. Obviously ALL good :-). I think that is what drove her---she had to be sure everyone knew she genuinely cared about everyone around her.

    I must say, she was always more woman than me when it came to sacrifice.

    There are absolutely no words to convey my heartbreak. As badly as she is missed, I KNOW I WILL PARTY IT UP WITH HER AGAIN!!!! OH WHAT A SWEET DAY THAT WILL BE!!!!!!!! I love you Pam

    Your Big Sis

  46. Pam's smile is forever etched in my heart and her laughter will always echo in my ears. I cannot believe she is gone so soon, but am assured she will make the most of her final adventure.
    I love you, Pam. You are captured forever in my heart and your family and friends are in my prayers.
    Patty Parks
    CDR/US Navy (Retired)

  47. Larry T. Branum (Dad)June 6, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    The outpouring of love and support has been almost overwhelming. Thank you all for that. The family greatly appreciates your prays and support.

    Pam never quite felt like she was truely making a difference. She would say "just doing my job, and I love my job".

    Obviously, those of you who knew her (many of whom I have met) know that she did indeed make a difference in many lives over the years. I think she had a much greater impact than she ever realized. The respect for her and her efforts and professionalism from everyone I have met while touring her various duty stations over the years has been amazing.

    There is a huge hole in the world today with Pam's departure. You will be sorely missed, babe.


  48. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" Matthew 5:16

    Pam exuded life and passion in everything she did. She was full of Grace and Light and it showed in her beautiful, radiant smile! Although not a close friend, she was my sister both as a fellow Chief and a sister in Christ. Life is full of moments, the few "moments" I shared with Pam had lasting impact.

    I can recall right before the Chief results came out last year, she pulled me aside in the hallway and asked me if i knew the purpose of "CPO Induction". I remember thinking I dont even know if i am going to be selected, but she was talking to me as if i had already been selected. She told me that she would not tell me as i must go through it to find out. She told me that there was a purpose to every trial i would face during "transition". I learned alot about humility as well as Sailorization and Mentorship from her as I went through CPO induction.

    We also shared a very powerful moment in her office that I will never forget, as we talked about our strong faith as Christians. Her light shined in so many lives. She had such a tremendous impact on junior and senior Sailors/Marines alike. You can see a small glimpse of this "Deckplate" leader by viewing her profile page on United States Navy Together We Served. Thank you Pam for being a sister, mentor, leader, friend and so much more to so many of us. You are LOVED and MISSED. Fair Winds and Following Seas, Hospital Corpsman Senior Chief Pamela Ann Branum.
    HMC Roona Jackson

  49. Sr. Chief

    I have greatest respect for you and how you carried yourself on a daily basis. God blessed me to have had the opportunity to call you my friend. You will be missed! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures we took while on the USNS Comfort! LT Wilgus (OSHU-Jax)

  50. I can not even begin to describe the pride I feel having served with Chief Branum. She came to Naval Hospital Pensacola and was assigned to the Women & Children's Dept as the Chief of our department. She was Incredibly Patient, Kind, Respectful, Friendly and an AMAZING Leader. She devoted her life to the United States Navy and was a true role model for all Sailors. The last time I saw her (March 2006), I had just had my son and had been out of the Navy for a year. She still remembered me and talked to me like a true friend. I respected her like I would respect my mother and I am completely honored to have known her. May peace be with the Branum family, knowing "Chief" is an Angel now looking over all of us. May She Rest In Peace.

    HN Joy S. May
    Saint Joseph, MO

  51. Pam, I will surely miss you and your friendship, may your family have the peace and comfort from God, family and friends. May you find favor in the eyes of our Lord as you found in everyone who you touched, your love will endure forever.

  52. Sr Chief...it was an honor serving with you aboard the USNS Comfort. You were indeed all that a chief embodies...a great shipmate and human being. You will forever have my gratitude and respect for all you did for us. May God bless your soul...
    LT Angela Griffin

  53. Doing my usual browsing on Corpsman.com, I recognized Chief Branum's photo immediately. I said to myself, "wow, haven't seen Chief Branum in a while, why is her photo on here..." Come to find out, she passed away. I'm still a little shocked. She was a great Chief while serving at Naval Hospital Pensacola.

    -HM1 Ancheta, D.
    NH Pensacola 04-08
    Radiology Dept.

  54. Words cannot express the deep sadness I felt of Senior Chief Branum's passing. She was not only an outstanding leader of the Critical Care Department at NMCP, but she was a superb mentor. She's groomed not only myself, but many others as we take on more challenging roles as we advanced amongst the ranks. Senior Chief was always "firm, fair, and consistent," and always emphasized "an honest day's work for an honest day's pay." Her tradition will definitely be carried on to my corpsmen.
    May she rest in peace.

    HM2 Ambar Vega
    NMCP 2007-2009

  55. I was stationed with Pam in Guam back in the late 80's and still remember her. That say's it all to me of the person she was. As a fellow HMCS, I wish her fair winds and following seas.

    Ron Audia, HMCS (Ret)

  56. The Virginia Pilot reported the passing of Shipmate Senior Chief Branum today 09 June. Below is the weblink.


    DCO Rob Winokur ATT-East, MSFSC

  57. still too much to believe this has really happened. we are waiting for our Pam to arrive in Tennessee today. i agree with all that you have said in the postings. she was truly an amazing influence on all who knew her. she lived her life well.
    thank you all for your service, dedication and devotion to your friend and to our country.
    May God richly bless you all.

  58. First of all I would like to send my condolences to the family during this time. GOD knows best and he only takes the best of the best. She was truly one of his angels and he was ready to call her home. I met Pam when I went through my CPO Induction, and it was a difficult time for me because I had suffered a lost. She always encouraged me and when I was down and needed to talk or even cry she let me do that. Through it all she encouraging and supportive, I will never forget Pam or her camera, she loved taking pictures and she gave us some great memories. She was awesome, amazing, and I’m glad or paths crossed. GOD has said well done my child my good and faith servant come home. Fair Winds and Following Seas, Hospital Corpsman Senior Chief Pamela Ann Branum.

    MAC(SW/AW) Henderson

  59. What a terrible darkness has fallen on our fine Navy. HM2 Branum and I were stationed at Field Medical Service School together in the late 90s. As the only two females in the training company, there was tremendous pressure for us to be there every moment, at every evolution, leading from the front so that the female students could see us. Never did I hear a single negative word from Pam. I was a LT new to serving with Marines and her beautiful smile, kind heart, and guts of steel motivated me beyond words. It was truely a magical time as others who served with us who posted here can attest (RPCM Holdren, HM1 Jasso). My sides still hurt from laughing!! We left Field Med and both went to the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune where she continued to be the fine HM1 and HMC that she was. I miss her already but am so proud to have known her. God Bless you Pam, God bless your family and God bless this wonderful country in which you have so honorably served. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

  60. Friend, please don't mourn for me
    I'm still here, though you don't see.
    I'm right by your side each night and day
    and within your heart I long to stay.

    My body is gone but I'm always near.
    I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
    My spirit is free, but I'll never depart
    as long as you keep me alive in your heart.

    I'll never wander out of your sight-
    I'm the brightest star on a summer night.
    I'll never be beyond your reach-
    I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach.

    I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around
    and the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
    I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,
    The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

    I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,
    The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
    I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
    and you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.

    When you start thinking there's no one to love you,
    you can talk to me through the Lord above you.
    I'll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
    and you'll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

    I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep
    and the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
    I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.
    Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace!

    I am a friend of Gingers and I did this Poem for my son and though I would do this as a favor to Ginger.
    Thanks for allowing me to visit this site

  61. I met Senior Chief Branum on April 3, 2009, onboard the USNS Comfort. She welcomed me like an old friend; took me under her wings. I learn how to be a better leader from her but also a better person. She told that you have to live each day to the fullest, no matter what. She did just that. She made sure that everyone was taken care no matter how late it was or how busy she was. As I felt the ship on April 29, I told her that I would see her in Norfolk when the ship came back home. Well Pam I will see you in VA, when the ship comes back home. You are a great Leader, and a good friend. Thank you for everything.

    YNC Maura O'Hagan

  62. I stumbled upon this sad news and felt moved to pass my condolences to Senior Chief Branum's family, friends and shipmates. May God bless and sustain during this difficult time and certainly our "Eternal Father" has welcomed her home.

    Ed Grant
    HMCS(FMF) retired

  63. Kaye (Branum) Taylor Your old cousin!
    Pam has and will always be one of the most beautiful people I ever knew. She had a bright bubbly personality ever since she was a baby,and that is the way I will always remember her. when she came home at new years she came in the door and you could feel the love she had for her family and it was as if she had never left us. Pam I'll miss your presence at those family reunions but I'll never forget your beautiful nature. You have left a mark on my life as well as thousands of others. I Love you cousin with all my heart, But I look forward to seeing you in Heaven and I'll be looking for your beautiful smile.

  64. The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 4:7-15
    "The upright, though he die before his time, will find rest.
    Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life;
    understanding, this is grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age.
    Having won God's favour, he has been loved and,
    Having come to perfection so soon, he has lived long;
    Yet people look on, uncomprehending; and it does not enter their heads
    that grace and mercy await his chosen ones and that he intervenes on behalf of his holy ones."

    I only knew Senior Chief for a few short days in Panama, but I was immediately struck by her embodiment of all that is good about the Navy, and the leadership and skill of Navy Chiefs.

    Proud to have served with you, HMCS Branum.

    LCDR Loretta Yeo, NR MSFSC HQ

  65. I had the honor of serving with Pam in the late 80's at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. I remember a very caring person and someone that was always full of laughter. I did not have a chance to speak with her again since I left Camp Pendleton, but I kept up with her through a mutual friend...I can still remember from way back then how wonderful she was. Rest in peace Pam, may God bless you and your family.

    Jon Currie (former HM3, USN '87-91)

  66. I had the honor and the privilege of knowing Pam. As an HM2 getting off 8 years of active duty, I relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Within a month, I was in the reserve center affiliating with the Navy Reserves. Pam was my recruiter. She was an HM2 as well and was a great friend over the years there. I tried to keep up with her as she went to other duty stations. Everywhere she went, she impacted live. I was honored to have her be the one to put me back in. Now I am almost ready to retire and it all comes back to her. Take care my sister.....
    ISC(EXW) Shane Pilcher

  67. You'll be missed, Pam.

    fare winds and following seas...

    Todd Carnes, MM1 Retired

  68. What a shock to hear about Pam this morning. Although we did not stay in touch, you never expect to read or hear about the death of someone who you loved and were close to.

    Pam touched my life in ways you cannot imagine. I had the joy and privledge to know her in ways outside of her Navy career. But then again that is how we met. She had the most outgoing personality in a person I had ever met.

    It did not matter if we were hanging off the side of Lookout Mountain rappelling, or biking through the mountains and trails around Chattanooga. Pam was always out in front leading and going.

    She was a very special friend, one who will be severely missed by all her shipmates and the Navy Chiefs community. She will always hold a special place in my heart as she was the key holder for me. FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS SENIOR HOSPITALCORPSMAN CHIEF PAMELA BRANUM.

    To the Branum Family, I'm very sorry for your loss. Words cannot express my feelings at this time.

    Rob DeNune

  69. I had the honor of meeting Chief Branum about a month before her deployment. I am a sales representative for furniture dealer that is being awarded the visitor waiting areas for the Intensive Care Unit. In what little time is spent with her and others at Portsmouth and the phone calls fine tuning the quote, I could see that she had a zest for life and a deep love for the Navy and the personnel under her command. I thought it was cool when she told me that in IRAQ she blew away folks with her ability to shoot a M-16 and use a K-Bar. God Bless her and keep her next to his heart

  70. Good morning sunshine!!! were the last words I remember you said... As you used to tell us after mustering: "Have a fantaaastic day!" Your parting is a lesson of life and living. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    Carla Schonenberg from El Salvador
    on board USNS COMFORT April-July 2009

  71. Pam was a great froend to me in school. So many memories just came back to life. I just found out of her passing and am in shock. I spoke to her last year and we shared soreis of our time in the military. She was a great person.

  72. Pam was a all around great person. I had the pleasure to serve with her at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune when she was HM1 then shortly after I met her HMC. She was a great women. She was a top notch sailor. I will never forget her. She will be missed.

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