FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - A soldier from Fort Myers is dead days after he was reported missing. Army Specialist Brandon David Bertolo's body was found in a training area outside his main post in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Wink News spoke exclusively with his father who says he can't believe his son is gone.
"You just wake up everyday and you have to deal with it, it's part of life," David Bertolo said.
Brandon Bertolo's father says his son was the perfect soldier.
"He really excelled and he loved it there. He did a tour in Korea for a year and then another 9-months in Afghanistan as an army medic," he said, "He saw hostile environment, was able to do his job flawlessly. I just know that the army was really something that really worked for him. He felt really really good about his achievements."
That's why friends and family were so worried when the 23-year old "Strike" Brigade soldier did not report for work.
"Right away we went into panic mode. Started calling everybody," he said.
The family printed posters and asked for help on Facebook hoping someone had information that would lead them to the missing medic. But on the morning of July 19th, his body was recovered in a wooded area near the South end of Fort Campbell, a few miles West of Cole Park Golf Course.
"I think he was well loved and respected and I know from what I've read and all the messages that I've got from his superiors they were really shocked and really had high hopes for him," his father said.
Brandon was David's only child and says Father's Day was the last time he saw his son alive.
"He was just happy, looking forward because he was going to get transferred to the base that he was trying to get to for awhile," he said, "I just love him and I miss him dearly and it's just a tough time."
The Army has not released a cause of death. Services for Brandon David Bertolo will be held August 8th at 1:00 p.m. at Coral Ridge Funeral Home.