For an adrenaline junkie, few sports offer a greater rush than skeleton: on a tiny sled, the competitor whips headfirst down an ice course at a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour. It is by no means for the faint of heart, which is perhaps why Capt. Freeman was attracted to it. Freeman was part of the Army World Class Athlete Program and competed in bobsled and skeleton at some of the highest levels of both sports. In the spring of 2006, he was deployed to Iraq on an even tougher mission: to act as a liaison between the military and local Iraqis to help rebuild civic institutions in the Shiite holy city of Karbala. He quickly established strong relationships with the governor and citizens of the area. Not only did he help obtain more equipment and training for the Iraqi security forces and additional funding for renovation projects, but he developed personal bonds with those he worked with. When his interpreter died in the line of duty, Freeman helped secure death benefits for the family, and condolence payments that had been previously turned down. He also made arrangements for a Karbala police officer's son to travel to the United States for heart surgery.
On Jan. 20, 2007, Freeman was meeting with Iraqi leaders at a provincial headquarters when insurgents attacked and killed five U.S. soldiers, including Freeman. U.S. Skeleton program manager Steve Peters told ABC News that “Brian will always be remembered for his willingness to ride with any driver so that the driver could gain more valuable experience driving the track, even if that meant crashing a few times." Even at the moment of his death, Freeman was helping a very different set of drivers learn to drive a very different track.