Remembering Supervisory Administrative Specialist Bryan Myers
Remarks prepared for delivery.
Good morning. On behalf of all the men and women of the FBI, it’s an honor to be here today to remember Bryan and honor his life.
For those of you who may not know, Bryan joined the Bureau in March of 1992, and he spent his 30 years of dedicated FBI service here in Mobile.
His father, Clay, was also a Bureau employee, working 42 years with the FBI before retiring as FBI Mobile's photographer.
And Bryan’s mom, Mary, had also been an FBI employee before Bryan was born.
So it’s clear that the FBI was in Bryan’s blood. And it was also clear to me from the conversations I had with Bryan—last fall in Mobile and again recently on the phone—that he loved the Bureau.
He loved our mission. He loved our people.
He loved getting his hands dirty, and he loved the process of investigating and digging, problem solving, and finding facts and evidence in search of the truth.
Bryan started his FBI career on the night shift as a mail and file clerk before working his way to becoming an investigative operations analyst. He would go on to do investigative work supporting the violent crimes squad for many years.
And he continued to work on Mobile’s ERT—our evidence response team—throughout his career.
Because for Bryan, no work was too dirty, and no case was too difficult.
He investigated serial murder cases, including Israel Keyes up north and Jeremy Jones here in Alabama.
In fact, I’m told that quite a few people here worked the Jones case with him.
But he also worked countless cases that many of us have never heard about—and he worked those with the same dedication and commitment to this community, and to his colleagues.
Bryan would find out, for instance, that a woman just north of here had gone missing.
And he’d spend hours and hours trying to find out where she ended up—trying to find her or, if nothing else, to at least bring closure to those she left behind.
Whenever he was given a case like that, he had a relentless drive to find out what happened.
And he loved working on ERT.
He volunteered for every temporary duty assignment that came up.
That might mean digging through a landfill in Vermont, sifting through evidence of mail bombs in Texas, or sorting through rubble and debris from the 9/11 attacks that had been hauled from Manhattan and dumped on Staten Island—looking for human remains, personal effects, or anything that might help us identify those who’d been lost in those terrorist attacks.
No job was too big or too small. No task was too dirty.
Bryan was known for saying—Let’s go. Let’s get in it.
And that passion for discovery never left him.
In fact, when I sat down with him last fall, one of the things on his mind was solving a mystery he’d wondered about for years.
Bryan was immensely proud of his family’s service with the FBI.
We talked about his Dad’s 42 years with the Bureau, and he said he believed his mother had worked for the Bureau, too, but he’d never known in what capacity.
But like any open question in his life, that was not something he could just let go.
So, he’d dug around in records and called around, but he didn’t find any records of his mom’s employment.
Then, he even submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
You heard me right. Bryan FOIA-ed his own agency.
Now that still did not find answers, but Bryan was tenacious.
So, when we talked in December, he asked me if I could help find out the details of his mom’s employment.
Fortunately, the Bureau has spent the past two decades ingesting and sorting nearly all of our records into a high-tech facility in Virginia.
And, as luck would have it—or perhaps as a credit to Bryan’s unwillingness to give up—our incredible staff in the Information Management Division managed to track down the hard copy of Mary Myers’ final pay card, confirming her service as an FBI file clerk from 1955 to 1961.
I sincerely hope getting a copy of that card brought a smile to Bryan’s face. I’m pretty sure it did. And it certainly did to mine.
That dogged approach to finding his mom’s history with the FBI is precisely the tenacity that Bryan brought to his job, each and every day.
But I don’t want to leave the impression that Bryan was only focused on the job.
For one thing, I’m told that whenever an ERT mission came up, Bryan’s first response was to say, “Yes.” But his second response was to find out what restaurants were around the search site.
He was a foodie, who wanted to try whatever the local cuisine was.
And everyone knew that when they deployed, Bryan was going to be in charge of the schedule—and the schedule always considered when restaurants opened and closed, and what the travel distance was.
He loved good food and was always looking for or planning the next great meal.
He loved working on his tractor and getting out in the woods.
He loved hiking, skiing, and camping.
And I’m told that every fall, he arranged his schedule so that he could take off Friday at 3 p.m. and head to the hunting camp.
He also loved interacting with people, and he saw the goodness in everyone he met.
People in the Mobile Office have said he was easy to talk to, to laugh and joke with—that he made them feel like he was genuinely interested in them.
In many ways, he approached relationships the way he approached working on ERT.
He liked to dig and to discover and bring out the best in everyone.
I’m told a common conversation with Bryan would start with asking him about his weekend or how his hunting was going or how his family was. And five minutes later, you’d realize you weren’t talking about Bryan anymore.
You were talking about yourself and your life and concerns.
And you’d have no idea how he’d managed to turn the conversation around in the meantime.
Every morning, he’d get his coffee and walk around the office to find out what was going on, how everyone was doing.
Fittingly, he had a hunting analogy for this habit. He said he was, “checking his traps.”
I also think it’s no coincidence that Bryan served as the coordinator for Mobile’s Employee Assistance Program. Because he was fixated on helping people with their problems—personal or professional.
And people who needed help described Bryan as “the calming breeze that walked into the room.”
Bryan is said to have always wanted to hear both sides of any issue. And he always met you where you were and never judged you.
I’m told, for instance, that when he heard one agent was having a particularly hard time, he immediately jumped in his car and drove two hours to have lunch with the guy.
I’d bet both the food and the conversation were reassuring.
Because Bryan believed that you could handle any problem as it comes.
And anyone in the Mobile Office who has been through something terrible has talked to Bryan.
Because anyone who came to Bryan looking for help—which was darn near everyone—left that conversation knowing what support they had and with a feeling that everything was going to be okay.
He has been the support system for the majority of people in the office—unassumingly, and without looking for attention.
Serving as the office therapist and support coordinator also led to Bryan being the de facto historian for the Mobile Office.
I am told he knew every story of every person who has ever worked here over the past three decades—and he kept up with them even after they retired and left.
Because he truly cared about everyone here in Mobile. That instantly struck me, both times I spoke with him—what jumped out at me was how laser-focused he was, not on himself, but on helping, looking out for, a whole series of other people in the organization.
For example, I remember Bryan earnestly advocating to me about another colleague, specifically because of how well that person treated everyone else in the office, agents and professional staff alike, regardless of their position or tenure.
The level at which Bryan cared for others speaks volumes about his character.
His seemingly bottomless well of compassion is extraordinary, although from what I’ve heard, I think a lot of that came from the support he found in his own family.
For those who may not know, he lost his first wife, Rhoda, and their unborn daughter, Amanda, back when his son, Nicholas, was still very young.
That’s a tragedy that’s hard to imagine.
But Bryan found Cindi, and she brought joy to his and Nicholas’s lives. In their words, they “rescued each other.” That sounds about right to me.
And that includes the past year, as they continued to find joy, even while he fought cancer, and I know he treasured the trip to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks last summer.
Before I close, I want to take a moment to illustrate just how much family meant to Bryan.
This is something that might not mean as much for those not from Alabama, but it will resonate with almost everyone here.
Bryan graduated from the University of South Alabama, but as everyone in this state knows, you can’t live here and not declare whether you root for Bama or Auburn.
Well, Bryan pulled for Auburn—the Bama fans here have said he just has a soft spot for the underdog.
But being an Auburn fan didn’t stop him from marrying a Bama grad.
Then, Nicholas decided to attend Bama himself.
And the very next day, if you can believe it, Bryan showed up to work wearing a Crimson Tide sweatshirt.
Now that’s love.
I’ve heard there was a similar act of love that happened this week.
On Tuesday, we called down to Mobile and asked for Bryan’s credentials, so that we could mount them for today.
Well, apparently no one knew where they were, so Nicholas was deployed on a search and rescue mission to go find them.
I can picture Bryan looking down, watching Nicholas on the hunt for those creds and not giving up until he found them.
I think Bryan would be proud.
I have one final note to add, about Bryan’s legacy here at the FBI.
When we spoke, he was very focused on a letter he got from Director Hoover—when Bryan was very young—about what a hero his dad had been.
I was honored to write a similar letter for Nicholas last year.
But far beyond that letter, I want Cindi and Nicholas, and everyone here to know that Bryan will be remembered by the Bureau.
At Headquarters and in every field office across the country, there’s a Wall of Honor where the names of fallen FBI employees are inscribed.
Each one represents the kind of extraordinary people we have in the FBI—people who answer the call of duty, no matter the cost.
And that includes FBI members who lost their lives to 9/11-related illnesses.
In November 2001, Bryan answered the call to deploy with ERT to Staten Island to sort through debris from the attacks.
And we’ve determined exposures from that painstaking work eventually led to his death.
Each May, we hold a ceremony to honor those whose names are on our Wall of Honor.
We will be putting Bryan’s name on the wall, and everyone in the Bureau will know why it’s there. Because Bryan—without hesitation, without reservation—answered the call to service.
So today, we say goodbye to a beloved member of the FBI family gone too soon.
But we’ll work to honor him in the way we carry forward the FBI mission, and we’ll remember him, and the ways he touched and changed lives for the better along the way.
Cindi and Nicholas, we know you’ll remember him—his compassion, caring, and tenacity—better than anyone.
Thank you for sharing Bryan with us for so many years. Please know that you and Bryan will always be a part of our FBI family.