A soldier from Shenandoah has been killed while serving in Afghanistan. Family members were informed today that 19-year-old Brandon Buttry was killed in action.
Brandon’s uncle Steve, a resident of Herdon, Virginia, says U.S. Army officials informed Brandon’s parents, Don and Pam Buttry, at their home in Shenandoah this morning.
“He was manning a watch tower in Afghanistan and there were other casualties, but we don’t have any other details,” Buttry said. “We knew Brandon was in Afghanistan, but he was not allowed to say where. So we don’t even know yet where this happened.”
Steve says Brandon had enlisted in the Army in January after his 19th birthday, and was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia for boot camp. Brandon was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, before deploying to Afghanistan in August. Steve says Brandon had informed his family last Wednesday that he had earned his combat infantry badge.
“Everybody who has loved ones serving in the military, this is your worst fear input, what you’re thinking about even before they get shipped out. But none of that prepares you for the shock that he was killed in action,” he says. Steve Buttry described his nephew as “a really fun kid.”
“He had a bit of an ornery streak,” according to Buttry. He says the family was almost all Minnesota Vikings fans, but Brandon went contrary to that and was a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
“He went against the grain there and always had a twinkle in his eye, and maybe a mischievous look on his face. It’s a fun-loving family, and Brandon was the part of the fun of being with them.” Steve says Brandon seemed enthusiastic about his military service, and never indicated to him any concerns about the danger of being stationed in the Middle East.
“He seemed pretty confident in our interactions on Facebook, and I didn’t sense fear from him. I’m sure that’s always in the back of your mind, but if you are going to serve in the military, you have to overcome that,” Buttry explained. Military officials have not indicated when Brandon Buttry’s body will return to the U.S.
In addition to his parents, Brandon is survived by eight sisters and five brothers, most still living at their rural home south of Shenandoah.
By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah