This week Kiss Country salutes Brandon Powell! Take a moment and read Brandon's story, then share a few words of encouragement with him. If you have a story for us be sure to submit it so we can share it with all of Kiss Country.

This week we salute Brandon Powell who served in the US Army. Thank you to Brandon's momma, Regina, for sharing his story with us!

When my son told me he was joining the army I was a little shocked when he told me he was going to be a medic I was floored. He went to Boot Camp at Ft Sill Oklahoma. When I saw the change in my son after his graduation I was amazed..Then he went to Ft Sam Houston in San Antonio for his AIT training. I have to say I was a little worried, he never really excelled in High School. Well he surprised me. 500 soldiers started the program and 340 graduated and Brandon was ranked #3. His permanent duty station was Ft Bliss in El Paso, Texas. while doing his training he developed a very bad ear infection. His ear drum ending up bursting and he had to have a tube put in his ear. In May of 2009 he found out his company was deploying to Afghanistan, he was told he could not go because of the tube in his ear. As time grew closer, Brandon went to his Commander and asked them to remove the tube so he could deploy with his company. He said he was a soldier and he was needed to do his job. They remove the tube and he got ready for deployment. He deployed on August 6,2009. I have to say that was the hardest day of my life. Watching my son get on that bus not knowing if he would come back home to me. He was attached to the 202nd MP Division. His duty was in downtown Kandahar helping train the Afghanistan National Police. He was training their Medics.
A month after he arrived in Afghanistan he was headed on a mission when the vehicle he was in hit a place in the road where an IED had hit and the vehicle fell into a 70ft ravine. All of the equipment landed on Brandon. He hurt his back, shoulder and left hand. Even with these injuries he continued his duties. While home on leave he discovered his left hand had been broken. He went back and finished his tour. He was gone for exactly one year.
Once he got back they started assessing his injuries and had to remove a bone from his hand and replace it. His shoulder had severe ligament damage and he compressed 4 disc in his back.
The Army suggested he take a medical discharge because they told him he was un-deployable and un-reinlistable. His Army career was over.
Every once in a while he will discuss his tour. One of his friends was talking to him and made the comment "Man just think of all the lives you saved" his reply was he doesn't count the ones he saved he counted the ones he lost.
While in Afghanistan he received a coin from Sgt Major Hill. This is a very high accomplishment. He was also promoted 2 times while on his tour, which is not very common. He has won several Army Achievement Awards.

He says to this day he would go back. One time he went 28 days without taking a shower or eating real food, but he feels he served a purpose and he made a difference over there.
I salute my Soldier, even though he is not in the Army anymore he will always consider himself an American Soldier.

Thank you Brandon!

Salute Your Service Member