by Jess Clackum
Brandon Buttrey served ten years as a Navy Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Hospital Corpsman caring for our wounded warriors and participating in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
A native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Marine Corps brat, Brandon traveled all over the country until his teenage years when his family settled back in Missouri. After graduation from high school, Brandon worked as a Certified Nurse's Aid in a local hospital. Faced with few opportunities in a small town, he decided it was time for a change. On September 7, 2001 he joined the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman.
Brandon attended Field Medical Service School at Camp Del Mar in Camp Pendleton, California. Following school, he was assigned to work for the Surgeon General at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C. He eventually transferred to Camp LeJeune with a Marine infantry unit, the 4th MEB Anti-Terrorism Battalion and deployed with them to Camp Ashraf, Iraq. He also served in Fallujah as part of the Personal Security Detail for General Walter Gaskin.
After re-enlistment, Brandon served at the Naval Health Clinic in Corpus Christi followed by assignment to a surgical battalion out of Camp Pendleton which deployed to Afghanistan. He received his honorable discharge in March, 2011.
These days, Brandon keeps busy with family and entrepreneurial pursuits. He is founder and CEO of Counter Strike Coffee, a small business in Houston which sells motivationally-branded, pre-packaged ground or whole bean coffee that reflects some of the experiences individuals have while serving their country, including veterans, active duty military, law enforcement officers and public safety workers. Proceeds from the sale of the coffee goes back into the company with a portion donated to a number of charitable veteran organizations.
Through Counter Strike, Brandon's goal is to "enrich the veteran and patriotic coffee loving community with a premium roast of coffee." He says, "The greatest thing about my company is that we add value back into the veteran community by co-branding coffee with organizations and foundations in order to help fund their products."
Brandon came up with the idea for Counter Strike while teaching his field to urban medical integration class. “I provide coffee for my classes and have a donation bucket. There were always a lot of contributors there, so I figured that there is a huge market there.”
He is thankful for the opportunities he's had and gives back to his community not only through the donations from his coffee business but through helping fellow veterans with mentoring, counseling and assisting them in locating resources and services.
Brandon has tremendous respect for women in the military, especially the WASP:
"In a male dominated military environment it is easy to forget that a woman has carried a powerful role in almost every war America has participated in. Every time I was deployed to a combat environment I witnessed cases of strong leadership and dedication to duty from several military woman. As a combat veteran I respect the woman of our military, and I respect Fly Girls for showing us a part of our history that is not often told."
We are grateful to Brandon for his service to our country, his dedication to helping his fellow veterans and his unwavering support for FlyGirls.