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Veteran Stories

Brandon Schwendenman

Motivated to improve himself and help others, Brandon Schwendenman joined the U.S. Air Force in 2003 to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom. The Roswell, Georgia, native completed Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas before Active Duty stationed Brandon in a variety of locations. Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, as well as Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, and Afghanistan are the places where Brandon served as a Staff Sergeant until he was honorably discharged in 2014.

Throughout the course of his service, Brandon developed Narcolepsy and injured the L4 and L5 disks in his back. Despite the difficulties that accompanied his injuries, Brandon was able to start college as soon as he returned to civilian life. School was going well until the onset of Cataplexy began interfering with Brandon’s ability to focus. Eventually, Brandon could no longer continue his studies, and finding a job was difficult due to his disabilities. He decided to work as a stay at home dad to the two children he shares with his wife, Kari.

The Cataplexy causes seizure-like symptoms while the Narcolepsy prevents Brandon from doing tasks that last longer than approximately fifteen minutes. During the times Brandon is able to stay active, he enjoys reading, learning about technology, and playing strategy-based games. He also enjoys graphic design work.

Brandon, Kari, and their two children will be moving into their new home in Clarksville, Tennessee, through Purple Heart Homes’ Veterans Home Ownership Program. “The fact that we can own and live in our own home gives us more freedom. This house will be ours instead of someone else’s. Purple Heart Homes has done so much to help us while caring about our needs,” Brandon shares with gratitude.

Thank you for your service to our nation, Brandon. We welcome you, Kari, and your children to our Purple Heart Homes family!

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