Featured Stories

Meet Brandon Smith

Born in Arlington, TX in April of 1986, Brandon grew up with a knack for science and medicine; something he attributes to his love of the Doogie Howser Show.

Brandon’s earlier years were quite hard as his single mom, his sister, and himself were quite poor. Eventually, Brandon and his sister would move in with his father and eventually would gain a strict stepmother whom Brandon says “changed him for the better”.

Brandon was in JROTC all throughout high school. He eventually got a full-ride to UNNC Nursing School via an ROTC scholarship. His initial attempt to enlist as a Navy Corpsman failed due to a football-related knee injury. He eventually found a recruiter who allowed him to enlist though the process wasn’t easy. He has to visit MEPS 3 times and had his JROTC instructors write letters of recommendation.

Brandon joined the Navy in 2005. After Bootcamp, he attended Naval Hospital Corps School, and then Med Field School in Camp Lejeune.

After being deployed in September 2006, Brandon found himself responsible for 20+ Marines with whom he’d eventually develop very strong bonds with. Upon hearing of the death of a friend in another unit, the idea of returning home safely began to falter.

On February 17th, 2007, Brandon’s Humvee hit an IED. The vehicle was ripped apart as Brandon was ejected 100 feet away. His arm shattered, Brandon jumped into action attempting to save his vehicle commander to no avail. But he was able to save others. Unfortunately, following his discharge, Brandon’s PTSD kept him from being able to focus on school and he flunked out.

Brandon currently lives with PTSD, TBI, and herniated discs in his neck and back. Purple Heart Homes will be assisting Brandon by providing a fence in his yard for added privacy and security.