A 19-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died Monday in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, the Defense Department announced today.
The Defense Department did not release any details about the manner of Brandon Buttry’s death. Buttry of Shenandoah, Iowa served with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Buttry grew up with 13 brothers and sisters raised by Don and Pam Buttry, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The family had a mix of the couple’s adopted and biological children.
“They really are an amazing family,” Steve Buttry, Brandon’s uncle, told the Omaha World-Herald. “They are devastated. But they have a strong faith and a strong family, and they will get through this.”
The soldier talked about his decision to join the Army with his pastor, Mike Brogan of Memorial Baptist Church told the World-Herald.
“He just wanted to serve his country and make a difference,” Brogan told the newspaper. “He felt like joining would allow him to contribute something to America. It’s probably about that simple and that complicated.”
Buttry’s brigade is in the final weeks of its deployment to southern Afghanistan. His unit deployed in March to Kandahar’s Panjwai District, a volatile corner of the country that the Taliban considers part of its homeland.
Buttry enlisted in the Army in January and was assigned to Lewis-McChord in May. He joined the 3rd Brigade in Afghanistan in July.
His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and NATO Medal.