Veteran of the Month: Brandon Streu

Courtesy photo
Brandon Streu (3 tours Army 1998-2007) works with Foundation 14 helping combat veterans.

By Milan Eagle media

Brandon Streu was born in Lorraine, Ohio. He has a family history of military. His dad’s dad was in the Navy in WW II, his dad was an air traffic controller in the Army, plus his other grandfather was in the military as well as a couple of uncles. Brandon knew he wanted to be a part of the military since he was 15 years old. He even did a delayed entry so as soon as he turned 18 he went active in the Army.
When Brandon was around 8 years old they moved from Ohio to Sanford, Michigan, his dad’s hometown. In 1998, while living in Midland, Michigan he left for basic training in Ft. Benning, GA and from there he was stationed in Ft. Irwin, CA where he did trained with the 2/11Armored Cavalry Regiment learning the intensity of battle and the risks taken when soldiers climb aboard an armored transport. Brandon was in “war games” almost 2 years.
As a machine gunner, in 2000 Brandon received orders to Schweinfurt Germany. About a year later he became a Bradley gunner. Brandon completed 2 Kosovo (SE Europe, they declared independence from Serbia in 2008) deployments – trying to keep peace. The uneasy truce made it a peace keeping effort. It was here he tore all ligaments in his right foot and woke from surgery September 11, 2001 (same day as 9/11 attacks by terrorist in the U.S. Not knowing what would develop from this attack he was taken to Germany, kept off of base housing and the Germans surrounded and protected them for a week. When his tour was up Brandon reclassed, signed up for another 4 years. Leaving Germany he went to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri  for Military Police (MP) training. Next he was assigned back to Ft. Benning, GA with the 988th Military Police Co. More training followed. In December 2005 Brandon was deployed to Iraq to set up Iraqi police stations and the Iraqi National Guard Bases. He returned to the States in December 2006 and was stationed at Ft. Benning,GA when discharged in March 2007 and he returned to his house in nearby Ft. Mitchell, AL
Brandon struggled leaving the military, he didn’t want to be cooped up but he missed the military and lack of importance. As a counselor for troubled kids he worked for 3 years in an outdoor program. By outdoor it was very rustic, they lived in tents, each tent named after an Indian tribe. He had groups of 15 kids and every 8-15 months they rotated. Some kids were state offenders and rebellious. They were taught responsibility and had family classes. Most were from broken homes or had missing parents. This program was a final attempt to change their life and hopefully keep them from jail or prison. Brandon had a bad car wreck and broke his back and they wouldn’t let him continue working for the outdoor program. Even though it’s been several years he says he still hears from some of the kids about how they are or what’s happening in their life.
While recovering from a broken back, and not one to sit around and watch the grass grow, he received a call from the Federal Prison system asking if he’d like a job. Making every effort to conceal his condition with his back he passed all the requirements moved to MI and started his job at the Federal Prison in May 2010. He continues to work there in Receiving and Discharge.
He says he wouldn’t tell anyone to join or not join the military and he doesn’t choose 1 branch over another. He said joining the Army straightened him out, opened his eyes to people’s differences and teaches value of a days work. He thinks civilians “don’t have process or chain of command, plus they complain.”
A couple of years ago he met Jay and Maria and he got involved in Foundation 14.and veteran cases. Foundation 14 takes a lot of his time, fundraises, support to the ones who support Foundation 14, rides and presentations. There’s a bond there. “The public becomes numb to war and the effects.” Veterans need help and this is a way to help.

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