As the son of a Marine, United States Marine Corps SSgt. Brandon Dodson (Ret.) has lived in many different places around the world, but he considers San Diego home. At the age of 18, two years after the attacks on September 11, 2001, Brandon followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the United States Marine Corps. He served through five combat deployments and achieved many great accomplishments with his platoon all while keeping their safety his top priority.
On August 9, 2014, during his fifth deployment, Brandon and his platoon were on a mission in a small village in Shah Pusta, Afghanistan when he stepped on a hidden pressure-plated improvised explosive device (IED). Brandon remembers opening his eyes to the chaos around him. His first instinct was to take care of his men until he realized he was the one in need of care.
Brandon suffered severe injuries from the blast, which required him to a have a double leg amputation above the knee. He spent months at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and underwent many surgeries. Brandon was living with his wife and son in a small apartment at Walter Reed for two years, but have since moved to Camp Pendleton in San Diego to be closer to their family.
The Gary Sinise Foundation is proudly building the Dodson family a specially adapted smart home in Vista, California where Brandon can reclaim his independence near his loved ones.