Friday was going to be a tough day for Brandon Buttry’s family. It was the day they were supposed to greet him on his return to Fort Lewis, Wash. But he died Nov. 5 in Afghanistan. Still the family found a way to smile on this difficult day.
My family has had an emotionally exhausting month since my nephew, Pfc Brandon Buttry died in a watch tower in Afghanistan. The Army doesn’t want troop movements mentioned publicly, so we refrained from disclosing an agonizing detail of the death: Brandon was killed 10 days before he was supposed to leave Afghanistan. His funeral in Shenandoah, Iowa, was on the day he was supposed to head home. His parents, Don and Pam, were making plans to travel to Fort Lewis for his return home, scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving.When I talked with Don on the phone Thanksgiving Day, I could tell that Friday was going to be a tough day for the family. They were planning to drive to Pella, Iowa, to spend the day with their adult daughter, Mandy, and her family. By the time they got to Pella, they had a great idea. They emailed family and friends, telling them Brandon had said he wanted to celebrate his return to Fort Lewis with a cheeseburger, an order of fries and a large Coke. They asked us to enjoy a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke in his honor. Their daughter Missy Rock and I shared the request on Facebook and things kind of took off.
We have more than 100 burgers photographed and mentioned here, if I count correctly, and Don tells me many more were consumed by Pam’s relatives, who weren’t asked to post them on social media.
Let’s continue the burger salute through the weekend. Tag or message me on Facebook if you post a photo there. Or mention me (@stevebuttry) in a tweet. I’ll update with the photos posted Saturday and Sunday.
My brother, Don, and his wife, Pam, had been planning to go to Fort Lewis, Wash., today to meet Brandon on his return from Afghanistan. He was killed 10 days before his scheduled departure. He told his parents he wanted to get a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke on his return. Don and Pam are encouraging his family and friends to remember Brandon today with a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke (the Thanksgiving leftovers can wait till Saturday). Mimi and I will be going to Five Guys this evening (yes, quite a sacrifice) and posting a photo of our meal. If you’re joining us in the cheeseburger tribute, please post a photo and we’ll share them with Don and Pam (who aren’t on FB).
No one in the extended family understands what Brandon’s family is going through as well as the Devlins, who lost their son and brother Patrick (the same age as Brandon and probably each other’s closest cousin) in 2009. Kat Devlin and her parents, Carol and John, posted four photos from their cheeseburger salute, apparently spilling their Coke and winning points for the best use of ketchup.
Empty Wendy’s sack. In memory of Brandon Buttry, my cousin’s son who was killed on duty in Afganistan a couple of weeks ago. He was due to be home about now, and wat he wanted most of all was a cheeseburger and fries. The family had r…equested family/friends to have cheeseburger and fries for supper tonight in his memory. Sorry, all you get is a picture of the empty sack–we couldn’t wait! My friend and I also prayed for his family.See More
Yesterday’s the day my cousin’s son was supposed to return from Afghanistan. All he’d been telling his family was how much he wanted a cheeseburger and fried so yesterday family and friends all over the country had just that.
Even a 95-year-old great aunt joined the salute from her nursing home.
Adding to the cheeseburger salutes, mom was able to have a cheeseburger for lunch at her residence dining, but no fries or coke on the menu But she was very happy to be able to have a cheeseburger for Brandon.
This is one of the coolest cheeseburger salutes, a whole grill in Brandon’s honor from a journalist friend and the in-laws he was visiting in Georgia (be sure to click through the full album, nine photos in all.
Burgers on the grill. This was our little tribute to PFC Brandon Buttry, nephew of a friend of mine who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.
Friend and new media writing guru Steve Buttry lost a nephew in Afghanistan 10 days ago. His nephew was supposed to return home for the holiday and was looking forward to a cheeseburger. Steve asked us eat a cheeseburger in Brandon’s honor and post it on FB. Here’s mine, the Spiced and Smoky Burger from the Rosewood Grille in Hudson, Ohio. Feel free to share or eat a cheeseburger yourself.
Steve Buttry, a colleague who works for the American Press Institute, asked folks to honor his nephew Brandon by enjoying a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke today. Brandon was a U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan earlier this fall, jus…t 10 days before he was to head home. He expected to meet his parents today and said he wanted a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke. This is for Brandon and other service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.See More
So here I am at lunch today at Excuses Pizza Pasta & Burgers in Jefferson IA, paying tribute to a fallen hero. Pfc. Brandon Buttry, 19, a native of my hometown of Shenandoah IA, was killed in service in Afghanistan a couple weeks ago. His… funeral was in Shenandoah about a week ago. This is the weekend he was to be out of combat and back at his home station at Fort Lewis WA. He had told his family that what he really wanted when he got back was “a cheeseburger, fries and a big Coke.” So this weekend, across the nation and probably by now around the world, there are people joining in the “cheeseburger salute” to the service, courage and sacrifice of Pfc. Buttry. I asked the server at Excuses in Jefferson to take this picture of me; it isn’t a very good photo, but it was a great cheeseburger. Not only that, but the server, after hearing the story, said, “That’s really something. I’m going to go fix a cheeseburger for myself and salute him, too.”See More
Proud to offer a “cheeseburger salute” to Steve Buttry‘s nephew, Pfc Brandon Buttry, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month. Brandon, 19, was supposed to return home this weekend and had told his family wanted to celebrate his ret…urn with a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. His family is asking friends to honor Brandon by enjoying that same meal in his honor. More than 80 people around the country have taken part in the cheeseburger salute so far, as Steve has chronicled on Storify – http://storify.com/stevebuttry/brandon-buttry-s-cheeseburger-salute-brings-smilesSee More
@stevebuttry stopped at Five Guys on way back from BWI. Didn’t think to take a photo before I ate, though.
— Samuel Chamberlain (@SChamberlainSBN) 2 days ago
This cheeseburger salute came from a former co-worker of Brandon’s at — appropriately — the McDonald’s where they met and worked together.
Our contribution to the “cheeseburger salute” for our former co-worker Brandon Buttry at the McDonald’s where we worked with him. He was supposed to come home from Afghanistan last Friday. He was excited to come home and have a cheeseburger, a large fry and a coke. So his family had this meal for him, in honor of him, on Friday ~ when he was supposed to have returned home. They got such a great response of others wanting to “salute” him also, they extended it throughout the weekend and asked others to join in, to “salute” Brandon. So, here’s to you, Brandon. We just wish you could have made it home so we could have enjoyed it together.
Brandon Buttry died Nov. 5 in Afghanistan serving this country, 10 days before he was supposed to return home to Ft. Lewis. He planned to celebrate his return with a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke. Since he couldn’t I tried to honor and salute him by eating it for him. RIP Brandon, good friend, good man, good soldier.
Many of these Facebook photos have lots of good comments, so I encourage Brandon’s family and friends to click on the photos and read the comments. But I wanted to highlight this comment by the man who posted the photo above:
The salt packet reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
Maybe I missed your photo (or tweet or update noting your participation in the salute). Or maybe you’ll join us today. Either way, if you’re participating in the cheeseburger salute, let me know and I’ll add you in an update. Brandon had a great smile (below, with his cousin Patrick) and he loved a good cheeseburger. So we’re remembering him with a cheeseburger and a smile.
[…] in Afghanistan: about the return of his body to Dover Air Force Base, the week of his funeral, a cheeseburger salute the day his unit returned to Fort Lewis and about handling media coverage of a loved […]
[…] last November, when friends and family of my nephew, Brandon Buttry, honored his memory with a cheeseburger salute the day he was supposed to return from Afghanistan (Brandon was killed in action last year). Bryan […]