KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Fellow servicemen of one area solider say Brandon Garrison told several lies about his military experiences in order to receive unearned praise and free services he didn’t deserve.
Some may have already heard about Garrison. He received a free house in Kansas City Kansas last year. Last February, he got a free service dog; all because of his service half a world away in Afghanistan.
Garrison served in the Army and left with what he describes as major injuries, from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome to traumatic brain injury; something he said may have been resulted when both of his ear drums were ruptured.
Garrison was on FOX 4 News again last May talking about more injuries. This time possible nerve damage caused by exposure to noxious fumes from the burning pits the Army used to dispose of trash in Afghanistan. It was after that news report that six members of Garrison's former Army unit contacted FOX 4 with a warning: Garrison is a liar.
Robbie Myers, Garrison's former supervisor in Afghanistan, said he was tired to hearing what he referred to fictitious accounts of Garrison's service and injuries.
"I don't want nothing bad for this kid," said Myers, who agreed to talk to us on camera at his home in upstate New York. "I just [want him to] stop lying. I want him so scared to lie he doesn't even lie about his weight. It's wrong. It's against everything we are about."
Myers said Garrison’s claims about bursting both his ear drums while in Afghanistan are not true. In fact, he said, Garrison was never in or even near an explosion that could have caused such an injury.
"You blow out both your ear drums, you are considered a casualty," Myers said. "It gets reported."
Myers said Garrison spent the majority of his service in the Korengal Valley in the only air-conditioned office in the outpost.
Myers said he has been dealing with Garrison's lies ever since 2008. That's when Garrison was interviewed by HBO for a documentary on the portion of Arlington Cemetery dedicated to veterans of the Afghanistan War.
Garrison is shown standing over the grave of Sgt. Chris Wilson, who served in the same unit and was killed by a grenade.
"I'm taken back to the time where I was holding a dressing on his stomach as he was bleeding out," said Garrison, looking at Wilson's grave.
Myers said that's a lie.
"He was nowhere near him," Myers said. "He didn't even see Sgt. Wilson before or after he passed away."
Almost as galling to Myers is that the dead soldier’s father is comforting Garrison as HBO's cameras are rolling.
Then last year, Myers learned that Garrison received a free house in Kansas City, Kansas and a service dog to help him with problems caused by his traumatic brain injury.
"I'm not saying I know some perfect scale of what should warrant getting these services, but lying should immediately disqualify you," Myers said.
FOX 4 Problem Solvers paid Garrison a visit to get his side. We caught up with him in his front yard while he was taking his dog out. When we asked about his comments to HBO regarding Sgt. Wilson, Garrison dismissed our concerns saying "that was eight years ago."
We also tried asking about his injuries, pointing that none of his commanding officers were aware that he suffered any that would have resulted in burst ear drums or a traumatic brain injury.
"Well they are not doctors," Garrison said before refusing any further comment and going back inside his home.
But even doctors appeared to miss the injuries Garrison is claiming. According to a 2008 interview Garrison gave to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, doctors and psychiatrists from Walter Reed Army Hospitals diagnosed him with PTSD and a borderline personality disorder. That's according to Garrison's own medical records, which the article says Garrison provided to the newspaper.
There is no mention of a traumatic brain injury or burst ear drums.
"He needs to get back in front of a camera and address the false statements he made," Myers said. "He definitely needs to contact Sgt. Wilson's mother and he needs to set the record straight. She deserves that."
Garrison apparently agreed because he contacted FOX 4 and asked for a second chance to give his side. This time when we visited his home Garrison told us his traumatic brain injury diagnosis came several years after he left the military by doctors from the V.A. But he still wouldn't answer our questions about his claim to have burst his ear drums or why the Army was never aware of it.
But Garrison was considerably more straight forward when it came to his claims on HBO regarding Sgt. Wilson.
"I would like to apologize first and foremost to the family members and service members who were affected by the inaccuracies of my interview eight years ago," Garrison said. "I take full responsibility for that. The lessons that I learned from that have helped make me a more mature individual."
He said he hasn't contacted Sgt. Wilson's mother and said he has nothing else to offer her beyond the apology he just gave.
That might not be enough for Wilson's family or the men who served with him in Afghanistan, but as Garrison said it's all he has to offer.