It’s been a while since I’ve updated or wrote on here. I’ve been wanting to, but my energy has been degrading pretty rapidly and with the ever-growing anxiety of the surgery and there-after, there has been nothing left. The last month was all about spending time with my wife and daughter, avoiding illness and making memories in preparation of a long recovery. My wife has kept the whole house on her shoulders this last 6 months and it needs to be known, she has made everything possible from planning all the logistics and packing, to reminding me to eat and call people I forget to.  Absolute beast mode from my wonderful wife, while this whole thing hasn’t been easy on me, it has been equally as hard in a different way for her.

I had made some small updates on Facebook  about the VA and such but to recap; The surgery is a go and and we wouldn’t have been able to make it here without the masses that came out to support financially and in any way they could. While the surgery is getting covered by the VA, the flights, hotels, logistics, food and anything else have come from that support you people have given us.

We are in Connecticut! We flew into New York late last night, stayed in Manhattan for the night and walked around New York for a few hours before heading to our rental in Connecticut. While my back hurts, I have a headache from exhaustion and spasms throughout my body…it was worth it. It was very cold and foggy. We saw the Statue of Liberty from our hotel at night and we could barely see it with the fog. We took the subway, walked Times Square and saw St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral (Alexander Hamilton’s grave), 9/11 Memorial site,  saw the Empire State building and a few other places of interest within walking distance. I thought I wouldn’t like the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple but I found myself actually enjoying it. There is an element of anonymity to the chaos. Add the rich history, and I found myself…kinda loving it.

Abigail enjoyed the plane ride and every moment so far. Jennifer has continued to go above and beyond and my mother has helped greatly. The surgery is on the 27th and pre-op before that.

We will keep you in the loop when we can.


  • Cindy Orton says:

    Brandon, you and your entire family and everyone that loves you have been in our thoughts and prayers daily. Meagan is recovering slowly, with setbacks from mast cell, and Ehlers Danlos, and severe iron deficiency anemia but she is moving in the right direction. We are on our knees praying for your surgery and for your strength and wife’s strength and your Momma too. It is a major journey, and you’ve got this. We are 100 % in your corner. Meg is your trail blazer. I know you will keep everyone informed. Glad you got to see the New York sights. With all our thoughts and prayers, Meagan Orton and family

  • Lori Shaffer Grand says:

    Brandon, We’ve never met. I am a Minnesota Shaffer. My dad, Norm Shaffer, was your grandma Judy’s first cousin. You and your wife and daughter are in my daily prayers. You have been blessed to be a part of a wonderful extended family who have amazing faith – your grandmother is inspriring in her faith; she and your wonderful mother are also in my prayers for peace and steadfast faith. God is holding you tight; He loves you. Trust in Him. God bless you.

  • Joshua E Van Vlack says:

    This chaplain will certainly be praying for you.

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