In an on-the-record interview last month, in which one other person plus a digital recorder were present, Brandon Griffith described for this reporter the details of his service in the United States Navy. During the course of the 65-minute interview, the polite, 39-year-old Burlington native paid special attention to a day in September of 2016 when he claimed to have been shot in the abdomen by a Taliban sniper on a road outside Kabul, Afghanistan.
Griffith said he was employed as a chief warrant officer in the Navys Explosive Ordnance Disposal division at the time, after having worked his way up from an E1 the lowest rank in the Navy to an E9. His bomb dog, Phoenix, a Rottweiler-Lab mix, was by his side throughout the firefight.
During our interview, Griffith lifted his shirt and pointed to a scar just above his waist on his right side, which he claimed marked the bullets entry. He pointed to a second scar, a short vertical line running down the center of his abdomen, which he said was the legacy of the emergency surgery he underwent in a German hospital following the attack.
In the days immediately following the interview, I asked Griffith through text message to send me as many photos depicting his years in the Navy as possible, focusing primarily on photographs related to his combat tours, his dog, and his weeks of recovery. He said they would be difficult to locate, but that he would try.