BU3 BRENDAN CYR
“Hello, I’m Brendan Cyr, a 24-year-old 100% service-disabled veteran from Burbank, California. I grew up alongside my twin brother, Ryan, with our parents, William and Audrey. In my younger years, I was a Police Explorer with the Burbank Police Department, played high school football, and had a passion for traveling and camping. After high school, I and some of my friends decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy, where I received training as a builder, becoming a Seabee. My assignments took me to Gulfport, Mississippi; Sasebo, Japan; and Port Hueneme, California.
I joined the United States Navy in December 2017 as a Seabee Construction Builder. However, by September 2019, I began experiencing severe gastrointestinal issues that rapidly deteriorated my health. Despite seeking help from multiple doctors and undergoing surgery, my condition worsened. In November 2020, a Navy surgeon had to remove part of my large intestine (Sigmoid Colon) Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA. My health continued to decline, and I lost over 100 pounds despite eating multiple meals and having 4-6 Kate Farms peptide 500 calorie shakes daily.
My military service took a toll on my physical and mental health, leading to severe depression, anxiety, hypo leukemia, malabsorption, traumatic brain injury, and other related ailments. My GI doctor at UCLA even described me as “the sickest patient she had ever seen.” Eventually, my digestive system stopped working almost entirely, and I had to rely on IV nutrients, oral medication, and daily shots. Unfortunately, I’ve had over ten infections in the past two years, resulting in numerous hospitals stays, and even discovered a significant blood clot near my heart and lung despite being on blood thinners.
Despite my best efforts to address these health issues, the Active-Duty military medical system failed to provide adequate care, leading to my medical retirement. I moved back in with my parents, who took charge of my medical care. However, challenges within the V.A. system persisted, including misdiagnosis, treatment delays, and insurance issues that threatened my access to essential care at UCLA Medical Center. We are still waiting for over $30,000 from the Navy for caregiver support.
During this challenging time, I received tremendous support from Canine Support Teams, which provided me with my best friend, Eclipse, a trained service dog. My hope was to complete my 5-year contract on base, and I even requested a first-floor barracks room to accommodate Eclipse. Despite everyone being on board with this idea, the housing office denied every request, even though one of their own workers had a service dog in the barracks.
I officially retired from the Navy in December 2022 and spent Christmas with sailors who couldn’t travel home. During this event, I connected with Hickstrong, a non-profit that offers free therapy and mental health resources to Active-Duty Military. They introduced me to the Vega family and Save Our Servicemembers, and that’s when I realized I wasn’t alone in my struggle. Many veterans like me had faced injustice before passing away.
SOS became a lifeline for my family and me, and we joined them on an advocacy trip to Washington DC in February 2023. Thanks to their efforts, Senator Feinstein and her staff conducted a congressional inquiry on my behalf to ensure my medical care was under control. I spent nearly a month in the hospital after returning from the trip due to blood infections and complications with my central line.
Despite all these challenges, I remain optimistic and committed to fighting for my fellow service members. My story isn’t unique, but what sets it apart is that I’m still alive to share it. Many others with similar experiences didn’t have the same opportunity. My mission is to raise awareness so that all active-duty service members have the same rights as every U.S. citizen. If it weren’t for SOS, I might not be here today. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to SOS, and may God bless the United States of America.” – Brendan Cyr
The Cyr Family Military Legacy
Served during WWII. Fought on D-Day and Battle of the Buldge.
Served during WWII. Lt. Nurse in the Pacific Theater.
Canine Support Teams – Eclipse
One of Brendan’s greatest passions is helping out others! He has found a life-long support and companion with the help of the Canine Support Teams. A 501c3 focused on providing specially trained dogs to persons with disabilities to support their personal, social, and occupational independence since 1989.