Brandon Bettis in Korengal Kowboy (CLICK!) 

Meet U.S. Army Major Brandon “Yeti” Bettis.

This Korengal Kowboy was born and raised on some ocean front property in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.  

Brandon was in his freshman year at Arizona State University (Go Devils!) when 9/11 happened.  Eager to enlist in the military, his parents convinced him to remain in Tempe and finish school.  Upon graduation in 2006, Brandon sprinted to Officer Candidate School (OCS) and the Infantry to do his part in supporting the Global War on Terror.  

A cherry-blossom of a Lieutenant newly assigned to the Mountain Post of Fort Carson, Colorado, Brandon met his platoon of soldiers fresh off their 15 months tour in Iraq.  The Gator Company Platoon Leader spent a year training with a bunch of great NCOs who spit their knowledge at Brandon who was eager to soak it up.  

Shortly after pinning on 1st Lieutenant, Brandon found himself enroute to a beautiful corner of the GWOT - the Korengal Valley of Kunar, Afghanistan - with Baker Company, 2-12 Infantry.   As an Executive Officer and occasional OP Dallas Dasher, LT Bettis made sure beans, bullets, and sling loads were righty tidy for his Baker brethren.  As part of the final rifle company to ever occupy the Korengal Valley, Brandon and team were instrumental in getting the unit out of the Valley without incident.

After a very kinetic year,  Brandon returned to his bride Erin and 18th month old daughter.  In 2010, Brandon took orders to Ft. Benning and the Captains Career Course.  There, the family welcomed another baby girl to the family.

The OEF vet and Girl Dad took command of a bunch of lovable treadheads at Ft. Bliss - Bravo Company, 1-35 Armor.  After a very fulfilling command, dapper Brandon was selected to serve in 3rd Infantry Regiment - aka the Old Guard - in our Nation’s Capital.  The assignment paying formal respect to our nation’s fallen heroes was a sobering and sacred honor.

In 2016, the Bettis clan left active duty for their home state of Arizona.  Brandon took a gig with the Army Reserve Selective Service System where he continues to serve today.  No longer sporting the white walls, he has grown his hair out and discovered ‘great product’ that he wished they had brought out to the Korengal Outpost (would of been a game-changer...recall the ice cream didn’t go over so well).  

These days, Brandon has found a passion serving families as a financial advisor, helping them take control of their futures while reducing the stress of day to day budgeting.   He finds great joy in mentoring transitioning service members as they navigate life outside the military.  Ironically - as if showing girls how to properly apply lip gloss and nail polish isn’t enough - he finds time to design Chummy Vet T Shirts, like the Korengal Kowboys one he is sportin in the picture.  

Brandon is a recently baptized Christian.  He values his family and friends - and service to others - above all else.  

Stay Blessed Brother Bettis.  

Brandon’s financial services:

Chris Noell in Kunar Yodeling Club (CLICK!)

Meet 1SG (Ret.) Christopher Noell.

He hails from the Greensburg Metropolitan area of Southern Kansas (pop. 1,544).

In his first enlistment, this trooper was “swift, silent, and deadly” as a member of the 2nd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Lejuene.

After 4 years, he ‘Semper Gumby’d’ over to the US Army where, for the next 17 years, he excelled as an Infantryman, Ranger, and Sniper.

He cut his teeth in Bosnia and, at the onset of the GWOT, joined a group of Cactus-hugging Tropic Lightning soldiers in Southern Afghanistan and Kirkuk, Iraq.

In 2009-2010, Chris was the last First Sergeant to lead a company of Task Force Lethal soldiers in the infamous Korengal Valley.

A year later, he was back in Kunar leading more Mountain Warriors out of FOB Bostick.

After 21 years of service, Chris retired. He traded in combat boots for flip flops and enrolled at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes). He banged out dual bachelor's in Psychology and Philosophy at the youthful age of 46.

Today, Chris spends his days hosting the Heart of a Volunteer: A Veteran’s Podcast out of his home on Lake Texhoma. The concept is simple - talk to other veterans and share wisdom in the veteran community.

YOU should reach out to him @hov_veterans_podcast and join him on one of his shows. Who knows, the experience might just help you start a ChummyVet Apparel Company!

Chris is wearing the Kunar Yodeling Club series which acknowledges and celebrates veterans that deployed to Kunar Province in Afghanistan.  It looks great on you brother.   

Danny Day in Kunar Yodeling Club ((CLICK!)

This man is 149 lbs Soaking Wet holding a Cold One -- but he is tougher than Woodpecker Lips.

Danny Day hails from Kuttawa, Kentucky. He spent his youth studying the Hatfield McCoy insurgency.

This son of a Vietnam Veteran is a Soldier’s Soldier.

Danny served for 30 Years in the US Army and managed a mere 10 deployments - getting his passport stamped in Desert Storm and Kosovo - as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (4 times...EACH!).

A legend of the 101st Airborne, this Screaming Eagle led at every level, mentoring a generation of Warfighters, including a stint as the Command Sergeant Major for the 1st Armored Division.

He is happily (and dutifully) married to a Sergeant Major and continues to shop at the Commissary.

Ranger Day, seeing you in the “Kunar Yodeling Club” ChummyVet series makes me smile a mile wide. You Yodeled in a lot of the Garden Spots during the Global War on Terror. 

Ukiah Senti in Ramadi Real Hot Yoga (CLICK!)

This BEEFCAKE is Ukiah Senti, US Army Retired after 28 years of service. 

He was both a SFC (E7) and a Major (O4).  

This lucky dude has ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE Purple Hearts - and did some crazy stuff in crazy places as an NCO.  A Company Commander in Ramadi, Iraq he later was the Executive Officer for 2-12 Infantry Battalion in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. 

He sacked Steve Young while playing college football at New Mexico State and grew up on a hippie commune (not kidding) near Taos, New Mexico. 

He is a proud poppa and is certainly a Chummy Vet!  Here he is sporting the "Hot Yoga Ramadi" tee! 


 Kenny Maas in Baghdad Drift (CLICK!)

Meet Chief Warrant Officer 2, Kenneth Maas.  He is from the Metroplex of Madison, South Dakota. While still in high school, in 1999, Kenny enlisted in the South Dakota National guard as a 12B - Combat Engineer! 

While most teenagers were prepping for the powder puff antics of Senior year, Kenny was doing deep knee bends and “blowing @#%$ up” in Ft. Leonard, Missouri. Whilst in college on 9/11, Kenny, like many future GWOT’ers, watched the towers fall glued to the TV. 

Mobilized in ‘03, Kenny and a bunch of Dakota farm boys blazed trails in the form of “Route Clearance” all over Iraq that next year.  For those that may not be aware, the most lethal form of attack on Americans and our allies in Iraq, was the Improvised Explosive Device, aka the IED. 

Kenny and his Engineer buddies “hunted” the device - and with a high pucker factor -  discovered the IEDs so others would not have to drive over them.  His unit helped ensure the mobility of thousands of US troops throughout 2004, including Marines and Soldiers moving into Fallujah during that violent Spring.

In 2005, Kenny became a full-time SoDak Guardsman, becoming the Supply Sergeant for the 200th Multi Role Bridge Company.  By 2011, he was overseas again, this time in Afghanistan. 

His unit maintained bridges throughout much of the country.  The “Graveyard of Empires” isn’t really known for its stable transportation infrastructure.  Didn’t help that the head of the Taliban Bridges Authority failed to keep up his quality control checks and certs....too busy chasing the Chai Boy.  I hope you don’t know what I mean.

Based out of Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Kenny and his unit ran bridge parks across Kandahar, Bagram, and Camp Payne.  For anyone that is familiar with logistic operations, you know that units spread across the four winds have an unsung lynchpin in their Supply Sergeant.  Kenny was that guy. 

In 2015, Sergeant First Class Kenny Maas decided he was due for a career shift and crossed over to the dark side - becoming a Warrant Officer.  These days, CW2 Maas is the Property Book Officer for an Engineer Battalion out of Huron. 

Kenny is happily married to his bride Nicole .  The Maas family likes hanging with their pups and friends. Kenny breaks all types of staff and warrant officer stereotypes as an avid runner.  South Dakota is full of brisk mornings and back roads, giving Kenny plenty of opportunities to log some good 'alive' miles.  He drinks a few carbs - on occassion - with his Combat Veteran Motorcyle Association chapter. 

Kenny, you are a good egg, and for the last 21 years you have served the Great State of South Dakota and your Republic with grit.  Looking good in the "Slow and Heavy Baghdad Drift" series.


Steve Iaquinto in Wander into Pakistan with Save the A-10 Gun Run Mug (CLICK!)

In the mid-1980s, Steve Iaquinto was standing guard at the Fulda Gap “wishing a Commie would!”  

In his first 10 years in the Army, the Seneca-Cayuga tribal member was a Nuclear Artilleryman and then a Huey Mechanic and Crew Chief.  

He left the service in the mid-90s, joined the private sector and watched Florida sunsets from his boat.  In 2004, he returned to the Army as a ‘mustang’ eager to support the GWOT.  

At the youthful age of 36, 2nd Lieutenant Iaquinto became an intelligence officer and spent the next decade drinking bad coffee and disrupting miscreants.  

Today, this Warrior veteran is a permanent vacationer in Southern Florida where he lives with his bride.  

Thank you Steve, you are a ChummyVet indeed!


Travis Platt in Smokin the Hindu Kush with Willie Pete (CLICK!)

This ChummyVet is SFC (Ret.) Travis Platt.  

He is from South River, EXIT 9!, New Jersey.  

On 9/11, then Private Platt with the 3rd Infantry Regiment, aka the Old Guard, assisted in the recovery of victims - and the destruction of classified material - at the battered Pentagon.  

Shortly thereafter, the 19-year old departed for Korea, with 1st of the 506th Infantry Regiment where he trained hard, drank Soju harder, and prepared for the Global War on Terror.   

The kid from the Garden State went to all the Garden Spots, spanning 42 months in places like Habbaniyah and Al Doura, Iraq as well as the Pech River Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.  

Travis saw heavy combat and led from the front in two Surges - earning a Bronze Star and two Army Commendation Medals, all with Valor.  

A proud Poppa with one-on-the-way, Travis is now a small business owner with two fellow veterans, including his brother-in-law, Jared.  THE DUCT BROTHERS are indeed a BAND OF BROTHERS in Colorado Springs and can handle just about anything - including all your Heating, Plumbing, Duct, and AC needs    

Follow them @duct_brothers and their website

Travis is sporting the very first Chummy Vet design, the original Smokin the Hindu Kush series that celebrates mortarmen.  We all need the Dark Horse.  Thank you Travis.  Stay Chummy brother.