Cooper Brannan | Christy Little

Cooper Brannan is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps out of high school and served four years. During that time, he deployed twice: to Hitt in 2004 and Fallujah in 2005. During his second tour, a flash bang grenade malfunctioned and he lost the medial part of his left hand and his little finger. After recovering, Brannan joined the all-Marines baseball team. A chance encounter with San Diego Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, a former Marine who served in Vietnam, led to him being signed by the Padres' minor league team in 2007 as a pitcher. He was released this year. The 24-year-old has a wife and two children and now lives in Phoenix, AZ.

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