FORT DRUM, N.Y. — A company commander described by fellow officers as "promising" is in the hospital after being severely beaten and robbed at his own Easter egg hunt last week. Capt. Brandon Mitchell, commanding officer of Bravo Company, 1-32 Infantry, had organized the family gathering prior to the soldiers being released for a long Easter weekend, and is now in critical condition at Samaritan hospital in Watertown.
“I thought the men deserved a chance to unwind.” Mitchell told Duffel Blog from his bed, squinting through two black eyes. “We’d been training for a long time, and I thought it would be great to have the families all come together for some food and fellowship.”
“I decided to surprise the guys with a few kegs," he added. "The other commanders told me I was an idiot for allowing them to drink alcohol at a unit function, but I said that my men could be trusted.”
Sources within the company said that as soon as the kegs were placed on the floor, the soldiers fell upon them "like starving dogs on a rancid deer carcass." In less than thirty minutes the first two were empty, and those soldiers still sober enough to stand were fighting over what remained.
Unfortunately for Mitchell, he was in the back changing into an Easter Bunny costume, complete with a basket full of gifts for his men, including X-Box One games and assorted gift cards, and was not aware of the chaos brewing out in the main room.
“When I walked through the door and shouted 'Happy Easter!' a bottle exploded on the wall next to my head. Things only went downhill from there,” he explained, pausing to drink some of his lunch through a straw.
“As soon as they realized that I had real presents in the eggs it turned into a bloodbath.”
According to company XO Lt. Michael Hong, things went from bad to worse fast.
“One of them yelled, 'Let's rob that fluffy bastard!' and the rest piled on," Hong said. "Stomping, kicking [Mitchell]. The only reason he survived was that they eventually turned on each other when they saw that there weren’t enough eggs to go around."
Mitchell said, "Before I blacked out I saw a platoon sergeant actually stab one of his own team leaders for a $10 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings.”
Eventually police were called to stop the riot, but it wasn’t until paramedics arrived on scene that a spouse who remained semi-coherent recognized the half-dead man in the bunny costume laying in a pool of blood was actually the company commander.
“It could have been worse,” Mitchell concluded. “At least no one got a DUI.”