The wilderness has been a deeply therapeutic place for me post-military service. After 4 years active duty with the Marines (’03-’07), which included multiple deployments to Iraq, I struggled greatly in my transition back home from war. The physical and mental damage I had sustained left me unprepared for reintegration back into society and left me mostly unaware of the effects that combat had upon me. I was completely vulnerable to the subsequent issues that I now faced as a young war veteran post 9/11. Many of the values I had previously held now became a source of tension. I had come home and learned that I was still waging war, except now I was the battlefield.
My Soul was in anguish; inside I was raging, on the outside however, I fought to maintain a sense of composure. I knew that I was struggling, and it had become apparent that I needed help, but traditional forms of recuperation and rehabilitation did not seem to address the core of my concerns. So I began to seek out alternative forms of healing.
It began by my acceptance of a friend’s invitation to attend a yoga class, and slowly I began to expand my comfort zone. Through the incredible efforts of organizations such as No Barriers, I was able to experience the huge therapeutic power that nature can have. Finally, I began to feel purpose again.
It pains me deeply that many of the issues that I face are also being confronted by other veterans, and so I work to be a source of inspiration for my veteran community in any way that I can. As an expedition leader, I get the opportunity to provide a dynamic platform for fellow veterans and it is one of my passions.
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