A little about me….
I am a military veteran, and consider myself a patriot as well as social activists, particularly in the areas of climate change and energy independence. I am also an aspiring (and very amateur) astronomer.
How I came to the place I am today:
I joined the Marine Corps in 2002, trying to pull myself out of a fast food future. Through my combat deployments with the Corps, and also later with the Army, my perspective began to change with respect to how we, troops, were being used, and what we were actually accomplishing- as well as how I viewed the Iraqi people.
I left the service in 2010. Both my wife (at the time), a fellow veteran who I served with in Fallujah (we had both deployed independently since), and myself struggled deeply with our PTSD symptoms, constantly fighting (I much more than her), until the marriage ended just a few months later. I was a terrible husband and no kind of friend. I was angry, lost, and incredibly guilt ridden. I could find no better job than back where I started- working at KFC. If it were not for the generosity of a coworker, I would have been homeless,or worse, dead in a ditch somewhere.
I eventually got my drinking under control, and used my GI bill to attend a university. Two classes stood out to me above the rest- An Intro to Sociology class, where I learned the concept of “perceived authority”, and an Argumentative Writing class, where I learned to fact check, and identify common rhetorical fallacies used far too often by our State and Federal Representatives.
I immediately began searching for ways to connect my work life with my desire to continue to serve, and landed a job at the VA in 2012.
I was “that guy” at the VA…the fella that criticized, and demanded that solutions be found. I was able to make some very limited progress, but was often blocked, decisively, by some of those above me. I continued pushing for improvement, often maybe a little to sternly to be truly heard, for two years.
And then I heard about the community I currently reside in, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. I signed up for a visitor session to see what they were about.
I was hooked about a week into my three week visitor session. My eyes opened up to the connection between war and the mismanagement of communication and conflict; to the role of our environment (and foreign oil) in creating tinder boxes which spark unrest so much more easily; and to a work/values balance that felt like I was once again among sisters and brothers in a new fight- an intellectual fight, against continuous war, environmental destruction, and social inequality.
That’s my story so far…
If you’d like to know more, please feel free to ask!
My partner, Brooke, is an environmental anthropologist. She conducts research here in an effort to better understand our ecological footprint. The work she and her colleagues are doing, I believe, will be instrumental in the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable, and thus more peaceful, society. I could not be more proud that someone like her likes a dope like me!