I hope to lift the spirits of many people. I want to reach out to all my veteran brothers and sisters who are hurting. Furthermore, I’m a bit of a gear junkie and like buying and trying out new things. Enter…this website.
The “About” section is always a fun one. This is where we go to get the inside scoop of the creator of the page who’s information we are devouring. So, a little about me and what qualifies me to convey all this good information.
Joining the Army at 17 years of age is a good place to start. Having never attended college and learning all my lessons from the University of Hard Knocks has been a heck of a ride and continues to be. Set aside from my military service I’ve been a travel agent, a father, a husband (twice), a CrossFit Affiliate owner, son, brother, best friend, firearms trainer, SCUBA diver, mentor, author, CIA Security Operative (GRS), actor, hunter and fisherman, carpenter, Christian, salesman, auto mechanic, helicopter mechanic and so much more. Actually, at this age, I am starting to forget more than I can remember.
I was raised in Springfield, Missouri where I joined the Army reserves at the age of 17. I always knew I wanted to be a soldier since I was a small boy. As a child you’d find me playing G.I.Joe or guns with other neighborhood kids in the woods behind our house. Spending much of my summers at the family farm, I had a love for the outdoors and adventure. In my teen years I struggled with many of the typical challenges and issues; poor grades, getting into fights, drinking, issues with my parents, etc. Having grown up in a Christian home and attending church regularly, I knew what was right but chose “the hard way”.
After enlisting for active duty at the age of 19, I quickly married my 17 year old high school sweetheart, and began life at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. After being assigned duty stations in Georgia, Virginia and Germany, we decided to leave active duty in 2000. I then returned home to Springfield, Missouri with my wife and two kids, where I took a job with my father in the farm equipment business. I enlisted in the Army Reserves upon leaving active duty to continue my service. In 2003, our unit was called to active duty in support of Iraqi Freedom where we served 12 months in various locations in Iraq. After returning home, I spent a month at home trying to figure out what the next step in life was. A year later, my wife and I would divorce after many years of marital struggle.
About that time, me and some work mates sought out new careers in the private military sector, and began contract work in war zones. I took a job with a very notable company and worked for them for five years, then worked another two doing similar work for a different company. During those seven years I never realized how much was going on back home. My older children were growing up without me and my new wife was “holding down the fort” with our infant son. In 2012, I was injured in Kandahar in a non-combat accident, prohibiting me from ever returning to the “rock star”, adrenaline junkie lifestyle. While trying to manage my CrossFit gym, and after his injury, and several subsequent surgeries, I began to sink into depression. During this time I struggled with anxiety, depression, survivor guilt from the loss of many friends, prior marital issues, isolating myself, trouble sleeping and an opiate addiction. I closed my CrossFit gym in November 2016 and told my wife, I was “ready to go to heaven”. About the same time, an old contracting buddy reached out to me about a combat veteran retreat and encouraged me to commit to attend. In February 2017, I did and it changed my life
Find my book on Amazon:
“Forged In The Flames Of Agony And Laughter: Experiences and lessons learned from a regular dude combat veteran who’s lived an extraordinary life. So far.”
Recently, being medically retired from the Army for PTSD and a host of other issues, I have grown deeper than ever in my Christian faith. I mentors other combat veterans who struggle with PTSD. The path of Post Traumatic Growth has been amazing for me, but has not always been easy. I still have my struggles and have learned skills to manage and practice during those “times in the valley”. Beginning a career in network marketing forced me to jump back into society and meet new people, to determine how I can positively impact their lives. I was interviewed by Dr. Richard Tedeschi and Dr. Bret Moore for their upcoming book on Post Traumatic Growth. I was also invited to speak about my story on the Megyn Kelly Today Show with the founder of Boulder Crest Retreat, Ken Falke.
Here are the two links for the segments on the Megyn Kelly Today Show.
All that to say, sit back and take it in. I’m an open book. As I like to say, I know a little about everything. Even if I have to fake it.
- CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer (CrossFit of the Ozarks)
- CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
- CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Trainer
- CrossFit Powerlifting Trainer
- CrossFit Mobility Trainer
- CrossFit Judge
- Advanced/Search/Recovery Open Water Diver
- Helicopter Crew Chief/Mechanic
- Cannoneer (blow stuff up from a long distance)
- Firearms Instructor
- Actor (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7637105/)
- Outward Bound Alumni
- Warrior PATHH Alumni
- U.S. Army Instructor Certified
- US Army Veteran
- Christian Warrior
Follow me on Instagram!! @hoodlm_pathh
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