After attending college at the University of Michigan, I decided to join the Army,
go through Officer Candidate School, become an Artilleryman, and eventually landed
at Fort Carson, where I eventually deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
to Kandahar City, Afghanistan. While serving as a Battalion Targeting Officer, I
noticed that many of the issues the local nationals faced, lack of infrastructure,
educational opportunity, economic opportunity, were similar to the ones faced back
in Detroit. This inspired me to go back to graduate school, earn a Master’s of
Business Administration, and a Master’s of Public Policy in order to take the tools
I learned as a military officer, combine them with data focused education, and give
back to my community.

Since leaving the military, I’ve lost three friends and brothers. That’s why
organizations like #Iam23 are so important. Iam23 is an organization by veterans and
for veterans. It’s founded on the idea that what spans political beliefs, religion,
race, and all the things that make us different, is the brotherhood and sisterhood
that comes with military service. It’s a badge of honor we all wear in humble pride,
that has forever unified us as family. We all know someone that has been affected by
suicide. Most of us have been to that dark, despairing place in our life at one time
or another. What often sets us apart is having an outlet with people who while they
may not always understand, truly care, and truly listen. And that’s why I and other
are here working with Iam23. Without the support of people like those in this
organization, I’d be in a different place in my life. They encouraged me to get
help, taught me how to get it. They supported me in my darkest times, and celebrated
my successes with me. Our veteran community is something special, and unique that we
need to take advantage of and grow in order to support our brothers and sisters and
continue to have their 6.

Brian is cofounder of Dungeons and Deployments, a veteran focused group that uses
table top role-playing games to connect veterans together to overcome PTSD, and
provide a positive outlet for the daily challenges we as veterans face after
transitioning from the military to civilian life. While, he is a Michigan Man,
through and through, he’s currently living as a transplant in Long Island City,
Queens with my best friend and K9 companion, Phoebe, where he works for Microsoft
in Technology Sales.