I entered the military directly out of high school at the age of 18, and with the exception of 5 year break in service I have served this great nation for 22 years. I first entered the Marines in 1987 and served as an Infantryman, seeing combat in Desert Storm with A 1/7 under our current Sec Def Mad Dog Mattis, who was the Battalion Commander at that time. After leaving Active Duty in 1991, I stayed in the Reserves for 2 years before leaving the Marine Corps for good. I had a 5 year break in service, then entered the Army, again as an Infantryman and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Div. There I deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and finally retired in 2013 with a grand total of 105 months deployed over my career.
After leaving the military, I moved to New Jersey and a small town on the shore. I found this idilic spot after becoming involved with a program called Troopers Assisting Troops (TAT), a non-profit made up of former and active New Jersey State Troopers who support our nations Veterans. Through them I became involved with a program that is near and dear to my heart… K9’s for Warriors. This program is the premier service dog provider for Veterans with PTSD, MST, and TBI and has trained over 300 dog teams across the country as well as Europe. TAT has sponsored over 22 dogs teams across the country, so that any Veteran, no matter the state is provided a service dog at NO cost to the Veteran. I’ve had my K9 partner now for about 2 years and he has absolutely made a vast improvement in my life. I am always willing to work with any Veteran who is considering a service dog to contact me! TAT also host’s an annual Veterans weekend at their seaside training center in Sea Girt NJ in order to provide relaxation, entertainment, food, deep sea fishing, again all at no cost to the Veteran. The shared stressors and experiences between Veterans and Troopers (many are Vets themselves) is amazing.
I have also recently become involved with a program called Operation Warriors Path. An intensive PTSD treatment program that takes place on a ranch in central Texas. They use fantastic programs that actually work, versus the hassle we get through convention therapy programs. I can’t say enough how much the program did for me after 4 days versus the last 5 years of therapy through the VA! There is a path, and once you find it… your journey will be amazing!