After spending my entire adult life in the Military, I find myself with a great sense of freedom upon leaving. Don’t get me wrong, the military was exceptionally good to me; but at a certain point, the structure, the control, and the constant supervision serve to dull your independence and your ability to think for yourself. Even as a senior leader, and even during combat operations, I’ve had many decisions made for me; and because its been that way for so long, I didn’t question it. I completely understand why the military runs that way; but looking back, I find it strange to say the least.
One of my goals in my post-army life was to work at a job that was fun and adventurous. I found that in FieldCraft Survival, a company run by my friend, and former teammate, Mike Glover. I was looking for adventure, not in a jump out of airplanes and get shot at way, but in a travel and meet new and interesting people way. The phrase freedom means different things to different people. To me, it means the ability to make my own decisions and plot my own course for better or worse. As a soldier, a lot of decisions were made for me—where to go, when to show up, what uniform, etc.
In the last month, I’ve driven thousands of miles with Vinny (my service dog) in my RV from Arizona to North Carolina, through Oregon to Washington state, and back again. I stop and sleep in rest stops, cook my own food, and have lots of time to think. In my post-military life, I call the shots and it’s extremely liberating. On my latest adventure, Vinny and I drove up to Washington state to link up with friends and do some long-range shooting. We stayed with the creator of the modern van life movement Foster Huntington—he is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. We also linked up with Mike Jones, AKA Garand Thumb, to do some training and shoot content for various social media platforms. I got to do a great podcast with Mike. I got to hear about his journey and the things not normally seen on social media. Every evening, we sat around and talked survival, preparedness, and the skills needed in a natural or man-made disaster.
My post-Army goal was to travel and meet new and interesting people… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I’m not sure what next week has in store, but I’m ready.