Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served in the USMC from 2008-to 2012 as a Combat Engineer, serving on the front lines of Afghanistan in the Helmand Province. In 2010 I participated in the Marjah invasion, and in 2011 I was part of the push into Northern Sangin.
How are you #StillServing?
I am still serving to this day by writing national award-winning poetry that dives into PTSD issues. I have written 9 books since Fall 2017, 2 of which are award-winning. All of my poetry is fueled by my combat experiences overseas. I have traveled across the USA multiple times on book tours and book signings and from my interactions with the people, they all tell me that my poetry helps them come to terms with things they saw in their combat experiences. By writing poetry I am bringing my vulnerabilities and wartime experiences to people who may never have seen them or want to know what it is like.
Why do you do it?
After returning from Afghanistan in 2011 I felt withdrawn from society and a recluse. After 4 or so years of suppressing my feelings, I turned to poetry to help myself grow from my trauma, and ever since I haven’t stopped writing therapeutic poetry that also helps others with PTS issues.