I grew up on a small family farm in southern Iowa and spent my childhood learning the ins and outs of farming and hard work. We raised primarily beef cattle along with hay and some crops. At 18 years old, a month after I graduated school, I left for the US Army. I was in the Airborne Infantry and eventually switched to the Intelligence Branch. I served with the 173D Airborne in Italy and Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter I was assigned to the 902nd Military Intelligence Group. Following my release from active duty, I spent three years in the National Guard, with 19th Special Forces Group. I spent thirteen years total in the service.
Returning home after Afghanistan and Italy in 2012, I realized I needed a change in my life. I began spending time on a ranch in Arizona. This spurred my passion for horses, with which I feel a deep connection. Working with horses became my self-medication for PTSD. Quite literally the horse saved my life.
Learning to work with the horse is an obsessive pursuit. They calmed me on my darkest days and I will forever owe the horse a debt. I have since moved back to Iowa and purchased a farm next to my family’s farm. In 2018, I graduated the Heroes and Horses program, which instilled a lot of confidence within myself. I continue to work with horses and volunteer at veterans programs in Iowa. If all I ever accomplish with horses is helping to save the life of another, it will all have been worth it. Of course I could not accomplish any of this without the support and love of my wife Lacey.