What is your earliest memory of being outdoors?
I was probably 8 or 9 and my father took my brothers and I for a drive. He found an area where some beavers had chopped down a bunch of trees. I remember looking at the trees with these big bite marks in them and thinking how cool it was to just be out exploring with my dad and brothers almost like we were in an Indiana Jones movie…. I know that sounds lame… but hanging out with my family in the middle of nowhere talking about the importance of taking care of mother earth like she takes care of us. The things that are propaganda today were basic “dont be a jackass” things back then. It’s always been a big part of my mentality.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Servicing the military. The Air Force core values are “ integrity first, service before self and excellency in all we do”. Those are values that I try to maintain and hopefully my example will be impressionable enough to change someone’s life for the better. It’s just such a good feeling you get when you help other people. Also working with the Navajo.
What did you do when you worked with the Navajo?
I traveled with the University of Utah (John Moran Eye center) to document cataract surgeries on the Navajo. I got to feel the immediate impact it made on the families whose pleasure of life was restored. Spending time with them learning the cultural and ways of life they live have left a lasting impression on me. They are the most generous and genuine people I have had the pleasure of working with.
What is your greatest hope?
For everyone to calm their shit and get along. I’d love nothing more than for the people of the world to just stop with all the anger and hate. Coming from the military I saw the hatred that’s infected the world. We are taught that everyone is the enemy if they aren’t with us and at the same time we are told that serving those in need is more important than ourselves. I’m not different than anyone else and I had gotten a lot of hatred in my heart and became numb and sort of combative and to had a chip on my shoulder and I didn’t like that feeling. had never had a problem defending myself if I needed to, but I don’t like to judge or be angry and upset. It was when I started really involving myself nature that I was really brought back down to Earth. Being alone in this beautiful world puts things into perspective and it has saved my life. I think everyone needs to get outdoors as it’s the best therapy you could ever receive. You find out what’s really important to you and what drives you in this lifetime. It’s always the little things… Even if it’s walking on a trail enjoying the trees or sitting in front of a waterfall for 8 hours. Feeling the mist, and the sun beating on you…. Hearing the noise. It’s the free things that we have that matter the mist and most of us don’t take advantage of them.