This Thanksgiving we recognize a young northwest man who’s making a difference in the life of others. Like many veterans, when Marine Chris Brown was honorably discharged, he battled post traumatic stress disorder and struggled to rebuild life “at home”. Today Chris shares his personal journey, how his healing began, and how Growing Veterans is helping fellow veterans find their footing.

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Returning veterans face a plethora of issues as they try to reintegrate into civilian life: unemployment, homelessness, suicide, divorce, and depression among the most common. They often feel a sense of isolation after serving for years in close quarters, and unfortunately it can be difficult in the best of circumstances for these vets to get the support they need. Chris Brown was one of these men, returning from serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and while attending Western Washington University and studying human systems, he met a Korean War veteran who sowed the seed of an idea: A veteran-led agricultural effort. The result was Growing Veterans, a nonprofit organization where returning vets can not only learn the practice and trade of farming and agriculture, but find a sense of camaraderie and support amongst their peers.

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