Monday, January 5, 2009

My Veteran's Dream

Waylon Holbrook is the founder of a new organization called Combat to Conservation. This organization intends to provide funds for disabled veterans interested in volunteering their time towards environmental conservation. He has been inspired to help disabled veterans because of his personal challenges as a disabled combat veteran. Waylon has created this organization to help other disabled veterans who are unable to work or pursue an education because of their disabilities.

As his wife, I have witnessed Waylon struggle to find financial security, to receive proper medical attention and compensation, to pursue a college education, and to keep a job. A brain injury, chronic pain, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) prevent him from being able to establish his own financial security. He relies on the Veterans Affairs for financial compensation, as well as medical attention. I cannot express his continuous and seemingly endless frustration with getting proper care and support, but it has been a tough road. He has heard stories from fellow veterans who face the same challenges with post-combat life. This struggle has even been publicized in the news about how the Veterans Affairs lacks adequate care for their returning veterans.

Waylon has tried different jobs but his lack of education has prevented him from finding a less laborious job. These labor intensive jobs have made his injuries worse and prevent him from being able to work. He then pursued a degree in Political Science, which he could not complete because of his lack of focus from his headaches and PTSD. As his options seemed to dwindle, Waylon courageously pursued his endeavor to do something more. After deciding that his passion for environmental work was what he wanted to dedicate his life to, he searched for programs to participate in. He faced a wall. Many conservations programs require a substantial fee to volunteer.

Being on a limited budget, he decided that it would be a great idea if there was an organization that provided funds for disabled veterans to volunteer for conservation. Who better to make sure that there is such a program for disabled veterans than himself? As a disabled combat veteran, he has had a hard time adjusting back to civilian life. He has found that being outdoors is the most therapeutic intervention for his PTSD and his inability to work. Waylon's struggles have inspired him to encourage and support other disabled veterans to give their time to conservation efforts through his non-profit Combat to Conservation. He is not only providing an opportunity for disabled veterans to continue living a purposeful life, but is also providing adjusting veterans with a therapeutic outlet. I am so proud of him and how strong he has been as he strives to do the best he can for others.


  1. What a wonderful idea, I wish Waylon all the luck in the world and yes more people like you are we what need I'll be watching.
    Claudia Ross.

  2. Waylon,
    I am so proud of you for not giving up!!!!! despite the difficulties from being a veteran with limited medical resources and the many different pains you have faced from being in Iraq. I greatly admire how you have sought out to take care of the environment while also helping your fellow veteran comrades! I will pray for this to succeed.
    I know how important it is to a man to work. It is where most men receive their self-worth. So, when a man wants to work yet is limited due to pain, injury, or lack of resources, it truly weighs on a man to feel worth while.
    God bless you and this endeavor.
    Your favorite mother-in-law,

  3. Kandace,

    Can you have Waylon e-mail me at:



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