By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionJuly 27, 2018
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition
ARLINGTON, VA - Time. It can seem to move as quick as the speed of sound or slow as molasses pouring into a cake batter, but if you aren't doing "something" with your time, well then it's just wasted.
Army Veteran Chris Dorsey knows all too well the dangers of idle time for Soldiers who are getting out of the Army and says, "The biggest enemy after getting out is idle time."
Dorsey served as a Calvary Scout from 2001-2005 stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, spending one of those years deployed to Iraq. He returned home with debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. After he left the Army in 2005, Dorsey started learning of other Veterans who were dealing with issues as well.
"Lots of Veterans in the area needed to get together for that comradery and fellowship, so we'd sit around the fire and get to talking. When the concept of the farm came up we just started helping each other out and one farm went up and then another and another."
Dorsey and his wife, Ainsley, started Warrior Farms in the north Georgia town of Dahlonega in 2014 with its mission being to help Veterans live a better life through Agri-Therapy. Warrior Farms is operated by Warrior Overwatch, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. One of their goals is showing Veterans the first step; "growing is healing."
Warrior Farms started with very little capital to operate a farm. "We couldn't afford livestock so we started out hatching eggs in incubators," Dorsey explained. "Now, it has grown [and we're] raising rabbits, turkeys, keeping bees and planting for vegetables."
Dorsey tells Veterans who are just learning about the agribusiness that growing tomatoes and keeping bees can help keep you busy and active and no farming experience is necessary.
"Once you grasp the concept, discipline mode kicks in and they have a goal again," Dorsey said. The added bonus for Warrior Farms farmers is they are never alone because a network of Veteran farmers go around to the farms offering assistance.
While Dorsey did not have the option to get help from a Warrior Transition Unit because they were not stood up yet, he works with many Veterans who have. Dorsey is hoping to work with WTUs and add agribusiness to their list of resources and activities to help transitioning Soldiers.
"The WTUs have, what I think is, a great entrepreneurial and business avenue right now for Soldiers and wounded warriors, but agriculture is different. I think it would be a great fit working with the WTUs across the country."
Dorsey wants today's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers to know life doesn't stop after the Army. There's other ways to serve your country.
"Everything we face in life is just another battle. We have to adapt our lives to face the new tactics."
To learn more about Warrior Farms visit www.warriorfarms.farm