Veteran Leaders

TRAVIS GROFT

I am an Air Force OEF/OIF veteran of seven years and have been engaged in the HPW community since 2009. I first came to Veteran’s PATH trying to deepen my understanding and connection to my psychological and spiritual wellness. When I first left the military I knew I needed to take care of my physical wellness so I worked out and stayed very active in recreational sports, but something was missing in my life. I still had emotional issues and high anxiety despite my physical exertion from day to day. Although, Veteran’s PATH is non-denominational I find a spiritual enrichment in the community of Veterans who attend and open their selves up to what is real for them at that moment. My relationship with Veteran’s PATH continues to grow and I’m forever grateful to them for the practices that I have learned and continue to develop.

MYRNA HERNANDEZ

I’m a single mother with 14 years of service. I’ve been with Veteran’s PATH since the first Women Veterans retreat in 2011. I’m excited to be giving back to Veteran’s PATH and other veterans by being a part of the vet leader program. Veteran’s PATH means the world to me. I have been able to cope and start the healing process of some of the most difficult times in my life because of the amazing tools that this organization has provided.

ARDRINA (ANDI) HOXEY

I am a decorated Navy veteran of eight years who deployed three times in support of OEF/OIF. Initially using the first, now annual, Women Veteran’s Retreat as an escape from the reality of an impending vagrancy. Unbeknownst to self, I would be doing more than “escaping” I would began the work in finding my core. As one who deeply connects with my intuition, the attack that military life bestowed upon my soul left me in a discombobulated state that until mindfulness controlled my whole being. Veteran’s PATH not only introduced me to mindfulness, Chris and Lee, established themselves along side while I re-invented “ME” all the while re-creating morale in military veterans who felt disoriented without it.

“Currently a part of Veteran’s PATH Veteran Leadership Program, my genuine compassion and love for people including my passion to empower and equip others to identify and live out their unique life purpose is being cultivated. Leading me to serve the veteran and the black community separately and/or together as a motivational speaker, coach, mentor, moderator, and facilitator.”

MATT HUFFMAN

My name is Matt Huffman. I served in the Army Infantry from 1992-1995. I am in recovery from drugs and alcohol. I have two daughters whom I care for regularly. I am in my second year of Law School and am interested in criminal defense. I have been going to Veteran’s PATH events for 4 years and recommend Veteran’s PATH without reservation.

MATT KRUSE

I am an Army Infantry veteran of six years and was deployed to the former Yugoslavia. Transitioning to a civilian life was difficult. My military occupation did not translate to the civilian world. My leadership skills and motivation were very intense in comparison. I felt like life had lost its most important purpose, my brothers in arms. I didn’t discover Veteran’s PATH until much of the transition work had been done and some wounds healed. But, here I found a place that was utilizing methods that had, and continue, to work toward developing a peaceful and joyful life. Veteran’s PATH has given me more tools to cultivate my life with and the courage to look more deeply. Even more, in the vet leader program I am beginning to be able to give back the gifts I have received, true healing.

DAWN MARIE

Dawn Marie served 7 1/2 years in the US Navy as Fire Controlman stationed from coast to coast and on-board the USS Fletcher, DD-992. Dawn now spends her time making a lasting impact on her life and the lives of those around her by traveling, volunteering and speaking in the Veteran Community. She is currently is her second year of the Veteran Leadership Program and continues to grow as a person with the support of her community.

JESSIE OLIFF

Jessie Oliff served in the US Army for 5 1/2 years as a Military Police Officer and completed two tours in service of Iraqi Freedom I and III. Now retired, Jessie spends her time traveling, painting and making music. She is currently a Veteran Leader for Veteran’s PATH and is committed to insuring the growth of the organization and assisting veterans in the improvement of their lives through the use of mindfulness techniques.

LYNN OSCHMANN

Lynn served in the US. Navy and Navy Reserve, retiring in 2015 after 26 years. She entered service as a Surface Warfare Officer, completing two shipboard deployments at the tail end of the 1st Gulf War, then made the switch into Meteorology and Oceanography. After 8+ years on active duty, she shifted into the reserves, completing two years back on active duty after 9/11. Here’s what she has to say about Veteran’s PATH:
“Veteran’s PATH has helped me integrate two aspects of myself – the warrior side and the gentle side. Practices I’ve learned here have shown me how to be present with everything in my life – the “good” and the “bad” – and to connect with people on an authentic level. Veteran’s PATH offers me a community of like-minded veterans who always have my back, no matter what’s going on in my life. Our founders, Lee and Chris, are amazing mentors and teachers. As a Vet Leader, I’m honored to support the growth and healing of my fellow vets. Veteran’s PATH has been a true gift in my life and it’s positive effects continue to ripple through my life.”

 

KENNETH STEELE

I served 10 years in the Army National Guard, and was deployed 2003~2004 to Iraq. After getting out of the military I had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. But Veteran’s PATH has helped me adjust from being a soldier to a husband and father. This is thanks to the mindfulness practices I’ve learned and the community Veteran’s PATH has created. I’m proud to be a Veteran Leader and to help teach these practices to other veterans.

AARON TOZIER

I’m a Veteran of the U.S ARMY (INFANTRY.) I served from 2003-2009, and was deployed to Iraq (Baghdad) from 2005-2006. During my service career, I was awarded the purple heart from wounds received during combat. I also earned the ever so coveted C.I.B (Combat Infantry Badge) along with Airborne wings.

Since I have been out of the ARMY (since 2009), I have been trying to figure out what I want to do, with not too much luck. For the 1st couple of years drinking was my full time career which got me 4 DUI’s along with some jail time. I am now in recovery, and work on my sobriety daily!! Veteran’s PATH plays a very big role in my life. The practices I have learned thru Veteran’s PATH have been vital to me and how I go thru life. Being mindful, being present and in the moment are huge tools I use. Also knowing that every moment is a moment. I can’t change the past, and don’t know what’s in store for the future, all I can do is be present and do the next right thing. The people I have had the great pleasure of getting to know over the years at Veteran’s PATH have been GREAT!! Other Vets who get and understand me, and I get and understand them. The white water rafting trip I have to say is what I look forward to the most. It is unbelievably fun, exciting, challenging and peaceful. Being on the river with others from Veteran’s PATH is an experience all of it’s own.

I can go on and on.

I hope others of you have found what I have found at Veteran’s PATH, and that i t s tools to help me cope with life, GREAT leaders in Lee and Chris, awesome friends, and good times on the river!! I can’t wait to see my friends, and meet new Vets that join this AWESOME organization!!