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they can become part of our community. We help them, and as they learn, they help others, and so on and so on.”

Mike’s personal struggles led him to start HERO Agriculture. While deployed to Iraq in 2009, Mike sustained multiple injuries and was forced to retire after being found “Unfit for Duty.” His long road to recovery was riddled with setbacks, frustration and alarming, selfdestructive thoughts.

“Up to that point, everything I had chosen to do in my life had revolved around helping people,” he said. “I was a lifeguard. I was a paramedic. I was a firefighter. After I was injured, I couldn’t do those things any more, and that was devastating. But then I found farming, and it saved me. And now I have found a way to help others, and maybe, save others.”

HERO Agriculture is Mike’s vision. Many people supported his recovery and successful transition to farming. He created HERO Agriculture to support other veterans in the same way.

The concrete truck was late that day, but it finally showed up, and with Mike’s father as a “project manager,” several veterans and volunteers learned how to rake out, level and smooth sections of concrete to form a walkway. It was hard work, but afterwards, each face in the barn area beamed with a look of accomplishment and pride. Mike Reynolds and HERO Agriculture volunteers are doing meaningful work that lifts up others. What if we all did something for people in our lives struggling to find their place in the world again? How many lives could we save?

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