My name is Colin Wells and I was part of Army Infantry. I honestly joined because I was 26 and going down a selfish, toxic path. I have a long military history in my family so I thought it’d help me get some discipline and direction. What I got was the greatest and toughest years of my life. I learned so much about life and myself. Invaluable experiences. The trauma helped teach me as much as the good times did too, if not more.
I served in the military 4 years, and did one 12 month tour in Afghanistan from July 2009-August 2010. I was with 4/23 Infantry Tomahawks during the Battle of Marjah, which, at the time was the biggest operation since the invasion. We received a Presidential Unit Citation, which was a huge honor, for fighting in an Expeditionary Force. We fought with Marines for nearly a month. It was incredible. I was an Infantryman on a Stryker Brigade Combat Team, which meant I was a rifleman. We were Bravo Company but known as Bravo Bastards because we moved around so much in Southern Afghanistan. We never stayed at one place for more than a few weeks and were always asked to spearhead operations.
Before joining the military I did use cannabis recreationally throughout high school and early twenties. I use it now medically to alleviate chronic pain and PTSD. I also had crippling insomnia and now I sleep like a baby every night. I’ve had 4 knee surgeries, and currently have a torn ACL that I hike on. I’ve had too many surgeries so that’s not an option anymore, but cannabis helps and keeps me hiking 30-50 miles a week. I was using opiates before cannabis and I became heavily addicted. So much so that I had to live at the VA combat trauma track for nearly a year. That’s how bad the PTSD and addiction had become. Now I am the happiest I’ve ever been and am finally able to take control of my existence.
I’m involved in this industry as a patient first, and I love everything about it. From the smell to the effects make me so happy. I founded VeteransWalkandTalk with the idea that cannabis can be a catalyst for getting Veterans into the loving embrace of Mother Nature. We are fortunate enough to be sponsored by Healthy Honey Rosin, Canndescent, Platinum Genetics and Fatty’s. They provide me with the means to take care of any veteran that hike with us. I also provide cannabis to veterans who have trouble affording it when I can. My ultimate goal is to have a piece of land those Veterans can come have adventures, classes and cannabis. A place any vet can come and work on the land for a chance at Peace.
Honestly aside from the cost of good meds it’s been pretty easy to obtain cannabis. The cannabis community is so loving and compassionate. I choose not to deal with the VA although I’d love to help more with that. My program is working so incorporating the VA is hopefully somewhere in the future.
And to the naysayers I’d say that if you take Advil for a headache, and are against cannabis use for the same problem, well you are a hypocrite. I would tell them to do some research or come hiking with me and learn about the versatility of cannabis. It is not for everyone, but it helps more people than anything I have ever seen in my life. Not only can it help with what ails us, but we can grow it and make a living from it too. Cannabis and a loving environment have saved my life together.