Sgt. Adam Burke made a promise to God. Bleeding out from a mortar hit in Iraq, Adam promised God that if he could live to see his family again, he would do something to make his life worth saving. Two years later he started the Veterans Farm, a place of emotional solace and job training in organic blueberry production for disabled vets like himself. 'Teach these guys how to farm, they can have sustainable lives with sustainable agriculture.'
Our warriors are coming home from battle and sharing their stories. “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields” traces their journey into the war, through the gauntlet and back home, where they experience unemployment, PTSD, drug and alcohol addiction. Faced with the absence of their team and a mission, wounded and forgotten, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes.
The vets in Ground Operations are bucking those odds. “As a combat veteran, I was involved in a lot of destruction. “ says Mike, a former Marine. “Shifting from that to growing something, seeing something thrive, does something on a very deep spiritual level.” Working from disability checks, often pulling their buddies along with them, we witness Ground Operations’ heroes restoring their lives and serving their communities with new careers in sustainable farming and ranching.
Lucky for us, because “there are twice as many farmers over the age of 65 as under the age of 35., reports Michael, director of the Farmer-Veteran Coalition. “ We see the loss of our farmers as a matter of national security.” The USDA is calling for a million new farmers in the next ten years to fill the coming gap.
Fortunately, the Cavalry coming over the hill is just that ... it's the Marines, Army, Air Force and National Guard. Recognizing the connection between local food security and national security, these young men and women are forging a network in sustainable agriculture that benefits us all.
Central Casting couldn't have done a better job. The vets in 'Ground Operations' are compelling, funny, handsome, entrepreneurial and engaging, and you'll be rooting for them all the way to your local farmers market. America needs a million new farmers. Veterans want the job!