I want to express my personal gratitude for everyone who has read, subscribed, commented, and taken interest in my personal “TrueBoots” blog since its beginnings. This post is a long overdue wrap-up of what this blog has been–and a placeholder for the future.
I started this blog after returning home to NYC from my third tour in Afghanistan in early 2013. My blogging marked some difficult difficult months and years of exploring what my life could become after spending the better part of a decade preparing for, engaging in, and returning from war. By blogging, I could refine my writing voice, I could connect with an audience, and, among other things, I could celebrate the numerous wonderful opportunities for veterans to find community and connection and purpose, like what I was able to experience during these tough months because of organizations like Outward Bound, Team Rubicon, Warrior Writers, Exit 12, Team RWB, and many others. I also used this blog to share tangible actions we can take in the aftermath of war, civil conflict, horrific natural disasters, and more. And I could tell stories about people who inspire me, like Margaret Corbin and Lawton Chiles (some of the “true boots” which inspired this blog’s title). Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to keep writing and sharing. More than anything else, this blog represented me finding my way back home.
During my two years of blogging and exploring, I was able to find where I could make the greatest impact serving others, and in areas that simply weren’t being addressed in New York City–in local-level advocacy and leadership development here in NYC. When I first began writing on this blog, veterans were barely an afterthought in our city government. The work I embarked upon starting in late 2014 and crystallizing in early 2015–founding the NYC Veterans Alliance–has changed that. Permanently. And it’s been the work of my lifetime to start something so transformative and keep it going these last four years. I invite you to read more about this HERE and to follow me as I continue my work as Founding Director of the NYC Veterans Alliance on Twitter and on the Alliance website HERE.
Of course, I’m still a writer. I’ve preserved a few of the posts that I believe best capture what this blog meant to me, which you can find on the page below this entry. I also welcome you to check out my short story “Pawns” about truck drivers in Afghanistan, published in The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War, an anthology of fiction by amazing veteran authors that came out in 2018.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I get help as a veteran or for a veteran I know?
Please send a detailed message to firstname.lastname@example.org and either I or one of my great team members will reach back to you with whatever we can help with.
How can media reach you?
Media queries about me personally or about the NYC Veterans Alliance are welcome at email@example.com.
What will TrueBoots become?
There is a future for TrueBoots… stay tuned!