Co-Founder/Head of Veteran Affairs
Sgt. Ryan Begin USMC(ret.) felt a strong call to serve his country, post 9/11 and joined the Marine Corps. After two tours in Iraq, he was struck by a roadside bomb, losing his right elbow. Upon returning to the U.S. he endured 35 surgeries in under 3 years, becoming extremely addicted to the opiates and other pharmaceuticals he was being prescribed. After 3 failed suicide attempts, and his life leading down a dark road, he discovered medical cannabis as a way to detox from the pharmaceuticals, starting him on a path to more natural ways of healing. His cannabis advocacy is well known locally, in the state of Maine, and Federally, including a meeting with Governor Paul LePage. His work helped to convince the Governor not to veto a bill that would add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for the Maine Medical Cannabis Program. Constantly in search of different modalities to facilitate his continued healing, he found Reiki, Qi Qong, Wim Hof, and Kundalini breathing. His fortuitous reconnection with a veteran he met on this path, Ian Benouis, got him invited to Mexico to participate in a medicine circle with sacred natural ceremonial medicines. On a 30-day trip to Peru, he did some real deep healing working with a healer in the middle of the rainforest, and there he was able to learn some very simple, and powerful, tools to help further his healing process and ground his energy. He is a father of two, who recently purchased a home in his beloved hometown, and married the love of his life. His heart’s passion is now focused on helping other veterans navigate their way back to a non-combative society without having to experience so much darkness. He dreams of one day owning a remote Veterans Healing Center in the woods near his childhood home in Jackman, Maine. Allowing them to disconnect from society, become more connected with nature, and process the wounds of war to rebuild their lives after combat. He enjoys outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing as part of his continued integration and healing process.