‘Facing Stigma’ with Mike D.

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“At the age of 17, I graduated high school in Miami and decided to join the military; this was the only path that inspired me and that I felt would challenge me. I scored high on my ASVAB test and was approached by the army, which I qualified for Green Beret. I then decided to visit the other branches of the military. The Navy sat me down in front of this tiny TV and showed me a video of dudes jumping in and out of airplanes, boats, running and gunning so I said, “that looks pretty cool, I’ll give that a try.” There were no books or movies of Navy SEALs at the time but I knew that the SEALs were the best in the world so that started me on my path to persevere at everything I put my mind to. After qualifying and being selected to go to BUD/S, I classed up with approximately 126 trainees. Training was six months of a physical beat down and mental circus with a little bit of academics sprinkled in. We graduated class 173 with only 17 original guys losing most of the them during “Hell Week.” I spent 10 years active in the US Navy with most of them as a Naval Special Warfare Operator. I was quailed as a NSW Sniper, NSW Comms specialist, and explosive ordnance specialist to name a few, not to mention a couple hundred free fall jumps under my belt. Most of my deployments were to South America where we did combined inter-military ops for drug interdiction and dignitary work. I developed such an appreciation for the people of South America as well as other foreigners, but those deployments also deepened my appreciation for my own country. Many people have no clue what we have in America and what it means to be an American compared to other countries around the world.

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Nothing will ever compare to my time in the SEAL Teams, but I decided to get out after serving ten years on active duty. Not being told what to do anymore and wanting to be my own boss, do my own thing, really outweighed my decision to not re-sign with the military. At the time my father owned a large business in Miami so I moved back and started working for him learning a business from the ground up. I did that for 12 years working hard from the bottom up and everything in between. After truly putting in the work, I got my state contractors license and started my own company. I’ve built one of the largest low voltage companies (Alarm and Electronics Systems) in South Florida and started a few other businesses along the way. I got involved with the UDT/Navy SEAL Museum, joined the board, and began extensive fundraising for our cause, as well as other non-profit veteran organizations. I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of veterans and patriots who want to give back. In this capacity, I started to see some of the issues flaring up in the post-9/11 generation and while I personally never had any difficulty with my mental health, I’ve had good friends who have struggled with their own. My wife, Claudia, who is an Industrial Engineer and a marketing and branding guru, started working in the CBD space doing research around that same time. After doing a lot of exploration and speaking with veterans about how much it helped them with their sleeplessness, anxiety, and inflammation, we knew we had to get more involved. It was these heroes and their stories that inspired us to start The CBD Path. We made it our mission to give back and donate a portion of our profits to veteran-focused non-profit organizations like Headstrong because together we can give back and help our brothers and sisters in the veteran community.”

To find out more about CBD Path please visit https://www.thecbdpath.com/

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Healing the hidden wounds of war

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