Meet Adam Hale, 2020 VetsWork AmeriCorps Intern!

I was raised on a small farm in Mount Vernon, KY where I was one of 18 siblings. We raised cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and had a big vegetable garden. I grew up pretty poor but very proud and was taught the value of hard work, dedication, commitment, honesty, and loyalty, and still hold those characteristics today. From the time I was old enough to walk I was taught to do things for myself; construction and masonry work, raising or hunting my own food, vehicle maintenance and repair, financial management, etc. I love hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, kayaking, hiking, etc. and try and do these every chance I get.

I went to school in Rockcastle County, KY and college at Eastern Kentucky University where I studied environmental science, wildlife resources, turf grass management, land judging, tree species ID, small engines repair, improv speaking, etc. But my true calling was to serve and fight for my country so I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps with my primary job as an Infantryman where I served all across the globe in many environments. I had various other classified specialties as well. I was retired this year due to injuries sustained but am looking forward to continued service of my community and preserving the heritage of our national forest and for that reason among others I am excited to be on board with the Mt. Adams Institute.

Meet Melissa Gattrell, 2020 VetsWork AmeriCorps Intern!

Growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania instilled in me a strong respect and understanding of the importance of taking care of the land. That respect and love for natural things grew when I moved to California at the age of 18 to become an adventure guide. I took groups backpacking, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. My playground has always been mountains, rivers and the ocean and I feel great importance in helping others see the value of wild places.

I attended Appalachian Bible College and studied recreation management. After college, I worked in outdoor education and adventure guiding until I joined the Coast Guard in 2013. My military experience was a great way to learn more about the ocean and serve the community through search and rescue. I had always been interested in the Forest Service and after my time in the military I wanted to get back into the recreation industry. The VetsWork program seemed like the perfect fit. I’m excited about how this internship will open doors for me into a career in the Forest Service.

VetsWork: The Long and Winding Trail

I met Staff Sergeant Robert Paul in the cab of a dusty 998 model Humvee near Baghdad, Iraq in 2004. I had just joined up with a new forward operating civil affairs team as a driver and a gunner. It was March 3…it was 98 degrees; Ramadan had ended the month prior and tensions were high. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: Total Eclipse of the Heart(land)

Since my last blog, a truly spectacular event has occurred that you, the reader, will have likely heard about—The Great American Solar Eclipse. As we all know, in August, much of the United States of America had the pleasure and astronomical luck of witnessing a total solar eclipse. Continue Reading…