“Twenty-two veterans die by their own hand every day. I got tired of seeing my friends take their own lives and got tired of criticizing the government. I realized I had two hands and two feet and that I could make a difference.” US Army Veteran Ryan Timmermans took matters into his own hands three years ago by purchasing 50 acres just west of Taos, New Mexico. Since then, he and volunteers (many coming from other Veteran-centered non-profits) have built a road, a greenhouse, an outdoor dining area, and a few houses that will be occupied by vets – all at no cost to the veterans that will live in the off-grid community. The only requirement – they must work 30-35 hours/month helping build new homes.
Not only is Timmerman giving back to his brothers and sisters in arms, he’s giving back to mother nature too. Many of the site’s structures utilize recycled materials whenever and wherever possible. They were even able to use ground-up glass to refurbish an existing road leading in to the area. Timmerman’s experience with the Earthship Academy is the driving factor behind the various methods of sustainability found at the off-grid sight.
Veterans Off-Grid held their grand opening, which included a tour of the compound open to public, this last Thursday, July 18th. “Together, veterans are capable of accomplishing incredible feats,” Timmermans said. “Together we will become world changers and protectors of the planet.” With a few Veterans already living on-site, and many working on the next phase of buildings, Veteran’s Off-Grid seems to be well on their way towards their goal of establishing sustainable housing for the New Mexico veteran community.
To learn more, click here to visit the Veteran’s Off-Grid website. To learn more about how Veterans are engaging in their communities visit our Veterans Community category of blogs. If you are or know a veteran-run/owned company that would like to be featured on upcoming blogs, email your suggestion (include business name, owner, military affiliation/relation, business/organization purpose) to [email protected] for a chance to have your story featured.
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