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Total loan: $10,000

Joseph

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Rainier, WA, United States / Agriculture

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A loan helped me build field fencing for my livestock.


Joseph's story

I am a descendant of Italian and Scotch Irish farming families who grew up in urban NYC where baseball, holidays and street fights were day to day life. I am now a self-made man, who was called to military service from the age of 6. A family tragedy interrupted my early schooling, so I went to work at the age of 16, and enlisted at the age of 19. I then went to college on the GI Bill and graduated at USMC OCS. As a Marine Artillery Officer I served in the Kosovo Campaign, and then transferred to the Army to be an Infantry Officer, my true calling. My entire adult life from then on was a saga containing 5 combat deployments and training soldiers for deployment. In Iraq and Afghanistan I was engrossed by the human aspect of societies that were in trauma. Not only through combat operations, but in the many facets of civil military operations as well. I fell in love with agriculture while planning the enhancement of the tribes of west Baghdad province, and I led the effort distributing 59 tons of barley seeds to tribes with patterns of success in farming. One Sheik told me that we saved his tribe, which had existed since the time of Mohamed. Years later, while hunting in Germany, I felt the call to the land and I planned my military retirement around becoming a farmer. My goal is to build several more farms like mine in my area as a co-operative endeavor, focused on employing veterans.