Deep in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, at an elevation of 8,000 ft., a small and elite group of warriors were patrolling through a village when a Navy corpsman would make a discovery that would completely change the course of his life. Robert Gage Amsler, AKA “Doc Gage”, found some plants frozen in the ground that he immediately identified as cannabis plants, bearing seeds. “I knew I had found something” Doc says. So he began pulling entire plants out of the ground as fast as he could. Upon returning to their FOB (forward operating base), Doc Gage, already very familiar with the demon that is PTSD, made the decision to do whatever it takes to bring the seeds back to the United States.
Every day, more and more veterans are speaking out in support of cannabis being used to treat the symptoms of PTSD, myself included. All over the world, it is coming out that cannabis is being used successfully to combat the stress, anxiety, and fear associated with enduring traumatic events. While support for cannabis is growing all over the country. Our politicians still choose to turn a blind eye to our needs.
With the understanding that we must unite in order to heal not only our wounds, but our country as well, Doc Gage has made it his mission to facilitate unity. The book “The Strains of War” is the personal account of his heroic journey to bring a miracle cure to light. Following his own experiences in the service to his discovery of the plants growing in Afghanistan, from smuggling cannabis seeds in the United States to starting a genetics company, the book offers a great story on how one man hopes to change the world for the better. You can find a hard copy of the book on Amazon.com for $9.99. All the proceeds will directly go to researching new cannabis strains and for advocacy.
By founding “Merakii Genetics”, a Michigan based company, Doc Gage is furthering his research on the seeds he brought home. One of his strains that already been tested, a strong indica, yielded a 1:1 ratio which was high in CBD. The name comes from meraki, a Greek word meaning to put all of your love and passion into something and presenting it with the utmost confidence. Gage extends the word with an extra “i” to symbolize unity.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Amsler has found something revolutionary: a lost medicine he hopes to make available to all veterans suffering from PTSD. He has dedicated his life to understanding, cultivating, harvesting his discovery, and helping fellow warriors in the process. If going off to war and discovering something so amazing wasn’t enough, Doc Gage currently lives on 39 acres of land which he wants to develop into a resort-style retreat for veterans needing to find a safe and peaceful place to go, whether because they are newly transitioning out of the service or have already been battling PTSD for some time. Myself and a small group toured the property only to be amazed at the gorgeous plot of land set in The Middle Of Nowhere, Michigan. Doc Gage expressed his deep desire to use his land as a stepping stone and tool to help heal the wounds and demons that linger in the soul after going to war.
In my travels all over the country and speaking with veterans from all wars, I’ve found that those of us who have been in combat all have similar stories. We came back from war with demons and no understanding of how to properly deal with them. When a 19-year-old man enters a combat zone, no amount of training in the world could truly prepare him for what he’s about to experience. Combat zones, where you have to kill people and watch people kill your friends (and that’s putting it lightly) has a different impact on each individual. Everyone looks at the same things differently. I’ve served with folks that would rather hug a person than kill them. In the same platoon, there was a guy who would pull the teeth from dead bodies as personal war trophies. Walking through the aftermath of Fallujah in November of 2004 really opened my eyes to what war really does to the world. Whether war is justified or not, it is the single most horrendous thing we can do to each other as human beings. I shouldn’t know what happens when two rounds from the main gun of an Abrams tank does to a room full of people. I shouldn’t know what a city full of dead bodies smells like. None of us should.
In a day when suicide, prescription pills, and alcohol are a veterans worst enemy, there are great men, few and far between, putting their very lives in jeopardy by speaking out in favor of cannabis. Our government has spent a lot of money to keep it illegal while making even more money by throwing people in prison for the plant. Our time to take care of our own is now. No longer can we depend on the government to do what is right. We veterans must unite and come together in order to help each other heal and get this country back on track.