George Armstrong is a Pennsylvania Medical marijuana patient, advocate, and veteran. He served from 1985-1993 in Fort Lewis, WA as a combat medic (91A) then as a physical therapy assistant (91J) at Irwin Army Medical Center in Fort Riley, KS. George is excited to bring his passion and experience to the Veterans Action Council working towards educating the masses on the effectiveness of cannabis in treating veterans in crisis and ending the stigma attached to our medicine and fighting to end veterans suicide; a crisis that takes 22 veterans every day.
David Bass served 25 years in the US Army. He is a veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad in 2004-2005. David founded Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana in 2015.
Bryan Buckley a Special Operations Team Commander with Marine Raiders led multiple teams in deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (Africa), South East Asia, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (Helmand Province). Developed rapport with numerous host nation forces, enhanced capability, and capacity within the host nation units, and briefed US Ambassadors. Led a 20 man Marine Raider Team to Afghanistan that mentored, trained, and conducted over 40 combat operations with an Afghan Special Operations Battalion. Bryan also deployed twice to Operation Iraqi Freedom with Marine Infantry and Marine Reconnaissance.
Al Byrne Lcdr, USN, ret. DD-712 Destroyer Deck Officer; Seabees Davisville, RI; Advisor Support Officer RVN for Coast Guard, USN, Marine advisors in-country; Naval Shipyard Pearl Harbor; Naval Supply Command Newport, RI; NMCB 5 - Puerto Rico and Diego Garcia; NAS Whidbey Island, WA; Defense Logistics Command Cleveland, OH. Graduate of Notre Dame, Rugby Wing 3 years. Owner large paper company Boston, owner franchise health spas NH. Co-Director NORML 1990-1994; Co-founder Patients Out of Time 1995; producer "Marijuana as Medicine" 1996; producer "Cannabis in Medical Practice 1997; Co-founder Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access 2007; Advisor Athletes for Care 2010; Co-host "Veterans Voices" podcast 2015.
Etienne Fontan Co-Owner of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) the nation's oldest continuously operating medical cannabis dispensary (22 years). A combat veteran of Desert Storm he served as an artilleryman (13B) with the WVARNG activated to the 18th Airborne Corps as artillery for the French Foreign Legion. Diagnosed with Gulf War Illness he has used cannabis after being recommended it by a doctor in '91. He was kicked out of the military for a positive test for THC and has been a patient advocate/Activist for medical cannabis working behind the scenes to change Laws for over 30 years.
Michael Jay Green lives in the countryside near Charlottesville Virginia. An itinerant bookseller, he has worked numerous author events and custom-crafted conference bookstores for conferences/symposiums nationwide since 1996. Background/experience includes service as Viet Nam (Brown Water) Navy Veteran; award-winning Landscape Contractor (Kick Ass Cactus, Inc); Attorney at Law & Judge Pro Tempore (Tucson, Az), with a stint as Chief Trial Deputy in the Office of the Public Defender, American Samoa (at 139 pounds, not your typical Samoan attorney): A graduate of the University of Arizona (B.A. in Eastern Studies,1976, Summa Sum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, etc.) and its School of Law (1983) Michael attended high school in Phoenix, Arizona.
Pearson R. Kennedy-Crosby was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He is the oldest of seven children. In 2004, Shortly after graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Crosby Is the Sr. Vice Commander of VFW #3629, a Veterans Service Officer, and Alaskan Tribal Veterans Representative. Pearson dedicates as much time as possible to his family, Megan, and their sons Trey and Odin.
Amy Case King resides in Yucatan Mexico, she began her medical cannabis activism and therapeutic application of the plant 15 years ago to help her uncle, a Vietnam Veteran who suffered from severe alcoholism, PTSD, COPD along with a myriad of other physical ailments. She is the widow of a Navy Veteran, the wife of a retired Navy Corpsman, and the granddaughter of a Korean War Army Veteran.
Michael Krawitz is a disabled Air Force Veteran [Sergeant, 1981 -1986]. Michael Krawitz serves as Executive director of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access [VMCA] as well as other board and advisory roles. After California's historic Proposition 215 Michael observed that cannabis used as a palliative adjunct pain treatment to opiates not only produced better pain relief but also significantly lowered the number of pain pills used. Leading VMCA, Michael successfully negotiated the first-ever VA medical cannabis policy in 2010 and has since overseen the WHO ECDD Critical Cannabis Review process in Geneva and then the United Nations process on the WHO cannabis recommendations. The vote on 2 December 2020 United Nations - Vienna, Austria successfully removed Cannabis and Cannabis Resin from the Single Convention treaty "most dangerous drug category”.
Tony Landry, a Cajun from Louisiana, served 6 years as a Fire Controlman in the U.S. Navy 1988-94. Upon returning home, working, enrolled in night classes, raising a family, his service-related injuries led to surgeries, pharmaceutical addiction, alcohol misuse, loss of employment, relationships, depression. Tony began the use of cannabinol (CBD) to treat pain and soon created an advocacy group, Louisiana Veterans for Medical Cannabis, who was instrumental in adding chronic pain and PTSD to Louisiana medical cannabis law in 2018. Later that year, Tony and his wife Michelle relocated to Tucson, Arizona, while continuing activism in national, state, and local drug policy reforms. After attending the 2019 Arizona Psychedelic Conference he experienced his first ayahuasca ceremony. Tony was able to end the old patterns of alcohol misuse and founded Decriminalize Nature Tucson as a platform to work on Arizona drug policy reforms. Tony is eager to join VAC drug policy reform efforts to ensure all citizens seeking relief from emotional and physical trauma have access to plant medicine.
Mary Lynn (ML) Mathre, RN, MSN served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps during the Vietnam Era (1973-1979) at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital (Portsmouth, VA) and Roosevelt Roads naval Hospital (Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico). Advocate, Author & Cannabis Educator since 1985. In 1985 she received her master’s degree in nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH upon the completion of her thesis: A Survey on Disclosure of Marijuana Use to Health Care Professionals. She served as the Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws" (NORML) Council on Marijuana & Health and as a member of NORML’s Board of Directors from 1988-1992. She is the Co-Founder and President of Patients Out of Time created in 1995 and a Founding member and President of the newly created Academy of Cannabis Education (ACE), both organizations dedicated to education healthcare professionals and the public about the ECS and therapeutic cannabis. She was a Founding member and the first President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association created in 2010. Editor of Cananbis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana (1995) and co-editor of Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology (2004). In her early years of nursing, she specialized in medical-surgical and ICU nursing and by 1987 she changed her specialty to Addictions Nursing and became a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse in 1989 and worked at the University of Virginia’s Addiction Treatment Unit, and later as the Addictions Consult Nurse for the University Hospital System until 2002. Following that she did consulting work for GW Pharmaceuticals, followed by serving as the ED for a opioid treatment program in Charlottesville, VA. She served as a Board member (1992-1993) and then Secretary (1993-1997) of the National Nurses Society on Addictions (now the International Nurses Society on Addictions). In 1990 she was a founding member and first President of the Virginia Nurses Society on Addictions and remained active until 2001.
Aaron Pluff served as a Marine infantry small unit leader and saw two combat tours in the Iraqi Freedom War. He has been recognized professionally & in popular media for his achievements and skills as an Instructor. In his “spare” time Aaron has earned an MBA from Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management, and devotes his life to his family while supporting veterans.
Eryck Stamper, Founder, Veterans Initiative 22 & Owner, Maryland Hemp Exchange, After completion of his military career, and while suffering from various medical conditions, he sought a more holistic and alternative approach to personal medical care and found cannabis. Discovering the medical and healing benefits of cannabis sparked his desire to engage in a new battle: fighting for safe and affordable access, rights, and employment opportunities for Veterans, First Responders, and their families of this critical lifesaving medicine through his non-profit Veterans Initiative 22 (VI22).