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I am a veteran and an outdoor enthusiast who has spent the last 10 years working in the outdoor industry. Without a doubt, our industry is the first in which I experienced the same level of camaraderie and commitment to purpose as I did during my 22 years in the Navy on active and reserve duty.

This shared ethos is not surprising. Today’s outdoor industry and the $787 billion recreation economy it supports have roots that began over 70 years ago with the returning veterans of World War II. …

A song about a soldier impacted by failed leadership

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Johnny left home for the army
Serve the country he loved
He would miss his home
And the things he loved to do
But there was a place, he’d miss most
A place where he’d go to renew

On a
Mountain away from others
Rising to the sky
Its face reflects the sunrise in his eyes
Up on Johnny Ayers View

Soon he deployed overseas
Finish that never-ending war
Far from his hometown
In a place he barely understood
He’d be the best that he could be
But fate had something else in store

A brand-new lieutenant told Johnny
Shoot to kill, an unarmed man
Johnny looked to his Sergeant, who said,
Sir, we can’t do that
The lieutenant said, I don’t care
A shot rang out, and a crime was…

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Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

I dream a world where love is greater than hate
That the voice of the contemptuous is silenced
And the actions of the riotous are quelled
Guided by a mission of hope — the vision of harmony

I dream a world in which justice is measured by equity
Not by the length of incarceration
Where the due process of a dispassionate judiciary
Is no longer differentiated by the color of one’s skin

I dream a world in that religion teaches us how to be
Where one’s devotion is determined by how they live
Not by the volume of their religiosity and self-righteousness
That the Pharisees of dogma are replaced by the truly…

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Members of the 1st Platoon James O. Twist, Reyler Leon, Joe Morrissey, Andy Lehrer, Mike McGuinness, Dallas Haggard (kneeling) and Brandon Krebs pose with a flag in Afghanistan in 2012. (Courtesy of the Twist family) Photo Source: Washington Post

A never-ending war
In a place they barely understood
To earn their trust and protect them
Defeat the threat, was their call
But, fate changed their course

Their new untested leader
Was going to shock and awe
He ordered 1st Platoon, Shoot unarmed men
“Sir, we can’t do that”
But he replied, “Smoke em”
And a war crime was done

Duty called, they answered
Guardians of freedom
Living by a Creed
With courage and honor

Court-martial took three days
The platoon testified
That their lieutenant failed
It took three hours
Guilty of all crimes

Newsmen changed the story
A war hero was wrongly tried
One person heard this and changed his fate
The Platoon wept, wanting to know why
The President stole their honor
And a war criminal was set…

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The North Star (Polaris) — Photo Credit: Rafael Ben Ari |


David Petri

Founder of Cynosura Consulting, offering unique and practical perspectives on marketing and sustainability as well as thoughts on life.

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