"I've used the tools of war for so long, I needed something else, something different. And that was what the bow was for me."
In a short film brought to us from SITKA Gear and produced by Brad Christian, we find a story that just reaches out and touches us deeper than anything else before.
Retired Master Sergeant Farmer, a true American hero and Army war veteran, brings us on a journey through redemption and hope. A man who did more than just become a soldier, but one who gave a piece of himself that he may never get back.
"I've seen the devil. No doubt in my mind I've seen him face to face."
Even though he describes vividly his experiences during his tours on the battlefield, it's hard to truly understand what Ret. Master Sergeant Farmer has gone through. Events so tragic, the thought of suicide poisoned his mind as his only scapegoat to rid the pain.
Ret. Master Sergeant Farmer was shot three times during war. He witnessed multiple casualties of both friendlies and the enemy. He had taken lives and almost had his taken from him after being blown up by an IED. The man gave more than just time in his boots, he transformed a career as a solider into a lifestyle. A lifestyle that would forever change his life.
"You've seen too much, you've done too much. You can't do that mentally," he said.
Rage, anger, and revenge. Seeing a friend, dead coming through the double doors on the hospital bed. A friend who had two kids the same age as his own. Ret. Master Sergeant Farmer changed from going to work, to getting revenge. It took his life over, ultimately leading to a soulless body while he was home with his family. Ultimately, this lead to a separation from his wife.
Medically retired after 22 years of service in the Army, Ret. Master Sergeant Farmer was living in Texas and going through a divorce. He took to the garage to clean out his things and found his saving grace: His bow. Bound in its case, secured from the outside world, he opened up the next chapter in his life.
"I was completely transitioning away from everything I was used to for the last ten plus years, to something more graceful," he said.
Archery was an important factor for Farmer to get healthy along with music and art therapy, journaling and going on mission trips. He then re-found hunting. It was enjoyable. Preparation for the hunt was movement towards sanctuary. The over packing of supplies illustrated one's idea that we always think we need more than we do.
The treestand acts as the throne of happiness for Ret. Master Sergeant Farmer. He would sit, in peace, and absorb the world around him. Nature, as God painted it, was peaceful again.
The reds are beautiful and no longer connected to evil. The sounds of silence, broken by sounds of nature are now calming. As he obtains full draw, the sound of the bowstring stretching, is Farmer's metaphorical silencer to the sounds of war. He is finally at peace.
They say you can never truly understand someone until you can walk a mile in their boots. Many of us can honestly say we wouldn't even want to try his on.
A true warrior on the battlefield fighting for our country. A warrior in his mind and at home, fighting for tranquility. The search of hope and shed of redemption lead one man on a hunt to find what would be known as his Place of Peace.
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