Inside Heroes Homestead

Follow our personal journey into homesteading, finding life and purpose through the fog of PTSD, and the building up of a community that serves as a backbone to the future of America. 

My story
Andrew Holstine

Everyone has those days that are their best and worst days. My best days were meeting and marrying my wife, having my three kids, and meeting Jesus. My worst day was April 8, 2000. I just celebrated one year anniversary in the marines. I was promoted to Lance Corporal and selected to be part of a training exercise with the MV22 Tilt-Rotor Osprey. It was exciting to be one of the first infantrymen to fly in the Osprey. I served in 3rd BN 5th Marines as a machine gunner. Upon arrival at the airfield we were notified our helicopter assignments were switched. My best friend was now stick 2 and I was assigned to stick 1. During descent, the rear Osprey an engine stall. We watched as the bird rotated upside down and crashed. 19 Marines were lost that day. My best friend George Santos was a far better man than I. Life felt like a gamble.

The memory of the 19 Marines that gave their life that day, was a war in my mind as I raised my own family. PTSD is a fog you live in. It invades your ability to make rational decisions, and pervades your sleep with vivid dreams. It clouds your values and interrupts your thoughts.

Eventually, with the stresses of life, my PTSD began to cycle. Owning my own business, managing a DIY home purchase and raising three kids was a big weight soon after my wife’s employer downsized and laid her off. My capacity to cope BROKE. We needed help.

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The Vet Center and VA were well equipped for veterans, but my wife and family had close to zero resources. Additionally, it became evident how little was known about mental illness and depression. We were on a journey to find our own means of healing.

We sold our home in Orange County, California. Said farewell to dear friends and family. Sold our belongings. Purchased an RV, and began an unknown destination of traveling the country. We needed open space, less bills, less stress, and more time with one another. We needed to find hope, and feel joy again.

Our road trip inspired a dream in us. We found the answer all along was to slow down and focus on the ones we love. I was fighting a war in my mind every second of every day. I needed to realize my family was what I needed to fight for. Veterans are trained for battle, but we forget what the war is for- it’s for freedom, for hope, for the ones we love, for this beautiful nation.

Our homestead reminds our veterans of freedom, hope, their family, and the beauty of this nation as we help them engage the great outdoors with their spouses and children. Please support and join our journey.

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