Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centers, Ian would be inspired to serve his country.

In 2005 at the age of 17, with the legal consent of both his parents, Ian enlisted in the United States Air Force for 6 years. Though, after waiting to finish high-school, and injuring both his knees in the process, he wouldn’t leave for Basic Military Training for quite sometime after. In February 2007, Ian departed for Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas to attend Basic Military Training and promptly graduated 6 weeks later in March. Afterwards, he began the Security Forces Apprentice Course (Military Police) tech school that same month and graduated early July 2007. Afterwards, the Air Force sent Ian to the Western United States to secure Protection Level 1 Minute Man III Line Operations under the auspices of Air Force Space Command, Global Strike Command, and the New Start Treaty. However, in 2010 Ian was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, spinal stenosis, myofasical pain syndrome, degenerative disc disease, neuropathy, migraines, fibromyalgia, tempromandular jaw disorder, and tinnitus. Consequently, he was medically retired at the age of 23 in 2011. However, an issue remained. To treat his intractable pain, the military prescribed to him the commonly issued cocktail of prescription medications: narcotics, anti-depressants, anti-epileptics, anti-spasmodics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Now a civilian, Ian subsequently developed a dependency to these medications overtime, namely the narcotics, and when his private care physician ceased prescribing them without a suitable alternative to offer, Ian rigorously began researching existing surrogate therapies in lieu of conventional methods to treat his conditions. Ian quickly discovered the anecdotal and empirical benefits of whole-plant cannabis medicines. Eventually, Ian would utilize his GI Bill benefits and enter college at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania to continue his criminal justice education. He would eventually transfer to the University of Cincinnati, and earn his B.A. in Political Science, while minoring in Criminal Justice. Now, Ian strives to educate his fellow veterans, peers, and community members concerning the numerous issues that affect our veteran population, and the many stigmas that are unjustly placed upon them. Presently, Ian is pursing an additional bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

Ian Schwartz

Secretary, V.E.T.S.