Feb 9, 2020
This week on MIA Radio we
share what is something of an anniversary for us at MIA. This
interview marks one hundred episodes since we launched our podcast
in July 2017. And for this episode, we interview David Joslin.
David is a retired army medic, having served in Iraq in 2003 and
Afghanistan in 2008. David currently works as a senior healthcare
administrator and he has co-founded Remedy Alpine, a veterans therapeutic
recreation non-profit dedicated to providing wilderness therapy
adventures in Alaska.
David has also written for Mad in America, having published
Broken is Not All I’ll Ever Be in August 2019 and he has
recently launched a new podcast called Bullets to Beans, which is a military and
veteran-centric podcast focused on current military and veteran
topics, blended with discussions on mountain oriented recreational
and adventure-based therapy programs.
- How upon leaving the military, David felt that he had lost his
identity, suddenly working in private healthcare and not being able
to care directly for colleagues as he had as a combat medic.
- That to help deal with the change, David started going out into
the backcountry wilderness to find peace and healing.
- How this interest led him to meet Eric Collier, a like-minded
veteran interested in wilderness hiking.
- How David and Eric saw the benefits to be had in sharing
wilderness adventure experiences and launched their first event for
veterans in 2017 and when they got home, realising the amount of
interest in and support for similar future events.
- David and Eric then took the time to establish themselves as a
business during the Winter of 2018.
- During 2019, David and Eric led 49 veterans into the Alaska
wilderness and connected with 150 veterans via outreach and
community enrichment events.
- That David came to see that many veterans attending the
wilderness therapy had struggled with multiple medications,
prescribed during their service years.
- How David’s experiences within the military led to treatment
for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in being prescribed a
- How the initial drugs were followed by others for insomnia,
drugs for nightmares, blood pressure problems and for focus and
- How at the height of David’s ‘better living through
chemistry’ he was on 13 different drugs.
- That through David’s pharmacological training he realised that
one of the top ten side effects of many of the drugs he had been
put on was suicidal thinking.
- How David came to take himself off all his drugs and strongly
advises others never to do this themselves.
- That it was planning his own suicide that brought him to face
that his life was unsustainable, accepting that he didn’t want to
live as he had been.
- As he was planning it, he found that he didn’t want to suffer
and came to realise that he did want to live, and realised that the
suicidal thoughts were very likely as a result of treatment.
- That during his service years, David had assisted with at least
three suicide interventions and that caused him to consider what
might be driving veterans to consider suicide.
How having confronted his suicidal thoughts and coming off his
drugs, David then went on to find solace and comfort in wilderness
- That David still sometimes struggles with nightmares,
hypervigilance and social anxiety but that he could deal with this
without feeling numbed by the drugs and by being away from society
but with trusted colleagues and friends in an environment conducive
- That Remedy Alpine is now starting to work as a government
contractor to provide recreationally-based programs to the veteran
- How Remedy Alpine operates year-round and provides single-day
hikes, single overnight camping events and multi-day hikes which
can range from 26 to 30 miles through the Alaskan mountains.
- The recent launch of the Bullets 2 Beans podcast which focuses
on post-military life challenges.
- That Remedy Alpine were attendees at the Nature’s
Grace Conference, which focussed on America's veterans and the
healing power of nature.
- How Remedy Alpine is now focussed on expanding the business
side, applying for grants, developing their therapeutic programs
and training veteran peer mentors.
Broken Is Not All I’ll Ever Be
Bullets 2 Beans podcast
Remedy Alpine on Facebook