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After Iraq, Portland veteran finds a new way to serve

Damon Faust applies skills he developed in the military to first response in Haiti, and he helps other veterans do the same.

Damon Faust and business partner Ross Fielder have a vision: putting veterans’ skill sets to work in Haiti. It’s an experience Faust knows about this firsthand.Faust, co-founder of the nonprofit Remote Emergency Training Solutions, put his skills as a combat veteran to use as a wildland firefighter. He has also worked with Team Rubicon, which gives veterans an opportunity to apply their military experience to disaster response, and Hero Client Rescue, which provides emergency medical services throughout Haiti. The best version of himself, he will tell you, is when he is serving his community.Veterans and victims of huge natural catastrophes have something in common: trauma. Helping others, Faust said, is a way to process the grief and confusion and guilt and pain that one may have experienced as an agent of war or otherwise. Faust was born in Portland, then raised in a suburb of Sacramento. He joined the military, like many young people, to get out of where he was and to make his mom proud. He landed in combat arms and quickly realized he wanted to get out. He learned that if he did a National Guard stint, he might be able to get out of active duty. He did, and he went back to Sacramento for a year of service.After he left, Faust’s unit received orders to go to Iraq. Faust felt an obligation to some of the younger guys still there. He had taught some of them to drive a stick shift and had built a solid bond in the year they trained together. He re-enlisted in active duty and spent all of 2005 in Iraq with the Army. READ MORE...

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