My name is Brandi Murray. I have been in EMS for over 25 years now. I currently work as a Remote Medic with various entities including FEMA and Homeland Security, traveling across the US doing different types of Medical Deployments. I recently spent 5 months up at Camp Atterbury, Indiana as a Medic for Operation Allies Refuge, where we took care of 8500 Afghan Refugees. Before that I spent several months working as a Remote Medic in Covid ICU’s across the country. My career has been varied and definitely not lacking in chaos and adventure.
In my career I have unfortunately experienced a significant amount of extreme trauma, resulting in PTSD. I struggled hard for a very long time. My PTSD on more than one occasion threatened my marriage and my life as well. In July of 2020, I went to Boulder Crest Arizona for several days of intensive training on how to basically reprogram myself and learn to turn my struggles into strength. Boulder Crest definitely saved my life and I have continued their program at home for the remaining 18 months. While there, we learned new Wellness Practices to incorporate daily into our lives to turn our Post Traumatic Stress into Post Traumatic Growth. Part of my daily practices are journaling my daily gratitude, my win for the day, meditation, eating properly, grounding and spending more time outdoors. I am also now a very loud and passionate advocate for educating others on PTSD in First Responders and Veterans and doing my part to dissolve the stigma around it.
In April of 2022, I decided to take my 4-year-old Daughter on a Mommy/Daughter weekend. I’m gone from home every 2 weeks. I work 2 weeks out of state, then home 2 weeks, then repeat. It’s a challenge but my Husband Scott is wonderful and handles everything at home so I can continue to serve in a capacity I am passionate about. Through AirBnB, I found Mike and Stephanie’s gorgeous piece of Heaven on Earth, Pokeadot Hops and Gardens. One thing basically led to another and I learned about Frontline Gardens. Stephanie asked me if I liked to garden and I told her yes but I never seemed to be very good at it, but I had a desire to be. That one meeting is already changing my life. Mike and Stephanie have become family to me. My Daughter adores them and my family has also seen a bit of a new spark of life refiring in me as I look forward to this build happening.
The last few weeks have had some struggles for me with my Son graduating High School (normally a grand occasion to look forward to but when you’re a First Responder with PTSD, times like this are often a trigger) I also suffered the loss of 2 very beloved pets in 8 days and have been having PTSD related nightmares with the weather changes, due in part to our home being hit and damaged 2 years ago by the 2020 Easter Tornado in Chattanooga. I have though spent the last few weeks greatly anticipating this day. It has been a very needed and welcome distraction. I have been researching planting techniques as well as composting. I even used recycled materials and have started a worm composting bin in hopes of it providing very well for my organic gardening needs.
I am so very humbled to have been chosen to be a part of the amazing services of Frontline Gardens and I am truly so excited to get my hands dirty and spending time daily in my garden, grounding, meditating and growing….and being hopeful for a tomorrow with every weed pulled and seed sown. With a heart full of gratitude to Mike, Stephanie, and all the volunteers and donors, I truly am beyond thankful and so honored.
Thank you, so very much