So I wanted to take a couple minutes to tell a little story. This story starts all the way back in 2003 in the far away land of Iraq. For our first 5 or 6 months we moved from place to place, sometimes sleeping in our trucks. At about the 7 month mark of the deployment we settled in a location and finally had some abandoned buildings to live in. Our standard of living was on the rise. One thing the Soldiers didn’t have was any furniture other than a cot. I was determined to change this. I managed to get a hold of a circular saw, a drill, a hammer, and some scrap wood. I ripped down 2 x 4s with the circular saw and built some basic shelves and nightstands. I just wanted to give these guys a little more feel of home. One Soldier looked at one of my projects and said “That is one ghetto piece of furniture”… at that moment Ghetto Furniture Inc was born. I spent the rest of that deployment making these small very basic pieces of furniture as time and wood allowed.
The story continues back in Iraq in 2005. I was back to my old stomping grounds for another year. This time the mission and resources were very different. What had not changed was the need for GFI. This time a couple of my friends joined me and we set out build. Projects ranged from office furniture and benches to framing out walls.
I also had a opportunity that year to serve as a trainer for the Iraqi Army. I not only taught them skills to help them defend their country, but also some skills to help improve it as well.
In the deployments to follow I would take every chance to put saw to wood. I think these opportunities not only allowed me to help raise the standard of living for my Soldiers but kept me focused and grounded. Woodworking is a lifesaver!