At Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley, we envision a thriving military veteran community in the East Bay region of Northern California that reflects human values of belonging, friendship, social healing and psychological wholeness.

We who are alive, let’s pledge to daily remember and honor our fallen, as thoughts and/or prayers cross threshholds of time and place, life and death. Let’s dedicate our continuing search for peace of mind in our own skin to their memory. – RVDV’s first member, Michael Mark Anthony, Vietnam Veteran

22 Jul 2019
I Stopped Smoking Weed and I’ve Never Felt Happier
So I smoked in college, after I graduated, and off an on when I entered professional life.  I would quit because I felt ashamed, and then fire back up again.  It became a vicious cycle.  I realize now that this viciousness was a result of my unconscious desire to avoid difficult emotions - not to mention the fact that the...
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21 Jul 2019
Veterans’ Next Mission: Topple Patriarchy, Reduce Suicides
As Veterans, we know all to well what it means to suck it up.  "Embrace the suck" has become so common place that we often live our lives from this place, and even tell our friends in one way or another, to do just that.  But what actually are we embracing here?  Are we embracing ourselves in a manner that...
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19 Jul 2019
These Muslims Wanted Me to Live
As I sat up against the wall of the roof with my back towards the street where the car was, I was rocked by the most powerful explosion I've ever experienced.  It shook my chest cavity. I passed out for a nanosecond. I then tried standing up as my head spun, and I instinctively strapped the buckle of my helmet's...
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18 Jul 2019
Disobeying Orders: One Man Lives
It was a bright and sunny morning in 2007 at the downtown Fallujah, Iraq, police station where a dozen or so Marines and I were tasked with providing security for a day of police recruiting.  There seemed to be a over a hundred or more local Iraqi men lined up right outside of the front gate eagerly awaiting to get...
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18 Apr 2019
On The Road To Nabatiya
ON THE ROAD TO NABATIYA THEY COME TO ME AS IF I’VE CALLED THEM BACK FROM A PLACE I’VE LEFT BEHIND THEIR FACES, YOUNG...
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05 Feb 2019
Leadership and Healing: Creating Space for Transformation
The first time we took enemy contact was on our first patrol. We had just arrived in country, and we had not yet gained enough experience to conduct a foot patrol that didn't leave us exhausted.  Despite having trained for the past three months, the sweltering heat, and the weight of carrying a full combat load weighed on us.  We...
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12 Nov 2018
Do You Ever Feel Like A Part of You Died in Iraq?
Connection after service among Marines can be tricky at times. Our relationships were fostered in an environment where feelings and emotions were mostly suppressed, or at least not acknowledged or talked about much. When we come together, it can feel like we are picking up right where we left off. And where did we leave off? We left off at...
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23 Sep 2016
Warrior…for Love
I served 7 years in the Marine Corps Reserves, deploying twice to Iraq in some of the most dangerous areas, including the Triangle of Death. This is the same place that the modern day terror group, ISIS, was hiding out and trying to harm my friends and I. My experiences in country, and the training received to become a Marine,...
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20 Nov 2010
Remembering to Remember
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