Seth joined the Marine Corps in 2007 at 17. He served two combat deployments, one to Fallujah, Iraq in 2008, and NowZad, Afghanistan in 2009. Seth left the Marine Corps in 2012 and transitioned to the Florida Army National Guard in 2013. During that time, Seth served as a police officer, and in 2015 earned an undergraduate degree from Saint Leo University in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security, which focused in part on emergency management and disaster response. After graduation, Seth accepted a position with Triple Canopy, providing protective services to US Government officials in Iraq. In 2018, Seth began his master’s degree at Missouri State University focusing on Global Studies.
On October 10th, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. Everyone was aware how bad the hurricane would be, but not everyone had the chance to evacuate. Although he had limited resources, Seth knew he had to do something. He quickly contacted a small group of veterans and first responders to form a small team and began assembling gear and supplies.
Having come from various backgrounds dealing with natural disasters and emergency response, Seth realized two important things:
- There is no dedicated, professional rescue team whose mission is to rescue those in the worst possible conditions – the eye wall of a hurricane.
- Many veterans and first responders choose to serve because they want to make a positive impact. For veterans, they acquire critical skills and experience that cannot be translated to civilian sectors. As they transition into new roles, those skills are put on a shelf as the veteran struggles to find purpose and meaning in their new mission. Most veterans will tell you that they wish they were back overseas every day. They miss the environment, the comradery and a mission worth risking everything for. As a result, veteran and first responder suicide has reached epidemic proportions.
For Seth, it is personal. His unit alone lost 26 individuals overseas and 33 veteran suicides back home.
“Overseas, we would never leave the safety of the base by ourselves. Always, in everything we do, there is always at least one other by your side. They don’t tell you that when you put the helmet on the shelf for the last time, the war continues. We are Forever Outside the Wire. We MUST continue to keep ranks. We are still a unit, and there is still work to be done.” – Seth Ramsey
And so, just under two months later, on December 7th, 2018, Seth formed The SPEAR Project to attack and conquer these critical issues.
Anyone who has spoken to Seth for any length of time over the past 3+ years will tell you that this is now his life’s mission.
“The SPEAR Project provides a unique service. Not only do we draw on the extensive experience and knowledge of veterans and first responders, but our network allows us to reach nationwide and throughout the world. Given time and resources, there is no reason why SPEAR cannot expand to cover a wide range of locations and respond to all manner of disasters. In the coming years, we hope to be relied upon within all 50 states and all US territories, so that not one person dies from disasters and not one veteran or first responder takes his or her own life.” – Seth Ramsey