Garret Biss

Name: Garret Biss
Branch: USMC
Years Served: 1999-2015
Rank: SSgt/ Capt
Military Occupation:  KC-130J Pilot / 7557
Twitter Handle: @garretbiss 

Tell us a little about you outside of the military: 

  • I started and run an addiction recovery residence to house and support people in recovery.
  • I work as a speaker, trainer, and consultant in the addiction recovery industry, recently narrowing my focus to Veterans.
  • I am involved in advocacy and community outreach—locally for my work in the community with the recovery residence and nationally in the mental health/addiction space around Veterans.
  • In my “spare” time (whatever that is), I enjoy flying with the Civil Air Patrol and serving two global water non-profits, and
  • I live in North Carolina with my wife Maria, daughter Katherine (14), and son, Noah (2.5)

Why are you joining the IAVA Cavalry? 

  • I am joining the IAVA Cavalry to further my advocacy efforts and to gain advanced skills and knowledge to serve our veteran community more effectively. I believe this experience will help me impact more veterans’ lives and enhance my personal fulfillment in making a meaningful difference. I want to be more active in supporting the Veteran community and sharing a voice about the needs and challenges Veterans face.

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?

  • It taught me the importance of camaraderie and a sense of meaning and purpose. Facing the challenges of deployment and the transition to civilian life has given me a deep understanding of the struggles veterans face, fueling my passion for advocacy and support for my fellow servicemen and women.
  • Most Americans appreciate our service, but none understand the real cost paid. That used to make me bitter and angry when I heard “Thank you for your service.” Now I appreciate the sentiment and have accepted that non-veterans don’t and can’t truly understand. And that’s ok.   

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?

  • I believe advocating for alternative therapies is the most pressing issue due to the profound mental health challenges veterans face daily. Veterans, too often, live lives devoid of happiness, joy, self-worth, and purpose, clouded by the effects of their military service. This struggle has far-reaching effects, impacting families, communities, and workplaces. Veterans, the most courageous and dedicated Americans, are unable to contribute their best due to psychological and emotional pain. The current medical system often exacerbates these issues, masking symptoms with medication instead of fostering true healing. Many veterans are on multiple medications that compound their problems with side effects and additional illnesses. Promoting alternative therapies can provide real healing, enabling veterans to reclaim their lives and positively impact their families, workplaces, and communities.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why? 

  • I have the strongest personal connection to advocating for alternative therapies. Traditional approaches to mental health and addiction often fall short, and I have personally benefited from alternative therapies such as psychedelic-assisted treatment and Regenerating Images in Memory (RIM®). These experiences have shown me the profound impact these therapies can have, and I am committed to promoting their acceptance and integration into veteran healthcare.


Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.

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