Years Served: 10
Military Occupation: Combat Medic
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ
Twitter Handle: @zack_kreish
Tell us a little about you outside of the military:
- I am the Director of Sales for the Sonesta Select Brand in Arizona.
- I have a beautiful fiancé (Tina) and a 5-year-old son (George).
- I love to golf and hang out with my family and friends.
Why are you participating in the fly-in with IAVA?
- To give the veterans that feel like they don’t have a voice, a voice in things that are happening in the veteran community. I have battled mental illness that crippled me at one point in my life. I want to make sure no veteran ever gets to the lows that I was in and to show them that they have a voice. I am here for them!
How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?
- It shaped me into the man I am today. It gave me discipline, patience, and mental fortitude to help me get through some tough obstacles that life has thrown me. I am so thankful for the military and how it shaped me to become the man, father, and future husband that I am today.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?
- I feel like the IAVA’s policy that I believe is the most pressing is actually 2 but it is combined. I feel like combating veteran suicide and the modernization and use of alternative therapies to combat veteran suicide. I believe EMDR and alternative therapies like that changed my outlook on life with PTSD in my darkest days. With the development of new studies to show these types of therapies work and should be approved by the VA.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?
- I feel like Veteran suicide is the one that I have the strongest personal connection to. Unfortunately, I have had to bury friends that were battling demons and ended up taking their own life. I have had to do this way too many times to count and I want to find a way to stop this SIGNIFICANT issue that we face. The stats are staggering and I hold this issue extremely close to my heart.