MSgt Arlin Eastman was on his third deployment to Afghanistan when his convoy was torn apart by a roadside bomb. Arlin’s life was spared, but he returned home with significant brain damage. At his VA doctor’s request to “find a hobby” as a way to mitigate extreme depression, Arlin took up woodworking. Shortly into that process, he realized just how overwhelming it can be to create a home shop, so he turned to the online woodworking forums for assistance. The response from Woodworkers across the country was incredible, with donations on tooling and materials to help him create his own garage oasis. With this space, he invites fellow disabled veterans and active duty members into his shop and teaches them pen turning and hand tool work. Arlin is quick to tell you, “just seeing the look of self-worth reappear on a disabled veteran’s face is all the thanks I need.” Even with his sometimes crippling condition which sequesters him to a wheelchair most of the time, he is always enthusiastic to speak of his favorite hobby.
Arlin is one of the most inspiring folks I’ve met in this journey. He’s a big fan of woodworking DVDs, so if you have any you’d like to send his way, please contact me and we’ll send them.