ANNA MANN | ALAMEDA, CA
Originally from Washington, DC, Anna Brogan Mann joined the Army Reserves in 1996. She felt she needed more from life than what college was offering her so she enlisted as a Civil Affairs specialist under Special Operations Command. Originally based with the 489th CA BN out of Knoxville TN, she deployed with them to Bosnia in 2000-2001. After that deployment she was accepted to NC State and moved to North Carolina. She transferred to the 422nd CA BN, based in Greensboro, NC and deployed to Iraq in 2003.
While her year in Baghdad was difficult, Anna is proud of what her teams accomplished. They rebuilt the Public Health Lab, kicked off several water purification projects and assisted Iraqis with setting up numerous neighborhood clinics and medical facilities. Being a combat veteran is a badge of honor she carries proudly.
Transitioning to civilian life was extremely difficult and Anna had a hard time finding work that was suited to her new post-combat mindset. She and her husband moved to a small farm in the foothills of North Carolina and she started Chestnut Ridge Farm. A combination of farming and yoga and the presence of her ESA dog helped Anna manage many of her symptoms and reintegrate into society.
After meeting a group of other farmer-veterans at a conference Anna realized that there were many ways that veterans were helping each other heal and reintegrate, outside of the traditional VA system. She decided it was time to put her energy towards helping other veterans. When she saw the opportunity to work with Veterans Yoga Project she jumped at the chance. Yoga was transformative for her injured body and she wants to share that with the greater veteran community. She packed up her husband, two children and two dogs and moved to the West Coast. Anna is thrilled to be working with an organization like The Mission Continues that can help her turn her ideas into a solid course of action.