Michelle served in the U.S. Army for over four years and is the current Executive Director and acting President of the Hawaii Veterans Cannabis Alliance. She entered the US Army in 1998 from her birth state Texas and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Michelle conducted her advanced individual training (or AIT) at Fort Huachuca, AZ for her primary identifier as a Counterintelligence Agent, finishing second in her graduating class in 1999. Michelle carried a secondary identifier as an Arabic Linguist and completed the Arabic linguist course 3 months early at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California in 2001.
Michelle's service ended in 2002 with an Honorable Medical Discharge after she suffered multiple traumatic injuries in a car accident while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Since her discharge, Michelle has completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Science degree, both in the field of Criminal Justice. A substantial portion of her studies were dedicated to the analysis of vice and drug related crime.
Michelle is a divorced mother of four amazing children, all whom endured the burden of a PTSD affected parent as children and adolescents. She moved to Hawaii in 2013 to be close to her two youngest children, at the time living on Schofield with their father. Since her arrival in 2013, she has helped to pass dispensary legislation in the state of Hawaii and to bring a spotlight to the suffering of veterans throughout the country caused by PTSD and other combat related injuries and disorders.
Michelle's primary goal in working with the HVCA is to reduce veteran suicide, but her secondary goals for the organization include creating community gardens on each island and maintaining them with volunteer and veteran contributions, creating and maintaining a hotline to provide an alternative resolution process for veterans who are currently referred to Tripler Army Medical Center for PTSD diversion from Hawaii police departments, creating a Veteran Reception Center for veterans desiring assistance with questions about and obtaining a Hawaii State medical marijuana registration and a veteran farm for transient veterans to obtain temporary shelter, food assistance, agricultural training, nutrition counseling and other support.