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Mark Starr
Mark Starr is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, he was wounded in combat and received a Purple Heart while serving in the Arkansas Army National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade. In 2009, due to his injuries he was medically retired from the Army. Starr joined Vet Voice Foundation in 2009. Prior to working for the organization he was active in the non-profit community and worked in HIV and AIDS services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1997 and a Master of Social Work from the university in 2000. Starr currently resides in Southern California.

Entries by Mark Starr

What's Worth the Fight?

(12) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 10:49 AM

When President Obama's proposed budget to Congress was released last week, it contained some sobering news. Under a budget agreement that the president and Congress worked out in December, the Pentagon's budget will shrink by more than $75 billion over the next two years -- with deeper cuts expected if...

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Local Veterans and Senators Support Proposed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 3:15 PM

They do a lot of things well in New Mexico. It is truly a Land of Enchantment.

However, one area to address is the protection of significant historical sites and artifacts within the state's borders.

This is a shame, considering the wealth of history that can be found...

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Poll Finds Strong Support for Conservation Funding and the Protection of Public Lands Among Western Veterans

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 12:21 PM

A November poll commissioned by the Vet Voice Foundation found strong support among veterans for the protection of our parks and public lands for our children and future generations. To many veterans, this is not news. Seeing these numbers on paper only reminds us of the connection veterans share with...

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Veterans Join Efforts to Protect Rivers and Wild Lands in the Los Padres National Forest

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 7:51 PM

Jon Soltz served in the Army in Kosovo and Iraq. In 2011, he was one of the last troops to leave the country. Upon his return home that year -- his second tour of Iraq -- fishing became an important part of his life.

"Fishing is an outlet for...

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The Bodie Hills: An American Treasure

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 5:47 PM

Teddy Roosevelt, arguably the founder of America's conservation movement and one of our nation's greatest soldiers and leaders once remarked:

Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's...

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Equal Ground for Energy Development and Conservation

(2) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 11:54 AM

There has been a great deal of media attention lately about how Americans can best support and protect their parks and public lands, from small business CEOs talking about investing in the outdoors to Congress and environmental organizations sparring about who and how to protect new national monuments.


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Conservation Is Patriotic

(7) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 6:04 PM

The California desert is a place of great beauty and mystery. It is clearly an area that one can retreat to in an effort to find the peace that so many of us seek in escaping from the stressors of our daily lives. As a veteran who served in Iraq,...

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Rio Grande del Norte: A Gift for the Veterans and Military Families of New Mexico

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 12:31 PM

This week, President Obama once again demonstrated his commitment to protecting our public lands with the designation of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico. This designation marks the fifth time during his tenure that President Obama has used the Antiquities Act to safeguard our nation's...

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Secretary Salazar -- A Legacy of Land Conservation

(4) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 12:33 PM

This week, Secretary Ken Salazar announced his retirement, bringing an end to his tenure at the Interior Department. As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I'm personally grateful to Secretary Salazar for his leadership in conserving America's lands and, in particular, protecting special places that...

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A Veteran's Perspective: Congress Must Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

(2) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 9:56 AM

As a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I've called many places around the world home. After I was medically retired from the Army in 2009, I found a new home in California. One of the things that drew me to this great state was how...

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Uniting to Save a California Wild Space

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 12:44 PM

When I think of the importance of protecting America's wild spaces, I often think of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt, one of America's greatest soldiers, statesmen and also the father of America's conservation movement, was also a Republican. Then, as now, our nation's capital had deep divisions that often required lawmakers reaching...

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Protect the Great Outdoors With the Land and Water Conservation Fund

(1) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 5:01 PM

For those of us that have experienced the horror of war, there is one thing we have in common upon our return from the battlefield: a search for ways to deal with loss, and a struggle to reintegrate back into civilian life. As a veteran of the Persian Gulf and...

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President Understands Importance of Public Lands to Those Who Served

(19) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 4:03 PM

Serving in both the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I've certainly seen the horrors of war. Like so many I served with, as well as those who came before me, and came after me, I've experienced the most intense mental pressure possible. And, like so many others, when I...

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