Injured veteran turns to sustainable farming after Afghanistan blast

April 14, 2019

“I feel like when I put my hands in dirt, that’s when healing began,” said Davon Goodwin, a farmer in Raeford.

Goodwin has been farming for five years now but can still remember what it felt like to be on the battlefield when he closes his eyes. After surviving an explosion in Afghanistan back in 2010, Goodwin returned to North Carolina, but the man who left for war was not the same man who returned home.

The explosions left Goodwin with a broken back and a detrimental brain injury. Goodwin experienced severe memory loss, narcolepsy and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is still fighting to overcome the issues.

Farming is what has helped Goodwin find peace and recovery in what he calls his “second life.” Goodwin is now on The Board of Directors for The Young Farmers Coalition and hopes that other young people can reconnect to the land in order to heal and to have greater understanding for where our food comes from.

In an interview, he reflected on his past five years.

“I think doing this job in farming and feeding our community, it makes it makes life, you know, well worth it,” he said. “And being able to create greater access in the community is why we do what we do.”

This post was shared from the UNC Media Hub, a program offered in the School of Media and Journalism at UNC that helps students create integrated multimedia packages covering local, national and international stories.

Darian Woehr is a senior from Washington, D.C., and is a double major in photojournalism and global studies with plans to work at The Washington Post after graduation. Maryam Mohamed is a senior from Cary and a broadcast journalism major who plans to pursue a career in broadcast media.