Craig Lashley joined the U.S. Navy in 2001 as a submarine vertical launch systems and weapon equipment technician and was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the fast attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN-771). He also trained in firefighting and was part of the ship’s security force.
After separating from the Navy, Lashley faced a number of struggles, including homelessness, substance abuse and addiction, but he refused to let them crush his spirit. With support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lashley was able to improve his life and return to the University of South Florida where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He will soon graduate with a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Lashley has struggled with depression for years, but he believes that exercise and being outside are among the best cures for his mental health. He looks forward to the opportunity to reconnect with other veterans and strengthen their shared bonds.