“Very little answers. Very short sentences. … I’m not kidding, within a couple weeks of really empowering himself and being who he was he started writing letters to me like [Albert] Einstein.” The release of the gendered burden and the acceptance of who McArthur truly is at his core transformed both his personal and professional life. “He’s representing being who you are,” Rothschild said. “It’s mind-blowing to me how many kids are looking up to him here [in Estes Park],” Rothschild said. “Casil’s goal is to help others and it’s always been. He’s been that way his whole life.” Making a difference The impact of McArthur’s success is far-reaching. Though Estes Park is renowned for the splendor of the Rocky Mountains and the inescapable association with cowboys and a more rustic lifestyle, McArthur is breaking the mold of the small-town mentality. In fact, the close-knit community of Estes is a comfort and constant in his life. “I think in Estes alone at least among the friends I have there’s going to be so many amazing influences that come out of Estes because of the small community,” he said.
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It was. Iron Protection Group was formed in 2014 by Hunter Garth, Cory Aguillard and Caleb Patton, Marines who had served in Afghanistan but were disoriented in the civilian world. They wanted to find jobs for former fighters who were now sleeping on one anothers couches, living on ramen noodles and roaming in search of a purpose and a sense of family. Two Army veterans joined them in founding the company. additional readingIt started out as brothers helping brothers, said Patton, 31. In some ways, it was a natural marriage, formalizing a relationship forged in Vietnam, where marijuana became a balm for soldiers seeking to calm the demons of deployment. Garth said that about half of his employees smoke marijuana, though he asks them to refrain from doing so eight hours before a shift. Eight hours jigger to trigger, he said, is the rule. The pay starts at $12 an hour, or $25,000 a year based on a 40-hour workweek. (The average salary, Garth said, is more like $38,000.) But that doesnt reflect the benefits of camaraderie. At a shooting range tucked into the Rockies, where 10 employees of Iron Protection Group are training, Curtis Simmons, 30, awaits his turn to shoot.
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