Monthly Archives: May 2016

Articles Community Lifestyle

Veteran Volunteers To Defeat ISIS

Veteran Volunteers To Defeat ISIS from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Erwin Stran is an Iraq War veteran who went back to Iraq this past year in 2015, only this time it was on his own dime and on his own terms. He served in the Army National Guard prior to this past year when he decided that he wanted to volunteer to help defeat ISIS. He and a small group of volunteering men joined Peshmerga, which is the Iraqi-Kurdish military. Stran fought in Iraq for six months and in Syria for five months.

Stran was never paid for his efforts, nor did he have the protection of the American military. After he came back from his first deployment and left the military he always wanted to go back. He struggled transitioning back into civilian life. Volunteering gave him the ability to go wherever he was needed in order to keep ISIS from taking innocent lives. There were no orders given to him, he would go wherever ISIS was located.

Now it is not so easy for Americans to do what Erwin Stran did. The people who volunteer do not have the benefits that the military give to those who are enlisted. Any injury would be paid out of pocket. Those who do choose to volunteer have a sense of American pride that is demonstrated through their willingness to put themselves in harms way.

Stran is currently writing a book about his experiences while in Syria and Iraq.

Community Lifestyle

Iris Festival Creates Revenue and Exposure For Small Businesses

Iris Festival Creates Revenue and Exposure For Small Businesses from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Artisans from all over the United States gathered together for the Iris Festival in downtown Greeneville, Tennessee on May 22, 2016 to display their handmade designs in anticipation of promoting their small businesses. There were more than 160 vendors that showed up for the two-day festival. Artists participate in drawing crowds to their tables and are active in giving their information out to those who are interested in buying and learning about their crafts. Business cards are handed out at each table even after the festival is over so that buyers can keep up with new and improved products through social media, such as Etsy.

Cyndi Gorskey is from Florida. She etches designs and has painted wine glasses that she has turned into candleholders. Gorskey is familiar with attending festivals and being involved in them herself. The Iris Festival is the first festival she has been to in Tennessee, “It’s a beautiful little town, well organized.” She says she hopes to return to the Iris Festival next year.

Businesses like David Cornett and his wife who started “Just Herbs” have been participating in the Iris Festival for many years. When his wife told him that she couldn’t have any more salt, so he came up with a blend to season their vegetables and everything else. It’s been 30 years since they started their business. They have created over 300 different types of spices and combinations of herbs to cook with. They have sold their spices all over the world.

The Iris Festival shines a light on small businesses and exposes them to a lot of people. The festival gives artisans a chance on making profits off of their dreams, dedication, and hard work.


Antique Car Show Donates Proceeds To Local Organizations

Antique Car Show Donates Proceeds To Local Organizations from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Davy Crockett Region of the Antique Automobile Car Club of America and Food City in Greeneville, Tennessee hosted its fourth annual antique car show. The people who entered their cars in the auto show each paid a fee of $10, but the sights and sounds were free to the public. The money that was raised between the hours of 9:00am- 3:00pm was then donated to various organizations in need throughout Greene County. The community came together for the enjoyment of old cars and good times with family and friends.

People could be overheard reminiscing over specific car models that
brought back old memories. Children were anxious to ask questions and
drag parents from one car to the next. All viewers of the auto show were encouraged
to place a ballot on their favorite muscle and classic cars. There were also
automobiles that were up for sale and business opportunities for people who
specialize in fixing and maintaining antique vehicles.

The next car show will be announced in the Greeneville Sun. All classic car owners
and car lovers are encouraged to attend. This community event hopes to continue
over the next several years, but is not possible without the public’s interest and


Yee-Haw Brewing Company Hosts Fundraiser For The Washington County Humane Society

Yee-Haw Brewing Company Hosts Fundraiser For The Washington County Humane Society from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.



According to the ASPCA 2.7 million is the number of animals euthanized every year. The Washington County, Tennessee Humane Society hosted a fundraiser and adoption at Yee-Haw Brewing Company in hopes of raising awareness to the public about the financial needs of the organization. There were dogs and puppies located on the site that were up for adoption to a forever home. Yee-Haw Brewing Co. granted a dollar to the Humane Society for every pint of beer sold within the hours of 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

According to Young-Williams Animal Center in 2015 Tennessee alone had 5,524 adoptions and 4,330 pets that were euthanized. Organizations such as the humane society in Washington County are avid about teaching the importance of adopting pets and the need for spaying and neutering animals. Volunteers and workers are taught how to seek out the homes best fit for animals that are adopted.

The Washington County Humane Society will continue to promote adoptions and set up on location at the Yee-Haw Brewery on the first Thursday of every month. Yee-Haw plans to continue contributing to the benefit through the purchase of pints of beer. People are encouraged to bring their own adopted pets to the fundraiser.


A Therapist’s Desire to Serve

A Therapist’s Desire to Serve from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Photo of Ken Brewer

Burn out rates in occupations lead to eventual mental rundown or inevitable career changes. The passion to serve others through a specific choice of occupation may come as a personal risk for some individuals. People who are in careers that are heavily dependent on mental health have to focus on self-care techniques. It is important for every person who is fervent about serving others to remain aware that they are just as susceptible to become overworked, and that there are avenues to combat the mental stress.

Ken Brewer has a master’s degree in clinical psychology with a concentration in drug and alcohol counseling. After two years of working as a therapist, he began to realize that he lacked the tools he needed in order to combat the personal stress of conducting therapy. At the same time as running therapy with drug addicts and court ordered individuals, Brewer demonstrated an interest in teaching college students. He could tell a clear difference between people who want to learn and people who have no desire to be served. Through his experience he realized that service is what makes a person good at what they do. Mr. Brewer mentions that by living a spiritually healthy lifestyle, service is exponentially granted. In his psychology classes he teaches students about the importance of self-care while having a career as a therapist. Brewer’s passion for serving others through teaching shows that service to others can only be properly done when people are mentally capable of giving themselves away and how it can benefit others.


To those who are burning out of their current career because of their servant like personalities, try to incorporate self-care habits into a daily routine. It can be dangerous to stay in an unhealthy career. Burning out not only debilitates a person’s mental health, but it also can ruin careers, relationships, and physical health. It is critically important to remain aware and indulge in healthy career choices.