Veteran's business, Dirtless Farms, working with other vets to help them adjust to civilian life

DENVER - After 15 years of service to our country, Evan Premer was looking for a change of pace.

In fact, he desperately needed one.

"I had a hard time finding work. I was struggling with some PTSD," said the vet who was deployed to Iraq during 2006-2007.

He and his mother, Esther, decided to embark on something new. She is a master gardener and, together, they decided to start Dirtless Farms.

"A greenhouse is almost like a decompression chamber, so you come in - it's calm, it's generally quiet - and you just nurture plants all day," said Premer.

Their business is a hydroponic farm, growing greens for local restaurants.

"We can grow this product with roughly 10 gallons of water per head."

In just a few short months, the soft-spoken vet has built the business with the help of his mother and two other partners. They now supply greens like bok choy, Chinese cabbage and tat soi to trendy eateries like Linger in Denver's Highlands neighborhood.

But that isn't the end of Premer's plan. He is using funding from an organization called Veterans to Farmers to help other veterans plant themselves in a fresh job as they recover from the fog of war.

"Right now," he says, "we are working with our first six students."

Among them is Sean Beagle, a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan.

"It's nice, we're building from the ground up - so the tables are all getting put together," he said. "Starting from seedling propagation all the way to the restaurants that we serve to."

"It's been one of the best choices of my life," said Navy veteran Daryl Goode, who is also involved. "It's actually so lovely to get up -- (I'm) anxious to get to the greenhouse."

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