Izaak Thibodeaux – Founder and President
Zaak was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana where he currently resides with his wife, Marlena, and 9-year old son. He served in the Army from 2005-2014 in various positions. His final assignment was with 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team as an Infantry Company Senior Medic. Zaak deployed in that capacity to Afghanistan 2012-13. Due to severe injuries sustained during combat operations, Zaak was medically retired in 2014.
Zaak struggled immensely with his transition from the military, feeling a sense of lost purpose while simultaneously attempting to rebuild his mental and physical well-being. After years of struggling, Zaak found strength and purpose in volunteering with Team Rubicon for disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey. He realized then that helping others in need was what was missing in his life.
Zaak’s interest in medical cannabis came only after several physically invasive treatments, surgeries, and the being prescribed countless combinations of prescription drugs, all without success. As a former medic, Zaak knew there had to be a better option and began looking into alternative treatments.
After extensive research and talking with other veterans who used medical cannabis to treat their symptoms, Zaak decided to try medical cannabis, and in his words “It literally saved my life”. Zaak founded Cannabis for Warriors with one simple vision, to save his fellow brothers and sisters lives with the healing powers of medical cannabis, and that continues to push his work today.
Christopher Lamy – Director of Public Relations
Chris grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has lived in Covington since 2016 with his Wife, Shana, and two daughters. Chris and his family decided to make Covington their home after ten years and five overseas deployments in the Air Force, where he worked as a K9 handler and training manager. Chris is currently pursuing his law degree from the LSU Law Center and is set to graduate in May of 2020. He plans to use his legal education and leadership skills to remain a strong voice of positive change in the veteran community.
Chris is already an active leader in the veteran community, on the state and national level. As a founding officer of the LSU Law Center Veteran’s Advocacy Club, Chris is working directly with the law center administration to establish a Veterans Legal Clinic, which will provide free legal advice and services to veterans in the Baton Rouge community.
Chris’ involvement and interest in cannabis stemmed from his struggles with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress resulting from multiple overseas deployments during his time in service. Frustrated with the lack of success from countless prescribed medications, Chris began conducting his own research and took more control of his mental and physical well-being. As Chris continued to explore and research, he began to realize the enormous amount of false information and misconceptions surrounding the cannabis plant. Chris vowed to advocate and educate anyone who would listen using facts and experience to dispel these falsities and misconceptions.
Jay Holcombe (aka Safety-Jay) – First Responder Liason
Jay was born and raised in Covington and continues to enjoy this peaceful community with his wife Courtney and son. As you would expect from a hometown boy, Jay is an active participant and leader in several local professional organizations and community involvement programs. He serves as Vice President of the Louisiana Fire Prevention Chiefs Association, serves on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Arson Association, Volunteers with Miracle League Northshore and is an active member of the St. John fools Misrule twelfth, just to name a few.
Jay has spent the last 22 years as a safety professional, compiling an impressive record as a safety advisor, investigator and instructor. Jay maintains current certifications as an emergency medical technician and a P.O.S.T. certified police officer, along with the necessary certifications required for his current position as a fire prevention officer and fire investigator. In this position, Safety-Jay continues to perform valuable services for the citizens of Louisiana by conducting fire & life safety inspections and educating the local community which he serves. Prior to his current position, Jay spent 5 years traveling between Trinidad, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States as an Occupational Health and Safety Officer for an offshore oil company.
In late 2016, following a severe automobile accident, Jay started researching the potential of CBD products to treat anxiety and chronic pain. Through this research, Jay found that by properly utilizing CBD products, he could drastically reduce the amount of prescribed medications to manage his symptoms. Today, Jay continues to use CBD products and is an advocate for medical cannabis. Due to his position with the Fire Department, medical cannabis is not an option and could lead to termination. However, Jay plans to continue to educate and advocate for CBD and medical cannabis as an alternative to the harsh pharmaceuticals currently being prescribed to treat mental and physical conditions.
Shana Lamy – Fundraising and Special Events Coordinator
Shana spent most of her adolescence in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi before attending the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Shana decided to take a break from her education in 2005 after she and Chris joined the Air Force. Like so many other military spouses, Shana selflessly put her aspirations on hold to take care of her growing family while Chris remained on active duty. Shana was a natural fit as a military spouse, she quickly became the den-mother at each new location, hosting dinners and making countless service members feel at home, no matter how far they were from their own families.
Now that the Lamy family’s journey with the Air Force has come to an end, Shana has resumed her education and is set to graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing in May 2020. In between her classes and raising their two daughters, Shana spends her time researching and coordinating events the team can attend to spread the CFW mission.
Shana’s stance on medical cannabis changed dramatically through the years as she watched firsthand the damage prescription drugs had on her husband’s mental health and quality of life. While Shana has never used medical marijuana, she has become a strong advocate for legal and regulated application of cannabis as an alternative to harsh pharmaceuticals.
Nikki Reed – Social Media Manager
Nikki was born in Milwaukee in 1979 and raised in Iowa. She currently lives in Winston Salem, NC with her son Dylan and enjoys riding Harley’s, everything Jesus, mountains, podcasts and laughing!
Nikki enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1996 and later joined the officer ranks as a full time MSC Officer in 2002, after finishing her bachelor’s degree in Biology. As OIF1 kicked off, Nikki was assigned as the rear-detachment OIC (Officer in Charge) of the 109th Medical Battalion. She was transferred to National Guard Bureau, Arlington, VA in 2004 and served for 9 years as the program manager for the Surgeon’s office. One of the things Nikki is most proud of during her time in service is her efforts leading the DA’s 90 Day Boots on Ground Program, a program specifically designed for every physician and dentist in the National Guard.
Nikki’s passion for all alternative medicines began after she was discharged in 2005, due to a diagnosis of MS. Then in 2008, she witnessed firsthand the devastating affects PTSD and TBI can have on a family. As her husband struggled to find a measure of peace through prescription medication, their marriage fell apart, eventually leading to divorce in 2012.
In 2014, Nikki began experimenting with cannabinoids to deal with the auto-immune attacks that accompany MS, which had amplified through these life changing events. Nikki continues to use CBD products and advocate for medical cannabis, which is fitting as a walking testimony of the power of cannabis and all its parts.
Nikki has spent the last 5 years self-teaching, advocating, and educating others through social media about the power in cannabis. With humor, passion, and education, she advocates and educates anyone who will listen to help eradicate the misunderstandings around this plant. Nikki is a walking testimony of the power of cannabis in all its forms.