get to know veteran; keith angyo goffin - zaltho board director

1. What year/how old were you when you joined the military?

I enlisted in the delayed entry program on February 17, 1982. I was 17 years old and departed for active duty May 24th, 1982.

2. Why did you enlist in your branch of service?

I enlisted in the US Army as I wanted to be a paratrooper and jump out of aircrafts.

3. How many years did you serve and what unit/units?

I served the both the active and reserve forces from February 17, 1982, thru January 1, 2016, at which point I retired.

A and B Co. 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group

151st Infantry - Long Range Surveillance (LRS)(ABN)

AOB 51, 2nd Battalions 5th Special Forces Group

Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR)

A and B Co., TF10, 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group

US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)

Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan (SOJTF-A)

642nd ESC, 7th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade (ABN)

F Co., 229th Military Intelligence Battalion (DLI)

4. Which practice forms (sitting, walking, working, eating, or deep listening and mindful speech) have been important and supportive in your daily life?

Sitting is the root form of an active spiritual practice and I enjoy the self-introspection as well as deep listening and mindful speech which I actively use throughout everyday interactions.

5. What drew you to Zen practice?

A Veterans Retreat initially brought me to the Magnolia Zen Center and it was the brutal honesty of the practice with Buddhist monk Claude AnShin Thomas and the deepening of my spiritual practice which have illuminated my world.

6. How does Zen Practice influence your daily life?

Practice keeps me focused on the importance of my interconnectivity with all. It’s a wake-up call for not following the mass consensus and to ask myself daily, “What am I willing to do daily to make this a better world?” Practice has taught me how to speak, act, walk, talk and develop “the change I want to see.” I continue my learning by staying out of my head and staying away from thinking up my own stories.

7. What does it mean to you to be a part of this practice community?

I have created lasting friendships, spirituality, reflection, insight, and a way to view “myself” within a likeminded group of spiritual practice.

8. Who is/was the most inspirational person in your life and why?

I really do not have a single overriding inspirational person in my life. I do think the WW2 generation coming out of the depression era in the United States and building a system in which valued education, medicine, small business, a housing, and income that could provide for a nuclear family is very inspirational.

9. What did you want to be when you were a child?

As far as career, I wanted to be an emergency room physician, and throughout my life I just wanted to be a good person whatever that meant.

10. What one word would you use to describe your Zen practice?