BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Shane Farlin Sr. loved serving his country. He entered the military academy at age 14 and served in Iraq in 2004. However, when an I.E.D. exploded near him, three months into his tour in Baghdad, he knew his dream of serving in the military for life was over.
“I had lost my eye in combat,” said Farlin who’s now running for Ward 5 City Commissioner. “[I] literally died on the battlefield and was brought back by the medevac.”
He now wears a glass eye with a military crest printed on it. It’s a reminder of his days while in the service. Once he was discharged in March 2006, his life took a turn for the worse he said. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, battled depression and suicide and lost his home. He was 21-years-old.
“I had free access to bars and everything,” said Farlin during an interview at City Hall. “So I was going through a lot and [I’ll] be the first to admit that at that point and time in my life I dealt with it with alcohol.”
Farlin’s life continued to spiral when he assaulted an officer in Eaton County in July 2006. He remembered behaving unruly that night. When officers were arresting him, he bit one in the shoulder area.
“It did get out of hand,” said Farlin. “I was intoxicated and it was over a decade ago and I’m embarrassed about it.”
Over the years since then, Farlin said he got his life together. He sought help from the V.A. He even started a few businesses, one being a food truck company that he ran for four years. Returning to work gave him the vision and mission he once had years ago.
“Having something to wake up for every single day and and getting involved with your community and not just sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself, that made all the difference,” said Farlin, a single father of two.
He got involved with a few local veteran organizations, including the American Legion. Moreover, he kept in contact with the officer whom he bit in '06. Farlin's planning to hold a public press event in the near future about his run for office and invited him to speak about the incident. Farlin's focus now is to use his military and business experience to improve Battle Creek.
“My care for the citizens and what we can be is going to show through and we’re going to make it happen,” said Farlin. “Win or lose, I’m going to be committed to this community and make it a better place.”