Hero's Turf: U.S. Navy veteran embarks on landscape journey
After being diagnosed with PTSD, Shane Baseflug decided to take on a different career path away from the busy life of the oil field and onto something that helps his mental health.
DICKINSON — Turning the key of his Gravely lawn mower, Shane Baseflug sports a green veteran ball cap as he lets the engine buzz off of his trailer and onto an untouched yard filled with dandelions and lush grass. Round and around, he grazes the landscape over, leaving behind a crisp, clean-cut look.
This is Hero’s Turf — a new veteran-owned landscaping company that serves Dickinson and Beulah areas.
“I go around, I trim, I edge and take care of people’s yards,” Baseflug said Thursday while mowing a lawn for a resident in Gladstone, North Dakota.
As a U.S. Navy veteran, Baseflug served from 2008 to the end of 2015. He was stationed in Afghanistan in 2013 and returned to the states the following year. After working in the oil field, Baseflug decided in early May that he wanted to try out something new.
“I was recently, by the VA, diagnosed with 100% PTSD or disability with PTSD. And it was hard for me to do the job that I needed to that I’d been working at before,” Baseflug said. “And so, I left and I was trying to figure out what I can do to make money and my wife owns Aloha Tan there in Dickinson so I thought, ‘Well, why not start my own business.’ Something I can to do by myself; something that I don’t have to focus too much on. And so, I just picked this up and started running with it.”
Stepping away from a demanding job in the oil field, Baseflug noted that this allows him to focus on one thing at a time and gives him more independence.
“I know what I got to do. I can go there. I can do it. My anxiety has been at an all time low,” he added, with a chuckle. “I like the fresh air. I like the smell of the grass when I’m cutting it. It’s just relaxing. And I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just been nice being able to just get away and do my own thing here.”
As a father and a husband, Baseflug has been able to spend more time with his family. After spending nearly a decade in the oil field, he noted that it was a job that separated him from his loved ones.
“... Being able to be my own boss is allowing me to take time where I need it to be able to do things that I usually don’t get to do,” he said, adding, “I got to leave in the middle of the day yesterday to go to my daughter’s fifth (grade) graduation before she goes to middle school. Family is a big thing and I want to be there.”
Despite only recently kicking off his landscaping business, Baseflug noted that he has received some service calls to keep him busy.
“I know there's a lot of competition in town. I'm not too worried about making too much; it's more to occupy my mind than anything,” he said.
When asked what serving in The Navy meant to him, Baseflug noted that it was an honor.
“It was the first thing I did that meant anything to me. It was a big part of discovering who I was,” he remarked. “I know the military is not for everybody and I don’t pressure anybody who doesn’t feel like they need to do it to get into it. But I do feel that if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s a good place to start.”
In light of Memorial Day weekend and other holidays that highlight those who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice, Baseflug added that he appreciates people who seek out his veteran-owned business.
“As a veteran, we don’t look for recognition for a lot of things… But the thought is always nice,” he said, noting that a thank you goes a long way.
To learn more about Hero’s Turf, call 701-690-5118.