Erik Packard

About Erik: 

Founder, Veterans for the Boundary Waters

Staff Sergeant U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve 1996-2004, 2006-2013    

Iraq 2003-2004, 2008-2009

79th military Police company combat support, 13th physiological operation (PSYOP) battalion.


Erik on the Boundary Waters:

"The Boundary Waters and places like it are one of the reasons I pledged my life to this country. The Boundary Waters is the last of a dying breed-- a place that is the same now as it was when God created it. We can visit it, play in it, protect it for future generations, or we can destroy it. If this mine goes through, we will forever lose one of God’s most peaceful gifts to Minnesota."


About Joe:

Joe has over 20 years of experience as a business leader, Department of Defense civilian, Department of State diplomat and US Army officer. He deployed to Desert Storm with the1st Armored Division and was a civilian economic advisor during both the Iraq surge in 2007 and the Afghanistan surge in 2010. He recently founded The Arena Group, LLC, to provide strategy and leadership advisory services.


Joe on the Boundary Waters:

"The Boundary Waters is an exceptional training ground to develop our leaders of tomorrow. Extended stays in the Wilderness build the grit, teamwork, perseverance, physical strength and problem-solving skills necessary to overcome significant challenges, and as a result, are highly beneficial to voluntary military service. The Boundary Waters has been very formative to my own family. We need to preserve it for future generations; not only for conservation but also for our national security."

About Craig:

Craig is a native Minnesotan and served in the United States Marine Corps Infantry. He served in the Sangin District, Helmand Province Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and was deployed to the South China Sea and Jordan.


Craig on the Boundary Waters:

"As a kid, I understood the incredible power that wilderness and the Boundary Waters had to build young people into women and men of character. It wasn’t until I returned home from Afghanistan that I understood the power wilderness had to heal as well."




About Sergio:

1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division

Sergio is a first-generation American citizen born to parents from Uruguay. He was born and raised in Minnesota and served in the United States Marine Corps from 2009 – 2013. He served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom for a total of 14 months over 2 deployments.

Sergio on the Boundary Waters:

"When I first learned that the Boundary Waters was under threat, I didn’t take it seriously.
I thought that the country my fellow Marines and I fought for would never allow such a beautiful
place, a place that so many people depend on, to be destroyed. For the sake of my fellow
veterans and all the hard-working people who depend on a clean Wilderness, I hope I thought

Joe Banavige
Craig Shaver
Sergio Manacero


© 2017 by Veterans for the Boundary Waters

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