"You could only do so much with a gun," said Mccue, who also served in the Peace Corps in Niger and studied at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz after leaving the military.
He acknowledged that soldiering was a very important job -- but so were other things like agriculture. Mccue, who attended the Santa Monica fair, noticed there were more young veterans like himself getting into farming.
Calling himself "just a grunt," Mccue said it really amused him to share his farming knowledge with other soldiers-turned-farmers who he considered "elite" and "really good soldiers."
Apart from addressing issues in the country's agricultural industry, O'Gorman said farming is a good way to help soliders with personal challenges.
For example, he said he heard a story of an alcoholic, drug-addicted veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who immediately sobered up when he started working on a farm.
And when O'Gorman hears talk about how healing it is for returning soldiers to work outside with plants and animals, O'Gorman said he thinks there's another element: "What's real healing is finding that necessary work that is needed."