Since I was just a kid, like 6 or so, I remember thinking about where and how I should sit in church or in school so that ‘if’ a bad guy would come in to try to hurt anyone, I would be in the best position to protect others and take the bad guy down.
It was just in my blood to want to protect my family, to protect my church and my friends, and be a safe place for others. That has always been a solid foundation of my being. Even throughout school and as I grew up, I was that guy in school that other kids would talk to about problems or questions and would be there as a safe place in their life.
It was a very natural choice for me to join the Air Force and I was excited to be involved in such a solid opportunity to serve and protect my country and my people. I also became an EMT with that same opportunity in mind; help, protect, save. But soon after, I hurt my back. I mean, messed it up big time – and I thought I was out of the fight. How could I protect and serve when I was laid out?
I transitioned into sales – which just didn’t stick. It was something that was just getting me by, and not really filling me up.
Then it dawned on me to work as an emergency (911) operator. I thought that I could help and protect at least in that manner – but found that I nearly went mad because I wanted to crawl right through those phone lines to help out the person on the other end! During one call in particular, a girl was scared and in a dangerous situation. I did my best to advise her and calm her down while help was on the way, but found myself asking her if she had a gun to protect herself. That was a major violation, and grounds for dismissal. Man, it just really felt like it was the right way to go, and if given the opportunity, I’d quite possibly do it again.
Despite that incident, I found myself with a good position at the county jail, which prepared me quite well the next year as the deputy in Hand County. 7 years I invested into a life of serving an protecting and preparing. During that time, I filled my tank with all the instruction and teaching I could get, because I just knew there was so much more to come.
I wrapped up my time as deputy and dove into working in Watertown, SD as a detective & patrol officer. I studied and taught every defense and protect tactic possible, including firearms, self-defense, crime scene tech, child protection, sex crimes, etc.
Studying, teaching, enforcing was significant and fulfilling work that served the city well, but I found it still missed the mark for me. This was mostly all about cleaning up the messes. – Which is extremely important work – However, after everything that I had seen and experienced – I wanted to find a way to stop the messes before they even started.
I began to focus more on empowerment and preparedness through martial arts. The strength and focus applied is more of a healthy safeguard than a bandaid. Proactive rather than reactive. You know, I think that’s a little more along the lines of what God really intended. He is the healer. He sent his Son, God-made-man, -not a bandaid-, to get to the source of our sickness. Then by the most amazing sacrifice, He gave us the power to become whole by healing ourselves in Him.
As I look back at all this and reflect, all these random pieces of my life seem to have been orchestrated just so. You know, maybe just so I could be prepared for such a time as this – and help others to be prepared as well. I feel that this is just a gift that God created me with and every step of the way, He strengthened and refined me.
That’s what Fallout Shelter was really birthed from – a need and a desire to be there for others and to help them to be prepared and protected. For me, for my family and friends, my church, my country, my people.
Nobody should be left hanging; abandoned or alone. No one is without strength or possibilities or a safe place.
That’s the Kingdom of God – and we intend to live it here on earth.
(Rich Ohm, Co-Founder)