Edward Meiggs • Inspiration and Mission Behind Free a Father

Edward and His Children

Edward Meiggs was born in 1973. He never met his father, who died when Edward was five. However, Edward’s mother remarried early in his childhood. Edward’s stepfather swept in and adopted him, giving him the last name of Meiggs at age 12.

 

Edward demonstrated artistic talent at a young age. When he was 14, Edward’s parents enrolled him into Clifton School of Arts. Edward’s discipline and interest for the arts blossomed. He and his artwork were featured in the school’s promotional advertisements.

 

Edward won numerous first place awards for his painting abilities. One noteworthy award was at the Regional Art Competition for his Cape Hatteras lighthouse painting. Edward’s favorite hobby is to paint landscapes.

It’s no wonder why Edward decided to enlist into the military. Throughout his adolescence, Edward volunteered at Langley Airforce Base. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and worked alongside security during airshows. 

In 1992, Edward graduated from Military Police Academy and was attached to the 229th MP Company in the United States Army. He received a Ribbon of Wartime Service for his contributions. After his honorable discharge, Edward volunteered for the Ready Reserves.

Edward got married while he was enlisted and had five children between 1993 and 2004. During his years as a young father, Edward took an interest in cooking. Throughout his Ready Reserves status, Edward worked as a cook and meat cutter. He loved working with food and learning new recipes.

 

Edward had to put his passions for food and cooking on hold to provide for his family. Edward enrolled into the Medical Careers Institute of Virginia. He graduated in 1998 at the top of his class. The curriculum of the nursing program he graduated from was so strenuous that more than half of the students dropped out of the program. Not Edward. He was determined and victorious in starting his career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

 

For 15 years, Edward worked in the medical field as a nurse. He received advanced certifications in various healthcare practices. Edward’s reputation as a nurse and excellent bedside manner resulted in his promotion to be the only vocational nurse in the State of Washington given the title and responsibility of Charge Nurse.

Edward longed to keep his passions for food alive. When offered the opportunity to re-enlist, Edward jumped. The United States Army sent Edward to culinary school and he graduated in 2007. While a student at culinary school, Edward was elected as team leader for the school-wide Mobile Kitchen Trailer Competition. His team won first place.

Edward  graduated from Warrior Leadership School at Fort Lewis, Washington during his second enlistment. He was awarded recognition as the oldest Non-Commissioned Officer of the cycle.

Edward was presented two Coins of Appreciation from the Governor of Washington State for his participation in various national and international missions. Edward also earned a Commendation Medal because of his dedication to duty.

Edward volunteered to assist the Marine Spill Response Corporation, Coast Guard, and other cleanup workers in 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The leadership and culinary skills the Army instilled in Edward proved to be valuable assets while he managed the ships’ kitchens. During the Deepwater Horizon cleanup off the Gulf of Mexico, Edward’s volunteering helped feed thousands of service members and volunteer civilians.

 

2010 was a transition for Edward. He was honorably discharged from the Army and served another stint in the Ready Reserves. He received multiple formal appreciation certificates from Coulee Medical Center for his work in the ER. Edward also met his oldest daughter for the first time. She had been adopted when he was just seventeen. He had no knowledge of her whereabouts until she reached out to him while he was volunteering at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Edward and His Daughter

Something else happened during 2010. Edward took a new kind of interest in food. With the constant exposure to the healthcare field, Edward took an interest in nutrition. He then took an interest in naturopathy. He then took an interest in the all-encompassing lifestyle and career within the natural health field.

In 2011, the Meiggs family moved to the Midwest so Edward's wife could be closer to family. He also opened his own business. His business only had two other employees for a long time. Those two employees included his oldest daughter and his wife. His oldest daughter worked as the business' marketing and communications manager. Edward's wife utilized her skills in numbers for bookkeeping, accounting, and administrative management. The business flourished.

Edward's life was one of aspirations and fulfillment. It all shattered the day he was arrested and charged for a crime he did not commit. His family has lost everything from their good name, to their business' assets, to their home. Everything they built is now gone. 

That's what wrongful convictions do, ruin families. They steal homes. Wrongful convictions don't just take away the freedom of the defendant, but also the freedom of the whole family.

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