Kaery never intended to become a self-protection expert or a firearms trainer. In 2005 she loved her busy days as an at-home wifey to 1 and mommy to 3 when a horrific circumstance took place in her hometown. In May of that year, a violent aggressor savagely attacked a Wolf Lodge, Idaho family as they slept in their rural home, killing the parents and their teenage son, and kidnapping their two youngest children ages 7 and 9. Days before beginning the attack, as the felon traveled westbound on Interstate 90, he spotted the children playing in their yard and began planning his attack. This horrific incident changed Kaery’s life…
The disgusting sub-human that committed these horrific acts [be prepared to be sick] had recently been released from prison and was known to and wanted by state and federal law enforcement. After he was apprehended, media outlets released a list of locations listed in the felon’s GPS unit. That list contained the locations of several places visited by the killer prior to attacking the Wolf Lodge family. The list revealed one location that the criminal visited many times — Kindermusik on Spokane’s South Hill — where Kaery and her three children attended twice-weekly music classes.
Although Kaery understood that this did not necessarily mean that she and the aggressor were at the same location at the same time, the information enabled her to fully comprehend the truth: evil people, even serial killers, can literally be anywhere at anytime — even “safe” places like Kindermusik and your own bedroom.
Fully comprehending, for the first time, that there is no such thing as a “safe place” Kaery realized that she didn’t have the knowledge or skills to protect herself or her children. She quickly discovered that most civilian self-protection training is taught by instructors with a military or law enforcement background and that the training primarily teaches the student to protect the mone person getting away from a bad guy. But what happens when the a mom and her children encounter a bad guy? How does one defend against that?
Kaery looked for answers…
She has a Masters in Teaching degree from Whitworth University, so she knew how to find the answers she needed. She read books by Jeff Cooper, Massad Ayoob, Paxton Quigily (Armed and Female) and other books. It was apparent that she needed more than what just books could offer.
Even with all that Kaery was reading about self-protection, she was still unable to find the answer to her primary question — what tools, training, and tactics does a mom need to effectively protect her kids and herself if attacked?
Kaery listened to the decided to train with the masters of the firearms world to seek their knowledge and expertise. Kaery is privileged to train under and be mentored by some of the most respected trainers in the industry trained with Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch, Massad Ayoob of Lethal Force Institute, Ken Hackathorn of IDPA, Tom Givens of Rangemaster, Dave Spalding of Handgun Combatives, John & Vicki Farnam of Defensive Training International, Vince Luke of Martial Blade Concepts, Tim Larkin of Target Focused Training, and Scott Banks of Glock to name a few. The answer came from the joined training and knowledge gained from these incredible people.
Fifteen years ago when Kaery began her search, most self-protection tools are designed by and made for men. Finding the correct firearm to use was the next challenge, so after years of experimenting with multiple guns and carry options, Kaery found several different set-ups that work best for women. Now, Kaery passionately educates women and men what she has learned through years of research, training, and lessons from the industry masters.
Kaery is a great communicator. When she was in the Coast Guard, she was a Robert A Perchard Trophy recipient (the youngest ever), and was chosen by the Air Station Commander to be the Coms Coordinator and Community Outreach Coordinator when the Blue Angles came to town. (This was in Traverse City, Michigan). She received advanced placement for her teaching in the Gifted and Talented program at Whitworth college. She is never short positivity or enthusiasm. Over the past few years, she has developed a curriculum to take any individual from knowing nothing about firearm defense use to a person that has the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about how to protect themselves.
She does this without the attitude and bravado that permeates the gun world. Kaery brings professional skills and attitudes into her training so that anyone who wants to know more can get answers. For women, this means knowing what firearm to purchase, and not taking the advice of the Richard Cranium behind the gun counter that wants to sell you a gun you do not need. Kaery has found a way to empower families to defend themselves and teaches it to as many people as possible.
I’m passionate about continuing my own journey as a firearms student and pursue learning from the best our industry has to offer as frequently as I can. Below are a few photographs from some of my training with nationally recognized instructors across many disciplines. In addition to those pictured below, here is a short list of my training from the last couple years.
- Chris Edwards – Glock Armorer Course
- Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch – Home and Vehicle Defense + Tac Med Block
- Dave Spaulding of Handgun Combatives – Vehicle Combatives
- Carrie Lightfoot – Well Armed Woman Instructor Course
- William Aprill April Risk Consulting Unthinkable
- Dave Spaulding – Handgun Combatives, & Vehicle Combatives
- Chief Range Safety Officer – NRA Certified
- Range Safety Officer – NRA Certified
- Refuse to be a Victim – NRA Certified Instructor
- Pistol – NRA Certified Instructor
- Shotgun – NRA Certified Instructor
- Home Firearm Safety – NRA Certified Instructor
- Personal Protection Inside the Home – NRA Certified Instructor
- Personal Protection Outside the Home – NRA Certified Instructor