Brass & Unity

One Woman's Journey Through the Hell of Afghanistan and Back


This is the story of a woman who witnessed the worst in the War in Afghanistan, was confronted by demons of post-traumatic stress, and fought for her life to become stronger than ever.

As seen on:
· JOCKO Podcast Episode #381
· The Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Show “Post Traumatic Growth and Resiliency"
· Lex Fridman Podcast Episode #230

Fresh out of high school, Kelsi Sheren, a diminutive nineteen-year-old woman, sought to join the military to help liberate those oppressed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. While she was often the smallest person in basic training, she proved she had the biggest heart and often the most energy. She made it to Afghanistan and joined a British military unit for house-to-house insurgent patrol. What she saw there was unimaginable death and destruction—including the killing of a brother-in-arms. Devastated, Kelsi was sent home to get her head straight, but even therapy and medication couldn’t clear her mind—or let her sleep. When two others who served with her later took their own lives, she feared that was the only way out. Clinging to life and the love of her husband and child, she knew she wasn’t ready to give in. Finding respite in a jewelry business that utilized spent shell casings, and with the help of innovative grief therapy, Kelsi not only survived but continues to thrive—and works tirelessly to spread the word and help others.

About the author(s)

Kelsi Sheren is a combat veteran and artillery gunner in the Canadian military who served in Afghanistan in 2009 with the Canadian, American, and British armed forces. She was a competitive Tae Kwon Do champion from the ages of four to nineteen and holds a second-degree black belt.

After deploying to Afghanistan at nineteen, Kelsi was diagnosed with PTSD and sent home only to begin a new war—the war with herself.

When her therapist recommended art therapy, Kelsi started making jewelry out of spent shell casings. She began with a warrior bracelet that led to the creation of a successful jewelry and eyewear brand, Brass & Unity. Twenty percent of net profits go toward helping veterans who are suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicide.

In 2020, Brass & Unity was nominated for Canada’s top fashion award, The CAFA Fashion Impact Award. Brass & Unity has developed an avid following among celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Beth Behrs, Michael Bublé, Jenna Dewan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Julianne Hough and has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, the Today show, People, InStyle, Forbes, ELLE, Fashion magazine, Carson Daly’s “Mind Matters,and BuzzFeed.

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