Jamie and I have been married for nearly 18 years. We met in 1999, at the age of 22, married in 2001 at the age of 24, and then I began deploying to war zones in October of that year. My perception of what it meant to be a SEAL changed after 9/11 as our country and military shifted from “conceptual” war, to “practical” war.
For 12 of the 17 years of my military career, our country was at war. The solider/service member does not bear this burden alone, and in hindsight, I believe that the family shoulders more of the cost. We met young, and at the end of what can only be poorly described as a tumultuous experience, remained together, growing our family from 2 to 5 along the way.
My hope is that this podcast opens the door to many more with her. It was not easy to record, and she is uncertain, even as I write this about the release. I put incredible value and weight on her perspective, and I hope it resonates with, and helps those out there who have shared the same experiences.
I am never able to answer all of the questions received, but I do my best to get to most of them. This week was going to be an interview, but sometimes life gets in the way, so I called an audible and dove back in to some unanswered questions.
Advice for your members of the military, or young men and women in general when it comes to “Paying your dues,” Forgiveness vs. Revenge, How to find your purpose post military, struggling with how to deal with those who “thank you” for your military service, accepting big changes in life without becoming overwhelmed.
Aaron Cross is an Army veteran with tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He started his career as a “grunt,” (his words, not mine) and then became an airborne soldier and served with multiple units, to include the famed 101st Airborne Division. On his last tour in Afghanistan his vehicle was targeted by an IED, an incident for which he received the Purple Heart, and ultimately lead to the end of his military career.
Aaron has been very vocal and open about his struggles with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress), which is far less common than it should be from those in military circles. Since his separation, 11 of the men he served with have chosen to end their own lives, a statistic that is far too common, and speaks to the challenges of military service in active war zones.
War changes you, in my opinion, for both better and worse. You will come home a different person. You will see the world differently. You will struggle to find common ground. The journey is not the same for any two people. Hopefully someone listening to this is reassured on their own journey, and maintains the resolve to see their way through it.
I am consistently blown away by the questions that are submitted by listeners. I appreciate the time and effort taken to submit them, and I’ll do my best to launch another episode to clean up those that I missed.
In this episode I cover everything from fighting a sense of entitlement in your kids, what you should do if you encounter someone lying about their service (specifically SpecOps service), advice for those stuck in a job that they hate, raising teenage sons, and my thoughts on team sports. Like I said, we covered quite a bit.
The vast minority of citizens will never serve in the military. My father served before me, and his father served before him. I hope that military service ends with me, and that my children find other ways to serve.
This episode is with my father, and we discuss our own family lineage, how and why we set our roots in the beach town of Santa Cruz California, and the history of our families military service.
I am often asked about my service, and I can only reply with my own experiences. In this episode I tried to focus on the experience not of the service member, but of the family supporting the military member. I receive emails from parents of those serving often, hopefully this episode helps them.
This is the second episode I have dedicated completely to Military Q and A. I have been incredibly surprised by the volume of questions, so the military themed episodes will continue from time to time.
In this episode: What I would change from my time in service, the most important/valuable piece of equipment I was ever issued, healthy mindset for a career, killing, motivation, females in direct combat roles, and more.
The 2018 bow hunting seasons has certainly had its ups and downs for me. I started my season on 25 August with Red Willow Outfitters in Northern Alberta, and just wrapped it up with a week of hard hunting in the mountains of Montana. There were many failures, many mistakes, and many missed opportunities. Those were the building blocks of my eventual success.
The second half of this episode is devoted to Q and A from the internet. Kaepernick and Nike, managing adrenaline during, handling demotivated days, and more.
Travis Davison is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the owner of Straight Blast Gyms in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Missoula Montana, as well as the Vice President of SBG International.
John Frankl is a 4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a professor in Seoul, and the man responsible for bringing BJJ to the Korean peninsula.
Both men are masters of their craft, and continue to both educate and expose people like myself to BJJ. I have less than two months under my belt, pun not intended, and was able to attend a two day John Frankl seminar at SBG Kalispell.
I have many questions about BJJ, it’s origin, future, and current state, as I am sure anyone who begins the journey does.
JT Holmes is a man who makes the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man Alive” look as if he has lived a boring life. JT is a professional skydiver, BASE Jumper, Ski BASE Jumper, Skier, Speed wing and Speed flyer (the first does not use skis, the second does), truck and Razor racer, public speaker, stuntman, and occasional actor.
He calls the Lake Tahoe area home, and travels the world extensively creating content for his sponsors, and in general, pushing the limits of what is considered possible.
Here are some of the links we discussed in the episode:
Top 5 Crashes – He is of course number 1
GoPro line of the winter
Chris Spealler is a return guest on the podcast. He is a former college wrestler, and most often known for his competitive days as a CrossFit Athlete. He had top ten finishes at the CrossFit Games in 2007, 2008, and 2010, and winning the Master category for 35-39 year old athletes in 2017. He is the owner of CrossFit Park City in Utah, a husband and father, and a passionate archer (sort of).
The training program referenced in the podcast can be found here, at: Grunt Works, and can be used as a stand alone program, or as accessory training to your current program. It is designed for capacity in the outdoors, not inside of the walls of a gym.