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Season 2 Episodes 40 & 41 Marine Veteran Lorne Moon

Unknown Speaker 0:00
Welcome back. This evening we are speaking with marine veteran Laurin. Moon. Welcome on.

Unknown Speaker 0:07
Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 0:08
I am so glad to have you here at once again, a marine and I have to apologize because I keep saying, you know, we're marine heavy, but it this, the Marines show up everybody else, you know, everybody else says oh yeah, I'd love to do this and but the Marines show up so this is a call out to you guys to get off your butts. And let's get get recorded get these stories. So thank you, devil dog. So we were talking to second ago, before we started recording about in our surface rivalry, rivalry and things like that. And something that because I went my didn't post Defense Information school, I was public affairs. And so it was, it was it was a Joint Service school. And so there was an all the hate, you know, hazing and razzing and whatever. But, you know, you would just going to saying that. I'll let you tell your story again here in just a second. But one of the things that was always said to me as well, I would have joined the Marine Corps, but I couldn't get my head in the jar. It's like, anyway, so Okay, so one of the first things I always ask people is, how did you end up in the Marine Corps? How did you feel Terry period? And then how did you choose the Marine Corps?

Unknown Speaker 1:21
Actually, I had, I had two uncles that had served during getting on one was did two tours and as a Marine Corps grunt, and the other one was a jet mechanic with the Air Force. I had during high school, I had gone into electronics, and I thought, you know what, maybe if I, if I'm good enough at this, I can maybe get myself a scholarship to you know, MIT someplace like that. And obviously, I did very well in the lab, some classroom. So that that was not my, my, my career path, right. And, and, of course, you know how it is. When you're, you're in your junior senior year, you got all the branches that come and career day, and they want to talk to you and, and I thought, Okay, well, you know, what, Air Force wouldn't be so bad. I would dig on, you know, flying planes. Right, right. And then, but in order to go to the high school that had the Air Force, Junior ROTC, I would have to get a zone variants. And then I found that I was going to be ineligible for sports for a year. And I was like, Okay, well, that's out of the question. Right. And then I thought about, then I thought about the Navy. And, and I was just like, you know what, my dad was in the I had to go we're in the Navy. They're both pretty screwed. They were they were all screwed up people. Right? All right, well, I'm not going to go that route.

Unknown Speaker 3:10
And

Unknown Speaker 3:12
it's actually kind of funny. This guy that I knew, he went in and listed in the Marine Corps. And

Unknown Speaker 3:20
when, when, what year was this? Well, okay, don't you just go and keep telling me?

Unknown Speaker 3:26
And so

Unknown Speaker 3:28
unknowingly, he'd given the recruiter my phone? Uh huh. So he called me and he's like, so what are your plans? I'm like, Well, you know, my, my plan was to get a scholarship playing football this year. I said, but, you know, due to injuries that didn't happen. He's like, so what? What's your plan? Now? I said, to be honest with you is that I don't know. And he's like, cool. Would you like to come in and, you know, just sit down and talk with me? I'm like, All right. So we set up an appointment, and I was hanging out with my buddies. And they were like, you know, I'm like, I gotta go. And they're like, where you gonna go? I'm like, I gotta go talk to this recruiter. Aaron, like, well, hang on a second, you know, so one of them breaks out a joint. He's like, here, you know, let's smoke before you go. And I'm like, all right, you know, whatever. So I go down there, and, and the guy was really cool. And he's like, Well, I'd like to give you our screening test. Just to see where you are mentally. You know, so we can set up your as bad appointment if if you decide to do this. So and I remember, it was like, 20 questions, and they gave you like, 15 minutes to do the test. Well, I finished up five minutes early, and only missed two questions. He was like, holy shit, we got to get you down to take your ass bath. Right? Oh, another thinking? Okay, well, I'm stoned

Unknown Speaker 5:04
to questions How dumb are the people? Right.

Unknown Speaker 5:10
So he's like, all right, well, you know, let's do this. And I'm like, all right. And so on my way home, I stopped shot another buddy of mine and told him about He's like, well should do this. I'll go with you on this with you. Oh, my gosh. And I'm like, I'm like, Are you serious? He's like, hell yeah. And I'm like, All right. So we, he goes down, we both get set up, we go take our as bad test. And when they got the scores back, the recruiter looked at me He's like, well, because you score well enough. You tell me what you want to do. Right? You know. And so we went through the whole thing and, and I told my mom, I said, Look, I was in a week with my 18th birthday. And the recruiter said, told me that I'm going to need both your parents to sign off on your enlistment, right? Because you're under 18. Now, I was like, No, I'm great. You know, my dad's an asshole. I haven't spoken to him in years. This is great, you know? So I called my mom from work. And I was like, I decided I'm going to go in the military, and I need you to sign my enlistment papers. And she's like, oh, did you decide on on the army? And I was like, No, she goes, did you Navy? And I'm like, No, she goes, Oh, please, God, don't tell me you chose the Marines. And only because she knows what my uncle. And I said, Yeah, that's, that's what I want to do. And she goes, I don't know. I point blank told her I said, I'm going to be 18. And a week, either you signed the papers for me now, or I'll sign on myself. Either way. I'm going to go, everything I've been anything I've done in my life. I've always tried to be the best of whatever it is, I was doing. Right. And at that point, I thought, you know what? My uncle Dave was a huge role model for me. And I'm like, you know, what, if he was able to do it, in in got through the worst of it, then that's what I want to do. I want to be a part of the best. And and that's how I wound up there. And that's the thing that kept me going through through boot camp. Because, as you know, you know, the first 72 hours, you're there, and you're, you know, sleep deprived, everything else. The first thing that runs through your head is what in the hell have I done to myself, you know, yeah, but you

Unknown Speaker 7:51
You said you're in Vegas now. So are you a Are you a Hollywood marine? Are you? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 7:57
yes, I was born and raised in Vegas and Hollywood, Murray. Well, I'm sorry. That's okay.

Unknown Speaker 8:04
We love you anyway. But yeah, I Well, I got my when I fill out my dream sheet, I didn't know anything about Marine Corps. I I got pregnant in high school. So I dropped out after two years, I was never recruited. I didn't even think the report took women. So when and I was I was really fit. So I was I have what I call the Keegan tree trunk legs. I very muscular. So when I went in, you know, you don't get weight waivers and boot camp. So I was a weight recruit for 13 weeks. So I mean, I was I was instantly telling a girl, she's fat. And you know, that's just oh my god. And so when I got out, I was a nervous wreck. And I you know, went and gained 20 pounds, like while I was on leave, but the point is, after after I graduated didn't close. Mike tech school, when I feel that my dream I said you know, he will Cooney Marine, Marine, Marine Corps Base, Japan, open up, whatever, it's any, you know, anything, you know, away because part of why you joined is to see other things. I get orders back to Parris Island. I cried. Not really, but I cried, because that's where the bad people are. But it turned out to be an amazing duty station. It was really great. But

Unknown Speaker 9:21
it's completely different once you're a member of the fleet. Oh, at that point, at that point, you're one of them. And they respect you as

Unknown Speaker 9:28
Yes. Well, and and, you know, yes. The weirdest thing ever was when I first got back there, and, you know, I recruits like, you know, by early Ma'am, ma'am, Ma'am, ma'am. Like, ma'am, what? You know, it's like this, this Yeah. So anyway, okay. So.

Unknown Speaker 9:44
All right. So keep on with your story here.

Unknown Speaker 9:47
So, um, so I,

Unknown Speaker 9:51
job before. Okay, first of all, I bet back to the question I asked earlier, and I'm sorry, and I interrupted you. What year did you join?

Unknown Speaker 9:58
1986.

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Okay, so you went in just a little bit before I did. I went in the end of 89. So

Unknown Speaker 10:04
I, I actually signed my papers. February 10. of 1986. Exactly one week before my birthday.

Unknown Speaker 10:18
Yeah. Okay. That's awesome. Okay. All right. So, uh, so keep going.

Unknown Speaker 10:23
So, um, so me and my buddy, you know, we both get sent off the meds for our physicals. And, and of course, during the course of going through that whole process, you get separated? Well, I finished up my physical and, you know, went through and did my initial swear in and everything else, and then I find them meet up with him later on. And I asked him, done very good. And he's like, they won't let me in. And I'm like, What are you talking about? When we were in high school, he broke his ankle. Uh huh. And he still had the penis ankle. So the doctor wouldn't sign off on, right. And so he told him, Well, if you get the pin out, we can reevaluate this, we can revisit this. So I'm like, that'd be shooting me, dude. I've already signed, signed my papers and taking my ultimate everything that now you're telling me, you can't. And, you know, I stayed the course. And I left that September. And my friend for literally a year, tried going back trying to go in, and the doctors wouldn't sign off on it. And he wound up going in the Air Force. But I mean, this is a guy that, you know, I've been friends with since seventh grade. And we're, we're still friends to this day. You know, he's one of my best friends. And him and he went in first. And then it was his brother and his sister, they followed him in the Air Force. That's awesome.

Unknown Speaker 12:02
Yeah, saying, and we talked about the inner service rivalry now. But the thing is, everybody has a job, everybody, and we need every one of them. And we love every one of them. And even you know, even within that, you know, you know, even within, you know, your own branch, there are again, you know, we have support roles. And we have, you know, when I, when I first started marketing Hero Harbor on Instagram, I had, you know, I had some guy was a marine to, it was give me a hard time calling, he was called me a poke, and whatever. And I said, Look, they're all kind of all different kinds of posts. And there was at least one other guy who chimed in, and they're, like, you know, talk about because they were, they were bullet stoppers, they were grunge. And they're, like, you know, we, you know, we don't need that legit data data. It's like, dude, you know, you don't fight naked with your hands, you know, everything. But the point is, we all all of our jobs are necessary. And, you know, there's some of us who are cut out to, to be, you know, more people there you No, and, and to handle that kind of thing. And there are people who are not, and we so we need, you know, if everybody was a trained killer, or you know, had that mentality, and that's doesn't always get what I was trying to say is, if we could only hire for like, recruit killers, you know, or people with that mentality, we'd be screwed, because there wouldn't be, you know, we wouldn't have enough people. So, all right, so how did you Okay, so tell me what your job was, and tell me how you ended up with that job.

Unknown Speaker 13:28
Um,

Unknown Speaker 13:30
I won't I ended up being assigned as a 1371. Combat Engineer. Mm hmm. When I, when I was choosing my occupation, you know, I told my recruiter, I'm like, Look, I want to do something, I want to work in the NBC field, because at that time, that Cold War was still rolling hard. Obviously, we have the test site here. And I'm like, let me do something that will benefit for when I get out, I'll go work at the test site, right. And being 18 and dumb, and not knowing how things work in that whole aspect.

Unknown Speaker 14:21
He's like, okay, we can do that. So

Unknown Speaker 14:25
I wrote down on my sheet, you know, NBC, whatever the MLS was right, he said, and he goes now and write down this. So I wrote down the MLS for Amtrak, I wrote down the MLS for combat engineer, and like three others, right. So here in my mind, I'm thinking, I'm getting MBC, right? Well, that's not the fat. They look at the they look at the MLS, and they go, which field is short, which field where they need people? And I told him, I said, All right, well just see, understand. I said, I didn't want to be the guy. You know, I said, I'm all for it. Right? I'm all in. But I don't want to be the one hitting the beat first. And Ryan? And he's like, Oh, no, no, no, no. So you know, the the last week of boot camp, and when they tell you what your MLS is going to be, I remember my recruiter, or the my drill instructor telling me you know, you know, 1371 combat engineer night, and I'm like, there's a mistake. He goes, What do you mean, there's a mistake. They don't make mistakes. It says right here, combat engineer, guaranteed, and I'm like, What the fuck just happened? And then, and then one. I'm like, Okay, I'll accept it. Whatever. I'm here for the ride. Then it turns out that my job was, I was the first one. I'm I was the first one.

Unknown Speaker 16:07
We can we can make sure they get there. Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 16:10
You know, I so when, when they, when they said, Well, basically, you're grown with a shovel and like, all right, I can live with that. And then I found out what do you mean? Don't wait a minute, don't like, don't like the special ops guys. And everything going for is not like, Oh, no, you go first. And I'm like, wow, crash. And they're like, you know, the, the combat, the life expectancy for a combat engineer in a combat zone is like, less than two minutes. And I'm like, oh,

Unknown Speaker 16:43
you're telling me that that's what to look for.

Unknown Speaker 16:46
And that's, that's how I mean, I, I, you know, in retrospect, now know how incredibly lucky I got, you know, as I said, I I joined, I was only going to join the branch that, you know, I was a photographer, I was 23. When I went in, I was talking about I want to remain a photographer, so my recruiter. And again, you know, we don't know what these numbers mean, for you know, it's like, Okay, and so he says, He puts down three different things. And I got, you know, when I found out what my job was, it was PO, and, you know, I was a writer and a photographer. But what I learned later is that when he three he put down one was public affairs, which is I think, was 4321. Maybe public affairs. The I don't know what they call them, but basically, it's the it's the photographers who the historical photographers, the ones who shoot the the dagger, you know, promotions, and you're just the the boring stuff as far as I'm concerned. And but the third one was reproach. Like, I would have been spending four years doing photocopies. Oh, wow. Yeah. Oh, yes. Oh, Jada probably gone. My life would have been very different. Oh, yeah. So okay. Yeah. So that was my story. Oh, and by the way, speaking of speaking of recruiters and such, and the getting, when I was talking to each of the branches, the Air Force told me, you know, you just have to want the Air Force. And I don't remember if it was the Army or the Navy. They said, well, let's, let's see what happens when you get to mess. I'm like, you saw my score? Do I look stupid? It's like, you're going to get me down there. And you're, again, like you said, they're going to put you whatever is available. And I'm going to be a cook or a skinny sorter or no, no, no, no. Anyway, so Marine Corps chose me, it was perfect. It was a perfect fit. You know, a

Unknown Speaker 18:43
lot of my friends weren't

Unknown Speaker 18:47
all that surprised, right? Like I said, My dad was an asshole. He was he was a mean, drunk. And growing up, I was usually I took the brunt of it all because I was the boy and I was always big for my size. And so I was always the one that was looking to get into fights when I was a kid. Even even if it had nothing to do with me, if one of my friends said, Hey, this guy is is messing with me,

Unknown Speaker 19:18
too. That's part of it.

Unknown Speaker 19:21
You know, or, you know, said something to my girlfriend. I'm like, Who is it? Let's go, you know. And so I already kind of had that, that mentality that, you know, what? Tell me Just give me the information that I need. I'll take care of it. Right? And, you know, to take an 18 year old kid, and who's already has the propensity for violence. And they go, Okay, well, maybe this will calm me down a little bit. Right. All they did was they, they, they took

Unknown Speaker 20:00
your license to kill now.

Unknown Speaker 20:02
Exactly what they did was all they did is they, they they taught me how to do it better. Right. Right, proficient at it. Right. And, and to block out any type of

Unknown Speaker 20:18
emotion. Right? And

Unknown Speaker 20:22
everybody thought, though, okay, well, you know,

Unknown Speaker 20:26
when you get out that will change once you're back to normal life that will change your

Unknown Speaker 20:32
life after you started. There isn't

Unknown Speaker 20:35
it isn't. And people always, you know, they always would give me a hard time saying, Well, I think they brainwashed you and I'm cuz you weren't, you weren't the same guy. You were when you left? None. And I and I tell my friends All the time, you know, no, I I'm not the same person you don't understand? You know, I physically I am. I said, mentally I said it. I'm not I'm in a different mindset now.

Unknown Speaker 21:03
But you succeeded. When you were in, you succeed in the Marine Corps, because you were you were already have that you were the type of person who could do that before you went and you had and that's that's a common thread, or well say, is it Yeah, and this is the we succeed, you know, we're, it's a certain type of person who joins the military anyway. And what, you know, again, whether they realize it or not, and to succeed or Excel, it, you just have you have a drive client, you know, a different mentality. And so it's about again, it's both good and bad, you know, but the, we, what I found numerous times, especially with my conversations Marines, is that well, and one of my army guys to you know, we say we're unemployable. Either I quit, or they fire me and and, you know, Rick says, he said, I'm a terrible boss, he says, I, you know, it's like, it's like, cussing myself out and everything else. He said, But now I can do that. And no, I it's, it's acceptable. Whereas I couldn't cut out my boss before. But the point is, is that we're we are just WE WE ARE WE you are different kind of person when you went in than your friends, you just didn't know it, and in the Marine Corps, kind of molded that so to speak. And, you know, you hear people talk about joining, joining, to get discipline or joining to get this. I don't think that we might get direction we got direction from from serving, but I, what I've said is it and I only came to this realization recently, what I got more than anything that civilians, many civilians don't have, is that, that passion for our country, that that patriotism, that understanding of what it means when you say freedom isn't free, you know, it's those are words to most people. But we really get that, you know, and and, and I didn't go through near the stuff that a lot of you know, these men and women have gone through, but yeah, it's, it's it. So you, you are already different than your friends, you just didn't know how and then this it molded you in a way and, and and sort of polished, you know, that person and it's a good thing. It's, it's, it's a challenge. And so for you to talk about to win you because I still want to find, you know, get the rest of the path through the Marine Corps. But I want to talk about when I hear you talking about when you got out that you know what it was, like, you know, that experience going from being in uniform to and, you know, to being ordinary again, so,

Unknown Speaker 23:38
anyway, go ahead, keep going in. And you know, you know, being

Unknown Speaker 23:42
you know, a city kid, you don't have you don't get the exposure to do things that a lot of the lot of the guys that you meet, got to do in their kids grind in this and that. So I mean, for me to be given a rifle at age 18 and saying, this is how you use it, is how you become proficient with it. And for me to shoot, high expert from the time I'm in boot camp, throughout my career

Unknown Speaker 24:15
was one of my pride. One of my biggest prize.

Unknown Speaker 24:18
Right, you know?

Unknown Speaker 24:20
Yeah, unfortunately, when I would come home until till my buddies, you know, yeah, I qualified expert. What does that mean? Right. That's it. That means I can put a bullet square in a gnat's ass at 500 yards. I love it.

Unknown Speaker 24:34
I box, unfortunately, forever. I never ever, ever qualified first time through. I'm actually much better with the hand gun. But yeah, I never. Who knows? I don't know if it was in fact, I have a picture of me hooked up to one of those training machines where they've got I don't know if you ever seen it? But yeah, yeah, so I'm sitting cross legged. MM, my, my, my range coach or whatever it is, they're trying it's like, so I'm on a freakin machine trying to shoot. I mean, forever in it, I will always wear the pizza box. I can't say very, very proud. But it's a good, it's a good thing for everyone that I shot pictures rather than guns. So that's, you know, but anyways.

Unknown Speaker 25:18
So, you know, I, like I said, that was one of the one of my biggest prides and that's the thing that I always strive for was, if this is going to be something that is potentially going to make the difference between me going home or the other person going home, it's going to be me. Right? Why by any means. Right? And, you know, eventually, the last year and a half, two years I was in the unit that I was with, they asked me if I would be interested in being a marksmanship coach for for our unit. And I was like, hell yeah. You know, this, this is awesome. Because now I can yell and say whatever I want to the senior in CEOs and officers, because on the range, there is no rank. Can they have no, no, no leverage on you? And you know, it was, if you want to qualify, you'll do what the hell I say, right, shut your mouth. Listen to what I'm telling you. And, you know, when it when it was my turn, we always get to the 500 yard line. And I always made sure I was next to my my friends, you know, and I'm like, all right. bucket, head headshot. And they're like, all right, in nine times out of 10. I walked away with 1520 books.

Unknown Speaker 26:47
I have to tell you, so my dad, my dad was Air Force, but he's a really good shot. And he used to, you know, he used to ham it up when cuz he was a prison guard for a while too. And when they would go I qualify, they were not supposed to do headshots, it was just you know, but because he was so good, he would do and, you know, they'd fast setting but he did it anyway. And so when I, after I got the Marine Corps, I went to visit him and he took me he was so excited to take his marine daughter to meet his supervisor and get out on the range, right? I embarrass the shit out of him. I really don't want to do this. I'm telling you, you don't want to do this. And it was like, you know, whatever. You know, it's again, I have I have many talents. But shooting is not one of them. So anyway.

Unknown Speaker 27:38
So yeah, I got through boot camp. And then they sent me to camp platoon for school. And I was there for about three months. And of course, I was there. At the coldest possible time of the year is January through March and it was just miserable. couldn't wait to get out there and they're like, okay, you know, where do you want to go? You know, I put West Coast West Coast West Coast. They sent me so far west I wanted up east and that wound up and Oh,

Unknown Speaker 28:13
yeah, yeah. It's a again, as I said, before we start recording that was I got the exact opposite. I begged for Okinawa or anywhere else. And they sent me back to Parris Island. So and again, a part of something did you you joined in order to, you know, to see things and they sent me my, my tech school was in Indianapolis? Well, both of my brothers and my dad, they were all born in Indianapolis. So, you know, it's like, that wasn't new to me. And then they send me back to Paris on I'm like, Hello, folks. You know, I was able, I was able to volunteer out of Parris Island and go to Desert Storm and take part in that. And then my last year was in Okinawa, but yeah, it's like, you know, come on, you know, this is what the where's the new here? But, anyway, so Okay, keep going.

Unknown Speaker 28:53
Yeah. So, you know, I did my did my year over there. Of course, you know, I was there. Probably. Where are you

Unknown Speaker 29:01
now? Were you stationed up north? Canton Shaw? Courtney

Unknown Speaker 29:06
Hanson?

Unknown Speaker 29:07
Yes. So okay. Well, that was that was before I went because I, my last year was spent. I was northern bureau chief. So I covered Courtney Hansen Schwab and in the MTA, but in fact, and this is the funniest thing. Again, we talked and this is part of the reason that rings are just it's instant camaraderie. You and I have never spoken never met, but it's just it's just an automatic love. But we've crossed paths that I have. I met somebody a marine A while back, who he graduated boot camp at Parris Island while I was stationed there, so there's a good possibility I covered his graduation. And then he was stationed on camp pants, and at the same time I was so obviously I never met him, but somehow we crossed paths and in the Marine Corps, a very small place. It really is. Yes. But you know, so yeah, so handsome. Yeah, handsome. That's cool. Awesome. Very nice.

Unknown Speaker 29:56
You know, and I remember, you know, being when I was as a young kid, you know, seeing all the different phone protests and and everything else. And, and I always thought the, that was

Unknown Speaker 30:13
that had to do with Vietnam.

Unknown Speaker 30:15
Testing, because, you know, obviously, you know, we were all they were all baby killers, or whatever, that they were spewing. Right. And, and so I never thought anything about it. And then here it is. Modern day 1987. And you got the same exact thing going on, you know, people.

Unknown Speaker 30:39
Do you understand why, though. Right. You under in the case of the Okinawans, you understand why they were protesting, right.

Unknown Speaker 30:45
I didn't, I didn't then right now.

Unknown Speaker 30:49
Yeah. I mean, I've actually found myself defending the Okinawans after coming back, because I've had people saying, Oh, they hate Americans. This is like, No, they don't, I said, but you have to take into consideration that the Okinawa was not Japanese Okinawa was its own, you know, independent, their own country, their own language, everything. Japan comes in subjugate them, right. When they asked, when we get into the war, we bombed the crap out of Okinawa, there's a place there called Sugar Hill, because we bombed it into dust. And so, you know, again, the Japanese took away their language, they made him they made them now speak Japanese and and so on. So, you know, first they're, they're subjugated by them. And then, you know, we come in, we do all this, and then we stay. And so it's not that they hate us, but most of their very peaceful people. Very, I mean, just and, and very, you know, very passive. And so most of the violent crime is caused by Americans. They're American, you know, and, and the American military, and we're noisy, you know, we're very noisy, our firing is noisy, our planes are noisy, you know, and so they've been never they just had, so it's not that they it's not that they hate Americans, they just they want their country back, you know, and that's, that's perfectly understandable. I mean, I got so

Unknown Speaker 32:11
when you're 19, you don't understand? Oh, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 32:13
absolutely. Yeah. You know, and, and it's the same thing for them. I, you know, I was, again, I keep saying I had the best job hands down the best job in the Marine Corps. And so I was able to, you know, interact with them with translators and things like that I have in my, in my bedroom, I have the most they're like three foot the most beautiful calligraphy or whatever, however you want to call it. I don't know what they're there. Anyway. Done. Ninth engineers, they were refurbishing a bridge and at a leper colony. And so this leper he has no he had no fingers and all but he painted these things for me. So it's, you know, it was it was amazing. And so yeah, they it's not this not that they hate Americans, they just want they want peace, and that's right. But yeah, no, I hear you it. Yeah. 1819 and I don't know that I read read. It was an epiphany later, you know, but anyway, okay. So.

Unknown Speaker 33:05
So, you know, I'm there, you know, three, four months, and then they're like, Okay, well, we're gonna go, we're gonna go do this. operation and Korea. Okay, great, you know, thinking, you know, we're going to go for, you know, a couple weeks, maybe a month. And we get all of our training, our prep done, get on the C 130. Fly to Korea. And then like, Okay, this isn't so bad. Put us on, you know, the Korean charter buses, I guess? And I'm like, Okay, well, hell, where are we going to stay at, you know, what, what hotel we stay in it. And they, why we drive through the night and we wind up the middle of no man's land. I mean, there's like, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. But hills, and shrubs.

Unknown Speaker 34:13
And they're like, all right.

Unknown Speaker 34:19
You got to be kidding me.

Unknown Speaker 34:21
Hotel who trade?

Unknown Speaker 34:22
Right? You know, and, you know, 21 days until we got our first shower, and I was like, Oh, my God. Cannot be. But, but it wanted to, you know, being a good experience. We, when we finished up with what we had to do. My unit actually took on the project of building an actual

Unknown Speaker 34:56
covert weather with a roadway over it

Unknown Speaker 35:01
over this, this, this riverbed, because before they were, you know, their ox and there wouldn't carts, you know, it's kind of like trudging through it. And, you know, it was it was pretty cool. I got to volunteer to go to one of the orphanages there, you know, did some stuff for the orphans. And you know, it was it was quite the experience. Right? You know, so, but when it was time when they said, Okay, well, you're rotating back to the States. And I'm like, you know, you know, where am I going and I'm thinking, please let it be West Coast, please let them and they're like, you're going to Pendleton and I'm like, all right. You know,

Unknown Speaker 35:49
our west as you can get.

Unknown Speaker 35:51
Right and you know, and I was actually kind of hoping Barstow because that's like, right midway, that's halfway between home and penalties. But, um, no, I took Pendleton and I had I had a great experience there, you know,

Unknown Speaker 36:10
made a lot of good friends.

Unknown Speaker 36:11
It's my last year was in Okinawa, I processed it Pendleton. I spent 30 days working at the stables there shoveling horse

Unknown Speaker 36:20
manure. Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker 36:24
I spent most of my time near the

Unknown Speaker 36:28
base headquarters and main side.

Unknown Speaker 36:32
I got got assigned to, you know, seventh engineers, and

Unknown Speaker 36:39
I guess I stood out

Unknown Speaker 36:43
in a short, in a short period of the short period of time that I was there. They made me as a lance corporal, they made me the the embarking CEO and I'm like, wait a minute. I'm a lance corporal. And I'm supposed to be telling these guys that have been in longer and dumb means to me what to do? And they're like, yeah, that's funny. So, you know, I

Unknown Speaker 37:05
like this at it by now for after being that was that, you know, that was that before or after? That was before the before you became a firearms? Okay, so all right. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 37:17
So, timeline. So,

Unknown Speaker 37:22
you know, I did a good enough job that, you know, they just said, Okay, well,

Unknown Speaker 37:27
they've got a battalion level

Unknown Speaker 37:31
Promotion Board coming up. And we want you to, we want you to be on it. So, you know, instead of doing my job, I go to work. And my job was drilling, marching the guys around and studying. And the, the company Gunny that that I had him and I, not kids from the get go. And so, in the meantime, they asked for volunteers who wants to go to the 15th year, and I'm like,

Unknown Speaker 38:14
depends where it is. Not military new is marine expedition. expedition unit. Are you a canary? Yeah, right. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker 38:26
I'm like, depends where they going. And the Gunny that had come over, he's like, Well, you know, we hit Australia this year, they're scheduled to hit Australia again. I'm like, I'm in. Yeah, I may not come back I'm in. And so they're like, Are you serious? I'm like, yeah, I'll go. And at that time, they they decided to make it a company level promotion, Will. The Gunny told the battalion, I don't have anybody to promote. Because at that time, now, I had changed units. Instead of 14 it he's like, I got nobody to promote. So I wind up getting it, you know, time a great time and service anyway. But, um, but I was like, Okay, this is the first raw deal I've had since I've been in, you know,

Unknown Speaker 39:21
that the guys I interviewed call it the big green weenie. So

Unknown Speaker 39:24
yeah. And, you know, so I went over and, and made a lot of great friends. I probably, I regretted it. I was regretting my choice at first, because I spent two and a half, three weeks of every month out in the field. You know, and if it wasn't, like, yeah, if you weren't in the field, you're on a ship, you know, and I'm it all it all paid off. They because at that point, they decided to go a certain way with with the Marine Expeditionary and it's now instead of just being a Marine Expeditionary Unit, they were Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations capable command. Nice, now you're doing more special ops, type level type stuff, right. And

Unknown Speaker 40:27
they

Unknown Speaker 40:29
decided to designate

Unknown Speaker 40:34
like, from my understanding, it was like their first actual designated hostage rescue team type thing. So I'm, like, sounds fun. I'm in, you know, I'll do it. So basically, if, if anything were to happen during our deployment, where, you know, there's an embassy being under under siege or whatever. Part of my job was to go in and evacuated civilians depth in diplomat period. That's all we did. And during that time, you know, we set off the off the coast of Burma for like a week. Gonna get gonna get it, get my shot here, you know, and things ended up changing. But But yeah, it was. It was it was a great experience, you know, got to experience walk day, you know, which is something from I, from what I understand, they don't do that anymore. And it's a shame because it's, it's a, it's a tradition.

Unknown Speaker 41:51
I'm not sure what that what is it?

Unknown Speaker 41:54
Walk day is. So

Unknown Speaker 41:58
the Navy has

Unknown Speaker 42:01
what they call shell backs. These are guys that have crossed the equator. If you haven't crossed the equator, you're still a poly walk. Right? So when you cross the equator they have with what they call walk day. Anybody who hasn't been across the equator yet? It's a day long of hazing. Right, right, literally, get your ass beat get degraded, and everything else. And, you know, I hated it at the time. But afterwards, I still have my show back card that I carried my wallet today. You know, and it was a great experience. And it's just a shame that they don't allow that anymore.

Unknown Speaker 42:50
Yeah. I mean, there certainly has to be some change. I mean, you know that with my job at Parris Island, one of the things we did was we would when we'd have old timers come and tour the place. And we would we'd escort them around, we escort the media we, so they made in us. Anyway, I remember some of these guys like the world war two vets and stuff talking about smoking buckets. So you know, back during Vienna, you know, where a disciplinary Act would be putting a bucket over your head and making you smoke a pack of cigarettes now, there is no we know, there's no way in hell they would do that. Now, there's some things that have to change. But you're right, the softer Kinder core is not, you know, there's a reason that these these people survive, you know, the heinous things is because they've, you know, they've been taught that, you know, you can go through so much and survive it. And so, you know, it's Yeah, no, I, I have no doubt it, because the thing too, is going through that, because, you know, they were not gonna let you die. And so you come out of it with much more confidence much more, it's like I can I can handle whatever they throw at me. And that's, that is vital. That is vital, because you want men and women who when the shit hits the fan, there, they got it there together, they can handle it. And you know, they need that that mentality. They're not crapping themselves. You know,

Unknown Speaker 44:21
and, and, you know, going back to when I went through boot camp, you know, my, my battalion was one of the last. One of the last battalions that went through where the drill instructors still were able to write the old drill instructor stuff, right, you know, and then and then I find out well, they're not allowed to talk about your mom, they can't say, you know, say bad stuff. Right? Yeah, they, they, they can't put their hands on you. And I'm like, wait a minute, right. these are these are people that you're that you're expecting to build to just flip a switch? Right? Take a life without question, with no emotion without second thought. And now you're going to call it one. Yeah. I'm like this. It's asinine. You know, and I'm like, you know, the mothers of America have have have ruined the Marine Corps because they send letters to the Congressman, poor little Johnny's being, you know, I had to step structures of being mean to him.

Unknown Speaker 45:28
Yeah, I had a step brother who decided that he was what do you think? Just a simple aside or quick aside? Like, I mean, how much different are there the poor drones, doctors jobs right now. And when we went in, we didn't have cell phones didn't have email, you didn't have parents? You know, it's like, you didn't have to deal with that. So I can't imagine I can't imagine. But anyway, I had a stepbrother who now this is after I've, you know, gotten out. I'm both a marine and a war veteran and everything else. He He's a pompous idiot, anyway, and he decided he was going to join and his mother had coddled him all his life. So he decided he was going to join Army Reserve. And she calls me one day, and he he is washed out? Well, I think this is before he washed out either way, you know, he's calling her and crying and all and he ends up washing out anxiety. But she asked me, you don't want to people, I don't want to hurt your feelings. And you know, she said, My stepmother. I don't want to you know, and she was a good woman. I, you know, I cared about her. But anyway, she's like, why do they have to be so hard on him? And I'm kind of trying to gather myself and I'm thinking, Okay, you're asking a marine war veteran? Why it's like, because you're training them to not get fucking killed, you know, the dude, like, the dead? Help you? How can you not get that? You know,

Unknown Speaker 46:45
it's it.

Unknown Speaker 46:46
They're just some things that cannot be soft pedal. They just can't. It's necessary. You know, Now,

Unknown Speaker 46:53
again, like I said, some change.

Unknown Speaker 46:56
absolutely important. But there. Yes. I mean, again, it's the difference, being hard on them in an in a controlled environment, is the difference between life and death, when they get out there and an uncontrollable environment? You know?

Unknown Speaker 47:12
Absolutely. I agree. 100%, you know, you, you know, going through high school, and you play sports, and you go through hell week, and you're like, you know, you're like, Oh, my God, this sucks, you know, I, I think I'm just gonna stay home tomorrow, you know, but then you, you, you learn that the the body is capable of doing so much more, that

Unknown Speaker 47:38
then becomes some sort of challenge. It's like, how far can I push myself now, right?

Unknown Speaker 47:42
You, you can't let your mind control your body, it's a it's a game, if you let your mind dictate what you're going to how you're going to react or how you're going to perform, you're doomed.

Unknown Speaker 48:01
The flip side of that is your mind is so powerful, that when you say I can do this, then you can you know, so it's, it's your mind is it.

Unknown Speaker 48:15
Even if you fail, even if you fail, you're either continuing to to, to try, right, you're you're at that point, now it's it becomes an obsession, there's really, I'm not going to let this beaten up. And at, you learn that you never had the fight, no matter what you kept pushing, keep pushing, no matter how tired you are, keep pushing.

Unknown Speaker 48:43
Well, and this is something you know, this is a this is a large part of why Hero Harbor was was created is because these are these are things that civilians don't understand. This is a mindset that they don't understand. We, you know, we and again, it's not just Marines Marines are special kind of crazy. I said that repeatedly. But but it's, it's you these, all these men and women are significant number of them, most of them military, and again, firefighters police, is they're just, we're a different breed. And And so, as I said earlier, and I know, this may have been before we started recording, you know, I was saying that I'm unemployable, I quit, or they fire me, because I'm a problem solver. I'm driven to just make things better. And every, you know, for me, every situation is about, Okay. Can I solve this problem? And if I can't, what do I need to do to adapt to function within this environment that I have no control over? And but it's Yes, it's weird. It's a different mindset. And so that's what for so many of us makes it really challenging once we get out. Part of it is, I'm Marine, I don't know. Because like, we go through those classes and stuff, it's like, I'm right on the what's up, what's up, just give me my damn cities write it out. And we don't, we have no idea how it's going to impact us how, how all of a sudden, you've taken off this uniform. And you You are very different.

Unknown Speaker 50:15
But you look like everyone else.

Unknown Speaker 50:17
And

Unknown Speaker 50:18
as you said, there's things that you can't talk about, there's things you don't know how to do this, people, people just give you that look. And you know, it's and so that's, you know, that's a large part of why we built this is to give, you know, give give our heroes that platform to And anyway, but yeah, it's it's very, very, very different.

Unknown Speaker 50:38
You know, and the, during my, my last deployment now, now it's in four years time I got sent, I deployed probably five, six different times, just okay, well, your billet is something that we need, so you're gonna go and during our last deployment, we were in Thailand and, and my, my squad was given the the assignment of doing a night patrol with, with mine sweeping. And so we, we went out, and we we did what we had to do, we were expecting some sort of contact at some point in time, just to see how, how everyone's going to react. Right. And we're, we're about three quarters of the way back in and still hadn't had any contact. And off to the side, there was a building, and it had like a bright, high lumens, security lights on the corner. Well, the platoon sergeant said that I had, you know, again, him and I just knocked him from the time he got with our unit to the time I got out, right. He He said, All right, we'll stay stay this course. And I tried Tom, look, that lights gonna silhouette us as soon as if anybody's out here. As soon as we walk into that, like, we're done. And he's like, I said, we're going this way. I outrank you. And he's like, if you don't, first chance I get and hit you with insubordination because I'm giving you an order. Right? Well, being three months away from being discharged. I'm like, you know what fucking you know, I don't need the headaches, you know? I'll do what you say. And sure shit, as soon as my squad got inside the perimeter, that light and the darkness just lit up with with gunfire, you know?

Unknown Speaker 52:57
And

Unknown Speaker 52:59
afterwards, when we when we got back, you know, I told him, I said, you're lucky, this was just training. I said, if it wasn't training, I said, you'd be write letters to all of our parents explain why, why we're dead? And why you're such a fucking idiot.

Unknown Speaker 53:18
If he had made it for that matter, you know, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 53:21
And, and, and so and so Things just got got even more tense between him and I, at that point. Now, he was looking to hang anything he could army, just to make an example. And I didn't know how it seems like something so insignificant. But I didn't realize the impact of that particular situation had on me. When we got when we got back to the States, a week after we got back to the States, they started playing guys from my unit for Desert Shield. I was already in the process of final check out, right. And of course, my buddies are like, you know, just extend for a year, man come with us, you know, this, you know, this is what?

Unknown Speaker 54:20
They even give you a choice because we had I mean, we had guys who they I remember one guy in particular was a corporal, I believe, I mean, his vehicle was packed and everything else and they they canceled his his his orders. They're like, No, no,

Unknown Speaker 54:31
that and that's what, that's what I was expecting. Right. And I told him, I said, Look, if they cancel my orders, I'm all yours. Right? Right. But it's but if they don't say anything, right? Yeah, you know, I'm out. I said,

Unknown Speaker 54:46
I said, you know, as well as I got four years of inactive reserve anyway, they still had their, their, their hand around your throat. I mean, you good.

Unknown Speaker 54:56
Exactly. In on, and I and I told my my buddy, I'm like, Look, I extend for a year, you know, as well as I do. It shouldn't be over in three months. And I'll be stuck here for Nine Nights. Right. Right. And I was like, you know, I love you more than you know. But, you know, my family. My friends are like, you've been gone so much. you've deployed so many times. You've done your part just come home. And I wish I wouldn't have ever listened to him. Yeah, I actually had reenlistment papers drawn up, I was going to reenlist I was actually going to change MLS is completely go completely different route and go to the intelligent side. I was going to reenlist to be an interrogator and translator, right. And they're like, you've done your part. You know, it's time to come home. Yeah. And so

Unknown Speaker 55:55
stand both sides. I you know, I understand. Yeah, I mean, same way I was, I mean, the only thing I don't have any my uniform anything, I have my combat boots, and that's it, that's the only thing I was so ready to get out. And, and despite, you know, loving my, my job and everything else, I was ready. And but on the same way, there's part of me that says, You know, I wish I had united state, but

Unknown Speaker 56:19
I, so I, you know, I I got out and I stayed in, you know, you get it. Remember, this is before there was internet and email and everything else. So I got out and you know, every so often and you know, called back to the barracks and you know, talk my one buddy, he was him and I were best friends. And we actually reconnected a couple of years ago. And I'd call him back and, you know, see how things were going. And, and I'll never forget my, my, my last day, the day that I left. I had to go to the company office. And of course, the lieutenant and everybody, they were on leave. So it was, you know, Staff Sergeant Torres. He was left in charge. And, you know, he's like a man, it's, it's been great. You know, we had a lot of good times, we had a lot of bad times. But you know, it was great working with you. And he's like, I wish you all the best, you know, sign my papers and the sergeant that I had that, you know, was an idiot. I'm sorry, Frank. He's like, you got anything you want to say to Mr. Moon before he leaves, right? He's like, No, I don't have anything to say. So I looked at him, I'm like, Can I say something he goes, you can say whatever you want. Your civilian now you can say whatever you want. So I turned and looked at him, I said, You should be happy that I've chosen to get up stand as it had you and I deployed one more time together. I said, you probably would have been the first fucker that I had frag. Because you're a danger to people. Your ego is associated you think you know better than anybody, and you don't want to listen. And so I left and like I said, from time to time, I would call back and you know, I'd be like, so how's things going? You know, how, how's how's training treat you guys? You know, he's still busting your balls or what's going on? He's like, an honest dude. He goes, ever since you left. He's been like, really, really mellow with us. He doesn't he doesn't write this like he likes

Unknown Speaker 58:42
it. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 58:43
And I said, That's interesting, because why is it cuz I said it's probably because he's afraid that you guys are going to deploy together. Right? somebody out there is going to take them out. I said, because I told them my last day, right before I left, that would happen. Right? Alright, so

Unknown Speaker 59:06
first of all, this is did you get? I'm curious if you got the same infantry briefing. Okay. So you went to open out when?

Unknown Speaker 59:16
1987

Unknown Speaker 59:18
Okay, so 87 I went at the end of 92. So did you get an infantry briefing about the banana shows?

Unknown Speaker 59:27
Yes.

Unknown Speaker 59:28
The So, you know, of course, this is a room full of Marines, both male and female. And, you know, what they said to us? They said, you know, good news is, you know, I said, he says, you know, many of you have, you know, parents who, you know, we're here, in other words, is that, as you've probably heard about the banana shows, he said, the good news is they still have the banana shows. The bad news is it's the same women doing them. long gone. But anyway, yeah. So I that I just, I was curious if they, you know, those many years apart. I wonder if they're still saying that, you know, I wonder if that's just something has been passed from one to another. That was another thing I had, because I was stationed at Hanson, I had kick, Kindle can, you know, periodically, and I was out there one night, it was me and Lance Corporal who, who worked for me with me, whatever.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:22
And

Unknown Speaker 1:00:24
he course I'm female, he's male, he was male. And we get out there and they have a cat house. And there's these guys lined up outside the house. Well, of course, as soon as they see me, they just get embarrassed as crap. I'm like, Guys, I couldn't care less. I mean, personal opinion is that it should be legal here. You know, give the girls health, you know, health care and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, it was. It was funny. So okay, so the one of things I was gonna ask you is your Instagram, and I think also within the app, because you're in the app, right? The servers were down. That was what you were asking me servers were down. And he's he was still stuck at work. Just recently, again, the hazards of a bootstrap startup, right? It was something he couldn't fix from, from where he was, but anyway,

Unknown Speaker 1:01:10
recon medic, what, what does that where does that come from,

Unknown Speaker 1:01:13
um, when I was with the the 15th. year, they, when they decided to make this specialty rescue team, we were attached to the Recon unit that was that was assigned to the 15th year. So that's where that comes from. Medic, I became a paramedic, after my after my time in the Corps is about nine years later.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:45
So your double? Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:48
I

Unknown Speaker 1:01:50
got it out. And you know, of course, I wanted to be a cop. Everybody wants to be a cop. And you know, at that time, you'd have 300 people testing for positions and right after a while, I got very disheartened about it and said, you know, you know, screw it, you know, fuck them. I, you know, I don't, you know, I, I grew up here. And, you know, I've got this background and, you know, what's the issue? You know, so I'm like, all right, well, maybe the fire department, you know, same thing. Right. And, again, you know, I was I was working for working for a, an emergency service here in Vegas. You know, I had a background with SCB A's and everything else. Born and raised here, scored off the charts on written test, passed the physical ability went through the oral boards, made the hiring list. And that's, that's where it ended, you know, and so I got very sour on the fire department to what, you know, I'm like, I passed all the psych screenings and everything else was is wrong, you know. And so, you know, during my time as a paramedic, I, I got to know one of the guys that I'm here in town that he's now he's the the corner of the corner up in Washington. I can't remember exactly where he went, but I went, I decided I wanted to be a corner investigator. So I applied and went through the screening and went through the academy and that's what I did part time. If I wasn't picking up extra shifts as a medic, or teaching a class at the college. I was working as as a corner investigator. So I mean, I was

Unknown Speaker 0:01
I always had no irons in the fire and always had something going.

Unknown Speaker 0:06
That's, that's another common thread is that we Yes, we always have a lot of things I go crazy because I have 90 things going, but I would be crazier yet and not fit to live with if I didn't have those things,

Unknown Speaker 0:20
so it's just so so going back

Unknown Speaker 0:25
a minute a second for to that to that training incident. You know, at the time, I was out five, six months. And I remember falling asleep on the couch. And, and having a dream where it was me and the guys from my squad. And we're in a completely different environment. But there was a firefight and I I couldn't save them. You know, my one best friend, I you know, I remember holding him and just, I woke up in my face, my, my throat hurt. And you know, my face was wet from crying. And I never understood what that was what you know, and I'm like, just shook it off. But then as time went on, you know, my, my temperament got worse. I was how I had a hard time holding job, because, you know, I had no problem saying, you know, fuck you, I don't need.

Unknown Speaker 1:36
And,

Unknown Speaker 1:38
you know, I'm not proud of it. But I even got fired from a job because I told the guy that he didn't quit acting like a bitch, I was gonna slap him like one, you know. And

Unknown Speaker 1:48
I've been told, I know, I've been told you don't know how to follow directions. And I've said, Look, I'm a Marine, I have more direction in my pinky, then you have in your entire body. But just because just just like because I was I was running like you were to, I had a very good career, but the same way that you were talking about with, you know, questioning him sending you into the light. It was the same thing for me. It's like, just because I said so. You know, it's not good enough?

Unknown Speaker 2:11
No, it's not. It's just not.

Unknown Speaker 2:13
So, you know. So I had that. And then of course, you know, working in the 911 system here, and then, you know, working as a corner investigator. It just, it just started compounding and I and I never knew what it was. I mean, I I can't tell you how many times I I woke up drenched in sweat because I had a nightmare where I, I myself had had put a gun to my head, remember hearing the click of the trigger, and then waking up. Right, right, right. And I'm the last service that I worked for 13 years ago, I got fired because I had a guy that was strung out on four different kinds of drugs,

Unknown Speaker 3:06
was combative. And

Unknown Speaker 3:09
he spit on me? And I'm like, All right, I'll do the first one. But don't let it happen again. You know? Well, he did. Well, by the time I jumped up, one of the firefighters that I was working with had already, you know, put his boot to the kind of jumped on top of them. And I remember hitting them. But I don't remember everything that transpired during during that time. I can tell you everything clear as a bell. What happened prior? And what happened after?

Unknown Speaker 3:43
Right. But there's that that's that flip switching thing that we were talking about earlier, you know? Exactly,

Unknown Speaker 3:50
exactly. And and this is one of things when I first started before Hero Harbor actually came up came about when I was still when I was marketing very more. You know, one thing I used to say is that okay, I completely right out of my head, whatever. Okay, we're talking about flipping the switch. What Oh, my God, what were

Unknown Speaker 4:14
no emotions?

Unknown Speaker 4:16
I yeah, I'm just not sure. Oh, well. Who knows? Who knows? It'll probably it'll, it'll pop back in there eventually. But so keep going.

Unknown Speaker 4:25
So, um, so tell

Unknown Speaker 4:27
me. Well, I guess that was part of it. Yeah. So I guess that's what's Oh, I know what I told you. I knew. I used to say that, you know, the military is really good at creating soldiers creating warriors, but they're lousy at turning them back into civilians. They don't prepare them they don't, you know, and, you know, there is so much we have planned. I mean, the app isn't even a fraction of what amazing things we have planned for it. But yeah, but that's the thing. It's like we are, we were already different kind of person when we went in, and then those experiences and everything else. You know, just like I said, finding your way. And that's where so many, we lose so many. And it's just, it's a lot of things, I being the non violent person that I am, I have an amazing ability to flip that switch. It's like, there's lots of things, there are lots of things in this world that I don't want to do, but I can do anything, if necessary. And the so part of it is that, you know, the challenge we faced with the transition, finding our way not, you know, not not not being able to see the future, you know, we're dealing with, you know, all of those things. But then, you know, as I've talked about with a number of these interviews, then we get the VA or whoever gets involved. And then we get labels and medications and stuff like that. And in my case, they had, you know, in appropriately labeled me as bipolar. And I for 16 years, I took all these crazy meds, and I finally quit taking them. But the last time that I had read to take them, it ended with me. And this is how they finally I was like, No, I don't care what you call me, but I'm not taking your meds. But it was because I took the last $400 I had went out bought the prettiest little Beretta or something out, it was nice. But loaded it with guns. I was sitting at my desk similar to this. I was in Austin, but pointed at my head. And luckily, I was able to dig down and say, Oh, no, you've got something to offer this world. You know, but too many, too many of the people do pull that trigger. And so it, I get it, you know, it's it's

Unknown Speaker 6:34
Yes. You know, so obviously, there was a, you know, an incident review board and, you know, the, you know, talk to, you know, the cops that were involved in everything else. And then, of course, you know, they, they said, Well, you know, this is an acceptable move as you go. And then I had to go to a review board at the Health District Who are the people that regulated and issued my license. And I remember sitting down with the medical director and his two assistance and, and he's like, So, tell me what, you know, what ran through your mind? What, what made you haven't? Yeah, and so I explained everything that led up to that point. And I'm like, you know, I wanted to give him right, I was I wanted to use chemical restraints, but this is what it came to this beforehand. I said, I said, you know, he was a, he was a threat. He he was literally, even though he was handcuffed, still getting his way out of the belts on the gurney and and able to kick his legs and everything else. And I'm like,

Unknown Speaker 7:50
I'm south and everyone else.

Unknown Speaker 7:52
Yeah, I'm like, I'm like he was a threat. I said in my, I said, My whole objective was to neutralize the threat. There's like, he was a patient. He can't neutralize a patient. I said, but he was a threat. And he's like, he was like, well, you he had his hands were restrained. I said, You aren't there. You didn't see. And he's like, well, where the where the police there? And I'm like, Yes. Well, did you ask them for help? I said, you want to know what they did? When they saw what was transpiring? they close the doors to the ambulance and said, we didn't see nothing.

Unknown Speaker 8:29
I said, that's the help that I got.

Unknown Speaker 8:31
Right. This is, this is why we do the podcast to that the Hero segment of the podcast is because we need we need other heroes to hear that they're they're not you know, they're not alone in their stories. All of our stories are a little bit different. But there's several common threads that go throughout them. And I need civilians to hear what can't you know that what these one of my favorite interviews is with a guy, an army guy, you know, you're talking about

Unknown Speaker 9:01
he,

Unknown Speaker 9:04
over the course of a course of two days, all six friends he's on the phone, you know, one one day is that, you know, inside parts on the outside next day burning bodies, you know, see, you know, couldn't say that sort of thing. And, you know, so he went down this crazy path of drinking and drugs, everything else and, and I needed him to, to tell that story. So that people because I have had civilians, listen to it with me and

Unknown Speaker 9:28
what kind of dog it's a Queensland healer.

Unknown Speaker 9:32
Oh, very cool. I haven't.

Unknown Speaker 9:36
It's probably my wife coming in from

Unknown Speaker 9:43
anyway, so I need I need people, you know, to know that you meet these people, you meet these heroes, these men and women, you know, at times, that sometimes is not, you know, as he said, when he was going through all that, you know, he had police tell him, you know, he was, you know, worthless piece of shit. And he is an amazing person. You know, but so I needed people to understand that, you know, just because, you know, just because you don't understand what they've done or what they've been through you that's that's all the more reason not to judge them. Because you really you don't on any given day, when you meet somebody like that. You don't get you don't know, you don't know. And and they deserve your help rather than your, you know, anyway, kick off.

Unknown Speaker 10:28
Right. And so, the thing is that right after they fired me, they had they sent me to go see a psychiatrist, and he given the history. He's the one that diagnosed me with PTSD.

Unknown Speaker 10:47
Don,

Unknown Speaker 10:49
she's the president of very high.

Unknown Speaker 10:55
Wife, Kathy,

Unknown Speaker 10:57
thank you very, very much. Sometimes being the spouse is harder than being Hero. Wow, no, no. You're being humble. But I can tell you that sometimes it is, you know, I've had one of my one of the Marines that I interviewed, we talked about his wife at one point had to, you know, and he was married to her before he went in and all but she had to kick down a door to keep him from hanging himself. Now, they have an amazing life now. But you know, what, it's sometimes it's hard because you have to, you have to see them suffer sometimes. And then it's we don't you know, when we don't know what to do, we don't know how to fix it. We don't. And we don't if we not been there, especially if we're a non you know, if we've never gone through that it's really hard to understand until you see somebody you care about in pain. And it's like, you don't know what to do, you know? Yeah. Yeah. So thank you. Yes, yes, of course. Nice to meet you. Yes, I am.

Unknown Speaker 11:52
So good. You know, I give him you know, everything that I went through in the military. And we, you know, obviously, went over the incident that transpired at that at that time. And he asked me, he's like, has anyone ever diagnosed you with PTSD? I said, No. I said, I've seen plenty doctors, they told me, right, you got an anger problem. We're going to sink your management, right? And, you know, take take these pills, it'll help keep you calm. And I said, but now he goes, That's because that's exactly what happened. He goes, what you guys, have you ever heard the term blind rage? And I said, Yes, I have. I just thought it was right. Something somebody made up, you know, did you get pissed off to that point, I said, I'm in a blind rage. And when I explained to him that I remembered everything prior, and everything after he told me because what you experienced was blind rage, right? And he goes, he goes, there. He goes, you went, he went, you went into a survival mode, he goes in at that point, everything just, everything becomes autonomy. You're You're functioning on instinct, because your mind isn't even processing, what it is that you're doing. And I was like, Oh, I'm like, that's kind of cool. But but at the same time, it was a detriment. You know, and

Unknown Speaker 13:36
when it's going to happen, you don't know what's going to trigger it.

Unknown Speaker 13:38
Exactly. You know, a lot of there's things that are insignificant others. Um, what am I can consider can can set me off in, in a way that is unexplainable. You know, so

Unknown Speaker 13:53
what a story told by one of my Marines, and he and he was part of the OEFOIF, you know, FIT joined, like, like, two years after 911. But anyway, he was talking about, he was out fishing by himself, you know, just fishing, relax everything. He said in his, his hook, snag just snagged on something. And

Unknown Speaker 14:17
he, he just lost it, lost it. He said, he

Unknown Speaker 14:24
pulled us pulled his rod out, broke it all up, threw it on the ground, he says he was out in the middle of the woods screaming nonsense at a tree. He was just he, I mean, something. I get it, I get it. It's like, you know, if you don't know. And, you know, of course, then he went to the went to the VA, and they're trying to give him all these drugs, and they want to commit him, you know, and stuff he's like, and he says, I'm a single dad, he said, You think there's problems now try to try to commit me, you know, but yeah, it's the same thing. It's like you have something so simple, so simple. But it's just all that has been building up in you and your and a lot of times, and we are so good at masking our pain. We don't ask for help, because we're Marines or we're, you know, Rangers or whatever. We We don't need help, you know, and we don't, it's it's this, such a crazy irony. And this was said to me once before, and it's so true. It's like, we never do anything alone, when we're in service. Never, never. And yet, we get out and we think we're supposed to do it alone, we're supposed to be able to handle it. We don't need anyone else. And that's not true. But yeah, all that stuff is building up. And you know, you, like you said you didn't put the pieces together. Because we don't think about it, what I found about myself is that I don't label it as a problem, or as bad unless it happens to someone else. If it happens to me, I just compartmentalize it and just keep on going. And then all of a sudden, something somebody flicks that card in my little house of cards, and in it goes, you and I, I just I have a meltdown. You know, and and again, when you have people who are so strong and so independent, and all when they have a meltdown. I'm an overachiever. So when I melt down, it's it's a fantastic thing to see, you know, it's just, we do we're extreme in some fashions. And you're right. When So,

Unknown Speaker 16:21
yes,

Unknown Speaker 16:22
you know, in, you know, when I was, you know, working as a medic and at the coroner's office, you know, obviously 98 99% of the time, you're dealing with the shift of society 1% of the time, you're actually helping someone who is genuinely sick, right, or injured and need your help or whatever.

Unknown Speaker 16:52
With that being said, you see,

Unknown Speaker 16:57
99% of the time you're seeing the dark side of

Unknown Speaker 17:01
and I remember

Unknown Speaker 17:02
hard reality to you know,

Unknown Speaker 17:04
it's Yes, it's a really hard reality, because we

Unknown Speaker 17:08
well, intellectually, we know that stuff is out there, being faced with it, and dealing with it day to day is a completely different thing. And, and it makes it Yeah, I mean, I can see where it is really.

Unknown Speaker 17:20
And I remember when I first got into the medical field, I was, I was ecstatic. Because I'm like, you know, what, you know, after, after my time in the Corps, and, you know, because I didn't stay in, I think I found my true calling, I excelled at it, I was one of the one of the best medics in town. And I used to be so excited to come home, and, and share my experiences of the day. But after a while, amid those experiences are not pleasant. And, you know, when you when something that is so disturbing to someone, but to you, it was amazing. Yeah. I always used to say, you know, someone's worst day is my best day. And after a while, you know, your family, they don't want to hear it. It's gloom and doom.

Unknown Speaker 18:30
Well, and this is one of the things I've said about the about the VA to you know, because I've heard people say, well, the VA doesn't care. And I said I don't I don't believe that's they don't care that certainly you have a certain amount of that. But you think about if that was your job, every single day to hear these stories, you would be forced to, to put up a bit of a wall become a bit apathetic, because for the same reason, if you, you couldn't be you, you would you would lose your mind, you couldn't be a happy father or a happy, you know, husband or whatever. Because, you know, so it's self preservation is what it is. So, I, my belief is that they need to rotate. It's like, you know, you do happy stuff this month, and you do you take it on the grind again, you know, another time but

Unknown Speaker 19:19
but, you know, and so. So with that, I know the only the only people that you can really talk to are your, your friends, your co workers, because they can truly appreciate it, they understand. Right? Aside from that, you keep it inside, and it's very lonely. You put up a wall, and you just deal with it. And I was I hate to say, I hate the word obsessed. But I love that job so much, that even on my days off, we would watch the news. I would watch the news just to see if I was missing out.

Unknown Speaker 20:04
Right, right. Now I get it. I do I get it.

Unknown Speaker 20:07
You know, and, you know, it's it. At that point, it kind of consumes you. You know, and, and when when I lost my job when they fired me after that incident.

Unknown Speaker 20:26
I lost my mind. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 20:28
Because if I so strongly with it, that's that was the same thing with me is that, you know, I, my professional identity is more important to me than anything in this world. And and you know, I something you made me think of is you talk about that stepmother and the and the whole, you know, she had at one point she says we never think to ask you how you are because you just always seem so strong. And yes, that's the face that we put forward. That's that. But as I said, you know, then we and we do that and we're strong and we lift and we carry and we can't wait, you know everybody else. And but then when it happens, like you know I have episode eight is on the podcast is called when heroes experienced pain. And it's me I'm actually sitting in my closet recording. But I but I get kind of emotional in that one because I talk about how I have met a veteran at the park. And it was such a good analogy. He says, you know, sometimes we just want to hand off the bucket, you know, we've been carrying the water bucket for so long for so many. And we just want to hand hand it off. And, and I was dumb, you can hear my voice cracks everything. I mean, it was just because it's like, we love who we are. We love what we do. But a lot of people don't get it, they don't get us they don't and they look at us, like there's something wrong with us. And it's not if you know, it's not we we are very different. We are very special. We are you know, we're not I don't mean better. We're different. And and it's and it's a that's a big challenge. And again, that's that's why we do all this because what you just said is that's it. I mean, that's that's why Hero Harbor was created, you know, so Okay, keep going.

Unknown Speaker 22:15
I would I mean, I was just draw, you know, I looked at my director, I looked at my director and I'm like, What am I supposed to do? This is all I know. Yeah, this is all I'm good at, you know? And

Unknown Speaker 22:30
and it's in that place that where we have to reach these men and women because, you know, again, where I got past the whole gun pointed at my head kind of thing. Too many of them don't. And because the thing is there is there is a future there is a place for you in this world. We just have to get you there. We have to get you past you know, but yeah, our We're so proud. And our identities are so tied up in what we do very often that yes, it's it's it's brutal. You know, and we think and again, I've said this before the civilian world makes us think that we don't belong. And and that's not true. That's not true at all. And and we're not asking for a special place. We're not asking for special privileges. Because we're veterans, it we're all we're saying is we are different. Or again, not just heroes, but the whole the I mean, not just veterans, but the whole Hero community again, because your biggest challenges came within the you know, when you are you were a civilian, but as you're a hero of a different type. But the

Unknown Speaker 23:32
damn it, I got myself sidetracked there. But yeah,

Unknown Speaker 23:35
it's, you know, we just we have to get them past that, you know, that place? And yes, so Okay,

Unknown Speaker 23:42
sorry. You know, and, you know, that was I think that was the first time that

Unknown Speaker 23:49
you know, Kathy, my mother.

Unknown Speaker 23:53
They saw

Unknown Speaker 23:56
how hard of the time I was having. And she actually took took the guns out of my house and gave them to somebody to hold on to cuz, yeah, yeah. She wasn't sure what was going to happen. Exactly. Um, you know, I'm,

Unknown Speaker 24:15
I'm grateful that

Unknown Speaker 24:18
I made it, you know, past that point.

Unknown Speaker 24:22
You know, yeah, there there been other, you know, times throughout life where, you know, you think about it, but

Unknown Speaker 24:32
this whole idea that you should never ever think about it, it's just stupid, because the fact is, and this is, you know, I talked about Rick, the, one of the things he said Is it, and I've heard other, you know, guys say this, that it's not, it's not that they didn't want to live, they didn't want to live like that, you know, it's like, I love me, and I love you know, I said, I've worked very hard to overcome a great number of challenges. However, we, again, back to the identity and back to that overachieving, all of that stuff. We it's that we, we don't want to live in a world where, where we aren't using our talents and our gifts and our to, you know, it sure I could survive. I could, you know, I could be an admin clerk, I could be whatever, but I would rather I would rather be dead. So it's, it's not, that's not because, again, I am one of the happiest people you'll meet I love I'm so intensely passionate, I love what I do. But we it's not that we don't like ourselves, we don't want to live in a world where we can't use we can't do what we're good at.

Unknown Speaker 25:39
Right? You know, and in the fact that, you know, you have, you know, unfortunately,

Unknown Speaker 25:50
memories don't fade away.

Unknown Speaker 25:53
They may get a little blurry, they may get a little blurred, but they don't go away. So even though you may not, you may have removed yourself from the whole environment.

Unknown Speaker 26:11
The thing thing is,

Unknown Speaker 26:13
a lot of those interactions that you had during that time, are are R burned into your memory. Yeah. And, and they're, they're not going to go away, no matter what you do. Part of who you are now, they're, they're not one, they're not going anywhere. And you know, I? So I, you know, I did what the doctor said, you know, Here, take this pill that will help keep you calm, and, and that was fine and dandy, you know, for a while, you know, but um, but after a while, I'm like, Okay, well,

Unknown Speaker 26:52
I still feel the same. Right now.

Unknown Speaker 26:56
I thought this was supposed to be solid thing, right? Yeah, I thought it was supposed to make me forget about this stuff. I thought it was supposed to make me happy go lucky all the time. And, and, and that was where I was misinformed. You know, I, I just kind of like, I'm like, Okay, well, they're the doctors, they got the degrees. They know what they're talking about, they know what's best for me. And

Unknown Speaker 27:21
that's the worst mistake ever. It's like, you know, I my granddad was a doctor, he was already gone by the time I got out. But I thought, you know, back then I thought all doctors were created equal. And so I listened to them. And I, and again, this is this is what hurts my heart so desperately is that, you know, there's, it took years years for me to develop the understanding of myself and the strength to say, fuck you, I'm not taking your drugs, you know, and so many people, I mean, again, and again, I keep saying common thread, but there is in these interviews, that you know, medicating medications, you know, and and then just the, the VA is this giant pill pushing machine, but doctors in general, you know, I always told you're always going to be on these meds and data. And it's like, No, you know, and that's thing is we have too many men and women who get into that place, and they don't get past it, because they listened to the doctors, they listened to the people, you know, I have a therapist at the VA recently, I said, in my nearly 30 years of being in the system, I'm not going to say that you made anything better, but you're the first one who didn't make it worse. And and that's, you know, that's the terrifying thing is that only help that they have available to them. And it's not just me, it's private doctors to it is very often makes it worse.

Unknown Speaker 28:34
So you and I never, I never utilized the VA up until two years ago. I, the way I thought about it, or I used it was, you know what? Their guys, and there are men and women who need their service more than I do, dude, I was usually fortunate enough to have a job that provided me decent insurance. And so I'm like, they need their services more than I do.

Unknown Speaker 29:09
It is so common, it is so common. And,

Unknown Speaker 29:12
and, and, and, you know, I'm like, you know, let somebody else have my spot, you know, and then was a four and a half, I guess about four and a half, five years ago, I get a letter from the Marine Corps headquarters saying, you know, our records indicate you were stationed at camp was June.

Unknown Speaker 29:37
I forget about that. Yeah, when you turn it

Unknown Speaker 29:40
during this period,

Unknown Speaker 29:41
I just recently learned about that whole capitalism thing. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 29:44
And, and, you know, here, if you've been diagnosed with, you know, any of these conditions, you know,

Unknown Speaker 29:52
that they reach out to you. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 29:54
and they were like, all cancers, like, five different forms of cancer.

Unknown Speaker 30:01
thing too, is it because I recently was approached, because everywhere I go, I leave, you know, I Hero Harbor, I mean, I've never shut up about it. And, and I always leave a, you know, Hero Harbor card, whatever. And, and I'd left one at an acupuncturist, they were trying to help me in my sleep, and also got it anyway, she had passed it on. And so I get an email from this guy, and he's talking about, you know, go for syndrome. And also, and it's like, everything that he had, you know, I had always all my not sleeping and, and all the different things I had I attributed to, you know, okay, you know, this or that, or the other. And when they start listing that stuff, it's like, wow, that, you know, that that could be at the same time, though. I, I am afraid to go down that path of, you know, getting getting labeled, and, you know, all the possibilities that come with that. And we also, for me to accept that is also it's like, saying that I'm broken. And we know, we know what happened with, you know, the, with Vietnam, and the whole agent, orange and all of that stuff. It's it's this weird, crazy dynamic. On the one hand, it's like, we would like to have answers. On the other hand, it's like, I don't, I don't want to hear that, you know, that what I did, and my voluntary service and all those, you know, led to, you know, these things. And, you know, again, we are so good. Just back to what we were saying earlier, we're so good at pushing through, you know, it's like, yeah, I have not slept properly in 20 years. Never, never more than five hours, never solid. The irony being what do they ask you the two things they ask you when you go to the VA suicidal ideations and substance abuse? When do I get my five hours of sleep when I drank myself to pass out? You know, it's like when I've just gotten to know the, but we are so we are, I know, I've been running on adrenaline, adrenaline for all this time I left, I get up at 4am. I left here. And I live in Orlando right now. And I drove from I left here at 330 in the afternoon, after being awake all day long. Drove like 15 hours to Texas. Without stopping, I took like 45 minute nap. And that was mostly awake all the rest of the day. We just we we can and so we do. And we did. And so we don't stop. And I think that, you know that. But the thing is, even if you do, it's like if you can't do anything about it, then it doesn't matter. It's just I mean, we we that's the kind of people we are and it's it's not necessarily that the the military taught us that we were those kind of people you are not Lee, you know, it's like you just push through, you take the pain, you take whatever, you just keep on going. And so yeah, okay. All right.

Unknown Speaker 32:43
So I get this letter, and I'm like, Okay, well, I don't have any of these issues. crumbled it up, trash can. Now, since 1993 1994, I have had abnormal liver enzymes. And the doctors for all these years told me, the first thing that they asked me, How much do you drink? Right, right. And I'm like, I don't know, not that much. I'm a social drinker. You know, how? Well if you were to have a six pack of beer in your, in your refrigerator, how long would it last? And I'm like, I don't know. I said a 12 pack will last me, you know, a week, you know, I have a couple beers after work or you know, maybe if you on the weekends, but that's it. Right? Well, do you utilize? Do you take ibuprofen or Tylenol? Yeah, for pain? And they're like, Okay, well, cut out your drinking, stopped taking the ibuprofen, stop taking the Tylenol. That was their solution to it. And then two years ago, you know, again, you know, it came this abnormal liver enzyme levels. So I'm like, you know, what, it's time I go to the VA? What if? What if all these abnormal tests over the years are precursor to something that isn't my fault? Right. Right. And And right now, that's, that's the battle I'm fighting right now is, you know, I've, I've put in claims for the VA doctors have done a biopsy. And they've said, Yeah, you have, you know, non alcoholic hepatitis in. And then I get a letter from the VA saying, Okay, well, this is a recognized condition for content, contaminated water exposure, and I'm like, okay, sweet. Now, Mike, my claim should just flow through the fight.

Unknown Speaker 34:54
They told me, they sent me an email saying, this is an accepted condition. Right?

Unknown Speaker 35:01
Know, now they're like, well, now we need proof of, of your service thing. And I'm like, put my records, you've got access to them just as much as I do. Yeah, look, you know, and so last week, I had to, again, I had to write a, an appeal statement. And in that statement, I put in there and look, you know, I served my country of my own free will,

Unknown Speaker 35:32
proudly and honorably,

Unknown Speaker 35:35
the issue that they had with water there, the government knew about it, the Marine Corps knew about it since 1953. I didn't have a job that where I worked on helicopters and, or whatever. And, you know, I was just bathed in the water and drank it, my job entailed I be in the water.

Unknown Speaker 36:01
For certain things,

Unknown Speaker 36:03
it's the same water that they we drink, we drink, because there was no such thing as bottled water back then the only people that bottled water was a sparkling bottle and a cooler in the office, right? They cooked without water, we bathed in that water. And I'm like, everything matches up, your doctors say that I have this condition. It's an accepted condition by your standards. So what is the problem? I you know, are they are they waiting till it turns into, you know, and I've had three different doctors told me to from the VA, and one was an outside doctor. And they all three of them told me You do know that what this condition will is going to lead to it's either going to lead to cirrhosis. Because the the scar tissue that's in in your liver, either lead to cirrhosis, it will lead to some form of cancer, or, or ultimate, just full blown failure, liver failure. I said, I understand that. And, you know, I'm trying to

Unknown Speaker 37:24
it right in this thing, we have to fight so hard for this stuff. And that's what happens is, you know, that's additional on top is like sometimes you just simply don't have the strength to fight anymore. You know, you you, you are in a position brought about by your willingness to serve your willingness to go and do whatever you were asked. And then all of a sudden, you're having to fight, you know, fight to, you know, I mean, it's the same thing for me, it's like, how can I help others when I can't even afford to, you know, pay my own bills and stuff like that. And that's the kind and you know, I don't have in this case, I don't have a family to provide for. But as I said, you know, my ex husband is my business partner, and he is living at home, in order. And so and so I feel the burden of, you know, all of that, because he's living at home in order that he can help, you know, to pay my bills and stuff. So we, you know, but in your case, and a lot of these other like you, they have families to, you know, and so they're feeling like a failure, because they can't, you know, whether they can't provide for their families, or you know, and so it's just, it's, it weighs them down, and sometimes they just lose the will to fight, you know, fight in the first place.

Unknown Speaker 38:35
And I think

Unknown Speaker 38:39
the bureaucracy of it all is that there's somebody who is just sitting behind a desk, they're reading a file. And what they're doing is they're doing everything possible to protect the government, I don't want to they don't want the government to pay anything out. Right, I get that. But if it's a duck, if it looks like a duck walks like a duck, it's a duck.

Unknown Speaker 39:10
Um,

Unknown Speaker 39:13
I went all these years without utilizing it.

Unknown Speaker 39:17
So if, if this wasn't it, to me, if this wasn't something that was possibly linked to my service, I wouldn't even be utilizing I wouldn't even be pursuing it, you know, but my thing is that, I don't want to end up being saying, Okay, well, you've got this form of cancer. And in then you go, Okay, well, how did this happen? Right?

Unknown Speaker 39:48
Well, you don't want to have to explain your family, why, you know, you're on your deathbed, and you didn't, you know, or whatever, you're disabled or whatever, and you didn't do everything you could to, you know, do, uh, you know, to improve upon the situation. You know, you have you have you have a wife, and you have people to answer to, you know, beyond just your own self and isn't, you know, and it's the same thing for me is, like, again, I said, I can't, we have amazing thing, amazing things for planned for HH, I can't make that happen. If I can't, you know, if I can't take care of myself, and you know, physically, mentally, financially, all of those things. And so it's, it's a bigger picture, it's not just you, it's you have you have other people you're responsible for, too. And, you know, so

Unknown Speaker 40:34
and, you know, and then, you know, three years ago, I was fortunate enough to, to become involved with the, at the time I was, I was working in California, and I became involved with an organization called the week for warriors project. And the more I talk to them in, the more I learned,

Unknown Speaker 41:03
I started to understand, you know, I always thought

Unknown Speaker 41:08
maybe they're just using this as

Unknown Speaker 41:12
you know, maybe they're just using this as an excuse. And then when you really, when I'm talking to, I call them kids that are 2324. They're the age of my kids. And, and they're telling me, you know, I was taking, you know, 10 pills, 10 different pills a day, and everything else. And, you know, there were times where I just felt like taking a handful, and just calling it a day. And they're like, but once I started using, you know, the medical cannabis, it was like, the world changed in the light. And so, so I took it upon myself to educate myself. Um, and I'm like, all right, well, I'm going to test this theory, obviously, I smoke your high in high school. Back then it was strictly for the high.

Unknown Speaker 42:15
And

Unknown Speaker 42:17
I found myself I found it,

Unknown Speaker 42:22
that they were that there was truth to it.

Unknown Speaker 42:27
I have aches and pains every day, I wake up with new ones every day. And but, you know, if I use a little bit at nighttime, it helps ease that, that that team, and because of the condition of my liver, I don't want to take pills, right, because pills metabolize the liver. So all I'm doing is speeding up the process. And, you know, it helps me get to sleep, that's my biggest problem is falling asleep. Right? If I fall asleep, it's great that it's staying asleep.

Unknown Speaker 43:07
I've actually started researching, you're researching the whole CBD oil and and all that kind of stuff recently these for the same reason, because it's like, I'm tortured. My mind is tortured by the fact that I can't sleep. And and again, I cannot. And there are times when I'm just you know, because now with the whole goal for thing now that you know, I was I was only it was shooting for three weeks, I did three weeks of training there before Desert Storm, but they're talking about while you know, we were in Desert Storm, the things that we were you know, and so they're the three things right now that they've associated with it is chronic fatigue, I slipped you off.

Unknown Speaker 43:44
account, the other direction

Unknown Speaker 43:45
wouldn't be the first time.

Unknown Speaker 43:47
Yeah, it's like, oh, yeah, you got to do much better than that. It's like, come on, you step up. If you're going to insult me, you got you got to step up your game. Yeah. But anyway, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel and fibromyalgia. You know, as I said, that, you know, as I start thinking back, it's like, well, I am, I am, I'm always tired, I get up and I'm tired. You know, and, and, you know, so and so for me, you know, falling asleep, staying asleep, all of that stuff. But, you know, so I started to research that, because I went through the same thoughts that you did, it's like, I don't, I don't, I don't like crutches. I don't like, you know, it's like, I do not need this, I'm a Marine, I, you know, and I eat I drink nothing but water, I water and vodka. And, but, and like said, the body, a lot of times, it's just just you give up, it's like, I got to whatever it takes whatever it takes, I got to sleep. But point is we, we I went to the same thoughts of I don't want to crush, I don't want to lean on something. I don't want this to be an excuse. I don't want anything, you know. But it's like, Look, if I went back to you can't help others if you don't help yourself. And if that's what it takes, then, you know, then that's what it takes. And so I you know, I I the power to adjust your thinking is really important. But

Unknown Speaker 45:07
once I once I realized that it was there was more to it than just the recreational aspect. Right, right. I like I said, I started educating myself. I'm like, Well, you know, what? How hard is it? to cultivate some? Right, you know, and then I learned that it's not

Unknown Speaker 45:29
feed your ID IDP. I didn't see what you'd written. But I saw the pictures of the the last couple of posts, you made where you would, that was anyway, so yeah, go ahead and talk about that,

Unknown Speaker 45:38
you know, so I, you know, I'm like, How hard can it be, you know, and so I tried my hand at it for the longest time three years ago. And it worked out well. And I'm like, this is great. You know, and, and I became involved with other vets, and we work together and, you know, we, you know, work for a collective that was out there. And, you know, we did all the trimming, we, we all had medical cards, we did, we handled deliveries to medical patients, verified medical patients, and, and, you know, that was, that was my big thing for me was, I know that there are a lot of that, that they're, they're in a situation where, even if they're getting service help from the VA, you know, they may not be able to afford their meds, even though it's only nine or 10 bucks a month, they may not have the nine or 10 bucks to pay for their medication. And so it was important to me to be able to, to help those, you know, that, you know, well, you know, either either they, they sought me out, or I sought them out one way or the other, we would cross paths, and it was so important to me, that I made it available to them,

Unknown Speaker 47:16
Well, I certainly you've come, he's kind of come full circle again, you know, you're kind of sort of back into a healing, you know, nurturing medical at, you know, realm. And you're also giving back to a community that you know, and care about so much, you know, and, and, you know, so well and care about so and so it's Yeah, I can see, I mean, you, that's amazing, that's awesome.

Unknown Speaker 47:41
And, you know,

Unknown Speaker 47:42
the part is, you have found your path, and, you know, you went from that dark, you know, awful, you know, this is the worst thing that can happen to me. And, and you you found you found your place, you found what you were meant to do. And you know, and that, again, comes back to what we're trying to do, here's just to get these men and women through get them, you know, I want to tell you about, as soon as he can make it happen, that the new feature that we're going to be putting out that I am so excited, which will really change your right now it's, you would go in and you would have to search for people who are like you and other than that, what we're going to do

Unknown Speaker 48:19
is we're going to implement something so that

Unknown Speaker 48:21
basically because there's there's many women all over the world, and every time zone working all kinds of shifts everything else. And you know, sometimes you're just hanging out with, you know, not a whole lot to do whatever and they want to help, they would help, they could help they have the time. And so what we'll do is you can log in, and basically there's a there'll be a toggle or something that says, you know, hey, I'm available. And so now someone else they're in crisis, they can go in and say, Hey, I just you know, I need to talk. And and you know, doesn't mean, I don't mean, on the whatever it is, the point is that they go in, they say I need somebody, so then my Tony calls it the bad signal. But you know, as soon as they log in and say that happens, then everybody who has an end, it'll be we haven't figured out exactly how will implement it. But everybody who's in there who says, you know, I'm here and available, they'll get a notification, they'll get some sort of a, you know, a badge, like on your career text message or whatever that says, hey, and so

Unknown Speaker 49:24
he sees dreaming,

Unknown Speaker 49:25
so it Sagan

Unknown Speaker 49:26
him, he's, he's dreaming. So he's whatever anyway.

Unknown Speaker 49:31
So that, you know, this, they will, you know, come in and say, you know, hey, I'm here, what do you need, you know, that sort of thing. So that way, because a lot of us, we're not going to reach out. First of all, we may not have cultivated a personal support system, or our personal support system, main. I mean, it may be the middle of night, and they may be asleep. And so this way you get help immediately from you know, because there's going to be somebody who is awake at that, you know, whatever time it is, hey, artists we're very excited about but it goes back to I can't make these things happen, I don't program and I can't make these things happen without the resources. And it's a challenge. And then I beat myself up a lot about it, but it's, you know, we're going to get there and it's exciting. But,

Unknown Speaker 50:12
you know, I've even I've even made, you know, I made a friend through that I met through the the lead for Warrior Project, through Instagram when I was in California, and, you know, young kid, he, we kind of we kind of connected because he was in the army, but, you know, he was cap scout recon, whatever. And so we kind of connected and we would, you know, kind of go back and forth. And, and I told him how, you know, the the chapter where I was, was kind of shit, you know, the guy that ran it was pretty much in it for herself. And, and so he's like, Well, you know, man, we're having we're having a monthly, you know, get together in the he was in Southern California, you know, why don't you come down, you know? And in, come check it out. I'm like, all right. But in the meantime, he was he was going through some stuff. I don't know, all the details of it. But, um, you know, it got to where we actually became personal friends. And he would text me Nick, like, a man, you know, what do you know? Can you talk right now? Right? And he would just say, you know, look, I'm, I'm having a really hard those days, yeah, I'm having a really hard time, you know, you know, home life is shit, you know, work is shit, everything's just shit, you know. And he would kind of

Unknown Speaker 51:55
fill me in a little bit. And then

Unknown Speaker 52:00
I was talking to one of my kids went into dad mode, you know,

Unknown Speaker 52:05
and sometimes it's not, this is something I've said is it's you, we don't necessarily have to know all the details. It's just, it, we just get it. I mean, there's just something about, you know, because we've been there and, and so you don't have to know the details to, you know, to under, you know, to be able to help and to understand, it's just, it's just that feeling of, you know, when somebody says I get it, and it's like, you know, thank God I am I have connected with someone who understands and because that's huge. When we feel like we feel it's very isolating, it's like you said before, you know, it's very lonely, very isolating, that, that when you can't talk to your family about what you do, or what you're going through, or whatever. And you feel it's, it's, it's terrible. And that's, that's how we end up with this. This crazy high suicide rate, you know,

Unknown Speaker 52:46
you know, and, and, you know, you know, you know, Kathy, she's not she, she doesn't like the smell of it, she doesn't like, right, right. any of it, you know? And so, sometimes, you know, she gives me a hard time about No, but I explained to her, I'm like, you know, it helps me it does. I know, it's hard to understand sometimes, but it does, you know, and the other night, we were watching TV, and she's like, you know, she was I don't care for it, I don't care for the smell of it or anything else she goes, but

Unknown Speaker 53:26
as long as it's helping you.

Unknown Speaker 53:29
And, and, and you're benefiting from it, she goes, I'm okay with it. Just, you know, she was just remind me at times, you know, you may not like it, but it's helped. It's helping me right.

Unknown Speaker 53:46
After we hang up, I'm going to text you and the episodes of I would love for you to listen to Rick's interview, because you are you're going to identify with so many things and that he talks about and, and and, you know, when I a conversation with his wife, I mean all it's just it's I one of the other guys, Matt, he was here at my apartment. I interviewed them both I interviewed Rick the same way I'm doing you.

Unknown Speaker 54:16
But Matt was saying and the whole time Rick is talking mash is

Unknown Speaker 54:18
nodding his head, and I guarantee you're going to do the same thing. It's just

Unknown Speaker 54:21
like, because we identify it. It's like, yeah, I get it. Oh, it's an amazing story to when when we when we go to when you go back and talk about the you know, law enforcement and Pete you know, feeling like a piece of crap and people telling your piece of crap. You know, he had at 1.1 hundred seven felonies. He was looking at 200 years worth of jail time. I mean, it's it's, uh, but then he ended up becoming law enforcement. It's an amazing story. But, but yeah, it's the, I'll send those to you. And I think you,

Unknown Speaker 54:50
you know, I, you know, after

Unknown Speaker 54:54
after, you

Unknown Speaker 54:57
know, my my time being a medic and whatnot. I, I, I had a hard time really finding my niche again, you know, professionally, right. And reluctantly, i three years ago, I took a job with a company named Hogue. Their family owned family run businesses started in a garage 50 years ago, primarily specializing in custom grips for guns. Now they've, over the years they have expanded into, you know, ar assessor ease and knives. Matter of fact, one of the people that they have collaborated with, is a pretty well known knife maker, and he was in the Marine Corps. He was a recon Marine, Ellen, Alicia wits. He makes them things are high in knives. Well, he collaborated with people at home. And he designed their blades for them. So I reluctantly took a job with them went to California. I don't know why I did it, because I hate the state. And it turns out that, you know, they're very

Unknown Speaker 56:31
vet oriented.

Unknown Speaker 56:34
The President, the one of the owners, the president. He's a Navy vet himself. And so I went in knowing nothing about manufacturing, I had zero manufacturing experience. But I'm like, you show me what you want me to do? I'll do, and I'll do it the best that I can. Right. And that's what I did in day one. You know, they're like, well, we're behind on, you know, we're behind on our bus stops. In order to get ourselves out of this black out of this hole, and have inventory. We need to pump out at least 2000 a week,

Unknown Speaker 57:23
give a marina challenge.

Unknown Speaker 57:26
Many times I went to work at 6am. Many times I didn't I didn't leave till seven 7:30pm. What I mean, I was I was just a machine. And there was a day where I had to miss because I had to go to traffic court. And my manager said, Well, don't worry about it all. I'll run your machine for you. And the next day, he's like, dude, I gotta give you a gonna give you props. He goes, I've sat here, and I've watched you do this. hours on end. He goes and you don't miss a beat. You just keep going and going and going and goes like your machine. He goes, I did it for three hours. And I was ready to just like, shut the machine off and be done for the day. He goes, he goes, how do you do that? I go. I don't know. I said it's, I guess it's something that was embedded in me a long time ago. I said when things like there's, like they're insurmountable, like, like, you're never going to see them. I

Unknown Speaker 58:34
just do it. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 58:35
Yeah. I said, I said you.

Unknown Speaker 58:39
I put my mind somewhere else. I'm not even thinking about what I'm doing. My I mean, I'm aware of what I'm doing. But I don't think about right, right? Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 58:50
Yeah, it's the same when when I when I was at the right after I bought my truck, I was averaging 30,000 miles a month. And it wasn't because I wanted to, but I was presenting my company all over the place. And it's just you do what you have to do, you just do. And like you said, You flip that switch and you just go. And you know, and that's that's but we were those kind of people before we became, you know, before we became heroes, it's just, that's, you know,

Unknown Speaker 59:16
so so you know, within a seven month period, I go from being hired in knowing nothing to them going, Hey, we want you to we want you to run the department. Okay, so now I'm, I'm kind of winging this, you know, and, you know, the, the one of the owners, sons, he, he was the master tool maker. He I learned a lot from him, because he started off with injection molding, right. And then, you know, I actually got sent to school for a week, and you know, it, but but my real passion was machining. And I'm like, you know, at some point time, I would like to learn how to sheet. And, you know, my mother's health, you know, started to slip, and I'm like, Look, I need to, I need to go back home. And they happen to have an office out here. And they're like, Well, the only thing we've got available out there is, you know, CNC operator, I'm like, done, right, show me how to run the machine to show me at teach me how to do it, I will do it. Well, during this period, where I was still in California, they were training me, we actually got awarded the

Unknown Speaker 1:00:40
contract to

Unknown Speaker 1:00:43
make knives that are issued to the troops. Nice.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:49
That's true. So we work with we work closely with the pop, and so on, like, this is this is awesome. This, this is where I'm gonna, I'm gonna get my my foot back somehow. And so now, you know, I'm like, every blade that I cut, every everything that I'm every blade that I'm machined, or a certain month, you know, knife model frame that's made out of aluminum or, you know, composite material.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:28
It's going

Unknown Speaker 1:01:30
to the military, it's going to the troops. So therefore, you know, I mean, we're perfectionist anyway, right now I'm like, if, if someone's depending on this thing to work, and not fail, I love that, you know, I'm going to do everything that I can to make sure it's the best possible. And so I take I take great pride.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:02
It's a, it's a job, right? But

Unknown Speaker 1:02:06
But I take great pride in knowing that, you know, there are people out there that

Unknown Speaker 1:02:14
that are utilized,

Unknown Speaker 1:02:15
that I had made might save someone's life, you know? No, I get it, I get it. And the thing is this, you know, and again, I knew nothing sometimes like Rick story. I knew some about Rick story before. Before we talked, I knew nothing about yours. And this is what I tell people at times is it, we all have a story is we all have one. And it's different. It's like some of us went to combat some of us didn't, it doesn't matter, we all have a story. And there are certain common threads that run through on them. But you have just been one giant advertisement for what I'm doing. Because, you know, you talk about, it's all these things that we understand this. And this is what I need. This is you know, I need the two sides, I need the heroes to hear Look, you're not alone, we you're all going through it. And even when we even when we have found our place, we still have dark moments because we're overachievers we're you know, we're perfectionist all of those things. But you're not alone. So you know, and, but the and then I need the civilian side to hear, look, we're different. But if you give us a chance, we will make your organization better. You know, it's you and you but you just you can't expect us to be like everyone else, let us be who we are. And we will make your organization better don't but don't you know we're not the same don't treat us the same. And and so that's you know that you have just been one this two hours is one giant advertisement and I love you for that you're just getting this giant virtual hug. So but I am so happy that you've you found your place and that that is just amazing. And so you've got those who are you still working with the week, we've wires thing

Unknown Speaker 1:04:01
I do. The the chapter here in Vegas has been all that active. Some of the some of the people that were like, the leaders of the organization here have taking a different path. And they've and they've started another organization for Vets is called walk and talk. And every every weekend, every Sunday, they they meet up either Red Rock Canyon, or they go to the mount up to Mount Charleston or whatever. And they meet up and they smoke a little bit, but then they they go on hikes, right? And everybody talks about whatever life in general life in general war stories, whatever, gives them a chance to bond and just escaped for a couple hours. But they also do a lot of phenomenal things within the community. They sometimes they'll they'll go into the shiniest parts of town and walk through the tunnels are the the, the the storm drains, because a lot of the homeless people, they habitat, they make that their home because it's out of the elements. And they'll go they'll go get you know, as many cases of waters they can people, you know, they blankets, jackets, whatever that that is just people are going to donate to Goodwill or whatever. Anyways, they'll take that and they'll walk through these tunnels, I mean, in in the dead night, and in give water and blankets and, you know, on. So it's

Unknown Speaker 1:06:02
and that's giving back. Right and

Unknown Speaker 1:06:05
that in of itself. It's a reward in and of itself. You know, it's like you you get you you are you we get great pleasure and great joy from that giving back. And that's what I The other thing I say about HH is that, you know, whether you're there to offer a shoulder or to to find a shoulder. Everybody wins every win win, you know, because you you get and you know from that service, you know, it's you get a good feeling from helping others you know, so it's what regardless of what you and the thing is, today, you may be offering the shoulder but tomorrow you might be looking for it, you know and so there's there's just no downside to I love that that is so awesome. Alright, so we're going to we've been at this for two hours, this is not uncommon. This is not uncommon at all, especially my Marines, I just the Golan, so I always end up splitting them. But if you are interested in following, Lauren is both in the app and on Instagram, he's recon medic, and he as you can tell, he's awesome. And I'm so thankful for you And is there anything else in particular that you want to, you know, say before we let you get back to your lovely wife, because I'm sure she's over this by now.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:23
I'm just, I'm grateful that there's there's people like you that are bringing awareness to that's in their needs. I mean, obviously, there's a lot of cracks in within the VA system and a lot of vets fall through those cracks. And because of that, some people never get to hear their story. So I'm, I'm grateful that you know, with what you What's your

Unknown Speaker 1:07:56
this is the best part of my job. It's the most difficult, but it's also the best driving people out of from behind social, the nameless, faceless and these guys are my friends down and I love them so much. So thank you for saying that. But yes, it's this this. This was the highlight of my day, hands down. I spent a lot of time behind this computer a lot of time isolated and I start getting down and feeling like crap and it's like I'm never going to make this happen. I've never but this this is what I live for the for these connections. I am so thankful for you guys. So simplify double dog to provide thank you don't

Unknown Speaker 1:08:34
Yes, go give your wife a hug for me. And again, tell her thank you because I really said so. I will. I know it's not easy living with us so

Unknown Speaker 1:08:44
so I've been told

Unknown Speaker 1:08:45
Yes, I have

Unknown Speaker 1:08:48
my credit I said, I said if you think it's difficult dealing with me, try being me. It's not a safe place up there. So Bye. Take care. You have a wonderful evening.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:58
You too. Thank you. Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai