Each Hero Interview Has Been Machine Translated and Will Be Edited As Soon As Possible
Season 2 Episode 19 Navy Veteran Matt Witkowski
Founder of Flying Fish Hooks
Welcome back. Today we are chatting with Matt with cow ski. He is US Navy retired. He's the owner and chief rod builder at Flying Fish Hooks Custom rod building. Welcome, and thank you for being here. Thanks for having me. Oh, and I need to share most of these. Well, pretty much all of my interviews except for the one I did with my roommate are done long distance, sometimes people are in the same state, sometimes they're clear across the country. I've not yet been able to do one internationally. But Matt is sitting right here in my office, bedroom.
Unknown Speaker 0:35
So he's in the inner loop load blood
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flow with my guard dog sitting next, you know, close by so it but he's in, he's in the inner sanctum as I say, or whatever that is. So, all right, Matt. So, again, thank you for being here and sharing a little bit of humor. Tell us your story.
Unknown Speaker 0:53
Well, you know, I joined maybe read at a high school.
Unknown Speaker 0:57
How do you choose naming?
Unknown Speaker 0:58
You know, honestly, a long family tradition. You know, goes back I've got a great, great uncle on I forget what side of the family who was in the Navy is actually a a Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
Unknown Speaker 1:13
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And, you know, my great grandfather retired as an admiral, he was on the enterprise
Unknown Speaker 1:21
during the Pearl Harbor attack, and
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the boat, not the
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ship, the floating ship, not the fantasy, you know, fancy show. And then, you know, my other grandfather was, you know, they leave here to retire Captain like, my dad's dead to be 24 is his brother or his brothers were all army or Marine Corps and you know, so you know, and associated with blood, it was Yeah, and my dad coached American Legion baseball, which got to talk, you know, get to know those veterans and things like that. So, you know, I initially wanted to join Marine Corps, but they didn't have an aviation program open for about a year and a half they said at the time, so I won't next door. Thanks. Thanks. Go walk next door what's in the Navy and you know,
Unknown Speaker 2:15
left then march of 92 and little Great Lakes and
Unknown Speaker 2:20
so I'm curious what time of year were you a great lakes.
Unknown Speaker 2:23
I was I was a great lakes.
Unknown Speaker 2:27
late winter, early spring, however, however, it snowed two out of Philadelphia leaving maps it in effect, and I guess spelled 50. Today more colorful live with the pilot gave the temperature over Pittsburgh. So we're halfway there. Well, folks, the temperature of Philadelphia is 60. The temperature Chicago was 60. It's now dropping, it's it's 30 something degrees, and it's snowing.
Unknown Speaker 2:52
Yeah, you just made me think of something and I can't, I would have to look up the history and but it's not about I was on the rifle range at Parris Island I went in and the end of the middle of November, November 16. At nine, it snowed on the wall while we're on the library. So we were laying in the middle of that. And I was stationed in Paris on for two years, and I don't think it snowed. At least if it did, it was a memorable moment for me. I don't think it snowed the entire time that I was stationed there, but it was colder than you know what?
Unknown Speaker 3:21
So anyway, okay, so keep going. So
Unknown Speaker 3:23
So we, you know, we had snow, I think but we got out of processing at five o'clock the next morning, I think there was a snow still snowing, you know, and then from that point, all graduated, and I finished my I was sent out to the fleet and finish my first deployment. Right, the year before I graduated the year within our within graduation of bootcamp. So before I, you know, I think we got back in April of 93. And, of course, it's less than a little 14 months after I started boot camp.
Unknown Speaker 4:01
Okay, so all right, and you did what what is it that you did for the Navy? aviation books? Okay, again, that's, you know, they would tell me, I wasn't a real marine anyway, so
Unknown Speaker 4:11
Well, I know the I know, I know the military people listening, you know, you see, you see t shirts, aviation guys. We do very direct airplanes. We tow we help out the squadron whenever they need stuff. aircraft crashed and salvage
Unknown Speaker 4:31
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Fortunately, I never had that, fortunately, fortunately.
Unknown Speaker 4:37
But for the civilians are listening. When you watch Top Gun, or you see something on a flight deck, and you just associate, you see a yellow or a blue shirt. That's an aviation provider. Right?
Unknown Speaker 4:48
So you you worked closely. I mean, I always when you know people tell me they were in the Navy, I asked what they did. And the ones I love the most Forgive me for this, but are the core men because I know how many of them are walking on purpose heartened how many of my Marines are alive today because of that, but you also worked alongside Marines because if you were on right, were you on ships at all?
Unknown Speaker 5:09
Or what flooded three flats option? Wait 20 years. In fact, my first shift was the USA Tripoli, which is a famous assault ship, right. And we had 15 new Pendleton we actually did the first day of Phineas assault since Inchon in during the Korean War, but this was during restore. Oh, right in Somalia in December of 1982.
Unknown Speaker 5:30
So so so that you had where they're always worrying on your ships, or was it just periodic or, I mean,
Unknown Speaker 5:37
we did have Marines that were
Unknown Speaker 5:40
associated, they're basically their taxi. I mean, they get them from
Unknown Speaker 5:46
you know, we drove our little brothers around.
Unknown Speaker 5:50
But, you know, we had a small contingent that was on board, you know, state you know, ship company, but, you know, most of the time they were they came with the squadron more Pretoria, whoever we were taken out that will get from Pendleton or posted and only that they get still running more and more, we're still a reorientation.
Unknown Speaker 6:10
Okay, so, um, yeah, so, I got going to guide your story. I don't, I forgot where we were, you know, I just don't want to gloss too much over it just because that for me, I just, I love that part of that, you know, the military part of it. But okay, so keep going? Well, I don't want this to be a 10 minute interview, I guess, is what I'm getting.
Unknown Speaker 6:30
Right. Right. Right, it you know, the reason why I'm sitting up here at her place doing this is because I have no idea what to expect. So, you know, I was fortunate enough to listen to the previous interview. And, you know, guy, you know, got a chance to cover
Unknown Speaker 6:48
exactly what you were stepping into, because as long as you don't know me, they don't know, you know, and it's like, they, you're, you're putting your life in my hands. But, you know, it may be your, again, that's why we don't do this live, but and all I can do is you tell people and you have gotten to know me a little bit beforehand, but you just have to trust my heart and trust that I would never do anything and never, you know, broadcast anything that would be detrimental to any of us. But but also that I have a journalism degree, and this is what I did for the Marine Corps. And it's what I love doing and so, but yeah, I get it, I there was no problem, you know, asking questions and up in your comfort zone, because it's a smart military thing to do
Unknown Speaker 7:29
it. Right. Well, you never you never you never.
Unknown Speaker 7:33
Exactly, exactly. So, you know, obviously, 20 years, you know, gambit of physically Yes, I did sail around the world, you know, over multiple deployments, you know, acute some of the same third with with a few army battalions over and over in southeastern Iraq. And, of course, the, you know, Persian Gulf. I think six times if I remember correctly, I I don't know. I can't remember anywhere. Yeah, it blurs.
Unknown Speaker 8:04
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911 happens, you know, people ask the question, How do you feel about 911? Honestly, I don't know, because I was already on deployment when it happened. And, you know, so I couldn't tell you you know, to put so you know, that that would get you involved with the first strike against against the Taliban in Afghanistan and you know, back in September, and also it was October the sixth it was October the seventh there October six factory and it's been 2001 where we, you know, there was a full Navy operation Air Force wasn't set up yet because of political stuff they were totally not involved with with you know, so it's, it was pretty interesting.
Unknown Speaker 8:45
Thing is, you're doing you're already in, you're doing you're going to do with your job, you're going to do your job no matter what now, you just had a little more purpose behind it. It had a little more meaning a little more, you know,
Unknown Speaker 8:54
yeah, it was Yes. Yeah, it was it was okay. It's, it's, it's
Unknown Speaker 8:58
defined bad. Now,
Unknown Speaker 9:01
I don't like to compare errors and, and tragedies and things like that when you're doing your job. Yeah. But it was almost like, you know, when that happened, and you're out the senior, it's like, okay, we're just not going up for regular I airspace rules violations, and maybe the occasional hitting some stuff up there. It was it was, I think, my generation pull Harbor, right? Yeah, no, this is no disrespect to that generation.
Unknown Speaker 9:27
But why even I mean, I'm a desert storm veteran, and I volunteered, and I'm so proud of what I do, but it's, it's, for me, even. And, of course,
Unknown Speaker 9:37
this is the part this stuff gets edited out when I get tripping over myself.
Unknown Speaker 9:42
I sound so much smarter after editing. But for me, it's impossible, you know, because I say I have so much respect for the men and women who joined after 911 because they knew exactly what they were getting into the message I when I after I finished my three weeks of training replacement regimen, training academy, June, because as I saying, everybody needs another opportunity goes to the gas chamber. And they were asking people, you know, and they were giving people an opportunity to back out and they're always people were out on this, you know, pray deck and all this. And all these people were saying, you know, claiming to be conscientious objectors. And it's like, how in the world, you know, so like I said, I have so much respect for the people who joined afterwards. So it's not like you said, we all get a job. And we did the job that was asked of us at the time we were in, had I been in during your time I'd gone and done it too. And so it there you like you said, you can't really compare and contrast we did the job that was asking us at the time.
Unknown Speaker 10:40
No, I agree. You know, you know, you know, the one word grace, you know, quote, unquote, I still believe they are the great Greatest Generation, you know, but what similar right after 911? Everybody wanted to step up and do something for the country, what can What did you what, you know, what can I do? that's greater than myself? Right? You know, and, you know, so that and that felt upon the, you know, everybody, women to men, you know, ready, ready after, you know, in December of 1941, it was the same way. So, you know, it those aspects are similar
Unknown Speaker 11:12
meaning to it and more main to it, because you can see why we're doing this, as opposed to somebody way up in government and powers have been saying, This is the bad guy, because I said, So right now, you're saying right now you're saying no, you killed some of ours. And that for this is now it's personal.
Unknown Speaker 11:29
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, we're coming for you. Right. Exactly what so no, and you know, doing all that, and you know, that we were in 2010 or 2007 deployment on the enterprise, which was my second last float ship when it four yards, and we got extended in New York, because of when you're talking to 50 something year old aircraft carrier, and you have no there is no other ship that has disrupted everything was a test bed for The New Yorker, everything else. So we got extended out hitting your I hate being yours, that was my third or fourth time being in there, and I just went on my boys anymore. And so I was quite an older man of action. I was mad actually. And I, you know, a lot of black gold in my life at that time. And I said, you know, what, I bought, I volunteered to join it to go over and do a boots on the ground tour. And only with it, we called it a Navy at the time, individual augment TIA boots on the ground. And I got that got to spend a year in glorious camp Boca. You know, doing detainee operations assigned to an army battalion and, you know, Part Four stuff started there and stuff stuff. Before, you know, I went to own that tour. And then, you know, getting out getting home, my father passes away. You know, within four months, I think it was me getting back and, you know, plans that we had and, you know, was always my dad's always been about helping veterans. I mean, regardless was obviously because, you know, not only did you know, his uncle's and his dad, or, you know, being buried into a military family, and I mean, it guys around the street. I mean, even you know, if they couldn't get a ride to the VA for deployment, what he's, you know, I'll pick you up, I'll be there. And he was a man of his word. And, you know,
Unknown Speaker 13:28
it was tough.
Unknown Speaker 13:29
It was I tell you what that was, that was the lowest point. You know, unfortunately, you know, I talked him 10 minute 1010 o'clock the night before. We were effects most of the Hawaii together. We have planned this trip. Since I was a little kid to go watch the Iron Man's World Championship. We happened, you know, he was over an Iraqi happened to get us both sign up the volunteer. So you know, look, you know, we talked, you know, there was 10 o'clock. Alright, Papa love you will pick you, Peter Piper picked me up to go to the airport to fly out. I got a call one o'clock in the morning. One 130. My mom, you know, frantic? And you know, of course, the hotel I was staying at was right across the street from the hospital. You know, it happened to be my brother's birthday. He was buried on my birthday. I didn't go. I didn't I wanted not to go on a trip. Right. But, you know, everybody to families like
Unknown Speaker 14:24
you would want you to exactly. This is
Unknown Speaker 14:26
exactly this is this is this is what I you know, and I don't I regret not being at the funeral. But I don't think I could. But I don't regret going because it it's what he would
Unknown Speaker 14:38
have wanted he would he you know, cuz he wouldn't have had he been alive, he would have been able to say the trick is what I would rather you do, you can exit my grave later. And it seems I will know exactly the big day, enemy.
Unknown Speaker 14:49
You know, I don't regret going I
Unknown Speaker 14:52
met some great people. I mean, it's like, I'm still friends with today. I mean, I was 10 years ago, when I
Unknown Speaker 14:59
come out to that you need to get your mind off a little bit. And I can't I have to imagine that part of you is in conflict between. I was also in my country is also doing something he understood and he respected and same time I'm missing what is most valuable to me in terms of an incredible relationship. I just can't Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 15:17
so in 2014, but my dad was, I didn't turn 18 until October, I graduated base when I was 17. I wanted to do, you know, tend to sign the papers. So I could leave for boot camp earlier. And he was the most against it. Most against that not against the military, which is he didn't I mean, as a father not wanting his son to go to Gulf War was just, it ended. And but we were still over there. And, you know, so what I, once I, you know, once I left and you know, started, you know, the journey, he was biggest, biggest support, you know, I mean, we had in the Navy, they do what they call a tiger cruise, where at the end of the deployment, they could be three days or seven days or whatever the case was. Males at eat. Now they now they're allowed females as well and have to be a certain agent can't be spouses, obviously. But, you know, they have a tiger cruise where family comes out. And they, they, they sail with the ship for a couple days, and they watch it to your job and couldn't get him away from that. I mean, he just, you know, it was fine. You know, it was a lot of worried about that too. But, you know, so we talked before he passed, you know, we talked about he was going to buy a property on the eastern shore of Maryland, and it was going to be a retreat for veterans and their families to get to, you know, help with the healing, you know, because efficient for us was, you know, he is that he would come down wherever I was stationed at was, you know, Florida or Maryland or out California or out in Washington State. Always do always spend at least a day or two fish it didn't matter. And, you know, so he wanted to, you know, be able to help provide things like that, you know, just to help the emotional healing really in in you know, transition back in and whatever you want to call it.
Unknown Speaker 17:23
So all that has even more special meaning to you because of him.
Unknown Speaker 17:27
Yeah, right. Exactly. Exactly. And that's, you know, that's why you know, yes, it's a rod building business.
Unknown Speaker 17:33
Unknown Speaker 17:35
I'm also not only that, but I collect used fishing here. I refurbish it if it's able to bring refurbish and I donate it to a veteran or four children or more veterans kids that maybe can't afford to get a brand new rock and because believe me they even in you know, even going to Dexter expensive. Oh, yeah, no, I mean, you know,
Unknown Speaker 18:01
I'm not Yes.
Unknown Speaker 18:02
Yeah. You know, I'm not a proponent or I guess any any box store but I was the first one that came right. So I walked predictor yo did I know But so, you know, I know that after my dad after dad passed, I spent five or six years I didn't touch a Christian point. And I was I was miserable because I didn't know what was going on with you know, not realizing that you know, I did have a brain injury and how to cope with dad and with the PTSD and and the other physical stuff that just, you know, you just laid in I mean, I'd lay in bed by
Unknown Speaker 18:38
just dropped a bomb on us with the brain injury thing you without telling us the worst, like, okay, brain injury what rewind. So you want to tell us about that? I mean, you can make it short. Yeah, no, I mean, it was it was an action it was it was a
Unknown Speaker 18:52
it was it was a combination of
Unknown Speaker 18:56
responded to a couple things on the ship
Unknown Speaker 19:00
being a dummy not paying attention your head a few few too many times here. correct way. Right. Right. Um, or service related and it was there was a an accident. When I was in Boca The thing about it right. felt extremely threatened everything. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 19:17
service ran. That's all about the fact that you have you got your head. What is it?
Unknown Speaker 19:23
What is it was washed?
Unknown Speaker 19:24
No. JB said? Dang it, what did he say?
Unknown Speaker 19:31
bell rung I need to get your bell rung. I think that's also something you say. But anyway.
Unknown Speaker 19:37
So, you know, so with everything, and then once I got back to fishing, I realized how much
Unknown Speaker 19:43
Unknown Speaker 19:45
how much I missed it, but also that it was that space in time where I didn't have all the dumb crap. into my mind. Yeah, you know, it was, you know, okay, I'm looking at or, you know, it just a whole I mean, if you're a fisherman outdoors, even just want to go birding, you're looking at your concentrate, not even concentrating but your, your senses are focused on something else. And I realized how much that's that's really been a process in my, you know, course of life, personal
Unknown Speaker 20:19
growth there, whatever
Unknown Speaker 20:20
wrestling or whatever you want to call it. I just, you know, just learning how to code learning what, what works for you, what gets you in your happy space, you know, whatever gets you through, and we've talked about this so many times, and so many interviews, just what gets you through and, and, yes, okay, so,
Unknown Speaker 20:36
all right. So keep going. What you, I'm sorry. I
Unknown Speaker 20:46
looked at me, I was like, Oh, God, I turned the switch off.
Unknown Speaker 20:52
So that led to the right, that
Unknown Speaker 20:54
led to Okay, as much as I did. I personally had to I had to personal, you know, growth of what, being out on the water, not necessarily just not only just fishing, but being on a boat being out on a kayak being out on what are just,
Unknown Speaker 21:10
Unknown Speaker 21:11
meant to have mental stability for me, you know, and and, and not only that, but speaking to a lot of other guys, as well, whether it's in my bedroom and Brian Yeah, exactly where you know, it
Unknown Speaker 21:25
will be comfortable for it does,
Unknown Speaker 21:27
it does, and there's so many great, great organizations that that are out there. You know, I mean, you got healing waters heroes on the water, like Nixon
Unknown Speaker 21:37
nation for that. Yeah. I mean, there's Yeah, and I love the creativity. Some of these people have that fishing for vets. It's awesome. Yeah, there's a whole bunch of those organizations that they just Yeah, they're trying
Unknown Speaker 21:48
it, you know, and if
Unknown Speaker 21:52
I don't know how to reach out to them, if they're looking for stuff. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 21:55
Well, you know,
Unknown Speaker 21:59
what I mean, you so that's, that's, that's the concept I came up with. Yeah, let's make a little bit of money be nice. But you know, the job that I have and my retirement like right now with this, everything's going good passion project. It is it's I enjoy doing doing it and you know, right,
Unknown Speaker 22:15
so Okay, all right. So you you mentioned the refurbishing everything but now you actually have a business so tell us tell us what the business is and then tell us you could you regale me with the story of the name which I was in love with so tell me tell us that
Unknown Speaker 22:32
like it's called Flying Fish Hooks Custom rod Bill
Unknown Speaker 22:38
and I also do a little bit of repair work but that's on a case by case basis uh basically every into your if you're a fisherman or outdoorsman you know, you've walked into one of the big box stores and you've seen something you like the gun well it's that shot going to go man that's it. I'd like to have a different but but they don't have that is there somebody out there they can do that right you know or you know you walk into you pick up this real nice rotten real it feels real good be like they don't have another one. But I like to have one that has this type of sync or this color combination or, you know, my girlfriend's getting into fishing and I want to put something special around rod you know, I like to watch you know, or like you know, your son's first rod or or you know, a wedding there's just a whole variety but you know, I deal with you know, I have a couple of different supply houses that any any any combination of what you can think of or we can come up you're only limited by your mind. Exactly, exactly. I mean people ask me well, customer What do you it's like what you know, in my the Moto my saying that right moto I don't know anyway, the quote, your ride your way, which is your running? Yeah, you pick it you know, I can you know, work with anybody's budget, then you know, you can get as extravagant or as less, as you know, basic as you want to get So,
Unknown Speaker 24:11
okay, so tell us how you came about planning?
Unknown Speaker 24:13
Black fish. Okay. All right. Well, I'm an aviation bosses make handler. In the Navy, we are rates MLS is or job job title. Okay, we have designs, and I'd like aviation guys. Orangemen is a bomb with wings. Well, both his mates have crossed anchors is an aviation most meet we have crossed anchors with wings, pants, flying fish hooks,
Unknown Speaker 24:47
you guys, but you said what you said to me is that you guys actually refer to each other as
Unknown Speaker 24:52
we joke. The joke amongst at least back when I was in and you know was was you know, you guys are just yo The boss is based on the anchors a weird a flying fish? Oh, you know, so I mean, it's crazy that Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 25:05
and like I said an inside joke. So. Okay, so
Unknown Speaker 25:11
all right. So where? Okay, so talking about how you and I came to connect?
Unknown Speaker 25:16
Well, I believe if I remember correctly, that we were, I saw Hero Harbor. And I went on I saw it, you know, I downloaded the app. And I was like, oh, bets helping, you know, which was, you know, I love talking to fellow vets and doing whatever I can with to do whatever. Right. But anyway, long story short, you know, I ice like got on the app. And you know, what's my, my profile got got approved. And I got my checkmark. And, you know, I noticed that you were the CEO and everything. I said, Hey, anything that you you know, I like what you're, you know, I like what you're doing with this. I love the idea, anything that I can do to help Welcome to so we've been talking back and forth of difference, you know, whether it's the app or text message or phone calls, whatever the case is, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 26:09
Alright. So what Tell me what it is that you liked about about our mission? What is it that really struck you? It says you've gotten to know me that too?
Unknown Speaker 26:20
Well, first of all, it's not only to help the veteran and not designated by a specific era of that,
Unknown Speaker 26:29
but to expand that too, because it's heroes. It's it's places.
Unknown Speaker 26:35
Yeah, it's so you got I love the fact that, okay, it's not only just the veterans, it's also law enforcement, first responders, you know, anybody that's in the public safety, but rise as a public sector, in a high risk publish it.
Unknown Speaker 26:52
And their family members, right.
Unknown Speaker 26:54
So they don't give it to sometimes it's harder to be a spouse or loved one, as we heard in the interview that before yours, you know, how? Well and you said to you know, that you you lost a wife, because she just couldn't there's no way for her.
Unknown Speaker 27:07
Right, exactly, exactly. I mean, it just the understanding is not there. And of course, she, you know, the side effects ramifications from particularly
Unknown Speaker 27:17
you don't know how to talk about it. And, you know, it's, it's a combination of all kinds of
Unknown Speaker 27:21
Exactly, exactly. So when that, you know, and having the support system. I think is is more key to the Veterans Health than then anything else out there. What you know, so yeah, so I really like the fact and after talking to you, I mean, your passion, and, you know, we think along similar similar lines, and even though exactly like me, right? Yeah, no, no, I mean, even though you're a Marine, you know, it's everything's good. But no, I, I just, you know, I like the passion. I like that. I like what the what the, the end result is, right? Coming wants to be just a matter of, of course, being new. It's getting, you know, yeah, it's getting out there.
Unknown Speaker 28:07
Yeah, you don't get to spend very long we've been talking about this before you realize that I'm the real deal. I'm that this is no, this is this is not just some fly by night, I'm going to know I donate plasma, I drive 3000 miles a month. And that's what it takes whatever needs to happen, I will not nobody will fight harder on your behalf. Because I care so much about this. You know, we talked earlier about how, you know, it just it is so hard for me to hear these stories and such because I mean, I there are certain stories that I have set the told them, You know, I don't know how many times and I get choked up every single time because it just means so much to me. And I am hurting so badly knowing that these people and knowing that we can help them. And so something that you and I were talking about earlier, by the way I cooked for Matt, thank you very much.
Unknown Speaker 28:53
Yes, lasagna was great. And I appreciate the extra gold back with me.
Unknown Speaker 28:58
Yeah. So you know, he, I think he's going to make the trip up here. And he's offered to help out in a number of ways. And the least I could do was repaint with with food. But the so what I was starting to say is something we were talking about while we're eating is that, you know a lot of people are in the app yet. Okay, a lot of people aren't in the app yet. Because there's only like 10 of us. Because there's so many people who believe in our mission, but the tendency to say, Well, you know, I don't really need that, as you know, the thing is, there's two parts of that. You might not need it, but other people need you. And so we need, you know, if there is someone in crisis, and they show up, and there's no one there, we can't help them, you know, so, you know, soon with this new version, that should be rolling out this weekend. I will get notified every time somebody turns up now how I'm really hoping that soon, I asked you to turn that notification off, because it's making me crazy. But right now I want to be notified because I tried to reach out to and if it's people I know I verified immediately. But I tried to reach out and find out how and that's how you and I got connected to is i you know i i said the same thing with JBSR. Brown, I reached out and I emailed him and said, hey, how did you find us? You know, that's all good, that's really important to me. And I cannot tell you how beautiful and amazing and happy I am to have taken some of these men and women from the dark corners of social and brought them to a very personal connection. I mean, that is the most amazing thing in the world. Because, you know, we chat with people we talked about this. So in personal, anything we do through Facebook ID with people we've never met never talked to, it's just not the same. But you know, even if I never meet you guys face to face, when JB and I chatted, it was via Facebook, I mean, I'm sorry, via Skype, so we were able to see each other, it was the most amazing thing. And that's, that's what it's really about for Hero Harbor, it's not about gathering your data, it's not about you know, showing you as is none of that bullshit, it's about really truly making connections, you know, in the future, we will curate events and we will you know, we're also we're going to somehow get get it such that we input all of the all these different units. And I mean, there's so many, but all these units and all these arrows and things like that. So when you go in, you can pick it and that makes it will make tides, for those that makes it easier for people to find each other. And then you can schedule your, you know, unit reunions or anything you want right there that you can schedule your fishing trips, you can schedule whatever you want, right within there. And you can do group chats, and you can do all of those things can we really want to make it, we really want to connect with people and from a business standpoint, we, those of you like, you know, like you and the other we wouldn't have, we will have verified tag gold tags that show the people because again, as we said, you know, there's wounded warriors and some of these that people know about, and they're huge, and they get all this money and all this funding and that stuff. But then there's the rest of us nonprofit or otherwise, who are trying to just survive. And so many of us had day jobs aside from this other 17. And so you know, what we what you're Harbor wants to do is make it you make it make these connections, get us in front and get all of you in front of the people who matter. So that you can go back to doing what you're good at. And you can make more runs and and so I want us all to be successful, whether it be monetarily or just socially I don't care, I just want you to succeed. But so going back to, you know, you, you may not need a shoulder right now, but you could be a shoulder for someone else. The other thing is, none of us is ever 100% free, my father has been he's been on air, so he's been out of it for a long time. But and sometimes that's the thing is some somewhere you go you go from that deep dark to that life is great. Some transit, you know, you lose family, you lose a spouse, whatever, you go to the deep dark again, my dad says I'm just I'm waiting to die, his wife is gone. So you never know when you might need it. So you know what? Get create that greed, that support system now, hopefully you never need it. But
Unknown Speaker 33:04
boy, even even if even if you don't need it, right? You have a research, you know, resource that allows you to get the information to somebody, or be able to take that person to an individual that can help them so you know, she you know, that's exactly right. You know, you don't have you personally may not need it, but it somebody you know, you know, it's like it's like,
Unknown Speaker 33:29
you know, I told you, you know, episode eight, where I and I don't know, I mean, I talked about this a little in the intro to the podcast, I am sure it must be a little confusing to people a very more speaks talking about Hero Harbor. We created an app long ago called Barrymore and it's still out there. And it's an it's an amazing product. But and when I decided I wanted to do a podcast to get a more, another source another medium another way for people to hear because this is a much more personal way of hearing stories. And the thing is spirit more speaks doesn't just talk about we did a thing on breast cancer we did. We don't just talk to heroes right now heroes are our focus. But anyway, so very more speaks came about as the podcast came about, like days, even before we realized that we were going to do Hero Harbor. So Hero Harbor is it's my veteran focused product, but very more speaks. That's the connection. And there was I'm not going to go create another podcast for Hero Harbor, it just, you know that those two, HH would not exist without very more. So they will forever be intermingled in that sense. And so I need people to understand that. But the important part is that,
Unknown Speaker 34:42
you know, I get it, what was the important part? Where was I going with that?
Unknown Speaker 34:48
crap? Well, the whole point is that this is so important to me. And and well, okay, so one of the things that we have said, we're going to do in the future. Damn it, I wish I knew where I was going with that is that we want to make it such that at some point you you log in, you tell us where you are in your journey. And, and we help you by, you know, showing you some of the things that maybe you might be eligible for some of you know, and connecting you giving you whether it be as I said, I have been in the system, almost 30 years had never gone to travel, because I assumed that wasn't you know, traveled beneficiary, you know, payment for just showing up just driving across town, apparently, that's the thing, and apparently can do it, I had to have another Bry March me up to do it just recently. And as I said, Before I met somebody recently who, you know, has Parkinson's, he's single, he could have been getting care for decades, and wasn't you know, he's Vietnam era. So agent, orange, all of that stuff, he wasn't getting care, he could have been service connected, who knows what he could have gotten, but he thought he wasn't eligible. And so our plan is to, is to show people you know, say, okay, based on where you're at, and based on maybe where you been, and that sort of thing, you know, this is what you might be eligible for. And, you know, it's not any kind of official thing, it's just look, go check this out, and or go see these people go connect with these people. So, you know, everything I do here is it's, it's about, it's in the best interest of our heroes, period, that's all there is to it. I want I want them to be safe, I want them to feel, you know, secure and comfortable and at ease in a place that where everybody you know, has been there and understand. And and I also want them to have their businesses be successful, because that's part of the suicide rate. That's part of it. Because if you feel like you can't make traction with these things, and this is a story that repeats itself, you know, a lot with when I talk to you veterans is how it's at well, and and again, the interview that I did just before you it was already, gentlemen, that he, how many of us have gone through, you know, suicide attempts, or at least suicidal ideations is the VA loves to say, because we didn't, it wasn't that we didn't care about who we are, it's not that we didn't want to live, we didn't want to live like this. And we had no idea. Like I said, if somebody could have told me right before my first suicide attempt, that this is where I would be a I wouldn't have believed him. But if if they could have made me believe it, there's no way I would have I couldn't have waited to get there, I've been so excited. And so that's the thing, there's something out there waiting for you, you just have to get through and help Let us help you. You'll lean on us until you figure out what the what the path is. So like your passion, yes, because it's there and you have something to offer, I don't care what your job was, I don't care how long you were in, you have something to offer, that's all there is to a viewer, it takes a very special person, no matter how we tease about an inner service, we can say whatever we want, but the fact is, it takes a very special person to get through boot camp period, it takes a special person to want to join it takes even more special person to get through and even more so have actually stuck it out. And and that's we get it you know, it doesn't it doesn't matter what your job was, or what you saw, or what you didn't see it, we all experience it, that the transition going from, you know, wearing a uniform and being you know, having something in common that anywhere anybody should go to to suddenly nobody knows who I am. It's you know, it's and we we all go through the Oh, I don't need that I'm a you know, I've done this and I'm that I'm tough and I'm a marine and I'm you know, I'm Ranger I'm whatever. It's that that's exactly why it's so difficult. Because you suddenly go from knowing exactly who and what you are to not being sure who and what you are and not knowing where your place is. That's exactly why it's so tough. So
Unknown Speaker 38:47
and so that's where Hero Harbor comes in and speak even more to that when you earlier we were talking about you know, how relationships and how incredible This was you this meeting you guys and what all and now, you know, Matt has agreed to help me with some of the other things with some fundraising rising, we're actually going to put him on the HH board of directors. And you know, because the thing is, and I've said this so many times, we know Hero SIRs alone, none of us carry that pack by ourselves. No man left behind. We never we there was always a time when we knew we could count on someone. And the thing is, you should not have to carry that pack alone out here. There are so many people that want to help and all we need to do is get those all we need to do is if it was simple, we need to get all these people in one place. And so you know, Matt has now jumped on board to help HH and and I will do everything in my power to help his business and help support his efforts. Because he also is there to help the veteran community and when one of us succeeds we all succeed. That's that's really all there is to it. Okay, so tell people okay, this is how we need to finish up how tell people how to find your tell people how to find you on social TV, well, how to find you within the HH app, and and you know, your URL, all that kind of stuff.
Unknown Speaker 40:05
Well, on the HH app, you can see my ugly mug. Got one picture up there, but under the username of both de SUFF da. And it's funny how that started the day. Yeah, you said look like you want to ask me before a little bit earlier. So what is actually Scandinavian for Oh shit, I love the original that I have a 1984 Hughes bonefish or 18 foot. That was 1884 was last year to Bob Hughes himself actually owned the company before right before he sold the maverick boat company. Anyway, the original owner of the boat was from scalar was from a small Scandinavian countries. But he was a boat designer and builder up in Massachusetts. He because of his heritage, he named it because anybody that knows a boat knows that anything can happen. And when you're out in the water sometimes right? Exactly, exactly. That's your oh shit moments are Yes, that's where that's where the book that came down. And I got it from the border from a guy across the state here in Florida couple of numerous years ago. And I decided not to change a name. I thought it was perfect. You know, being being it being this way.
Unknown Speaker 41:27
We've all been through our way too many.
Unknown Speaker 41:30
Right? And some continue every day. Yeah. But no, but but under under Hero. hope is, is the app, you'll see a picture of my ugly mug. Also on Instagram, flying underscore, fish underscore hooks, and also I in Facebook, and I think it's flying fish Oh, custom rod building. But if you think if you type in official custom rods, it'll pop up. And I do have a website right which meticulously you've done by myself no technical support. And that was
Unknown Speaker 42:06
I did some editing for you. That was my addition to
Unknown Speaker 42:10
Yes. Yes, yes.
Unknown Speaker 42:12
My erotic OCD man. I couldn't help it. So I yeah, his credit. He went to fix them immediately. So you're right. I want to make sure everything
Unknown Speaker 42:20
everything's good. I spent three weeks don't employ myself, folks. so
Unknown Speaker 42:26
important. It is time. Yeah, I mean, I was it was it was constant, it consumed everything. But
Unknown Speaker 42:31
well, and that's for all of us. If there is anyone out there, there's the needs of these companies, the needs of these organizations, and these men and women and these causes are so great. If you have time, if you have talent, if you know someone who has time and talent, whether you're a hero, whether you love a hero, you know whether you just appreciate what a hero has done for you. If you know somebody who can help out these, the needs of these men and women are so great, and they need to make those connections. So if you know something, please let us know about it's really easy to believe in the cause but sit back and not do anything. And you know, there's there is the need is so great. There is not a you there is not a talent out there that I couldn't find some way to make use of so
Unknown Speaker 43:13
and I mean, going a little deadline. It's It's www dot Flying Fish Hooks calm. There's links to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and I started a YouTube channel. But there's nothing on there yet because I'm still trying to figure out what
Unknown Speaker 43:29
what this is another thing that folks need to know is, you know, if you have I didn't even know until I went looked at a site he had put he had put Hero Harbor on there as an elder would you title it was friends or something anyway, but he just he supporting us? Didn't even let me you know, I just I was like, I was so touched by that. So the point is, is it
Unknown Speaker 43:47
Unknown Speaker 43:48
did you I didn't matter whether or not it wouldn't matter. I'm still on the point is that he you know, you help him he's going to help you. And that's the way it is for all of us. It's you know, it's definitely a scratch back kind of situations.
Unknown Speaker 44:01
Exactly. And I mean, just like the veteran, if you listen to them, please listen to all these podcasts. But the veteran that I was fortunate enough to listen to right before me. Just like him, I'm also self linings. So when it comes to having an exorbitant amount of money when you're doing all this research on trying to find website design and I mean, I don't think I found anything less than $50
Unknown Speaker 44:30
Yeah, the line of people with their hands out is ridiculous. And and, and that's the thing too, is that we want to support those who support us, you know, the whole there's so many people and it just it just hurts my heart so badly, you know that all they want is access I saw somewhere a stat that talked about the ring, Dickie was multi trillion dollar industry that is military veteran, and that's all that some people say, hope some people see. And the truth is for us we had not a single bit of it has ever been about the money now The fact is, the more money we have, and I know you heard JV say that the more money we make, the more that we can give back to our community. So that's this is this is every one of us it's a labor of love and we do it not because we're trying to you know make multi millions or or you know, scam anybody out of anything we do it because we know that we need because we hurt with their with a lot right long aside their pain. And so it's Yeah, so your health is not it's you know, it's it's God's will, you know, approve, I promise,
Unknown Speaker 45:31
but anyone can go on.
Unknown Speaker 45:32
Yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, given back that's, you know, the profits, you know, that hopefully are coming I've got a couple of builds in a way where we will meet Yeah, but I'm not you know that but the intention is to make sure that you know, guys like me and women like you and your kids or you know, somebody can get out and they want to fish get up fish if they want to go right on the boat, the water the boat, and, you know, hopefully we can, you know, be able to get more to give more, right, you know, is the whole thing so that's, that's that the purpose of, you know, my business? Yes. To make a little money, be money be nice, but this is something I love. I have a part time job. I love Exactly. I'm going to do it, whether I get paid for it or not. But you know, it little bit, right.
Unknown Speaker 46:24
So I can buy sufficient time.
Unknown Speaker 46:29
That's me, I spend so much time working for others that I don't have time to do anything for me. So all right, well, we're gonna wrap this up. Thank you, Matt, so much. I cannot tell you what a joy has been and how touched I am with you and JB both, you know how much they pour, you know, they, they take my calls, they take my text, both of them are relationships, and they are there for me anyway. And I am not an easy one to take when I get on a bit Oh my god, so I am so thankful for them. And just you know, it's because that's the thing is we all toil around away behind the screen, and we don't know what impact we're having. And so these guys have allowed me just a little touch at, you know, into the impact that I have had and that Hero Harbor can continue to have and all of us together as we support each other. So again, thank you.
Unknown Speaker 47:11
Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.