I want say thanks to Ben Biddick, US Army Veteran, host of the Get Up Nation Show who recommended the book – The Warrior’s Book of Virtues
I got to talk to two of the three authors of a book that has had a positive impact on me. Richard Bryan and Matt Bloom recounted their military experience and how this shaped their focus to write this book. The Warrior’s Book of Virtues is written in a way that anyone military and civilian can benefit from reading it.
Talking with Richard and Matt, I thought about how individuals with different backgrounds in life and the military came together to create something that is needed now more than ever. Thanks for talking with me an Semper Fidelis
I got an email from listener about The Moving Wall. This monument is half the size of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. There was an oppurtunity to talk with Veterans in Attleboro, MA about how this exhibit is coming to Attleboro, MA.
The Attleboro Veterans Service Officer, Ken Badertscher, along with two Vietnam Veterans came to Attleboro VFW Post 115 to talk with me about their experiences and what The Moving Wall meant to them.
As we began talking it became clear that the Vietnam War was still fresh on their minds. Both Vietnam War Veterans said that they had been healing even after all these years.. The Moving Wall shows them they are not forgotten.
And that is really the core issue with many Vietnam Veterans. For a long time, America forgot about them. America did not honor their service. These Vietnam Veterans who are alive today and are reminded of that fact. However, they are hopeful because of events like The Moving Wall. Seeing the entire city of Attleboro come together to bring this event to the region means that younger generations want to ensure stories are told. The sacrifices and ones lost will be remembered as those who answered the call, or in the case of the Vietnam War, those who didn’t have a choice to serve.
I will be going to this event, and I am looking forward to talking with these Veterans again. You all are not forgotten.
Andrew Farrer reached out to me on Instagram about coming on Oscar Mike Radio. Come to find out he had met Scott Libby who has been on Oscar Mike Radio and asked if I would talk with him about the Nashville, TN Silkies Hike.
Irreverent Warriors was founded by Captain Donny O’Malley USMC Ret., and Sergeant Ryan Loya in 2015. They believed that humor could heal a person. https://www.irreverentwarriors.com/about/ Read the story about how this organization is using comradeire to prevent Veterans’ suicide.
Andrew went on a couple of hikes and wanted to do one in Nashville. He has been working since January to coordinate the hike in Nashville. Right now he has 150+ hikers signed up. He is working to make the hike a great experience and is already looking for ward to doing on in 2020.
The first part of this podcast, Andrew was candid about his situation and how he got to certain places in his life. In a way, this hike is a way to leave the past behind and turn over a new life.
Listening to Andrew talk, I can tell you that this is the reason to Oscar Mike Radio. Andrew had bad things happen to him and made bad choices, but he is looking stay sober and show other people that you can change your life at anytime if you put in the work. It is a great story, and I can’t wait to meet Andrew one day. He is Oscar Mike.
Megan Bruce is a Marine Veteran and talented artist, actress, and comedienne. The Movement is her current film project, but much more than a documentary. It is a way to change how Military Sexual Trauma is treated in the Marine Corps. I had talked with Megan Bruce for Episode 88 and 98, and learned a lot from collaborating with her. (Links to podcasts below).
We have talked off and on since then but never met in person. A couple weeks ago we tried to meet up when she came to my area, but things didn’t work out. Then, on a Sunday night, we had the oppurtunity to meet in Boston. I asked her if I could bring my recording gear and Megan said, “Sure, and I would like to talk with you about The Movement.”
I met Megan in a park in downtown Boston. It was a perfect night to be outside and I setup my rig in the part and we started talking.
Even before I hit the record button, it was plain to see that behind the smile, and the exhaustion from being on the road, there is an undercurrent of anger. It seemed that this anger, which has been building up for a while, has now found an outlet in the Military Sexual Trauma Movement. Megan began to talk about her experience with Military Sexual Trauma and why The Movement is going to work.
Military Sexual Trauma Movement as Megan described it is a group of people primarily made up of female Marines. These women have shared their stories with Megan and want to use their experience to make change to how rape is handled in the Marine Corps. Her film project is to capture these stories in a way that makes it impossible for change not to happen.
Listening to what Megan is doing and why in person made an impact on me as she talked about what we can do to end this problem. One can’t ignore the inaction from military leadership once you listen to Megan’s story.
I thanked Megan for her time and told her I am with my fellow Marines all the way. Semper Fidelis
I have lived in Massachusetts for a while. Well, a long while at this point. I am still surprised when fellow Veterans tell me they don’t know their Veterans Service Officer. Massachusetts has taken many steps to ensure Veterans have access to services and benefits. One of the ways this is accomplished is via the Veterans Service Officer. The person in charge of VSOs as they are called is the Secretary of Veterans Services. It was an honor to speak with the current Secretary of Veterans Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Francisco Urena.
This was a great oppurtunity to get information that Veterans can use from the person who is in charge of taking care of us. Secretary Urena went through what VSOs and his office do to address Veteran’s needs in Massachusetts.
We also talked about a recent event where the Town of Weymouth worked with their VSO and Department of Veterans Services. The event was Scott Lobaido’s sculpture to raise awareness about PTS and Veteran’s Suicide. This was an example of a lot of people coming together to present this impactful sculpture to across the entire state of Massachusetts.
I wanted to get Secretary Urena’s perspective on Veteran’s Non-Profits. There is always a concern of how effective an organization can be when there are so many who are working in the same space. Secretary Urena said that resources are not the problem in Massachusetts. The issue is connecting Veterans to those organizations and resources that can provide assistance.
Whether it is an organization or individual looking to help Veterans, the Department of Veterans Services exists to ensure all Veterans in Massachusetts have a “hand up” when needed. Every Veteran in Massachusetts has an advocate where they reside to assist. We are not alone.
I want to say thank you to Secretary Urena and his staff for working to make this interview happen. I learned a lot and gained a better appreciation for how Veterans are served in Massachusetts. Semper Fidelis
Thanks to my sponsor Joyce Asack for supporting Veterans!