In this Veteran’s Day special we speak with two veterans who, after their service, found healing through getting out into nature and are now paving the way for all veterans to experience the same. Aaron Leonard and Lornett Vestal head up the Sierra Club Military Outreach program which ensures that every veteran has the opportunity to experience healing and growth through outdoor adventures.
Derek’s enlistment in the Marines propelled him from a life of uncertainty to one filled with challenges he eagerly took on with great success. From being commissioned as an officer, to becoming an aviator, serving with special operations forces, earning his PhD., and now serving as the CEO of Project Recover, Derek has excelled while serving. His transition story will inspire and inform any person preparing for a career change.
Tom Voss is not your average Joe, not by a long shot. After serving with a scout sniper platoon in Iraq, he found that life as a civilian just wasn’t the same. After almost making an irreversible life choice, Tom decided he needed to start processing things in a healthy way. He and a fellow veteran decided to go for a walk, a long walk, 2700 miles long. Their trek was documented in the film, Almost Sunrise, and this was the beginning of his journey of healing. Tom has since written a book, focused on meditation as a path to healing, and has started a non-profit helping others seek peace and healing through meditation. Tom’s example and his efforts to promote self-care and mental health is transformative work for our veteran community in need of healing.
Richard Goerling, founder of Mindful Badge, has been leading the charge for change within the first responder community for quite some time and his work couldn’t be more timely. After spending two decades in the Coast Guard and in law enforcement, Richard now focuses his time helping those who serve do so from a healthy, grounded position so that their influence in the communities they work is a positive and impactful one.
Jerry Quinn has been serving his country for 34 years as an active duty and reserve member of the Army. His son is currently serving in the Marine Corps following in Jerry’s footsteps of service. Jerry’s service is continued in his civilian role as the Chief Operating Officer of AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association) which is the country’s longest standing non-profit financial services provider to our service members and their families. In this episode Jerry shares with us his experience of transition and gives us insight into how AAFMAA stands ready to assist military families in all of their financial needs. Enjoy!
What happens when an alum from Berkley goes to Vegas? You’ll have to listen to this episode to find out but if you guessed a multi-million dollar non-profit foundation that supports veterans and their families in their time of transition and need you’d be on the right track. Kristy Kaufmann has created a one-stop-shop support machine for military service members and their families. Listen now to learn more!
Stu Grazier, a Navy pilot and entrepreneur who, along with his fellow service member, have amassed a portfolio of income producing properties and are building a business helping others earn money. Even more importantly, they are conducting business morally, ethically, and giving back to the veteran community in big ways.
Brian “Tosh” Chontosh is a decorated Marine with tales of heroism in battle to correlate with the medals he’s earned, but he doesn’t like to talk about those experiences. Instead, he focuses on what he’s learned and how he’s grown since his days on the battlefield. Who knows, you might learn and grow if you listen to Tosh’s story.
Robin stepped up years ago to help a friend in need and since that moment in 2006 she has continued to bridge the gap for military families in need. Hope For The Warriors provides comprehensive programs to service members, veterans, and their families to help them survive and thrive. Listen to learn more and Own Your Journey.
John Wayne Walding. His name give you an indication of the kind of man he is. Born on the 4th of July, raised by his grandparents while his parents were in prison, joined the Army on a whim, became a Green Beret, survived a devastating injury in combat and is continuing to lead humbly and honorably.