« Jocko Podcast

257: You Have to CHOOSE to Get Stronger. "Tip of the Spear" with Green Beret Ryan Hendrickson

2020-11-25 | 🔗

0:00:00 - Opening

0:08:10 - "Tip of the Spear" with Green Beret, Ryan Hendrickson

3:07:32 - Final thoughts and take-aways.

3:20:06 - How to stay on THE PATH.

3:37:01 - Closing gratitude.



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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is Jacko Park. Ass number two, fifty seven Charles and Knee Jerk a willing good evening activity. The president of the United States of America take pleasure in presenting the silver star to sergeant first class Ryan, Michael Hendricks in United States Army for exceptional gallantry, in the face of the enemies of the it states of America with exceptional valorous conduct. The engineer sergeant of special operational detachment, Bravo Assets o d B, seven to two zero advanced operations based north special operations, taskforce, Afghanistan, on twenty three February. Two thousand sixteen during operation, freedoms sentinel in support of resolute support mission. Four, on twenty three February, two thousand sixteen members of the fifth, eighth and tenth special operations can doctor. degree advised by s
F, O D said. two to three and Ass F, o d B, seven to two zero conduct. it clearing operations in order to deny a known Taliban, Safe Haven, Sarge first class henrichson, let a tea of national mine reduction Group and am orgy soldiers ahead of the main effort to clear routes of improvised explosive devices, I these clearing fifteen ideas in the process. By conducting movement to the first compound of interest. A member of his element struck a trip our idea. Lament immediately, took cover. However, there was no detonation sergeant. first class hundred since team was then immediately ambushed by heavy enemy machine gun, small arms in our peachy fire from apart proximately fifteen metres away, so
first class Henderson immediately directed his. and am or g team to place oppressive fires on the enemy, while providing detailed terminal attack, guidance which enable an F sixteen closer support platform to condemn to strike on fortified enemy. Fighting positions danger close to his position. Diverse, cross hundreds and assessed that his element needed to maneuver away from the enemies position to ensure the safety or safety of his aunt. Em are g members, quickly lead the element to bounce back to a firm position by creating additional distance between his team and the enemy air assets were able to successfully neutral neutralize the enemy during a SEC. in air strike. After smoke cleared following air to ground engagements sergeant
class Hendricks in immediately began clearing a path for friendly forces by leading his team to clear several complex ideas designed to tar friendly dismay, two elements. During ex filtration. The element was reengaged by heavy and effective enemy, p, Kay, em, r, p e g sniper and mortar fire, which halted in multiple: U S and partner force, casualties Sarge, First class Hendricks in directed afghan commandos, who were pinned down and separated from the main element to maneuver to end in cover behind his position. Under heavy enemy fire sergeant, first class Hendricks in directed friendly elements to a nearby compound where the cash the collection point C C. P was established after conducting headcount sergeant first class Hendricks and realise that to partner force, member
were missing first cross hundreds and organised eighteen to locate and recover the separated and potentially wounded friendly forces. Sergeant first class Hendricks and had to be held back numerous times, while air support conducted additional tax on an enemy positions. Once the air to ground engagements were complete, so First class Hendricks and selflessly maneuvered that recovery team. Under enemy, small arms fire to retrieve the missing friendly's. Upon reaching the two missing soldiers they discovered that the soldiers had been mortally wounded. Sorry First class Hendricks and then utilised a ladder as a little to help carry the wounded soldiers to the c c p, while his element continued to engage enemy forces which suppresses fires, urgent First Cross Hendrick since action
prevented the Taliban forces from recovering the bodies of friendly forces which ensured all partner force. Members were accounted for, leaving no one behind. Sergeant, first class Hendricks and actions are in keeping with the mine, is traditions of military heroism and reflect this. Credit upon himself, the spell operations, taskforce, Afghanistan, the north at Ec Treaty Organization, special operation compose command Afghanistan special operations joint. force Afghanistan and the United States Army. So Obviously, that is a silver star citation from many incredibly hard mission- and this
particular individual. This special forces soldier, Rhine Henrichson. He had already been through Hell just to get on that mission. and luckily for us he has written a book about his experiences, which is called the Tipp of the spear it is an honour to have him with us here tonight to share his story right. the duty of a mission come on man. I really appreciate you guys have me out here. The those is awesome well, it's good media and my will dive into that some of the details around then that what you did there, because really, that's! like I said, you already been through a hell of a lot just beyond that mission. In the first place, you bins well we'll get there, but here what's let's start at the beginning and end You know I read your book and its cause
Tippit spear, the incredible story of an injured, green berets returned a battle, and I would like to start at the beginning, so let's start being with see what made Ryan Hendricks and so start off here in the book. I grew up in the unincorporated California, tort town, of fall, river mills Nestle between the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Mount rages in rugged, Shasta County and then you'd. I always have to say this. I have to jump around the book about can read the whole book. You have by the book. If you want to get the whole story, but out of ass for through a bunch of the highlights the is always a good way to start life pretty much socked, because my mother, who delivered my sister me into this world, was hooked on drugs and alcohol dad. And her packing my dad Vietnam, that who did to tours as an aviation crew truth chief before Turning to the Pacific Northwest,
Actually, northern California following honourable discharge from the: U S, army, during no more. My dad's primary Erika aircraft was the each three otter with the fifty Fourth aviation out of the town, but he caught we found himself flying into Combat Huey Military, a copper formerly known as the bell you each one It was in a Huey, but my father experience the true horror of war, as in M sixty door Gunnar using the day. the fire power at his fingertips, terrain down deaf on envied troops and Vietcong. So you dad was a norm years that you do too little to like the two years like pay. I wasn't Vietnam did two years and got out. We stay longer what you do well yeah. He actually I hesitate to tours in Vietnam so total of four years in the army, but he did to backup back to back to earth and Vienna
as in two years, straighten Dang yet well, then there is a a break as he came back for honour and then went back so you know cannot but little break bone bay. I did. He did his duties over there and in What what? What do you know anything about its decision making process on that. he's. So what we have talked about his decision behind wanting to do multiple tours in Vietnam is never one. He loved the people and number two. It's it's combat In combat addicting, extremely dangerously addicting, was kind of when he was over there he's like hey. I can go back to wherever northern cow for your oregon more, I can Sit here and just keep getting after it and the choice was pretty we ask for how old is he
left at a high school volunteer volunteered for the army. Had I school, which know what you know what you're was nineteen sixty six hour day. I think yeah in their, but then he got out through the two for two years straight with little break down. No, I got out, I'm not extremely, sure the decision making process behind him get now. I just as he told me you know back in those days being in the military, wasn't like it is today: and so on me now get now and move on with your life or what not like that is just melted wasn't popular at the time you wasn't AEGIS thing for you know like today are serving it's. You know you. It means something and back is he's lying. There were few women in sixty six are we need to do was a norm for Sir he's Pacquiao versus one thousand is nineteen. Sixty eight nineteen sixty nine, the war
freak in everyone's against it you guys moved around a bunch redding. You you say this about your dad before windy and that's your sister. Yes, what before Wendy and I came in the world, though my dad was a guy who liked his beer you get drunk and if you have across password him in the wrong way, you would most likely be at the losing end of a fair fight. You work harder logging putting in crazy twelve hour days but partied, even harder when the logging industry is booming and money was good coming and he was blown a healthy, of his dough on booze. and you're going to some detail here he was just sort of he's in a path of destruction, one night he's like drunk and basically Feels like his life has gonna go nowhere and he's well up I'll go to the book here
while driving in his drunken stupor, my father thought about what is life had become His options it slowly dwindled down over the years with no hope and no future. He believed he was facing his last choice. To ended all dad pole. struck in front of Uncle Steve's house reddish, did into park. A man appeared in front of the house and walked up the driver side window dad? seamen seen him leave the house, so he didn't know how or why this man had approached his car. My own, lived in the middle of nowhere Larry Hendricks in the middle. Aged man dressed conserved. We had a smile on his face my father, never seen this man's life. How do you know my name? He asked the man, where the question Larry your the chances aren't you. He asked this time. My father was to stand to answer. It doesn't to be that way. The man continued Jesus has a better plan for you and your life. For my uncle's how's that night, my father found God after
his Helen days slowed to trickle did mean he didn't get pissed off at the cards. He was dealt in life, especially after you just polished off another six back, but my father, like everyone else, I've met, including myself, was on a journey. So that sounds like almost a mystical situation like this dude come from yet so talking now talking it out with my dad. This is one of the most powerful stories, but he was so he threw the truck in the park and he was going to bring my sister, and I too am I go south to my uncle too. Take care of us then using negotiate himself in the head, and that's I I don't know in uniting, I am religious and I believe- and I believe that God has applied for everybody and that that was just a plan. D did did this guy Why did we ever see this? Guy again, I dont think here we ever did, I was young so but
My dad ever did not crazy, so you guys move around for a while. You say we lived out. It will out in the woods and a house and had no running water due to damage pipes and limited electricity. So the place was cheap. Your dad got her, and then he gets Bree healed up and and you say it was clear that he could even afford a home with running water or steady electricity is only option was to have us move in with his mother who living Odin, Oregon one one hundred miles to the south cotton was even smaller than Birchen field, but grandmother could help provide the necessity of life. When my father got under his feet and attended a Bible college, he wanted to become a preacher. Fast forward, a little bit after my father got ordained is a preacher, his fur, First pastorate was at its small church and Lincoln City on the Central Oregon coast. He seemed happy
and we as a family were happy. Although we, still poor didn't matter. Much cause life was good. My dad didn't my dad being a preacher didn't lifted out of poverty. Actually, just the opposite happened. We handle it the tent for several months. While we waited to move into the upstairs of the parsonage. Ten living wasn't bad, but it did get embarrassing when other kids are living conditions and tease me at school aright let's get down to brass tacks, how big a tent was this tat, I would say, alaskan tent Afghan allows content, and now I can't feel bad about right now in their because I've death, I lived in Alaska intent with about fifteen other deeds. And so we actually had a pretty nice. Don't, let's positive attitude rare I like it.
You continue on here. After the tiny church and Lincoln City couldn't afford to keep its doors open, we were forced to pack up and move again. This time we settled in the sleepy logging, town of Lowell, Oregon Twenty miles, South EAST, Eugene and populated with one thousand residence, my dad did is bad. To keep us in one spot. Until I could finish high school and move on with my life, I guess having for years in one place is why I say that law is my. town, I was active as a kid, preferring to wander around the foothills of the cascade mounds. Replay sport rather than sitting on my but watch movies are doing nothing, I'm sure I was hell for my dad to raise, but he instilled in me the idea that I should set the rules for my life. Not let life set rules for me Lowell high. I gave everything I had to our football and wrestling programmes. I was now most talented athlete, but every ouch said I was the toughest kid date ever trained. That was
I first heard the saying that boys too stupid to quit a back did compliment for sure, but I would like a badge of honor How could we your wrestling, I was mediocre. so, but I did start wrestling in I scored dress before that either it is yes, I I would warn against kids that we're wrestling since they were whatever see, offers great kindergarten there yeah. I was never Iraq's our added or anything like that, but I picked it up quickly. And on and on Scanner, I don't know, wrestling. I in my mind I know one people will have their own opinions about it, but it's one of the toughest. I guess sports out there is fires physical fitness, endurance and what not- and that also leads into me, no one jujitsu in Greco, roman and freestyle. What not but it also what it did for me was a candidate.
I already had that work ethic, but it cannot lake. I mean you have to get tough. or are you just gotta get slaughtered on man? That's embarrassing has none that had happened before What what weight? Did? U S? Lap. So I wrestled I started off one. One twenty, whatever on twenty January. In there now my senior year, I cut wait down the one forty two, which was yeah, pretty hard browser run in from the one fifty one way classed as the kid there was just a beast, and so I cut played down forty, two basically running from somebody, and I want to state in, and out did ok well nigh on fuel to state in Oregon. That's friggin, legit yeah during the duchess period and stuff like that, so we we have
parties. Organ was nationally known for wrestling with you know like the duchess brothers and that's all cement Here's a little story day as we are kicking around my future, you talk. your dad, he told me a story. We're too old man sitting on their porches staring out into the abyss. They didn't each other, but they had one. In common. They were waiting on death ending closer dad could always tell a good story, but this was different. He meant business. One old man was miserable he had let life chances pass and buy it now. Faults of opportunities, long gone were replaced with haunted ideas of what could have been the other old man was totally fulfilled by the life he had lived. He had done everything there was to do, and now he could sit back and relishes golden mot moments and wonderful memories, because he had lived life to the fullest. So there you go son
I wish I would have done this or that statements are a prison of misery for the mind you go through life, would be perfectly content with the wife you ve lived, you wanna do everything there is to be done right or wrong? You do it and never gretta decision you made this from a man who had been after war fought for his life. Seeing the world given life, taken life loved and had his heart broken. He had made me makes taking chances and failed succeeded many times. Good or bad. I can sit back and reminisce on my life and feel good about it. He said when God tells it's my time to go home. I will leave this earth fulfilled because I've done at all and I want you to feel the same way. Let me leave you with this thought. What kind of old man do you want to be son, freakin, good guidance from the from Pops now he added that is pretty much.
guidance right, there's pretty much lead. Half of the year. Decisions. I've made my life whether or not I looked back and unlike while I can't believe I'm alive from that. most of what he said right. There is the reason why I cannot back my while, as I was really dumb try this again so that sort of what made you guys start talking about you go in the military. I know you, you check with an army recruiter you, and even cause. You don't even think about the Navy know at first so the Basically, I went down. Was my my teachers. Basely said: hey Yogurt, joy. If you join military, you are you're. Do you him down like you The idea that the military will force leader So the air force they looked at my test scores and there like now,
our man you're you're, real cute, but now the the army, the actual in in the mid nineties. They didn't need anybody, it is crazy, so they had lied. Patriot missile programming, there's like a six month, wait to get in. And then the Marines came in so angry and mean housing manners scary remembering you're scaring me and then So the Navy recruiter I really. My love had online hawaiian teacher right now, you wanna you want to working time get pilot like Tom Cruise yeah it hit me I'll, be uneasy. Like Charlie Genes, exotic ports in exotic women and yeah he gets cold, and sign here is right I didn't flyin effort Has anyone so so then you went to boot cabin
look! There's somebody! You cover the stuff in the book which is which is cool, but jump through jump- pass some of that stuff you go on here. You find get to see being on board a ship with nine hundred other sailors. Marines. All male in this deployment was a major culture shock and not for the freeing a heart. A spell for low enlisted sailors. Like me, working sixteen our days and doing maintenance duties like keeping the deck department and equipment good condition: loading and unloading, cargo, shining, brass busting, raw because I saw one water and painting bulkheads walls and passageways this same battleship, gray, socked. What little free time I had with spending my coffin rack trying to Yet some much needed sleep tell us about often rack, what's it all about coffin ragged s? So when people talk about quality of life in the military. I just say if you I ve never lived on a ship that was commission in the sixties. Then I dont think you re We understand why back
quality lighted, his laugh got was worse, the tent that you lived in order shipboard OSHA by far and the Marines headed even worse there, I think there are stack like six high down in the marine birthing days. Are five high oh, I did too deployments on amphibious ships both of more belt in, like nineteen sixty something like that. Built to transport troops over to the Southeast Asia yeah. so you are supposed to be on them when they originally built. This was put Marines on. Therefore, whenever a for weak trip and Get often go to your work well the time the nineties rolled round like what you are talking about here. We are gone six six month, appointments Dan and yes, I state and as a seal was stated, the birthing were where the Marine stayed so yeah. There would be there if we literally had the old school canvas racks. The canvas between metal pipes, yeah and then a little cheap freely.
Mattress on top of that, yeah it, and neither four or five high. I think you see we would come but just Europe, our lives space as seals. We colonel likelier. We do some work in their rooms or maybe it would be quite as bad, but get some coffee rack a sorry. I cut you off now be yeah people understand let your your entire life, so I've done as on you know, the: U S, S report, which was L, PD, twelve andred, boiler, Seeber Old and then Guam. I did some time on there and then the Camden Well and the candy was commission in the seventies seeber. It wasn't just this great up great but he added the Shreveport. We we were in the and golf pray ten one and ninety eight and Zalm, and then
It's your coffin rack, like you, have that Sinn mattress and then you open up the what the mattress sits on is basically a lid that you open up, and now you have you your area year, where your clothes go in. Everything else is just this tiny like it's it's coffin, but even a coffin as more depth in a coffin rack on board ship. And so yeah. That's that's entire life and when you're in debt division and year lower enlisted, I mean we were for high and and so it was and then you get. You, have your little curtain, close the curtain and try and get some sleep or what not maybe kick their ass to the guy. Next to you and he's being too loud, the unit. You know you know, I gotta know it's it's. which always surprising. As you know, an guys are going through seal training, you know, even if you
geography just hear about that. You think we're out of that. Doesn't sound like a good deal. I might be wet cold and sandy right now, but that sound, like? Maybe I don't want go. Do that this was I thought this was interesting so far for a little bit at the time. The? U S, s call was bombed. I was on board my second ship, the? U S, s candid! We within twelve hours of Yemen when the dust ass calls came out. We sailed full steam ahead through the streets. Are whore moves along the: U S S along with the: U S, S, Donald Cook,. We would be the first american military personnel to arrive and assist the call. in saving the ship and pulling bodies from the wreckage on there. At the smell of burning human flesh. When I stepped on board the call for the next week we teamed up with coal crew members to keep the ship and sinking and recover the remains of all seventeen heroes killed. That day I was I witness the first salvo in what would become known as the war on terror and our
Ask you in recovery effort with the? U S, s call would impact my life in the years to come. You you are you deaf Being on a navy ship, you feel very untouchable by the enemy for sure, and especially in the nineties said I must finish, soccer was a shocker for the world, but for you actually go there, raising the ass seen that there I remember when we are on the m. We come liberty boats, but you know there were. The barge has taken us over over to the and just look at that massive hole in the side of it that it just blent, been blown in their about eighteen hours. Prior, it was yes for Intense it's you know you go from untouchable. To also need you can't be touched, and so in yea would set the pace for you know my you know, basically what I didn't special operations and what not as a green rape and the enemy trying to kill me and that you know the on the zip in the crack and
in your not untouchable anymore and so yeah, but that was the first first little idea I got of what of wild, and you know people they. They do want to kill you and that's a weird feeling: the Jerusalem getting used to spring. Two thousand one you get out Get out the navy you got married and again this all kinds of good, that's good, some good life, lessons learned in this book, good life, lessons in this book it's you get married, get out of the navy. You actually married a girl that was in the army. and so you get out you try, but different jobs. You end up as a bartender which echo supports September eleventh happens and now you're feeling, like you, know, hey, maybe I want to go Something in the meantime
read this little section one day in early two thousand too, I received a phone call out of the blue eyes, This Rhine, Henrichson, yes, This is your big sister. Chris. Remember me: barely thought are fair. We have been separate when I was still diapers. I had two older half sisters, Paula was five years old and Chris was eight years. older I also had a half brother, whose ten years older than me lived thus periodically. His name was Robbie, both my dad in his first wife were heavy drinkers. One night she swept up my older, siblings and disappeared. I had memories of them, but I was so young. I didn't really have a grasp of what had happened or who they were now. This phone call came out of the blue, so that's that's kind of yeah yeah. That was. That was a mouse and she wanted to contact me because she she basely said, like you, won't remember all the bad stuff, someone to start off with you But it was when arm is when that what is it not sister dna. But what, whenever their building your friend
trees area like the genealogy tat? Yes, oh that's, bashfully, everyone, you know, started getting connected back again. and it was. It was the Airbus is crazy, but my dear Now we made a trip down a new Mexico to see him, and I was the first time he saw his kids in years years and snow and then we just you know we started gonna build bridges now you know learn Just so you know my dad. I keep me, he lived a hard life. You know himself. I heard some of their stories and am but that's that's the one thing that you know the people that are out there in this. You know people, people, never change. Are you either you're, not gonna change once you're wants you're always lose your son like that, and I look at my dad and below one hundred percent disagree with you. If you knew your dad as this guy, that was crowd of veto on such a good,
path in life was steering you in the right direction and then you're older half sister had stories that you almost like a different yeah. She was talking about different got. Why remember? She said a heavy talked dad lately and as like yeah talked him all the time he's a preacher and she is no no Larry Henrichson as yeah yeah, the preacher. She has it's impossible, as I know its, not while thus crew now during this time. Also, you stayed in the Navy reserves, which means you were doing your one week, a month or whatever, and We go back to the book than an unexpected opportunity came up as a naval reservist. I could attend basic underwater demolition school. Add naval, special warfare, training, complex and Corn Otto California Bud six month. Long training class was part with a first part of navies your training, so if I ever want to become a seal and member of the naval special operations community basic
demolition school is where I had to start. My wife's Sarah knew that in part of special operations, had always appealed to me. Now this opportunity was sitting right in front of me. I had under drawn training as a rescue swimmer in the Navy, so I'd assumed I had the swimming part down when I was approved to attend the six month. Buds course visions are becoming a sealed danced in my head, quickly found out how tough it was during the first phase of training, a pre training course that lasted around Three weeks from there I went on to phase one which consisted of eight weeks of gruelling, exercising conditioning topped by how weak too we more than half the recruits wash out sheer, fatigue and sleep deprivation cause every candidate to wonder what his limits are, the nonstop. eating that our bodies took from some of the hardest training. The military has followed by long stretches of being cold, wet and miserable. With no time to recover took its toll when my boat body broke down from a leg, injury and severe pneumonia. I was drop them.
For three months, a training I could have tried and after I recovered, but I couldn't bring myself to go through all that shit again. So what was what was out like going through buds or attending buds yeah but was coming, I was glad to four too two. I have to say. Be down class, that's that's just my opinion you know how they have the glasses, where some of them at all man, that's you guys got securely from LA for what not then next class is man. You guys are a beatdown class or what not well. We had on class in it was it was intense everything that they talk about it. At the only thing, he tell any listener who wants to contemplate that route is do it, because it's an experience that you'll never forget they will sure you will never forget it. One hundred percent of the worst part you think for
clean our different guys. They dislike different things. What do you think was ores For me, the worst part, actually, once I got, pneumonia I couldn't breathe, and so underline so when we were doing I'm drown peruvian. And what not like that, I just my nose adjusts start opening up, but I would I would have to say anything like on on the water fine under the water and not I don't really like. That I'm out of a big fan of that when I will go back to the book here. For the first time in my life I experienced a major setback, but part of an elite unit with something I wanna with every inch of my being, but I couldn't make the cut, which prompted a series of questions. Why did I fail? Why wasn't I good enough? How come my boy he broke down was I week.
I had no answers and I came up with every every pour me excuse in the book. You'd think that a guy who is raised. The way I was excuses would be the last thing on my mind, but they were my crotch. I slowly but steadily, turned myself into a victim if only grow up in a broken family, if only the world and everyone in it warn against me not just wasn't about buds, but me not making it through brought my buried demons to the surface. So even at this point you know don't make it through buds and you kind of blame all these. Have you no heads, cause I was raised this way. I had these know that my mom wasn't around and you gotta make those. Excuses for yourself, yeah, I'd, I'd buried, I buried myself and excuses, and it it became very easy do that, it's very easy to do make somebody else. The issue instead of looking deep inside
an insane, hey man, you know. If, if everyone can make it, then it wouldn't be buds, and so instead of understanding that you know I'd, I did I took the end, it was. It was more, is almost more entitlement. Then it was victim is like. Will this isn't fair? Why? Why didn't I make it the thing, is I gotta rolled back, but how? What? How far did you make it all the way up to the first phase, so yeah? It is basically they wanted me to go back to day, one of face one and as just like, and now I just might inhabitant me zone, but You know is one of the things I look back on a you know, and I I do I don't ever regret anything, but it is one of those things around like yea Cannon. Can you kind of that one up you now
so yeah! Well, you know, and you say you have to be down class more than others, People, like I'm gonna, tell you, the classes are beat Thou glass there? They are beaten, glasses, you're, gonna get beat down y'all's. I was over there a few months ago with one of my friends so works over there, and you know he was like there's theirs: whatever there's like a hundred helmets by the Bell and dumb, and he goes every single one of those guys. start that wandered Europeans emphases like almost every single one of those guys. The total stud that showed up here think they were to be a seal and they rang the Bell man anyway, It's crazy he's ease. I guess it's crazy. The way this decree process, too crazy machine. so now you and Sarah. She's done in the army. You you're you're, now out of the Navy, and
Well here, although the book everything was perfect through Europe Minnesota and that's because that's where her families from the zero Minnesota everything was except for one major problem? I cannot overcome my immaturity and my sense of being a victim. When I refuse to take responsibility for my actions, I drank partied and ran my marriage into the ground. I used whatever excuses. I could find. So you're just on a bad path at this point I was on a years long bender, I I'll bring guns and roses gotta held up learning here, you get the idea that you should go back in the military. You always want to be in the navy. Your wife was in the army, so maybe you're thinking the army's about idea. So you go back and check. It checked the air force.
You go here. I looked at air for special operations, combat control and jumped feet first into training. I buried myself in every aspect, of course, until a medical review of my record showed, I had taken depression medication while in the Navy alot of people meet script into antidepressants and depression ran in my family, antidepressant medication and counting help me through a very dark peered in my life. But this detour came back to bite me. the air force decided that I was not medically qualified for special operations and put me in a job. Where they needed bodies, I was told I would become an ammunition, specialist or ammo troop. Sir, you did Had you already mustard, when you did you did. Did you had your you mustn't when you're gonna try for for yes The hours already I mean I was already a couple months into the training, Oh, you are actually in the air force yeah going through Cecy teetering yeah as air Traffic Control School Day
and then they told you know the idea, I mean that the depression medication- I you know I did help me out through you know events in my life or what not the one time I did it and in but back in nosegay in I'm not making excuses were back in those days. You know the guy two four councillors counselors. What not as here, take this take this. Take this and says I'll. Take this and so when you were in the Navy, so then you taking a Navy proscribed thing, and then they told you know, even though your taken some those prescribed by the Navy. While I gone out for civilian counselling here, yet but I had reported at all. You know like they're supposed to her and down, but yea was it. I mean this. back in the days when it was easier to medicate than to. Actually you know what kind of face your issues and fix him man up and do the right thing is just easy,
some pills and go to get his spirit world yes, the idea. It came back and gave me, but do you know it's very in others. It there's a path of everyone in life and and I firmly believe that you know the way my life pan out. My is this. This is the path that was gonna happen way before I was I was ever born. I believe you know, God had this path, lay down men, it hasn't, it takes some bombs and bruises along the way, some big ones, but you know now noon to the point that right now, do you not still make mistakes and I'm a man, but you know think I'm doing a lot better at you know bill people around me and said. I turn em down like one of the destructive paths I was on. You know my life
yeah. I know that some were as one of the best things about this whole story is when you look at something you took some major. You know like, but right there right, those too thanks, you didn't make it through buds and then you try for AIR Force, Cobb actual and you dont get that either, like those are two things that people- Like that's, that could be the last straw. One of those things could be the last straw. I mean you ve already been through the heart. hood so any these things could be something that completely. You re someone's life and yet you are sitting here so well, let's continuous continue that tell the story of your path, so you get station in Idaho, you're in ammo guy you end up going on deployment to Qatar, while you're in Qatar, your load up aircraft. that are going to drop and bombs. They were There were winchesters every night, they'd come back when just What year was that two thousand and three. Ok,
you. Get divorced you. Now you go to Iraq in two thousand five you you're incur cook And you say this: I racked with the first place out, I was exposed to: U S: Army special forces, the Green braised, these bearded shaggy haired man seemed a play by their own rules. We would see them walking by later that night, when the rest of us were hanging out after dinner. The stories of what we thought we knew about these guys would spell out you end up in it, Europe and the gym one time, you're, lifting and a guy says you know, hey. Can you spot me and you look over? It it's this creep. Raise name is Johnny later. He introduce me to guys on his team, one guy in particular. Do name Gary was in the force before going into the army? This got the wheels in my head. Turning If I try to become agree break, could I do it? Do I have what it takes my face? Above was never far from my mind when I contemplated my future. One thing is for sure I didn't. I
want to be an old man sitting on my porch wondering about what might have been so you go to Iraq as yours, dear when you get back from Iraq, you take some leave, you gotta, do you? U freakin get after you're talkin earlier about, like you would not leave, not leaving any stone unturned, stone unturned. You do some serious you, you gotta you gotta It you gotta hoochie men city and make on delta, and you got all really cool stories about all that stuff in here. you come back from that you're in Idaho in again you know you're kind of joy again you're not feel like you're path, you're on the right path. You go and he gonna trip the Europe you go. You end up going to Korea, yeah you get and go in, for it was not a one year deployment to Korea. Yes, I guess is still an air force deployment you're over there doing what
and ammo specialist. Does yet man plainly we played you go while you're over there, you gotta you gotta, give Bangkok City to Thailand. You go to China, you go to Cambodia, I need you brought you you're getting after that, we do military travel, you dont civilian travel so that was that was for my leave, none. So the third days, leave or what now like that, but am but yeah. So Vietnam that was civilian back now on Europe, that was civilian, everything was civilian travelled. There was just trying to arise that I dont really If I was running from things moors- and you know I was just trying to figure out- you know who who I because I had no, I had no direction I added I had my time in the Navy time in the air course divorced, which you know I am surprised. She she made it that long, she's fighter, but
is what it is. I ran that one into the ground and I think, just buried myself in everything that I could pay possibly do just a kind of like keep my mind after the fact that, turn it into a turn myself in a loser. Basically you know, and it was becoming easier and easier to give up and down, and I still I had that I had buds in the back of my head- the entire time and it just I no as I say I really had. I I guess coming Jesus moment. when I started realizing that given up was becoming almost natural because I was the was entitled victim. Everything was someone else's fault, then career. You end up with a girl named Jessica. is not a real name, but you had over the phone call Jessica here and you're, partying and your boozing and you, and
Jessica. I mean this is like the couple that we all knew when there were no. How do you at this point? When is the answer to this is, like you know the coupled with fighting and yellow lights out her and then all of a sudden, you know they're going to the club dislike. You know I can. I can I could see that scene. Course. You guys decide. You need to get married, yes, which ends up Pretty quick divorce and this point you, right there in the book? I needed a win, a big. And I was never the type to give up, but with two blown marriages of failed attempt, it becoming Navy seal and a feeling that I have found my calling in life. I was just settling in letting life run me ragged. I needed to reset my failures with a major victory. That was I decided that would be no more losing time to winning again. The time the air force was over. Manned and certain jobs ammo being one of them
the army had a shortage of soldiers in certain career fields, so the Force was offering a direct transfer to the army thing. My dad told me years earlier cap nagging me: if you don't try, you'll, never know, and if you never know it's because you didn't try. The answer was clear: I wasn't going to live a life of regrets, even if the high risk of food Oh, was there after clearing my head, I decided to jump head first eyes closed into the unknown. That's you know you wanna talk about there being a plan. The fact that the air force was over man in the army would just do a direct transfer yeah it was it was in. It was insane those I was going to the to the swan or the personnel office whatever to update some stuff.
For promotion, and there is this poster on the wall and had his guy in tee uniforms. Half of them was in AIR Airforce uniform. The other half was you know, Class ACE Army said Blue Green and that's in it. It all kind of fell within same timeframe, as you know, I I need a victory. I need. I need something because right now you know I am I'm one hundred percent petting down the path of that out that I won't be able to recover from. If I keep you know, because everything's an excuse everything's everyone else's, while an entitlement victimization- and I was I was- I still wasn't far enough down the path to where I couldn't recognise that I totally become a victim. Of life's you know shitty circumstances, and so I was I was still
able to see like are you need a victory he'd somethin. You got a whole lot of zero spell on you, neither one you know what's weird, whenever I talk of that sand, people that special when people get out, I'm like you when you get out of there when you get out of the military, you need a new mission. You need to have something else to focus on. But what's weird about this as you are in the military The mission that you had whatever that mission was it like? Wasn't bringing you the satisfaction you didn't feel like it was what you should be doing. you know. You know that you had more to offer travel around you're. Looking for your look for the mission yeah and you just and find it, and so then what The same thing happens when guys get out and they don't have a mission and also needs go down police resistance in what bottle. The pills or whatever, and it ends up bad. You are still even while you were having that go on, and luckily they had the opportunity to go in the army, man,
so you want to army boot camp. For you talk about that here was that without a little bit of a gentleman's course you, if you're the term gentleman's course before I have Oh God says it: was your brute camp like a gentleman's course which, in the military gentleman's courses, is sickly there It's basically are there to actually learn. It's not like this be down Fang, You're gonna actually learn stuff. You get treated like a human you're, not treated like a like. You know, new guy piece. You share whatever you're getting treaty well and you're there to learn that gentlemen course For instance, I went to your candidate school. We all the other people not a college echoed Osh cannot school, that's not a gentleman's course like you go and you get all the food benefit people we out and scream at you, but worn officers or or it'd duty officers in the Navy? They go to a gentleman's course where hey here's, how you were the uniform and here's here's
here's. How you write these reports? It's like a nice transition Sounds like yours was somewhere in between you kind of had to go to boot camp a little bit but They were being called you, so it yeah Infantry Basic was that there is too things that happen their number one side. I done the the prior service court, said they had for us in New Mexico, which was supposed they was suppose. Suffice, as you know, that was the phase one of infantry basic. Then you go to a eighty you, when you say infantry Basic is that boot camp straight boot. So you went his class and New Mexico. How long was that course? that was a month and then ok, normal army boot campers. What's twelve weeks, gadget So they give you a little short course where they called EU over the yellow and scream so New Mexico that generally yon screamed budget in other bunch, a guard guys ever gonna do which now fancy deaf.
but I'm day they were just there to check the boxes on us so there are there to actually transition you, ok, this is the way it works in the army. Here's how you wear uniform in the army. These the rolls Royce Sport is those. It was, was a gentleman's course that that was and then I get a bidding for infantry and down. Apparently I didn't get the memo that I was the weight for HIV, I started basic with no else, and so the draw instructor. He he came out. he's a man. I get you're not supposed to be here, And I basically told him like a: I need this in our. I need certain to bury completely GIS. focus everything I got on it berry, All of my efforts into into into a cause- and
I loved it like I loved it, and I'm he's I hey, you know where you're gonna have to play the game. Then, as I play the game, I guess I got nothing but time so it was awesome, I loved it in so I would think for a private gone through when I went through. They probably would say it was not a gentleman's course, but for me going through basic, you know our infantry basic and what not like that it was. It was exactly what I needed at that point in time. Every day was awesome and it just kept my mind off of everything that I just went through everything. So still in fix it. Just get my mind of it, you end up as we go through that every basic you go through a d, you gotta airborne. There and you start the eighteen which is when you going in special forces and you're, not exactly sure which specialty you're gonna again to call it eighteen exe.
And you go to this eighteen acts. Prep course and you say this. Seen ex prep course was extremely hard pushed me to my limits on talking, nonstop fiscal training, twelve hours per day getting be down the intend to the press, programme was not only to get a soldier ready, mentally and physically for selection, but so to weed out the weak. So how long's at prep course it depends, but are eighteen x ray the Pratt Course for selection? I think ours was a month so for weeks and then from prep course You go to special forces selection, yes, so prep courses, literally just to get you ready, like yes pities and are trying to get you in good physical shape be ready for four special forces. Selection. Yes or to help you
stand that this isn't really what you want, and so they don't blow a bunch of money, training you they can use sinew over to the eighty second, really quick drought and move on with life got it so now you get to special forces. Selection will go to the book. This Do or die time an eighteen, they got check to pull out all the stops. There was no way I would accept. because I didn't think I could handle another fuck up in my life. This was most likely my only chance, and I was going to make it happen- everything that I've been through all the hard work I put in everything led up to this point selection as soon as we stepped off the buses at Camp Mccall, game on. We started with the usual army peachy test, a readiness assessment, also known as the army, physical fitness test. To my surprise, some soldiers showed up for a shot to be the best failed, the first peaty test and we're gone on day, zero fast, world at a time was flying by for me, and I was killing it. Regardless of whether was a ten mile run along Sandy backwards, roads, ten k, rucksack March with sixty pounds at my back, a twelve mile, air navigation course right
Wapiti V P, with telephone calls or the dreaded team, weak events that broke the will of most of the trainees. I was speeding through as scruciating as everything was. I was amazed at how well I was doing the eighteen ex prep court lived up to his name, so you're kind of get after it do good. We were closely on the move. Eighteen to twenty hours a day whether was a ball buster, peachy session or hustling from one event, the other shut came in snatches and meals were always on the go, not getting it. food for me will not a food for the night of calories. I was burning, took its toll after the first week, but I didn't care, while the latter, calories depleted my energy strength that, combined with my lack asleep, was- parliament meant we. And physically breaking down a trainee sooner. very much, which is one thing that I always was We did. I ended up in the Navy and it gonna buds and said any of the army courses. Will you don't get to eat map the,
the army seems to day they really the whole you don't need to eating The Navy focuses on you, don't need to sleep, and and and also you need to be warm, which look right. School and friggin as F school. You know it's not like your walk. Cuddly there, either now now, vs just be down wages. We're not under the water and ask it As the days turned in weeks, our bodies are breaking down, so I pressed on as we near the end. The final major obstacle in my way was along rock March. We weren't supposed to know the distance and the final track, but every selection class got the scoop from Gaza gone before would be going. Twenty five to thirty miles turned our: U S went more than twenty, I have two thirty miles. again, I'm job you, you give some really cool information and that's why people should get the book
fast forward. A little bit after hearing the finish line, we gathered in a large conference hold a here who got selected. Who didn't? I could barely put one foot in front of the other, but at least I walked in under my own power those standing after the dust cleared. Look like this spent years is peel, double use, most the guy's hobbled and limp their way in the conference all beaten down and on edge. As I took my seat. My tired head was filled with questions. Will all this physical and mental effort be for nothing? Did I'd, give it the best. could do I have what they are looking for after away, It seemed like days the selection cadre entered the hall to call off the roster numbers of the guys selected. I was Mr number, zero. Four nine out of a hundred eighty five. As you went down the list he reached those in the forties, I held my breath and closed my eyes raw two numbers: zero four nine selected. melted into my chairs, the reef spread over my body out of a hundred eighty five, only fifty
or so. Men were selected a little more than one out of every four. I was one of them, but I wasn't there yet. I still had more hurdles in front of me. Out of this if the of us who would advance to the call vacation course. Less than half would become green, raise those concern it didn't matter to me at that point, however, for now I see but my accomplishment- I was on my way so you you this freak in all this training of selection, how long selection! Eighteen days areas. There is some three weeks elections and whatnot, but yeah I had an eighteen days, selection and then even if you pass everything you can still does, that selected. Yes, there is a lot of those guys who they said. Hey. Thank you for coming out. You just now we're looking for good Damn so you're sitting in there with your freakin fingers crossed TAT day, Do you have any idea what they're like? What is the kind of thing where they're saying this guy's, not not for us. So
cause. I would be passive some of the lessons that I've learned and some of the things that you know I can, I think, make a good operator garlic, a white special operations unit year with is a guy who's, always looking for work you never stagnant, look for work. I who always willing to carry the heaviest shit, look for work carry heavy stuff and then the guy I who aegis, regardless of how bad it hurts smile because you're making memories You're, just you're, not you can never recreated ever so. Look for work, carry heavy stuff and smile about this very good advice. We Actually we say tell guys you know stressed when I was running training. Was one of things we tell guises look for work even in a tactical sense, like hey you're, sitting there with your weapon point down
Amber, look for work or find some to cover, go, find some hold security somewhere. You look for work. Make something happened. and that's right in there I mean that's almost the same thing is: carry heavy shit, yeah dough, the guy that China Shark shirk that yet the two hundred and forty, is on the ground and everyone's moving to a different weapon system grab the two hundred and forty cuz? I can promise you one thing It will not be the heavy thing. You'll carrying combat training can't touch a combat load. There no doubt so from there you go to Q course. I guess en route to queue course or part of the queue course. The queue courses. homer, two things wrapped up together right right, so you do sear school. You do see or see school you, you go to language schools which the Spanish, yes and- and while this was kind of funny, do you like before selection? I was given a language aptitude test. My score determine the difficulty
the language I would learn well, let's just say the Rhine Hendricks, since test results were modest at best and I, I'll, be learning, may Arabic or Mandarin Chinese. So now, so you also said this: u joke with your friends, we're takin spanish! I can barely speak American, let alone Mexican, yet their teacher denial. So then you gotTa Robin Sage and Robin sages. This famous Green Bray exercise, is that you do at the end of the queue course over a period of three weeks. We would plan in full train, advise and assist a resistance movement that, on some level back the United States and was seeking to defeat the occupying repressive forces in pine lent, which is a man a place in Western North Carolina. This would by far the most realistic military exercise, to prepare men for what we had actually encounter. Why, while deployed- times were hard and I need you pull strength from somewhere anywhere. I would see someone in the course wide. Foughten too, I feel
had no business being there, someone who is riding the coat tails of others performing only when the spotlight was on him. I would pick these guys out. Think I'm not going anywhere. If this I'm still here, better than this ship bag, and I will outlast him no matter what, then, that guy would fail or quit, and I were too someone else. I knew that I was better than use their weaknesses. To make me stronger in a crazy way. I set off their failures, be bad. Or indifferent this the mindset I used to keep pushing myself just I've been a warrior for me when people were quitting I was always like down. One- loser. I guess I had a little bit of that ended a couple people s, surprise me when they quit there's one guy, my butts class that was like he had on the buds before he was an e five use pilot twenty five or twenty six
old, which seem pre, friggin old me, unlike mature cause. I still like what not I don't think you know he's got this got the stuff off and he would give me advice located. We need structures. Do this, you know it. You need to keep this minors. I'm ok sounds good and then frigate first night a whole week. He quits and I was like, what's rigid, what's your point problem, but it but the same thing I was kind of like our warm deaf. We not creating this freedom. Loser so then, for eighty four weeks, that's twenty months from start to finish my tired and broken body performed at levels I didn't think were possible. I push myself to my limits. Through to the end life dealt me some major brought blows and no knew better than me that I dug a hole for myself that was damn near impossible to get out of. Despite high much, I had fought things I told myself out of the pit started something had seen it through to the end, leaving nothing behind I'd. Given this, breathing and I'd succeeded now
green by re, read or write. The next chapter of my life, Damn authority of like one full book There is needed one victory here, as it did like what you said earlier. You know your talk about your dad being like able hurt himself around and in that's the same. You know it's the same story for you to know. You go from a horrible spot where you ve wrapped up some failures and then you just get it together, give focus and you win. You start winning. fast forward a little bit. Ok, here's the sergeant major talking your checking in ok, you're, the new eighteen Charlie, I've been waiting for. I'm saying you two od eighty seven to one five I knew the seven stood for seven special forces. Two for second battalion, the one for alpha company and a five for fifteen in the company. I knew my job as an eighteen. Charlie won't talk about what what an eighteen Charlie's. So
Charlie, is a demolition expert on an eighty, eight and I'll meet. You know we have. The different mos is like the eighteen. Bravo weapon, weapons expert. Eighteen, ECHO, calms, Charlie! demolitions and also construction, but stateside you're, a a special forces supply gangs really take it is attacking the engineering yup. That's it that's Charlie's, and then you know the Fox Intel on teams are the Zulu. What night then Delta medical So you say this, and this is a weird thing cause you don't think when you think engineers you think, building and and constructing, and it has happened in the marine corps to engineers becomes the people at handle. Ideas So I need my job is making Charlie wasn't for the faint of heart while patrolling an enemy held areas back in it, then I would find myself upfront the tip of the spear, one might say with three to five:
afghan counterparts who specialised encounter idea up operations that were very good at finding them? We would be exposed to Taliban snipers or any run the mill dumb ass. We wanting take a shot at us, the worst part of being the man up front where's that I would be the first soldier to encounter the ideas. I'd rather be in a fire fight with the Taliban any day. The weak then deal with ideas which were a nasty but very effective way to fight a war One of the senior one more senior guys in the back corner spoke up. You to learn a little bit of time, sit down and listened, but most of all keep your mouth shut. Keep your eyes open. This will be a fire hose. And you you get man, you do a good job. In the book of of talking about the team in your jacket into the team in your new guide, you go through all that stuff, but worse through that people need by the book to get that information, I'm going to do to Afghanistan, your head towards an outpost. The outposts is called the Alamo, which is always a good sign
not sure what happened there, but I dont think it ended up very well so here you are Oh shit, not only was on my first mission as a green beret, but I was walking into a live combat situation. Could you guys heard gunfire this? Wasn't a video game, real seven hundred and sixty two caliber bullets will be flying. This count a bullet would easily rep a whole the size of a silver dollar through a man's torso in tears in turn organs to shreds. We were, body armor. They gave some protection to our chest and upper backs, but when a bullet penetrated the chest cavity now Times out of ten, you were dead. I was driving the lead vehicle when our convoy arrived at the last stopping point around. Thousand metres from the Alamo occur. came over a vehicle radio communications. All vehicle stop during pre mission brief. That morning, I remember being told that we would have to make a mad dash over a one, kilometer over one kilometer of open ground to reach the safety of the Alamo. So we need to be prepared for that. The Alamo was surrounded by a You shaped ridge line a finger,
like natural rock structure that ran toward the helm in river, then call came over the radio all vehicles move. I hit the gas and energy thirty three mine resisting vehicle started covering ground within seconds, Taliban Machine Gun crew started sending rounds our way. I heard pings from the bullets hating our truck, thank God the orgy. Thirty three was armoured sprays of Durban asked from incoming boards engulfed our vehicle. My senses shot up to overdrive, adrenaline, I'm through my veins, even though I was scared, I had never felt so alive, as I concentrated on keeping the heavy vehicle moving forward. Then, we ve been hit the front windshield split and a hundred different directions like a spider's web crack crack two more rounds it my windshield. I didn't know how many more rounds as windshield could take drive. My captain yelled from the pop front passenger, see we gotta get up fuck off this open ground. I Jim the gas pedal to the floor. Boredom push the orgy thirty three to its limits, limits,
energy, thirty three ways around thirty eight thousand pounds so maneuvering such a large bullet magnet over thousand meters of other of uneven rough terrain was no easy task. I mean it, rumbled safety. Through the Alamo Single entrance gate in into a large courtyard the other two vehicles arrived safely as well. Almost as soon as my archie. Thirty three stop in the courtyard I jump, and ran to the nearest elevated position in the compound toggle to select a switch. I am for carbon from safe, The fire started sending rounds downrange toward the enemy for the next few hours, which Jean sporadic gunfire, but I have to admit that it was hard to think clearly adrenalin it really taken over my body at that point meaning kicked in, and I reacted with muscle memory that it home, through hundreds of hours, spent training for combat first battle. Experience was over, I couldn't get my hands to quit, shaking my nerves were tingling as well, but I felt good. question of how I would react when bullets were flying had been answered
that evening, some of the guys looked at the damage on my vehicle. We could see where the rounds hit. Even though bullets hadn't made holes but the the were everywhere. Damn one more round, hang your windshield and it was gone. One of my team, you said you'd have been fucked up you, That right, I said, looks you got your see, I'd be Bro joked another body which is the combat instruments, jet bad weather, telling you yeah, you just got it so. There's you're welcome to combat yet that was a day three. Day three and that that happened in it is often is awesome. I mean it's hard to explain It was so awesome that it you know it's it's addicting combat it's a rush, so that's an! I got that day. Three, dear! That's, that's a good!
welcome there is its- I remember the first time I went into and was energy thirty three four was one I think was large. Thirty three was out. There is one other vehicle I forget, the name of it, so they add soda met the MAC, these Archie thirty, once they are, they have the image, tvs or the right where I think it was a thirty three, but Remember, driving through Romania's I'd private body for like a month at this point in order to all my transits would either in a Bradley which it's me anything or in a humvee which you can barely senior all freakin having to scan. So the first time I rolled down round Michigan an orgy thirty three singing like fifteen feet, with the white lights on the big giant, bulletproof windows. The cause they ever you like our good rigour and you can look around and you can like really pay attention, that's that's it. That's a good field,
as opposed to Humvee words, waiting to suck start an idea in the eye Yeah so now you gotta do rotations out this place. The automatic afford operating base year music and was a cop, the obviously we took over a compound old chicken, far go cow whatever compound and turn it into. Basically, where we were going to conduct operations are engaged in Taliban forces, long held whatever you say, I learn quickly that ninety percent of a deployment sheer boredom followed by ten percent of heart racing terror, excitement each Your combat left me craving more. There was something about, kill or be killed aspect of fighting. It gave me a high that was dangerously addicting. during my first three months in Afghanistan by detachment, saw combat, got caught in several intense fireflies but you didn't take any casualties.
The rest, the men of Alpha company second battalion. However, two thousand ten was proving to be one hell of a deadly deployment. Two men on a different detachment were killed in action. Cutting one of our air force counterparts and more than a dozen were wounded. Normally, Wanted to Afghanistan resulted in four or five wounded guys and may be one fallen soldier, but our but more than doubled or triple bottom out one after Our team leader approached me to tell me that a friend of my name Jason had been killed in action that day in a different part of Afghanistan she died of the Jews. Died and his vehicle hidden idea. He said the man, the shit, socks Are you gonna be ok, toward the emotional blow yeah good. I said even though my chest with closing in I had known Jason that long, but we have gone through a large portion of special forces train together back at Fort Bragg through training that you really get to know someone I knew I could We count on Jason for help. There were time
I felt like I was a fish out of water coming over from the air force. The army, but Jason took the time to help me whenever I got hung up on whenever part of training I was stuck with. Jason was someone I looked up to. I admired how everything was easy for him. He was smart great shape, a super dad to his kids and amazing husband to his wife, but just two months into first appointment as a green Bray. He was dead. in the past, I had heard about guys from a different battalion or unit dying in Iraq or Afghanistan, but this is the This time I knew someone personally definition. that was not just. Something I saw the news now was personal. Jason was my friend, and this was ugly reality of war. I tried my best not to think about Jason's death too much, which was difficult. I knew full well that Afghanistan was not the ways to mourn the death of friends. There will be plenty of time back and states to think about that. Try to come to terms with it. I still had a job
the due to make sure no one of my team step on an idea and apply Mr fulfilled myself, I would do whatever it took to make sure my teammates returned with to their families in one piece in two thousand ten, though Afghanistan was not getting safer and the real fighting had yet to begin. How long did you guys been appointed for at that point, so when Jason was killed. I think I was we both gotten a country at the same time and I'm so that would be two months and how long are you? How long were you deployments at this point? They re day varied, but most of them were nine months at at at. At that point, so you're only two months into a nine month. Appointment, you ve already your ear.
Beer battalions lost a bunch of guys. You're companies have guys wounded and killed there. Your friend gets killed. going back to the book when summer was coming to a close. My team, along with other odious from our company, was tasked with entering two valley so that right from we're locations and clearing out the Taliban to a central point which would send the bastards running for the mountains. Working against us, however, was the fact that this was not a covert mission. Everyone up and down the valley knew we were coming, which gave the Taliban ample time to place ideas and prepare for us. So you going walk through some of the planning and finally you guys go to execute this mission. The date was September tenth, two thousand ten each of us was carrying a different equipment, caring different, for the mission. Besides my body armor name for rifle, I was telling us DE pound assault pack on my back filled with ammunition, demolition, material, fruit
water extra batteries and whatever else I would need for three days. My average fighting weight was two hundred pounds, but body, armor weapons, ammo and my assault pack. I probably took the scales to eighty two. Eighty is being generous. You say during our our final prevention checks at times, at my mind, wander Will be out there waiting for us, do they know coming. How hard will it be defined idea how I react when the board start flying all these questions? played my mind as I was watching the river flow the light of the moon until disappeared into the darkness. They seem like a good moment to take out a small part of paper from my ass. Pack and write a quick note for my family in case the worst happened. Wendy, Paula, Christen, Robbie. I hope I'm You proud, if you
reading this note I did not make it. death doesn't really scare me, because I'm doing what I believe is right and just I guess that's really all you can ask from a man, comes to everyone at some point in life. so there's no use fighting it. When it's your turn, it's your time and there's nothing. You can do about it, leaved. I live as good a life as possible and I'm Asking you not to stay sad, very long. Very soon you will be joining me in Heaven and we will again, be together I'll keep the beer called for you all? I love you Ryan. I don't know why I chose to write this know. Maybe the fact that I was a new guide had no clue what would happen on my first patrol that far from the Alamo maybe I'd seen too many warm moves and figured. This was a good idea, maybe deep down. I really believe that this mission was destined to have a terrible outcome. Whatever the reason I chose
down exactly what I felt at that moment, because I wanted my family to hear from me one time? If the worst happened? I folded. The note, place it in a zip block bag. So get damaged if it got wet and stuck it to my right, stuck in my right arm for Uniform pocket where God willing, somebody would find it pass a letter along to my family did. Did you have the proverbial bad feeling about this up so, as you know, look back now, and I remember you know sitting there and I got to thinking. everyone up and down the valley, nuclear coming and the first set of villages were deserted and so You know and, as you will see for bad time, I don't To this day I dont know, I decided to write that no again, it could just be too
anywhere movies. I am. I have no idea. What did you say that you ve got it at home, but yeah? It is seems didn't think. You're Jensen yourself, so I do worry about that a little bit but cuz I never wrote. I would get that as a big now, I'm not writing that nothing's going to happen and I'm good. I just had to I don't know. I just had this weird feeling, plus you know, being up in the front it's kind of like I don't mean, I don't know, I just think you think you know get caught up in all the emotion of everything and, in your after you, ready to go you're ready for the green light in areas damn it's like right! Let me let me buses our bank, as I just really don't know so. Yeah waves, very uncertain. What we're walking into yeah the the frequent ideas are. crazy. You know you're going into an ideal thick area. You know you're, the first guy and even if you're not
an idea, the person s walking into an ambush you're, getting a shout the face good times so finally get the call from Ben. Let's move out guys recent We trudged our way toward the village of SAR too too in the distant start. To two is made up of several mud hut compounds in my group was tasked with clearing one, the sections keeping Rick noise and light discipline. We scanned the hillsides and the river bank for any movement. I kept my thumb my weapon, safety, selector Reggie switch to engage to kill the enemy. Taking from the Taliban was a risk. We all knew as possible, but the more likely scenario was experiencing a catastrophic. I e the explosion resulting in the loss of limbs and broken bodies. All the team members were fully aware that one wrong step could change their lives forever. My job was to make sure that did not happen these. Instead, his bombs could be hidden anywhere, buried,
ground hung in trees dashed in cooking, pass inside the carcasses of dead animals within car trunk. Underclothing with the infant strap on suicide vests might have been dealt with fertilizer and discarded spare parts and looked like a junior high school shop class project. I never underestimated. The lethality of these homemade bombs. All like took was a handful all it took was a handful of high. Poses a few inches of copper wire battery that nation triggered by compression the weight of a soldier or vehicle passing over the explosive charge, remote control Would cell phones or an electrical circuit from a distance, the town ban were limited only by their imagination, which was limitless when it came to killing Americans ring up. We intercepted a radio transmission from the Taliban indicating that they knew we were on the move and could see Yes, I feel The news made my heart race. My palms got sweaty as my arms as my eyes, darted around looking for anything slightly abnormal. I
I was starting to see things that really weren't. There were my eyes playing tricks on me or my where's. It seem like ours curing all sorts of things when we start to get our bearings, the guys, All this hyper vigilance, hyper vigilance and told me that when dangerous eminent yours, This is rose up several matches to highlight status, fuelling the percent activity was overwhelming desire to stay alive Village was deserted when we entered. One thing: every s F guy knew was that You entered a village and it's deserted. You better figure that you're in for a big fight or a village full of Ieds. In our mind, ids were cowards way of fighting, but no one could deny that they were stream. We effective radically each compound. Our homes we advanced slowly and deliberately looking for anything suspicious or out of ordinary deck Conseil and I e we were professional soldiers details matter, a slight Diller discoloration of the dirt
A suspicious pile of rocks and abandoned water pale a tree that had been tagged with a marker. Turbans in a mud, wall or alone person walking quickly directly toward us anything mattered. but we didn't see any people or anything questionable, even though I assumed every doorway and window had a pair of eyes. Looking at me in my bodies after we hit our first planned stopping point, the team broke up in a smaller elements to cover a bigger area in and around the village, including a world war. One like trench that right Jason to have the helm in river the Talibans favorite positions to fighters from, each element was made up of two or three green brazen, a handful of afghan fighters, assisting us in clearing the village. My element consisted of myself our teams. Urgent, Lance and six Afghans, one of whom, was neck or interpreter Nick wasn't Man's real name, but everybody who supported our team, was giving given easy to remember. Nickname, for the ease of Unification.
Our job alongside the Afghans, was to clear the first set of compounds run. Parallel to the river. Once the compounds we're clear, we would move on to the next set, as I within fifteen metres, the first compound I watch for everything and anything from move the compounds the variations in the train. Where I was stepping. I stopped and turned around a check on Lance. Who is hi me with several Afghans, he gave me a nod, meaning I could keep moving with the Afghans and check out the first compound emotion too. to come closer. Are you guys to move up unclear? The compound I said, keep your fucking eyes open. We both know what that meant sweep the cargo, yard, while watching every nook and cranny for a rifle barrel, beryl waiting to open fire now, turned and relate my direction to the handful of afghan soldiers and set a moving. They stood there like statues ass pressure seconds pass by. It became clear to me that they were not going to move what the fuck I fought. Do they not
stand what I need them to do already too scared to go out. Britain Nick? What's the problem it's too dangerous Nick replied. No shit of courses with dangerous this was what war was all about I knew there were scared. I will two, I did they wanted the Americans to go first because they felt we had better weapons and knew we were better fighters. I kept my cool and refrain from losing my temper, but I was This is your damn country so fight for it. I turned around to have a word. With Lance went out. Corner of my eye, I saw Nick moving toward the front of the compound about fifteen metres from me. Where a wooden door into our first mud Hut was slightly ajar. What's he doing wisely walking into an unclear part of the compound without afghan soldiers leading the way he was my day interpreter, not a fighter. I better than the yelled out to stop him since that could have invite two firefight, even though this Alabama were on the move. Tactically was best to assume the enemy did not know where we were
to remain relatively undetected for as long as possible in case Taliban fighters we're inside the compound in waiting to spring. Nasty surprise lance. I by the arm kit, Nick away from that door. This, the place or time for an afghan Rambo, even though Fifteen metres wasn't a lot of ground to cover each step was a gamble in Taliban controlled area I carefully, but quick we moved up the neck and grabbed his arm neck. Don't move bro. We need to move back to lances positioning regroup. This is cleared ground. Nick, looked at me with tobacco way. Slowly. I continued. I want you to place your feet over my boat boot prince and slowly move with me back to Lance. If you stay I steps you'll be ok. Make did not want to retreat. We can still get our guys inside the compound. He said. No, The time is not right. I reiterated we need to get reorganized
the firmness in my voice told neck that I met business. He started to move act from the compound and retreated slowly as well, and I retreated slowly as well making sure I had my em for ready a rock case someone in the compound, moved around the corner and opened fire on us, my eye, were sweeping the compound as well as king, where I placed my feet, took one slow step after another when boom A deafening explosion pounded my eardrums at this at the same instant, a hot searing brighter than midday flash of light enveloped me. the blast, shattered the silence across the valley sending birds into the skies they flap their wings and screeched the conclusive,
explosion knock me the ground, like a blind side hit from a line black linebacker. Still I landed on my back just outside the compound entrance. The FAO ammonia smelling air, Claude, my lungs and choked my breathing. I instinctively rub, grit from my eyes and waited for the dust to settle trying. As far as I could breathe, I can only manage the barest of breaths. I fought for air As I fought for a yellow brown cloud swirled around me, I couldn't see my hands from my face because of all the dust in the air. shook my head and yawned a couple times trying to square the high pitched ringing in my ears, but that didn't work then, but my mouth, the scream for Nick wanting to make sure he was okay, but nothing came out. The thickness of the dead. with the overwhelming smell of ammonia, saturated the air and made it impossible to yell or to take a full gulp of air.
I'm not sure what just happened, but if I don't get fresh air, I will suffocate in those first few days oriented moments. I didn't feel we pain, so I had to be okay. I tried to stand, but then I fell back over in a heap. Damn I tried again, but I stand up what the fuck what's happening to me, having trouble thinking clearly, then in a moment, then, moment or two later I suddenly realized what had happened. I stepped on an idea. Damn. When you are going through that compound grab Nick there was still, This was still there had been no common, as yet like you just silence. Yet there is no compromise. There was that the quietest, I think I'll ever remember any environment being was that's the scene just incredibly creepy in court.
And you're trying to step in the boot, that you made when you get when you went to get neck, so you can backwards so kind, a sort of all of us know that you never turn your back or your side to the unknown and so pass. The breach point is the unknown, so we have the breach or the doorway or whatever you want to call it, and so what it? What had happened was I was trying to move back, but then you know how, when you're the very last man in a patrol your constantly doing the works. Are your costly doing the back? Look? Well, that's kind of what I was doing, making sure that my aim was ready to start putting rounds into the compound in yeah, so Agnes and it still like the sun was an up. Yet the sky was getting light.
but the sun was quite up yet so here is he s just the perfect curve star like that time, where you're not sure, if you're, better off with knowledge, you're off nods. like that moment of the morning yet yet about ten minute you're taking your nods, often story of kids. It was that that perfect moment of zero is. backs the book I suddenly became aware of the pain they were soon creeping in like a snake, squeezing his victim to death. I reached down for my left leg and wiggled leg was still their bloody, but still there. When I try to move my right leg. However, the pain was unbearable, waving the sand and dust where my hands to get a better view. I could see my right combat but has been at a weird ninety degree angle. It was like combat boot, made a tea at the end of my leg, the dinner possible that my leather boot could be twisted like that. So I grab my right leg. behind my right knee and lifted
get a better look. As I raise my right leg up a tad, my right foot flocked off the side of my leg. Oh shit think connecting my foot to my leg was stringy bloody, red muscle, tissue and ragged skin was more Disturbing was seeing the stark white book, poking out of my leg. I wasn't: loud glistening white. They were, in contrast with my bloody leg. Oh god, this was bad. I'm hit, I'm hit, I'm hit. So. what's crazy about these situations is when there is an inherent in these idee environments. No one can move like you can't just go. Oh my buddies. Her I'm gonna go help him. That's the wrong move. You have you have to so we freeze and not move Europe where there is one there's five
and did you find out later that this was but little will not not a full low water, deadness detonation, but there was proud we twenty pounds. only seven, or only a limit a third of the ideal, went off as we wouldn't be here, and I know there would be that they they could put what was left of me in a plastic bag. If the whole thing when it went off, these guys they do that And you know you do a great job describing the stuff in the book I mean there's one partner. You say I hear the team sergeant, Lanceor, don't move Ryan and help hack whither the fuck. Do you think I'm going to sit there wounded
second stretched by like ours. I've never been so much pain or felt so alone. It was like. I was the only person in that village. I lay at my side in the dirt waiting for the bright light. Everyone says you see before you die lances the closest American to me, but I knew, he couldn't rush to me because I walked into an idea filled area chances. That he would be next and then what? In that moment, it was also, it was impossible to think clearly this is it I'm going to die in this shithole village in Afghanistan,. As I lay there for what seemed like ours, I prayed harder than I hadn't years. This was serious. I felt like I was on the cusp of eternity. I'd always there were no atheists and foxholes, and I guess they were right. Christian who would accept the Jesus Christ into my heart years ago, but I strayed from the path of righteousness since then, to say the least. Nonetheless, I made peace with God and feed here. He understood by mistake I made in my life came back to me, but so did the things
don't write. I asked for forgiveness, for my sins and for the people I had heard in the state of mind I was in. I felt this could be my last chance to make things right. Suddenly I the calm comb over me that I couldn't explained explain. the pain lessened, as I felt like. I was feeding into a deep sleep. I thought of some. Good times I had in my life fourth of July, barbecues love once watching the fight. works without a care in a world travelling around the world and all the amazing experience that brought me but most of all I was thinking about my family and how much at that moment I miss them. Hoped I made my family proud, but I also feel. A strong sense of nagging guilt for letting my team down. Green Bray wants that to happen, but it did I fallback tears. As I felt like, I failed my team. five minutes, or so after stepping on the idea I knew I was hanging on for dear life. I could feel my life myself slipping away. I so many say that your life flashes before your eyes just before you go, but that wasn't happening. I didn't,
If that was a good thing or a bad thing stay away glance, yelled dont, pass out Ryan we're moving and you I skipped this part, but you had been trying to get a tourniquet on yourself and you I couldn't get it done now. Yeah Couldn't get it done because I am so I I pulled wanted a rookie mistake, swear usual on your kid. You rubber band tourniquet on Grattan. Well, as you know it, if that security, I'm gonna double secured, I'm gonna use it ties yeah, so hoops books fast forward a little bit I? to slap sharp. I felt stop slap across my face and another and another each one harder than the last. What the fuck I open my eyes, and I found myself lying still in the dirt of the this pissant village, my teammate, George scream stay, Awake Ryan, keep your eyes open. so he's afraid heeds slapping
You try to show it results, blood loss. Blood loss, but I think more of it was shocking and I d I don't really understand how shock works, but I know it kill you and so there was some blood lost there, but it was. You know everything that had built up to you know George flattened the crap out of me. That was, I think I dealt with a lot of shock. What was going on cars? I mean it's step, an idea here and then they give you some morphine and you get hives or turns out your allergic to morphine nets, not to get down find out Eventually and again, you gotta read the book, but eventually Kyle, who must be Hawse live Kyle could move fast enough because he left you up his body here. You could move fast enough goods whose body armor gear, along with two hundred pound man over his shoulder,
Elsie was long ways away more in five hundred metres, the took, turns carry me whilst keeping purity high. The Taliban knew I was hit because our afghan interpreter monitoring their radio traffic could hear them celebrating and laugh about hitting me. so they get you to the Elsie. They get your extracted and. Then the next thing you know you're showing up enough Enough Terran cock and then in hospital yes, you get Pisca gonna cut off your shirt, which is what I do for you lucky shirt. My lucky organ ducks football share, but they end up cut it off in again. You know you did Give you a great job talking about the medical team in the doktor. nurses and the staff that Freakin takes care, you in and keep you alive still you stabilized
and from there you go. Kay F. more surgeries their China clean. You know, trying to clean it out and and then its over to Germany. you end up in Ramstein. long stool again: I'm just jump through a bunch of stuff. You gotta read the book because you know it's it's. It's all. part of the story. What you're going through I mean are you here I'll pull one little call you say so, I'm out of control trying to find ids. My damn metal detector wasn't working. So I close my eyes and stomped around to clear the root boom found one. In success. You say here: I've been to Germany many times during my military career, but this time it felt different cause. I was fresh off the battlefields of Afghanistan, I finally, I'll say from the aircraft landed. No,
dangers part of world. I could find the relax or so I thought, but I didn't know, is it now have plenty of time to actually think about everything that had happened to me. I would also time to cry over my friends who didn't make it home alive. The ones place in the coffins for the one way flight to Dover AIR Force Base in Delaware, a Grimm tripped and no one wants to take to think about the families torn apart, because a war either because they lost love one, whether soldiers, coming home with a mangled body never be the same again as my situation as well, I knew I was never going to be the same again. All right and jumping ahead here? Were you under a Brook Army medical Center be Amy Ba M C, Fort SAM Houston, Texas,. fast forward after I woke up from my fifteenth surgery.
An unexpected visit stepped in my room where I was resting, my father somewhere, between me getting blown up in getting to Germany, my dad was notified about my injuries, seeing my father standing next to my hospital bed in a sweat, Kate, cowboy hat person, his head and cash. It likely still on his boots, gave me She needed sense of normality in safety. This was a major surprised, dad it's good to see you my father, if my leg along look there gave me the usual tough but correct opinion. Well, I if you play to fire long enough, you're gonna, get Bert, looks like you step on a duty, glad your lives, son from his demeanor one would think I'd suffered little more than a scratch. For the first month. My time at the AMC, my father never left my hospital room on the seventh floor. It was like you felt the need to be there for me observing, protecting and taking everything in my elders Mr Chris, who is my hat: Mr from my dad's first, marriage was also there and talk about the M
the just the doctors and nurses and healthcare providers that are there and their sea in every single freakin day, how all that is on them. You get your your lead doctor. a guy named Doktor Sue. And he comes in and you're talking to him the status of my right, foot and leg was still uncertain. I would lose the rest of my low. Would I lose the rat less rest of my lower lag, or was it worth trying to keep the damn thing? pursue never sugar coated anything, even though at times I wish you would forget one conversation we have we have of tissue to do a limit salvage surgery. He said what do our best We attach your foot and lower leg, but there are guarantees, because your leg is in bad shape were giving it a ten to fifteen percent chance for success. And if that doesn't work, I asked we'll have to amputate
on the bright side. If this works, we will rewrite limb salvage medical history. What I was a ray of hope, do you think we should go ahead? Yes, I do, but this will be a long, painful road. It could be worth it in the end. So what do you think I fought for a moment? This is a big decision, while I still have my leg. I still have options, but at the moment, but the moment to cut it off. There's no going back. I reasoned you ve been telling this will be the hardest thing I've ever done, but if successful Cars will use. My case too, define Lynn Salvage, hell yeah, I love a challenge. Let's do it paint a picture for me. what's connecting you're right lower leg, to direct your body. So at that point in the hospital I had on this
It was called I'm economics. It looks like this giant bird cage and there's like twenty some odd rods at the screw into your bone So my so obvious are you need year. You need your ted you're Tabula, but the if they weren't really worried about it- and they said I had to say- doesn't really do much for you, so we're just going to let that free float, okay, fine, but the tip, so, basically, what they did was they lined up the tubular the best they could through the surgeries screw all of the rise in tee. My bones upper and lower in I had. I had It's gone into my toes like somewhat of a song, but then yeah they just they. They they secure everything together with just? All these arise gone into your leg and then the halo devices that attached the rods- and then yeah the old
where you can really girl bone is through friction and just beaten, a crap out yourself in physical therapy and what not So you know I had about two two inches issue of stipulate, a girl back and says. Yes, why did these Emma Adsum beat down sessions? You know in physical therapy to get that bone grown, so win win at like when it happened. You described, there's a psychopath. Basically, a piece of meat. Keeping your leg how bout nose to the nerves get damaged. Yes, oh even were even right. Now I have a problem: have half nerve function, my leg and then there's. You know parts of my leg that I just don't feel at all and then other parts that are hypersensitive and then in It's it's crazy, but but yeah. My right leg is their skin grass, the bottom and my foot, the skin graph its debts. It's pretty!
Thirdly, it is pretty intense, but medical technology, the grass the skin on your bottom, your foot, so I have your farm, I have this dream that I want to build a kick somebody in the face. because it's from my ass, and then I can do that That is something it is the skin. That's on the bottom of your foot. Is that like does it Does it develop callouses everything now like now. It's it's it'll, never go past the newborn stage, yet so others yeah. When I damage it, it it's bad service, so this whole procedure was. It was like a freakin bottom of the ninth like just last ditch effort. Hail Mary. I guess we'll go football, go Hale, Mary scenario, yeah
while the save my leg it was but for the surgeons cause I in Ireland, her daughter she's in having flowers leg. If ye if it doesn't work. It's not like. You had a leg anyway, so you know you. This move on and so for them, it was an act. There was an excellent opportunity to. to advance down. You know technology with limbs salvaging one Alec, Numb and yeah. It's done. Two thousand ten was an excellent ear to do it, because there is a lot of deeds in blown up lots of latitudes man that some that's crazy. This is we're your command sergeant. Major reoccur. Brian Brian was a man of his word, someone who put his men before himself, he and Those under his command took personal time to duty could to ensure each and every man was taken care of use. Off leader who would crush you if you're wrong. You'd go to Hell, I'm back to defend any of his men and
go into the book, your one thing among green is the willingness to do anything to get back in the fight. I was no different toward the end of his visit. I asked Brian the one question that had been hunting calling me for weeks. I don't know what my future holds, but I will not let this injury beat me. I fully intend on being a green Bahrain and deploying again, if I and get myself healthy. Will you send me back into the fight Brian me like? I had two heads than glanced down to my right leg. He knew that he knew what was in the heart of every Green Bray, but he had two drops. Common sense on me you're lucky to be alive. Ryan. Let's figure out how to get you walking again you. Ve got a long road ahead of you relax and take it easy. There wasn't. Zachary response. I was hoping for by Hell. I knew be lucky to walk honestly one day for me, the chance of returning to active duty as Agree Bray were a little far fetched. All it took was one look at my blown up leg and everyone knew this was something that just wasn
going to happen, but I wasn't giving up. I had my back, but when I asked anyone in the hospital the same question. I heard something like this: it's called away. You feel Ryan. but you would be limping campaign in pain for us, your lively, the find the young healthy guys. You ve proven your Off enough, but before we left my Sarge major surprised me Brian. The Indian look me in the eye and made me promise Ryan. If you'd give medically cleared, I will send you back to Afghanistan check. That's awesome, I don't, declare realized. You know what was I talked, and we still even touch now and it's you know it's hey man did you. Do you guys think I was in a calm bags manage I mean no, the arguing about two years.
trying to secure, gape yeah, hey cool yeah, you. I know you wanna come back if you'd get healthy, come back, but he's taken hold this guy walks again yeah. It was an end. Not you know cause I they did magically retire me and I had did you know fight back on active duty? so but yeah it was. It was one of those situations and I remember him I remember I had I forgot who he was eaten either now adena, but one of the doctors he's at aim. Look man! It's it's good to have goals. It is, but your goals aren't realistic, you're setting yourself up for failure because you're not I'm back like this is doctor told you this not doktor shoe, but none of the other doktor. Yes, another doctor. That was a part of my therapy and what not and he and I understood where he was common room. It's expectation management, you know, and he said
My biggest concern is that you set these goals up for yourself and when they don't happen, you can't recover from you know not achieving it goals, especially as a wounded guy, because we would we all do it in I, I I don't. Think there's a single military member in the United States armed forces that got wounded in didn't want to get back in the fight as quick as they could. I mean they're. There probably is, I don't know, I don't think so. I've never heard of one. So but yeah you just expectation management. You gotta understand like. You can watch it and it's a good drive, but man, it's you. You know you had in line with their environment night. Just like you said so slightly annex iii need you need a decent management expectation Herrick as like start thinking about other things, start You know, what are you gonna do with your life out of the military and stuff like that, and I understood raised on with it because
Unfortunately, a very bad statistic: even no two thousand nine ten eleven twelve was Zalm would do it's time. You know I'm commit suicide. Why not? And so they had to manage expectations with eyes because there, so I understood it. The other thing that you read about in here is the link to your own. these different drugs, obviously for painkillers and stuff, but it seems like that's just kind of sent you in black reels promotional you be like laughing than you be crying sound like that was just freakin, crazy, yeah yeah the drugs I was on. I mean methadone for one. Oh my gosh, it's I don't! Quite know. It would be like to be his army, but I'm pretty sure I gotta get idea from than drug methadone is a hell of a drug. So that's it
used to get people off of heroin and you're just you, they had you on it for paying anonymously, yet so crazy, theirs, got another gun other quoted here from the old man we might have to get. The old man on the park asked says you know cause you are you kind of like rock bottom you're, all freakin emotional, about everything and he says, looks on you. too bad hand, but this is a speed. bump in life, that's all How you handle this situation and pick yourself up will term and how this affects you later bad? Is? It seems right now as dark. The times appear to be never for that with time, you will heal and look back on this you don't allow yourselves to look back and feel ashamed about how you dealt with this they control of your life on this situation. Turn it into something good.
Learn about yourself in a positive way, and I promise you in the end. You will be a better man. Dad's pep talk back Pep talk met the world to me. I laid my hospital bed that night and vowed. I would never become a victim of life's circumstances. I would use this situation to make myself even stronger. I would say- my demons, which I had held close for many years and defeat them for years I had used my difficult childhood as a crutch after my Father mother divorced dated Mary to more times and always seem to find the bad ones. I did not women are really anyone for that matter, which I blamed on my past before it came Agree Marie. I too failed marriages and less the path of destruction behind me, but I always found way to rationalize my behavior. It was never my fault, I'm this. because I grew up poor on this way because at a shitty childhood on this
because life's not fair. Everything was always some one or some thing else's fault. I did not have control over my life life controlled me even though my dad had raised me right, there were some. Things. You just had to learn on your own. The hard way. the saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger seemed like the story of my life, but it didn't just happen on my own. I have to make the choice to become stronger. That when I determined I would use this near death experience to make myself a better man. This will not be me. I will be the man I was raised to be- I will Control of my life and finally be responsible for my actions. Even with this I come to Jesus moment. I knew I wasn't going to get any easier. As a matter of fact, the hard work was just beginning.
can take some ownership of what's Goin on your dad told you to own it yeah. I actually allow people don't understand this. When I say when I say this, but Stepan on that eighty actually save my life to expand. So the path that I was headed down. I was I was going to appoint to where I couldn't returned from just life controlled me victim of everything I was just running. You know I would destroy people around me. Instead a bill mom. I was not a good person even with the victory of becoming a green brave, I still haven't, I still haven't faced any of my issues. I was just. I was constantly run information and on and on as always I mean there is always something I was just. I was weak, it was easy to
to blame somebody or something or use the excuse of Erin. You name it. I came up with it instead of taken now use it you trade market, but instead of saying in extreme ownership of your life, I am you know, I allowed lifted to own me, and he did it did, and it was and tell I stepped on that idea that I was actually able to get control my life again, the biggest things youth. What was what was like the core issue that you were running from while like was pent up and you that made you do you think like steered you in these directions where you would be being a tear Peter people down like one. You think made you so kind of destructive, I hated myself. I was unhappy happy. I didn't know how to like myself, I didn't You know I always try to live this other peoples
I'm staying in in you know, I mean you see it today, its rapid, where people they try and be certain that they're, not they they dont have on identity, and I had no identity, because what I was as a person was was ugly and destructive, and I didn't like myself and so I Equally, I was always running from myself in the EU The way to do it is to take a good situation, turn it into shape blame everybody else for tear people down around you and then move on to the next lately. I've been thinking about this. It's really easy: when, when you got it virtue when there is an opportunity for you to do something and you either fail, Or you're scared to try one easiest things to do is say: well, that's not cool or that's not important or that's not. For me So it's, u happens on every level right happens on every level when you don't
oh you're, not great you're, not a great runner were running. We wishes. Here's a his classic example in the seal teams, running just running like all gone, four run and people there. what good it running would be like run breeds cowardice, media You know we're never gonna run is a funny thing. You know, but that's a little bit of an example of what we do as people of Oh well, school doesn't matter right. When I was a kid, right school. Does school stupid of me all day long when I was going to high schools schools about why cause wanna try. You know I didn't want to put forth the effort. Also. Therefore it doesn't matter given that we do all the time and He will do it with them. You know, like hard work like starting a business. hey, I'm not I'm! Not I'm not a bit of endeavour that material stuff. When really they just don't want to work hard on this are they? it down,
She walked, detract from people that are working hard. Then you could say this about really about anything right and. it seems like that sort of that sort of this, not exactly what you're saying, but something that I've been thinking about lately. As I look at my lesson about all you know all that doesn't really matter my away to second. Does that really not matter or am I just am I, throw in that thing out because it something that I don't want to do or I'm afraid of or bombs calling it not important because a really ok! Well, let's take a look at that. Let's take a look at that. You have puzzled learners, that's interesting there that this like a level deeper than black, what's happening, that's like Ok, so you know what sour grapes right. You heard that before scenario that expression so kind to the sea, we expand on this, our group, so I know you're definition Ok, so Zagreb's is like it's almost like jealousy almost, but
so this is where the expression came from. I found out where there was this fox and saw some great hanging on a vine and a high up inside to jump up and eat those grapes, so he jumps up and- can't jump high enough so sick, I whatever or any tries again still can't jumping up. as warmer time is like a nominal, get em this time they looked delicious up there he jumped up. I can't get on many of the gallows creature probably sour anywhere and about certain leaves so kind of death rate. Every kind of now definitely kind of that no wonder you all like TAT yet import year, If you let that, if you, if you continually do that, if you ten, you led the kindest Sean in turn, your back on everything. That is a challenge. You know,
you could have done this like you been frequent special operations, you know after you left after you did make it you, but you be like yeah, been spared penal militarist. right. You have done that. We could not all day long been the military stupid. Those guys are freaking idiots, attributes like you. Couldn't you can regarded that mode and you just you're back, and then you turn your back on something off me and pretty soon you look around and there's euro you're just you have nothing left right. There's no, but you ve turn your back on everything, your big it become. The lifestyle and that's that's when is dangerous, and we ve all we ve all seen people today that They have shunned away from anything. That is that that they could possibly fail at because of the fear of failure that they I mean they they ve made that their life. They are that person now. That's that's hard to come back from. You know what I like about what you just said. I really like the fact that you just
because no everyone talks about lifestyle in like a positive thing, like oughta, Jujitsu lifestyle or to healthy lifestyle. Words are one and you like. Oh there's, another lifestyle, it's called denial and making excuses. That's a lifestyle to, and it's a shitty one that we have a bad places. There is interesting, the tearing other people down thing where you know you say it out loud and it's like Why would anyone do that like it so obvious? Not to do that, but I think one like you're in it any say it. You hated yourself right yet, where even- that's another one words like how can you hate yourself, but does accelerated. No! That's on lake expression but in a way it's like literally true where you, if you dont, like yourself, that makes Feel a certain way and its bet, it's a bad feeling will say, put simply saw What kind of relief can you get from that bad feeling is? If you
Other people seem less than any kind of like a relieves. You of that feeling this little bit, but not fully, not even close to fully so you constantly gotta do it. They have to feel better about yourself essentially, yet it is its it's a serious problem. We we see it in our country, all its I'm right now, I think, that's actually. What made me start thinking about this because onto about all running is but your way, talk about the same thing, when you look at another person, instead of going damn that person's really accomplished a lot, that's awesome! Instead, you say why I've got to be some kind of career guidance, Jason Promotion or or yeah, They they just want to get all those quarles. They can look good values through all kinds of hate item, but Personally, I really hate those it does the excuses I'm talkin about. Is you make up your own demise? You make up your own
uses as to why that is not your path into. Basically, you demonizing, person to make yourself feel better, even though ninety screw at one hundred percent of the time? It's because is its because you're afraid to fail. yeah, it's weird when you start looking at dyke chunks of people that look into all that lifestyles, bad What what are you really bad about someone that's working hard in trying to be in good physical condition? trying to learn and trying grow like those people that look down on all those things, which is kind of crazy when you think about it, all right they tell us about the. What do you call the ideal Bree
brace or as an ideal like do you, how do you say that, yes, it so garden, ideal idea, but yeah Scully its it Ryan Blantyre, Keen he cried it. Is these things damn. It gives me a calf in you know, push out, you know, I didn't. I got plans I think whatever one goes down, but I I'm Senor JANET. They make second exoskeleton type. Brace the? U, where that makes for whenever deficiencies, you might have. Yes, your movement. Yes, and so it gives you know that that basically its they give you your life back in. That's what allows you to keep your leg, that's what allows you do not have to go through. The prosthetic is because now you have this on this
even in a chance at an aim, but it is law of the mean the intrepid, dynamic, exoskeleton or phocis that that's what I was going to say. I e do: where do you have to wear that thing all the time, so I've actually gotten to appoint. Now to our ivory built back my leg, to where I only use that, if I'm doing anything physical like Jim, I'll have my day on or deployment out where the idea, what not, but I'm here I know I came here without it on your walk around I mean you, you walk and totally normal walkin, upstairs dowser them in its. Yet US embassy yeah in yeah, tell until you take it. Got on that one thing and that's funny, and that's because you have no nerves rule do have like drop foot. No.
I I dont have dropped foot. It's kind of naturally is fused itself at the the l a zone, but you know you can catch yourself, and that is good Thing it's funny: what is job footlight, deadlights round the nerve that makes you lift up, your foot gets damaged, and so you we're just gonna yams dead. He added did it naturally fused at the angle, joint, so on that nerve is gone, but it's just the foot just days at an l a Andy stump has a certain amount of drop foot and from he got shot like lost some new, yes m. You got a bunch of injuries, but he had some nerve damage and so on doesnt respond really the way he wants it to, and he makes pretty funny jokes, but that its it it's got a funny,
so the only wanted a medically retire you at this point in and then they offered you kind of something called continuation on active duty, which means you. Basically, these are gonna, give your paycheck into some kind of an admin job fear yet to twenty Yes, I was medically retired and then I applied for the waiver, which was the continuation on active duty waiver, and I got picked up How many years had you been in at this point, total air force, nay, an army, twelve. Yes, unlike that, so you know did you do that? A document that you like sign? Do you accept that? Or did you fight it medical retirement. Well, the medically retired medical reserve. You you obviously fought yeah. I mean that that was so. medically retired, and then I came back onto active duty through a waiver. got it so they medically reside you and then
came back on you when you came back on. Did you have that limited duty things the can, duration on activities that how you came back on to the end and basically what it is. So they do it for Green Bray, seals raiders our can stuff if they did that kind of money training you up, we can find some radio absolutely no one's is an awesome programme and its a good way to take care of take care of people then you find out about this programme called for free and will sort out about that three programme. So I think I think the seals I think he has got some similar the return to fight programme. Here we got out. We are awesome people that just doing everything they can to keep guys ready and if they get her to get back in the fight the up its awesome. Yet it's basically, that we call the re the return to fly or the road the war programmer whatever and down. There is hard
mean they bring these guys and from you know they were fiscal fiscal trainers or you know Harvey teams, are what not or like Paul He is he he worked out. He was aren't you or teases. Group in Paul did all the athletic training for him so yeah. We, not really gonna. Tell him like ask, is like destitute and down, and I I just I knew you know I got myself back to seventh group, but I had a dead man's profile, so I knew for me first seventh group to waive big armies profile. I would have to have to tear up deeds in the three programme and dumb and site. I just you know I was on this path of you, I I was get now rack and of victories in my life and down, and so the three programme as it is.
Tough is extremely hard, but guys that had never been hurt before I just you know, with all the fiscal events in anything like that, just leaving them in the dust, but you know they weren't, really fight for anything I was. I was trying to get back to war, and then you you end up pulling it off. Man here you go after a few months, are working with the weather for three programme building up my body rehab in my store right leg, impressive it is and how far I'd come, my command gay great news. I was good to deploy winds Haven't group would take full responsibility. For me, my Ever was signed, I was jacked from the moment the word from Brian that, if I could get healthy enough, you'd send me back, I have only one go on my head to return to combat. This was why put in all the hard work? I don't wanna be cooped up in some cubicle reader reports and looking at the clock counting down the hours until I've called call today, I want to begin emissions, with the guys doing what I was trying to do taking the fight to the enemy, my
Company had already left for Afghanistan, but once The medical waiver signed by seventh group led surgeon. I was on the next flight out April, two thousand twelve. I would be deployed to them. pans why they're right Padua Passage Way district in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan, known as a birthday the Taliban times could have been tensor in the area. so they're young yeah down yeah, I got my wish. Return returned the war and then I guess to the the most heavily idead area Afghanistan thousands were brought this is. This is written our rights we go you're, you you get sent to the most heavily ideal place. I was reading is outside our eldest. Read it so Here we go you're on your honor, really really hard patrol to get to
you're going to get to the target area. Your direct freakin point man again by the way? The last time you were point man, you you, you got freakin blown up yet you start You start clearing this compound again. This is like deja vu, backed the book. We were barely under way when one of my afghan special forces soldiers and I detected our first idea in a partially collapse outside wall of the first compound therein was buried in the dirt and surrounded by rubble from above. In the wall that was likely cause by a previous Idee blast. One hour, Fiji strike a nice little. I e all you had. Do his trip this sucker I'll, get it the sucker was step on the path your plates connected the positive wires to the negative wants. A sir was completed boom the charge went off and your life was change forever. Welcome back to Afghanistan, the Taliban it good. We would take this route because it was a short cut into the compound. I have to met their finding. My first idea, since nearly losing my life span,
the nasty one like this produced a whole range of emotions. My heart was racing, but I had it the together, because A team was watching really have to admit that you had some some emotions hatboro for I slow we pushed the dirt away, exposing the corners of the pressure play. I studied my hands and search for the arming wires. When I covered them. I traced the wires to a battery pack hidden behind some rocks. Then I disconnected the power source and clamped surgical. Clamps to the wire by surgical, cramps were attached to a fifty foot, nylon courts or I could get some stand off: we're safe distance before pulling out the pressure plate after me, the team back, I got my fifty feet- stand offer gave the court a pull. The pressure play games through the air. The first step was complete, but the idea it was not completely disarmed. I attached, my cord to a plastic, yellow, jug, buried beneath the pressure play and return, but two fifty foot withdraw distance after
tug of war match with the jug? I was finally able to yank it out of the ground crap. This was a fifth and pound. I e more than enough to kill you or blow off both your legs Can I didn't just safely blow up the idea which what I was asking, but no procedure is when you find a freaking idea. You put some exposes, honourable that thing not blow in place usually when I come across my idea. I accept as part of the pressure plate to verify was natural explosive. Then I would place a half blocker C4 on it blood in place, but we were to track down the id makers in our area. I decided to disarm the ideas that are blowing up because of the ink this pressure. We were getting to collect evidence which was key. Defining the culprits with this, for I out of the way I breathed deep sigh of relief things had gone well and Rome was felt like I knew what I was doing better you I gave my teammates a warm fuzzy feeling about my capabilities and showed them that I could be an asset rather than a liability on the battlefield. Why did I
deal with the idea. Instead of dirt, one of our afghan counter idea to get on it. You can call me stupid or crazy, but I wanted to go some ideas under my belt. Ok, I mean I'm not stupid. So I guess we're going with grazing and I guess you want to get some ideas on your belt has been getting ideas under your foot, yeah yeah. I think my mindset at that time was very very mean, could have been pretty deemed is pretty reckless, but I I just then there was the first one. I came in contact with an island and our own it. I just gotta. That's the choice I made. If I was to go back, I'd stick half block C4 on and move back? That's what you do and then idea after I d cash after cash. Every time we go out on a mission. One thing was and ass the sun comes up in the morning we run into some sort of explosive device made killer they must.
And you know I escaped through the part where you kind of like were checking back in with the team, and these guys are thinking. Hake in the sky really do his job and he shouted. How scared is he gonna be how bad is Leg is out here with a freaking brace on his leg. What kind of you know so you had to kind of push through all that it kind of skip through, but it's a really interesting part of the book as well. and in that's a thing is I've. I've had I've heard people's reaction to it. There like ours It's that does just so messed up, enabling its nine that special operations when you go out a team being in war is in and make a wish foundation kind of thing like oh you know, here's are making This foundation, green berets, we're gonna, take him out on some missions. No people people can die and um and so I understood completely like they knew it happened to me most of the team was on the battlefield that day inhuman I saw my leg and so for me to get back out to the team
most heavily idead area in Afghanistan. At that point, I don't blame me. What are you doing here did like you, have no business being irish, but you gotta prove it another cool, a mockery. The whole sexually you're Talkin, like what you're looking for and why thank you said is reviewed. You looking at you be thinking what I put an id there. If I was the bad guy that was kind of the perception you looked at everything with yeah. I get asked this question a lot about. How do I find and ideas in there like I'll, never mind attacker minded actor, doesn't really do anything for me, I look at so I I I take a breakdown of the battlefield or the objective that we're goin onto and then I look at ok, so Easiest avenues of approach, they're going be ideas there, you gotta twelve but might have wall. There's a break in the war at hearing than is twelve feet again, there's going be an eighty there and then I also so before I even use
minded sector. I I get ground sign. Ground sign, tells me everything, and then I verify it with my minded actor, and then I mean I've. I've definitely come up to like breaks in the wall and what not, I dont even use my mind attacking anything. I just put a block a c4 there get back and hackers is gonna, be one their answer how much of how much do you think I got one? I paranoid about, like all they got the fake Idee there in Romania a lot like all, there's a wire and whatever, and someone goes over to disarm it and they step on something else, get blown up yet the decoys, decoys, a nasty super nasty and that that goes back to the You know that saying that we have all had- and I guarantee you guys Rye said in remedy- was more there's one there's five. You know, you know where there is one there could be ten or what where there's one there's gonna be secondary, because when that guy hit one of them, then the rescue.
in a come in and they're gonna start hidden secondary or we're gonna use one as a decoy, then we're pretty sure we can funnel with this decoy here now I can funnel the troop movement this way and then it's all I need yeah my point in bringing that up his like it. It's it's not checkers it's not like. Oh there's an obvious place, there's an id its chest with echo, there's one there, but that means they probably think I'm going to move over there so the place we really need to watch out for at least so. The Taliban are super good at that, crazy good at trying to anticipate troop movements and then eighties, you're carrying on with the deployment MA let's go by and at in point you're in a little bit of a fire fight, and you you step in You basically a shit, ditch and as filled his shit thrilled with human sewage, which is which
talks, because it states in its growth and all that, but the real problem is you got your You know your foot, which is a bunch skin graphs is in there, and this is after a long patrol, so you ve already got blisters and what not could you got freakin baby scan on the bottom, your foot open buzzer's. So that is yeah, I mean we, we got, we got a bit of attack in every. everywhere fighter knows cover return fire violence of action. Anything like that do you know, get control situation again, and so I remember you know where we engaging, you know different targets, and I was you know my my German was really high, but it still mass really snakes here, as I wouldn't is this and I just and then finally, once you know like We got aircraft on station, which means bad guys are gone,
So then I started to kind of get a sense of my surroundings and, as a shit tranche, I was up to my my calves and it ends all of the open source. That I where my skin grass were just human feces gone in. So you get an infection and you were we dug you're gonna get sent home, but it turns out they don't they don't send your gut knows the add the my team. You know. we got back, you know basically, I had to tell our delta inasmuch as it is bad, his many you need to get a calf and then, when I got the calf Are they basically said they're, like ok you're done in the pantry way? We need to monitor you, we don't you know, we're not sure if you're gonna redeploy back to states or not, I knew if I redeployed back to the states that was a death wish, as in and I dont mean literally but as in
The command will know that this gamble that they took to. Let me go back to war, they didnt pay off and I would never see combat again, and so I am I found work. My carried heavy shit. And I made myself an important, part of that- and this was the first time in my life and so again It sounds really weird, but stepping in this you know need but I'm sorry cast even human feces led up to the first time in my life. In stead of, say in poor me. This happened to me. Why did I jump in that? One tranche and earth like that? I owned it and I went nuts Work and I and I I myself, this valuable asset on calf loading helicopters descend supplies out to the guys in the field you know and still in combat, and I I I may you know made a name for myself is always get niece guises if they knew what knight itself I found work and then
The first time that that was a major victory for me: have taken control over something that I've there. easily in the past, what a straight line into victimization. so that here, how long you doing that job for doing that for private last three months of this appointment, and then you do you end up human up, decent. We, and there's one more there's. There I've been a mission and in the mission is, is go set up. There's a big mission on, but you gotta go at the command element. You're gonna send ample command post, the top of a hill, and that means you're gonna get inserted and you're gonna have to walk. kilometers, but with three thousand feet of elevation gain, and if it's it's a dick, tough mission, metaphysically tough mission, you we have some other strap hangers with you want to
guys wants to quit when the other guys you end up having to carry other people's gear on that, but you do it you if you do a good job, your healed up and luckily on commissioner, you know it's a it's a relatively peaceful mission we were supporting, so the the seals and bunch odious, we're clear in this valley together was a joint mission and down in the command element. Last sure of the deployment command element wants to get you boots on the ground, say they did some and so yeah we yeah we're going up to hilltop two thousand in guys. One guy just flat out. I mean sorry but quit and, as I didn't think do they come this is not training abroad is no training time out here and then another guys body just failed him in so home we're. carrying all stuff up to the top. But I'm not big on spotlight
Ranger kind of stuff, but I knew for sure that I could solidify my career as a green break. If the colonel commands sergeant major. Also me as a beast, even though my body would that's, another time when I learned, like your mind, quits way before your body will way before your body and, if you have, if you, if you put this drive you you have, this goal we want to reach that goal is more. important to you, then your mind given up on you then We will be able to see how much further you can actually go. What you're mine is told you you're done Some of these people, like a woody, do when you get rid of what you tell yourself when you're, when you don't want to do something, I don't tell myself anything. Cuz my mind is the one I got was going to keep you in a building like I don't have these negotiations with myself about like well, you should really much shot up. Do you goin
there's the answer. Yeah yeah, it's it's hard until you make it a lifestyle. The best positive lifestyle, women before you get with that mission yu you, oh a little. While later you go back to America, when you get back to America, you actually go into the normal seventh group rotation, which haven't groups. Aol is South America itself, since, America, South and Central America. So you end up doing some Dubuque. deployments. If, though, if their short, what he called us, so we we have seen, tease or J sets, I know one seals you guys do yup did you see, aunties the counter narcotics so the same thing, because we are I remember all my Deployment South South Central America. There is always some silver to answer some, So you do some of those shorter trips and you
he'll sell you gotTa Colombia, you go to Peru and then I think you are getting ready to deploy to Guatemala and all the sudden things change. Yeah. They had they request. did so Bravo company. Secondly, giant was head back to Afghanistan Short on guys and So I saw I saw my in right there and I started creating. You know ways of finding my way over to Afghanistan. Somehow and Thou That was all it took. Was I just I d? I gave him the sales pitch and the original answer to your sales pitch was cool. You can combine you're gonna be not beyond. Not sure yeah I was gonna, be riding desk in managing them. Just sources bribe. so you eat you do in that. That's your plan is to go over there.
You show up. and about a month after your there, you get it. broached by the ops. Sorry, who says a new mission just got dropped in our laps. You wanna take the action. You say yup and so he guessed our plan of this mission, gonna book you too, we do things up. The Taliban would see the afghan commandos heading into the village and fire at them, knowing for certain that the afghan soldiers would turn and run away like they had many times for once, a bunch of tallow an asshole started shooting, however, that would be all we needed to call in closer support assets overhead which would give them Alabama healthy taste of american fire power. The insurgents would know in New York, New York that the that the Americans, the fight and now a the battlefield in a hurry, and then you say on paper everything read well a. I put a nice little exclamation point by that
because, as we know, things look good on paper, don't always turn out the way you expect them to You proceed into this, I'm in a fast forward. A little bit. You're you're now executing the mission. I could see our first target compound, which was a hundred meters up the path still had a long distance to clear and again. This is, after all, you you in certain the mission we get done, planned the Misty Good sort of emission you're moving. You move into this first area that you're gonna clear, and the poor. started: a narrow and rows of dormant fruit trees swallowed up the ground as we patrol deeper into the orchard. I reminded myself to concentrate on significant details that we're almost impossible to see under night vision and then pop what the fuck was that we all hit the ground on of the loud snap. We just heard. Was it a gunshot, snipers in the area? We waited for shitstorm bullets rain down on us, but nothing happened then,
does that job we desire right yet jellied jar weed and I were tangled in some type of line, almost fishing line holy shit. We had here. Trip wire. I e that didn't explores. How did I miss them? as jar we'd, carefully investigated the trip wire against his chest without any quick movements. I determined that the Taliban had to the wire that ran from the set of explosives hidden in a mud wall all the way tree on the opposite side of the path the wire had been? a chest level now the usual ankle height, a clever move on the Talibans part. They knew would be looking at our detectors to clear, which meant we would looking down at the dirt and walk into a chest level trip wire. Why didn't they eat D go off the best one I could come up with was that when the over watch element laid waste for five minutes, firing, everything they hadn t orchard fragmented, from one of them, orders had hit idea and disabled. It luck was on our side, so
there you go you're walking through this freakin orchard. You hit a trip wire. for whatever reason, probably the the proper We fire that had been fired by your team had disrupted died. we'd cleared another fifteen metres of path. When I saw a movement in an open field near the first compound. I turn to aid, and aid is one of your guys that you had with you one here, We're Afghans that you had with you. and that was when all hell broke out four slash, eight could respond. The night was lit up by a barrage of gunfire coming from the compounds out of wall. First, it was a zip, zip, zip fall by the crack of seven hundred and sixty two caliber round flying past our heads these rounds, which rip holes in the darkness. Laser light show with tracer streaking across the night sky. Next came an explosion from an hour, peachy being fired at us, then more automatic fire. We do
directly into an ambush shit with my heart beating out of my chest, I hit the ground is started returning fire, the Taliban. the Taliban set up a complex ambush ambush in the trip wire idea was supposed to start the whole thing off one of their, He can't machine guns, let out a burst of twenty metres of a burst of fire twenty metres from our position. A distance So close, I was almost like a grab the flame coming out of the end of the barrel, jolly Abe and Bruce Mala hosted a business best This Mueller jumped in the ditch I'll can ya know just call for calm darted back to cover behind a tree. I had deck and lay as far as I could in the middle, the dirt path bullets kicked up, rock and gravel fragments all around me stinging, my skin. When bullets the ground around me splintering, fragments sprayed everywhere, I could tell Fragments struck my body armor protective plate. I was engaged
engage the flames figuring that where there were flames there was a gun and where there was an acre forty seven there was a fighter Ryan. Your strobe light, my buddy Zackie held over the radio. They have envy jeez. They can see your strobe damn what were you thinking? We you heard that I need to get this off comment I need a it is our strobe away from me, and our J tat couldn't see me till we get caught up in an l saved ambush and And so he wasn't sure where the peak am was an that's. You know site. I took off my home in Athens as I could to wear. That peak aim was that and then just hit the dac again in certain engaging muzzle flashes, and the good could the data once you through the eye are, could he sees a J tax it? So it's got a funny, so I said you know as a visual on the iron. Yet
Ok they're there over that direction. He is what, going back here, you're dead, there's one guy that starts Pekin out and you You actually end up kill in the sky, the third time he came out. He took more time in the previous two two tries attempting to better shot off at us. It was like daring meet a light, is ass up. I knew I had him. I locked in the clear shot and let go a ten to fifteen round burst from. I am for I watched him drop his body lay still on the ground. It felt good to kill him, but I couldn't relish the moment too long. We were so pinned down our main element, which is about twenty five or thirty metres, behind our position put as much fire power on the enemy as they could hoping to
keep your head down long enough for US aircraft to start dropping bombs. I knew from the many fights I've been in before in this country that a call for air support have been made within seconds of their attack. In the meantime, Frankie's position let loose this one of your other team, teammates Taliban were well protected behind mud walls unless they stepped down the open, like the guy with the r launcher. There wasn't what we could do without an air strike? At the same time, I was aware, given close. We were to the enemy that being killed by friendly fire was a very real worry, so you're fifteen to twenty metres away from these bad guys. Yes, the first became, and just anyone that's wondering Fifteen to twenty metres is not a long way with you're gonna to try and bombs yeah. There's change your clothes and draw colony and on your position and its yet its little dicey,
this is getting a lot dice. Yet as our situation deteriorated by the second, I knew that without bombs on target, shall we Abe, Biz, Mueller Khan and I would all die this about to turn into a body recovery mission and you be our bodies. That would be that they would be taking home. a couple of minutes. The decision was made for us when our air force J talk, J Tack called in five hundred pound bomb, just twenty metres from my position. This was considered a danger close strike. I don't even know that's considered danger, that's that's called on them Position, yes, five hundred pounds, this was considered a danger, close strike, but one that would give us a fighting chance of making it out of the orchard alive. The call went out over the radio, and then I heard air force tax voice in my ear peace Rhine were dropping close to man. Keep your fuckin head down.
after receiving the radio transmission. I relate the information to Avery, told the others to get as low as they could. There was room in the dead. So I grabbed Khan and pushed him into the trench rise date on the footpath. I will There are two down to prepare for the blast since we weren't firing back at the enemy, the volume of fire on our position picked up. So now you got go down, you expect in his bomb and others the enemies think They got up her hand had. I could hear the rocket motors of the F sixteen ripping through the sky as the fighter. Came in bound. I receive one last warning over the radio bombs away. Man stay low, I lay asleep, as I could on the path holding my hands over my head implanting my face in the dirt, then I slightly tilted my head and opened my mouth to give the over pressure or shockwave a place to exit all. I could do as well. For the blast when the bomb hit the over pressure from the explosion, sent grass dirt gravel dust tree branches flying in our direction. I waited the big chunks of mud of the mud,
I to land on me as well as bits of earth and other debris. for I was spared from the hunks mud wall. Hating me, which would have broken my back. Instead, I Covered with dirt leaves and branches, but the concur it force was so great that I felt, like my skeleton it just walked out of my body, turned let me in the face and re entered. My body I stand up, I kept falling. like. I was drunk you if you have a five hundred pound bond of freakin gear rocks it's like you just got. when you see someone get knocked out in the in in the. U S see that's what you got hit with the only just to the job, but to the entire body all my time in Afghanistan. I'd get to experience a concussive explosion of that magnitude. It took a good minute to regain my senses, just as I was freaking out what happened. I heard my guys screaming over the radio Ryan. Are you good an answer, your fuckin radio. If you're alive
their voice sounded like some yelling down a long tunnel trying to get my attention. I got my bearings fuck. That was that was big big, but I'm good man. I answered couldn't believe what just happened, how big bomb was that five Pounds, brother use data, big one man still alive. I feel I had come away without a scratch until I felt warm liquid coming out of my ears from the monstrous blast, damn that was close there, time. To worry about my the ear drip because I had no idea of the enemy was still moving around her all tat. Doubt I took a moment the cobwebs out of my head, then I checked on my eyes to ensure they were good after having was accounted for uninjured I had my guys fall back to close its position, which was twenty metres behind us once we're back with the main element: R J called in another strike:
Which would ensure that if anyone was still moving in the compound, they were sure to be dead? Damn that's! That's freakin, psycho, crazy, their drop in a five hundred pound bomb at twenty metres. Like I said, that's. I mean, will have to ask a good deal, Dave Burke and see what the what what the air boxes on that yeah you know, our are you tat? I was a J tack and like twenty metres is tight and that's it one, but they do it. That's what they do. You know they got GPS guided munitions and they do they do drop em right in a spot yeah. They actually had to switch out aircraft or switch out platforms to drop.
A non fragmentation producing like it can cause. Why? Because of how close we were in it, it took like five minutes to give bombs on target and anyone he's been an attack before five minutes in a really long time. Well salute to your Jtac cuz. That's a ballsy call right. There he's a freaking legit like man. If I, if I would have killed you, my career is done. I like thank you don't worry about your brow, deed deeds. The amazing say my life, oh yeah! For sure that's crazy! You know that's when J, tackling when you have to call D. Your close, you have to give your initials on and off. They still do this, but you, have to give your initials saying, like I'm signing for this bomb. This is the me and you need to drop this bomb and you like they would be offered with Oh tack, initials or something I forget, the actual calls, but the uptake
Juliet whisky drop. It so you now you go you you go You clearly compound the sunset, to come up. it's kind of settled down, donations kind of settled down a little bit the sun. to come up you're feeling good about that. Now it makes ideas easy to find. Then you start moving to another compound in once again here. Like finding ideas. Tripping kite he's still disprove compound the compound clearing, more ideas, as you enter these other compounds. There's there's not any movement or anything. You say during the rest of our Clarence I encountered more than twenty. I I personally book fifteen. Before I ran out of C4 explosives, we marked the rest Overall, we located more than fifty ideas,
four hundred and seventy hundred seven millimeter rockets, multiple booby traps and a complex bunker and tunnel system. This dispute you are part of the village lived up to its reputation as a hotbed for Taliban fighters. The Taliban had read where's bunker, spread throughout the village, many connecting with tunnels. That's freakin, Psycho. I mean running into fifty ideas carrying them all gadgets yeah, the ones we clear we just had to mark a bypass. It was you that village was C4 nasty cybernetic, so then there's this little discussion between the Afghan for Leader who, after you guys clear these places year, the goal is: hey. The Afghans stay there to be no prohibit the
Taliban from coming in and taking over. There is a little bit of a discussion, because you know American forced to leave the ECB. Ok week. We did the harbor cleared everything. Now you stay there and occupy and build the fences and said claymores and you know secure the area and hold on to it Will they don't want to do that and so This discussion is happening and while this discussion is happening which, by the way your team leader says the Afghan says the can you say not? My afghan soldiers you're better equipped to fight it. Alabama. the team leader says if this was Texas, I would agree with you but we're in Afghanistan. This is your country, if I'm here, to help you, but not when you're battles, So as this little discussions going on one year after year, one of the afghan commandos comes up to you and in with with the interpreter, says five fifteen to twenty men moving our way and. you know that discussion still going on.
A few seconds later, the afghan commando tugged at my shirt sleeves, get my attention again the men are heading this way. We need to do something, because I think these are villagers from the area he said I went back to my team. Sergeant was more direct. We need to get out of here. We are fighting age males moving in our direction. I'm grabbing my guys and getting in a position to move out. The team sergeant now nodded fuck this. He said, I'm done negotiate with these guys. Let's move out, he had barely finish this sentence when the first shot was by my head, with the all too familiar zip, followed by a crack. we were immediately in the fight for our lives. Rounds or common in all round. Automatic machine gun fire Series of our Pga explosions took us by total surprise. Every turned into total chaos in an instant everything was happening so fast. It was impossible for the human brain to comprehend it instinctively I knew I was sprinting for cover, but for a split second I felt frozen
pandemonium of everything happening around me, while my brain scrambled to make sense of the attacks ferocity now moving quickly screaming instructions and returning fired an enemy. I could not see round spread everywhere, hitting compound walls like a garden hose watering down a dusty road. Then I heard a grunt as if you was hurt that was one What are your Afghans, but for some reason it didn't occur to me that he could have been hit. I darted toward a day the parallel the dirt road running through the village after diving, for cover I peered out cautiously, but I couldn't see any my guys or where we're taking fire from both. were telling up dirt all around me as we try to stay as low as possible. Then I noticed that three commandos, in the ditch ten metres from my position, had drawn detention attention of Taliban Machine Gun crew that is zeroed in on them. I wait for the three Afghans to moved my position, which would give them more cover, but they were too scared to move. I knew they didn't, get their asses and gear and start moving there. We're gonna die
what possessed me, but I climbed out for my ditch and spread into their position praying God that my adaptive leg would hold up. I reached. The first commandment grab the very first thing that I could get a hold of his hair. I you Damn up and pulled him to my dear, I hope the other to follow. They did as we ran dust kick up in more rounds impact it around us. I slid into the ditch like I was lagging out a triple then I reach I can drab dragged the three scared shitless commandos down with me. We had company, this part of the ditch Frankie was providing aid to another wounded Afghan Frankie. Ok man, I'm good brother, how bout you yeah, I'm! Ok, you see Aber anyone else, not yet man. I move or to a small mud wall that parallel the ditch. This wall provide a decent protection from enemy fire and allowed me to look down the dirt road. Where I saw an afghan soldier lying motionless My rifle scope to get a better look Frankie, I think that's bruised Mueller in the middle of the road bro, I think he's dead. My heart jump
straight to my throat, one of our guy. Was killed, fuck where's the rest of my team franking. I would be only too Americans in that bitch. I scanned back down the road where Mueller Lay I knew it was next to him before the ambush kicked off, but I could only see Bismarck. I hope, Abe wasn't hit to what I determine was that we two wounded afghan commandos and this Mueller lying in the middle of the road I figured Bismarck was dead, but until had my hands on him, I couldn't be a hundred percent sure I knew I needed to get to him, but the amount of why fire coming in was too heavy the Ray Your crackled again and then I heard a heart, stopping message in my head said loud and clear, eagles down. eagles down. The phrase eagles down was code for Americans, wounded or killed. The fight had just taken Worst possible turn their work,
Americans wounded or killed somewhere on the battlefield, but I didn't know where we need some air support in a hurry. How time has passed and when I just read and skip the little bit of staff but This is all I remember a minutes now. I remember we were based. Golly screaming for our support and they couldn't because The Taliban with the tunnel system they were in our lines and they couldn't dropped because they couldn't distinguish who was who and so the aid they became a fistfight at that point, Here the understatement of the year coming from you back to the book. Bro, this shit is bad. I said to Frankie. No sooner did the words leave my lips, then I heard one sound that gives every dream: Rachel's an explosion. From a mortar round which landed thirty metres from us, and she.
the earth I had been and turned toward Frankie shit. I yelled they got a mortar to Bob. We need to move before we get hit so far Well, it doesn't know anything about mortars you shoot mortars. You don't hit what you're aiming out of the first shot. Usually you have to do then called blackening, which me you fire your first shot and goes long, so you back your distance off a little bit you fire next shot, probably gonna, be short, and then you see the difference and your neck. Shots are on target. So when you're getting Mordred, if you sit there there, bracket you they're gonna find you and you're gonna get you. Gunfire fires, one thing: if the enemy is close enough to shoot, you he's close your close enough to kill him. Mortars are different it can be two or three kilometers away and engage with Debbie fired by the time you figure out where they're coming from its too late. Another Supposin hit the compound to the left of us to close for comfort,
was our cue time to make a move. Frankie Nigh, engage Taliban targets as much as possible trying to keep their heads down with return fire, which give us a little time to pick up our wounded Afghans move back crack around here directly in the wall above my head crack another round to calls for comfort and another one two more rounds hit the mud wall in front of us. A sniper had our position dialed in air Time we stuck our heads up. He sent rounds our way to make matters worse. The Taliban were dropping mortars closer and closer to our position. One of the Can commandos? Besides, I spoke a little English, he pointed to his radio and said he heard the Taliban had our position and we're trying to capture us. Hearing that word struck fear in my heart. I know it's Frankie again. The Taliban are trying to flank us and cut us off and rest of our guys, so they can take us it's time to move brother. I shouted.
first things first, how do we avoid getting shot by the sniper? I saw a protected area near a compound, a couple of hundred metres from us where I recognized several Americans, including our medic Joe Franke. I see Joe, let's move to him. So you guys gather everyone up and you Finally, like our or to get over to this other position where Joe is Joe dramatic he's working on guys Get there all blood modes cries for help. State of shock could be seen on the commandos faces. We knew where in a real shitstorm. So far we had one dead Afghan commando to wounded, Afghans, three wounded Americans we were missed five Afghans, including aid and this ruler, who are your two guys.
and still nowhere support at that point in time, once we were able to get back to the sea cp while the first see pain, we re able to start dropping bombs on on the targets by forty five minutes into the tick and then they came about a tunnels engaged us at that. First cc p, which means we have to another cctv. How are you doing for ammo ever were handed mags off. So you're in this first casualty collection, point c c. Peace offers you don't know. This is when you're in bad situation and you got casualties. You want to get to a point where you can gather all the cats fused together. So you can number one- provide security number to provide medical attention in the number three try and figure out where tactically can get them out of there.
so you're in the p I looked around for Jacques Weed and con Jai we'd was sitting up against a wall trying to catch his breath, grabbing dose our interpreter. I asked him if he knew were able was Jai we'd shook his head. No, I haven't seen ape Then I saw Frankie Con into afghan commandos. Carry busy from there to the sea cp is alive, but he can't feels legs. Frankie said, thank God. We got biz but where's Abe. I asked a puzzle look came over Frankie. No one has seen Abe since the firing started. Bro he still out there. Fast forward a little bit now that we had most of our friendly forces back in one location or aircraft could start engaging too gets up. First was the white two story? Former school building in these are things you explain. These are areas taken fire from after four Five minutes of intense fighting we finally dropped her first bomb as the fifteen June screamed across the sky and extremely close to our position. The first bomb dropped below,
building was reduced to wooden debris in a nanosecond instantly, killing the sniper inside. fast forward a little bit at that point, we had two wounded: Afghans, three wounded, Americans and now to debt afghan commandos three hundred metres to the right of compound was another mud hut compound with tall walls for protection and a large open field, big enough for helicopters to land in, we're gonna have to work because we need to get going. We picked up and quickly move to a new location and started calling. Our staff, which was our call sign up You call sign for medical evacuation. So now you move into this bigger compound and Europe, pairing to get helicopters in there to get the wounded and dead out of there. you go over a bit more. I can we asked him if he knew where I was Abe was next to me when we started fighting, he said, and then he jumped into the ditch near the footbridge at the last compound. We cleared. Ok. Now had a starting point, but
couldn't move or go near that area of the village. The enemy was too well dug in every time we poked our above the near road. We got left by the Taliban, somehow I had to get Abe, I was not leaving him behind. I hadn't afghan a commando pointing to the footbridge saying another commander was there with aid that meant to wounded guys now, which also meant I would need more help or air force. J Tax said he had a plan to keep the Talibans head down. While we Brenda for the footbridge I'll call the Patches to fly in front of your movement the shit out of everything a. How do you guys? I like the way that sounded. little cover move with the helicopters. At the same time, we are putting together our two minute game plan. The team sergeant stopped us. We can't risk you going down there to get those guys. He said too much enemy fire. Well we're not leaving them behind. I said
a team sergeant wasn't happy with my answer, but he knew what we had to do. I spoke again, if we leave without them we could go. We can have a mutiny on her hands with the Afghans. We have to go. No one gets left behind. The team sergeant looked at us knowing this was something that must happen. Ok, We'll go, he said this going to be an American led recovery operation why the afghan commandos, wouldn't go recover, their own guys was beyond me if no and had been left behind, we would go to Hell, I'm back for to get our brothers out dead or alive. The J tack interrupted discussion, stating the Apaches were in to do a gun run on enemy positions we needed to use cover. This cover Our chance to move. here. They come every ready. The jack asked. It was go time. The sounds of the large caliber bullets echoed off the compound walls, the Apaches open fire, blackening the airy with thirty millimeter rounds. Frankie are
a our team sergeant and I sprinted down the road towards the area where we assumed aid and the mission missing commando were, as we ran like hell in the direction of the footbridge we took on small arms fire, but nothing compared to what it could have been those Apaches warrant, helping us to close? I got to the footbridge, though the more I prefer, I myself for what I might see leading up. The bridge the terrain shifted upward, slightly making your hard to see what was in the ditch. I was to the footbridge. When I looked down there, floating lifeless in the water at the bottom of the ditch was Abe. His body was sprawl bout with a blood's, so bandage around his pelvic area aid. Had it Did the stop the bleeding himself, but I knew pelvic wounds were almost impossible to treat without proper medical help. But blood out, so much that the muddy water in the ditch had turned bright red. My friend dead and I could not save him
The Taliban sniper perfectly placed three rounds into his pelvis o aid. They finally got you. As I got to his body in the Ditch Frankie providing covering fire. While the team sergeant I attend to deploy about lifting a lifeless body out of a six foot, muddy, ditch was especially difficult. Adding to the door. Quotas was the fact that AIDS body was covered in blood which made him extremely slippery to hold onto. We couldn't get a good grip on him and struggled to carry his body up to dry ground I became more more drenched in AIDS blood and even got some of his blood. My mouth taste that's forever etched in my mind, find after giving it everything we had we free day from his watery grave, but the smell
the taste and everything about that moment. Still haunt me to this day, Gunnar kind it's. I mean. Not only does it say a lot about the american soldiers the american fighting man that you for go down to recover, body. These Afghans also obviously says a lot about the Afghans who don't go. to go and recover their own people, that's you know to me it's a lot of it. Just has to do with the value of human life that we have as Americans. I greasing we, we value of human life more and the bond. There we are so strong and it's just it's it's a real tribute to, the american soldier that year
You're goin, your risking your life and your friends are risking your lives to your lives as Americans to go, and basically You know that these guys are dead. I mean that's yours suspicion, you still knock. Leave these guys bride. No one is left behind. you did you get a bout of the trench and you view basically the latter that that you use. The stretcher. You put him on this thing on this ladder. carrying him into the compound azure carried him into the compound there's afghan commandos understanding there watching you struggle back to the book. Don't just stand there fuck and help us. I screamed at the commandos, but they stood. There statues we continued on the landing zone to wait for the helicopter ask carrying. I was helping, carry gay Abe,
carry aim on the makeshift gurney when I saw the helicopter hovering over to finally hit me, my body was really dead. My heart sank when the helicopter down, I help load onto the last Friday would ever take I reached down grab Lifeless hand as the helicopter lifted off from the ground to take him away Yes, Abe was gone, but we Robert his body, so that his family could give a proper burial true warriors funeral if the Taliban They recovered his body, they would have desecrated it. Instead, we did right by him as american fighting men. And women. We have one believe we will fight and die for. No one gets left behind.
Yeah and you know in the book you go into a little bit about both Abe and this move or who you knew well in their backgrounds, kind of guys they were. You know the the what they had volunteered to do right and you know, like I'm sitting Here- call you crazy for want to go back and find ideas if you're if you're part of the afghan team guess what gets along you're deployment last forever right, so These guys are out there hanging out there, and you know you had that bond with them and then you stay true to that bond. Who is the what was the bombing You know, obviously, shortly after this, you you end up getting ass, the team out was the total losses for that day
that day. We ended up with for American w I ate Afghans carry in twelve Afghans, nebulae so's is was how big was the force goin in? We have conflicting reports ass report, I remember seeing as we killed over four hundred Taliban now aircraft killed over foreign Taliban. We need personally, probably medium ten twenty at small arms, but that still pretty big force, but over four hundred? How many guys did you have total? How many Afghans, how big the afghan commando unit we heard- and I think about a hundred twenty Afghans and then an odious in an already be so about twenty five Americans by two hundred and twenty Afghans,
How much longer we even country after that operation that it actually just started deployment off, so we still had another at their head five months and what was there were, was arrested, appointed like it was. It was back to just tryin, did trying to chase you known chase out elusive combat again, but nothing. Nothing came even close to Bob. and they did they throw you back and cause you you're. A regional purpose on that deployment was more of work in the entire side. Did you get move back into that that's kind of what you spent most of the planet. You want to do and I did I was. I was move back into the incident role of it- and I would ask you now- would costly trying create work in find myself on missions and what not, but yeah was back. You know doing. Do those reports
fast forward a little bit to your hair. home, when our two thousand Sixteen toward duty was over in July our team bordered. see seventeen at Bagram airfield and flew west until we landed Eglon AIR Force Base near Pensacola, forty following a fuel stop at Ramstein AIR Base. In Germany, we basically ha- from the dangers of the afghan people, from the dangers of our can assent to tranquil Florida within twenty four hours, the quickest I ever returned home. I still at it. Afghanistan dirt. Underneath my finger nails I'd realize that I had suffered traumatic, brain injury during the fire fight where the five hundred pound bomb had landed just seventeen metres from my position, binge drinking on weekends became the norm for me fast for in a little bit, including concern so a lot of beer at home. I could easily clear twelve to fifteen Miller lights in an evening and
you you again, it's really good, because in this book you go through some of the details of what's happening when you come on, deployment you know you have that kind of, but what is it little empty feeling that we get something like that and you're trying to fill it up? You turn of fear out? You know what this is, how to adjust back to being in Florida wherever you're gonna be so you doing you're doing the path which is easily available to us when we come home, which is drinking fighting causing problems. little road rage activity you're with dawn Are you married to dine at this point? I know we got married and eighteen. So, you got your girlfriend dawn and you're you're like driving in your withdrawn,
and I'm going to book here, the dude suddenly turned into this is our yeah. He cut you off right dry being, and you get your road re John and you follow him. What kind of vehicle drivers I was driving tundra ogre Jack you're driving tundra this dude? Let me turn into a driver and ran into the house. I slipped, the curb and put my truck and park. I was about to run after him when dawn grab my arm. What are you doing she asked? Are you gonna, chastened down, beat him up and then what what we ve got guns in the house. What may You think he doesn't have them. This is stupid. What's going on with you right now, she had a point: huge breath of air which dialed the adrenaline and through my body fuck this I mumbled. I got back into the truck I used away from the carbon turned homeward for the next ten. Minutes? Neither said a word. My mind was locked on this thought. You need to get your temper under control, dammit I was a green Bahrain that men are professional, and
Being a switch between civilian life and being in a war zone was the professional thing to do yet here I was acting like a bully. If someone did something I didn't like. I took some active met, yours over the next few days and weeks I'll up to my friend, Michael Falcon houses. Do you them opened up to my friend my friend MIKE Valley, Tyler and frankly about some of my struggles, turned out. I wasn't alone for sharing my innermost thoughts with Frankie. He said he was going through the same issues me. Finally, someone gets it where you started conduct gettin control, though nothing happened overnight. I Well got my shit under control. My anger issues at times were still an open question, but I start to focus on what triggered me, which help me ratchet my aggression way down yeah, I kind of I kind of US boiler alerted on the on the matter Urge thing, but luckily I
and spoil much because in a very romantic fashion and apple, these parking lot. You ass the door. If she would marry you, you got married. You get cleared. Do another seven month pointed to Afghanistan in August thousand eighteen ends in March, two thousand nineteen. In the book here, in a few words, my last appointed to Afghanistan was boring and called you details some of these missions. We also say that boring has tons of upside for coming back with all your limbs, which is good. and you did make it home from that deployment with all your limbs but and you did make it home in nine. Obviously, as we know not, everybody does- and I want to close out this book- you don't you Details some more information, but I want to close out the book.
In the actually in the acknowledgements when you address the fact that not everyone comes home. Then you say last, I want to point out the men who a pity, heroic courage and whom I look up to four strength: Ben Hero, will lie and leave I Rogers. Yes, those does wounded Yes leave. I hear he was in macro or rg that hidden eighty everyone died, but him in it. So that was Chief Rogers been was my my team leader when I hit and then on the two thousand twelve deployment he stepped on an eighty lost both of his legs and then will isles. He was when my friends and I went through the course with and arm this. Basically the same timeframe that I set my mighty he stepped on his
ass, both legs. So you say these three men of a definition of what it means to overcome astronomical odds to go through them back only to come out stronger on the other side. I will never be grateful for the lessons I learned from them, as well as their strength and determination in putting aside their catastrophic injuries. To show me the true value of life. They remind me that, no matter what life you are, how bad you think you have it. You can always. make yourself up off the ground and kick life in the ass. For the men in Heaven being a watchful eye on us? I salute you made hold you close and give you the comfort you deserve until we meet again. I will do how best to live the life you all embodied? Why
you are here still walking among us, so. That's the like. I said this is a powerful book and were redness. Very small percentage of it are deaf. We recommend go out. Get this book read the full story, it's this powerful and it's a powerful tribute. You know that power four tribute at the end to all these guys, and it is this- the maize and when you think about the sacrifices that have been made by by the service men and women in this country has been just, we should net, we can never ever allowed to be forgotten. I think this book is a is a personal account of some of those aquifers.
what so what's going on now actually I am I right from the army in. January, two thousand and twenty twenty and that was that, twenty years, a twenty one in some change and then within a week as back in Afghanistan as a as a contractor. So I gave my time belt. I gave myself that five days to sell retirement as back at it? That's what you do now you're doing contracting! Yes, and you can do. Go how well long gone you the on now I'm so these are. These are former deployments growing. iris added little Sunday at the last one. So we stay longer, but am the next one I have come up is there'll, be a four month there and then we'll color ray address redress. You know, what's going on in Afghanistan, one like that, what
You talk about in the book, but I didn't read through it at what point. You start writing the book, so the Actually it started off as this therapy and when I came back from the sixteen trip bomb, the road regions- and it was one- but there is there is not one but and and so I actually need I remember going to a therapist army. You know count, learn cancer therapists, whatever their call, and he was gonna, go on down his list and I remember asking him his leg: what's my name, and I saw his eyes had to go to the top right hand corner and, as I have done here, so I started you know I Our Chaplin's in group are very close to us, and I- I remember talking to one of em, just in my biggest my boy This issue was like all three of us we could be. We could be.
sitting at a bar drinking a beer and talking about you know things and what we deal with and what not like that, and then you go home to your family. You go home to yours and I go home to mine and it's dead air. It was, it was talked about, but nothing was really like taking off your chest, and so our chaplain is like. Have you ever thought about writing? No. I have, and I majored in you know English, unlike the third grade resigns now. I've never thought about writing The two thousand seventeen deployment. So I went to Afghanistan. Sixteen seventeen eighteen men in backing nightmare, twenty nineteen earned do nineteen and twenty two pretty much since sixteen I've been in Afghanistan, career and dumb and in the seventeen trip by I just remembered just needing to to just get stuff off my chest and- and I remember as he knows, I was a little love little
Living area in a just open in my laptop to start a typing and typing and edges, and it felt good because I I was taken? I was taken these these these on a calm items, but taking these items at that had been bother me four years or have been or does anything and I wasn't just talk and it was dead air not to be. You know, happened to be re addressed again, but I was put in on someone else. I was tangible. A word document, and so I could come back to that word document anytime. I wanted and it actually felt like you know I was I was taken. This offer my chest and I was put in it somewhere that was actually tangible. Now it was something and felt great. Then that's an that's when I said. Oh writing. Therapy gods makes sense. Now then, and then from that came the book, so you're, not ours about using detachment is, is it is what you
You have to do that as a person. You have to get you to, they hatch, your emotions, you can't get all look, I'm not saying you need to leave all your motion totally behind. but I'm saying you have two detached from them somewhat and what's about, writing I was trying to figure out what you meant by this. Oh, it's just dead air and I was like wait. A second I get it when you write something down, you are, you are actually detaching from right. You get to see those words are coming out the going somewhere else now. You're looking at those words, and so it gives you actual physical form of the detachment from though for that, you have from the feeling that you have from the emotions that you have any you can read them, you can read them from a distance and you can understand them better and then, as continue to work through the writing that you're doing it. It's another way to reprocess it and TED you ever. I actually think I think if I guess I have heard the term writing therapy, but, like I guess the thing her.
I never heard about it before and sell that point but did you just made that up yourself? I I hurt so when I had When I started typing writing therapy. That was that was purely, what I just thought it was run. I think I've heard of it before and I do think it's a thing- yeah I had a very I beg a to think there have to find out and if not we're gonna have to trade market use, trade and aid. Me. That's wives, moroccan books, all the time just provided therapy for myself, and so they would you have to get the book published, so I went and yeah that that kind of funny situation, so I base the clear had all of these notes. Guard not notes, but I had all these pages of my life. Five hundred some odd and I had a couple you know I I
reorganized it too kind. I like the organization in the book in at a couple people like Frankie and MIKE read it in their like this. Is me like yeah? That's that's me, and so I say, You know you should make us a book, and so United, the Google and- and you get these these assholes. I don't take you for your money, so I lost about five grand with the with a fake ghost rider or whatever I was like man. So, finally, I got a hold of on you know my buddy said ages. Google military offer and send an email- and I I can't remember how many, but this lady name Lynn Vincent she's here in San Diego, but she
I contacted me back she's a I got. I got a guy that yeah he'd. He take a look at it for you, so MIKE York use another San, Diego guy. I send it to his. You know he read. It is like yeah this. This needs to be a book, and so MIKE, and I painstakingly sentence by sends, went back and forth over in Florida to San Diego over the period of a year. Creating a document descended the deity for review deity Review and through good to go notes, dumb, no reductions and then MIKE had a good body of his, whose an agent name Gregg Johnson in Gregg he was able to um diy. He sent the proposal to hush up book group in their religious. So that's that's basically
well, I got that started I be I was. I was in Afghanistan, most of the time by its the I still. I still can't believe in the first time my powers in Afghanistan when my book released July seventh of this year, and I remember this- add this. This kid came up to economic. Is, you know, I'm forty duties he's here private and he said a crash coercion. Ask again, as did you did you write a book nestling now Hoddan Red Book is high, that's funny and he held a bug in Ngos, because this kind of looks likely is like Gimme that book you, son of a bitch. You know like I'm not here, to promote a book, I'm here to do a job and then ass light will only see that book and ass a first I'm touched my book- while you're on the ground in Afghanistan. What's a future hold another deployment, but life, and I actually, strangely enough,
we are going down the adoption around now runner, yet so idea, Gunnar made it to air haven't kids is, is gonna, be an issue, but adoption is not so we're. We're start that whole process right now and it's very much so the we'll get all that down and hopefully am within next year by will open up our home, and I give you know give little one in a great life, that's it. That's it that's what we're going on and yet I just wanna know other not just gonna live in life in right now meaning Slowly, China, China, build up people around me making up for years of destructiveness. So. The groups had you every year for three hours, three hours people can find Where can I find you so I am
actually have a website, its Ryan M, Hendricks and com, and then they, I'm on a Instagram, Adam Tipp, the arm age, but yet the website that has no links to everything me. So it's sorts, Ryan, M, Hendricks and dot com. Yes, right on man, awesome echo, you gonna thing else adult, that's a shouting. Well, that's Jacques moment area. Eddie, clothing, thoughts, closing thoughts right, yeah me. We talked a lot about my dad, but it's You know the guy's a euro in some some good advice. You know definitely that is help change my life around and then you know like we're talk my with dawn, my wife. You know we we had dated since two thousand eight
in two thousand eighteen, when we got married it was kind like hey, I'm going. take me tell you: what's gonna happen there, guy we are getting married before you go back to Afghanistan. I leg is what, if I say no, like you're, not you're, we're getting. This is happening. So the yeah she's a she's, a stud unblest, so but there's yeah. There's a lot of people have done some amazing things, in my life than I do. You know I think, a lot of These different organisations out there, like the Green Bray foundation- and I know the seals of wine in the marines- have one but They really do. One of this things that I would have to say that I am most proud of, because I see it from my dad is my dad got closure on the Vietnam war? Seen how
taking care of, and the military has done, a very good job ads on taking care of us. You know of of guys that we we come back change forever and there is still a lot of work to do. But I just yeah is it's it's good its good and I definitely I you know, I'm proud of you know I'm proud to be a soldier They serve my country and UNAM, proud of everybody that has- and I just we're we're on the right path, so awesome man well thanks for coming on here too, to share this story, and it's quite a story, and obviously in a much more important thanks to your service thanks your sacrifice, in the Navy, in the air force and in the army, thanks for being out there, thanks for keeping evil at bay. Thanks were protecting your brothers. and your comrades, emotional
thanks for protecting us in this great nation, appreciate it greatest nation on earth, men and that Ryan Henderson has left the building to go and carry on and lived the best. That he can, and it certainly seems like we should do the same echo recommendations, suggestions on how we can live with that If we get what you got, overall, this lot things we can do This might seem like an obvious one, because we too, about it every single time, but I must say it again. I am very glad you are anyway working out ice. I see Yes, we should recommend reading too They wouldn't really talk about reading. Now much but technically we do talk about Reading a lot worse
meeting I mean I'm would literally reading all the time. That's what I'm saying so, yes, so bone we're doing a bunch of things. We need improvement things not. We need generative, not degenerative like a better any one had reading the facade anyway while work it out. We take a beating, you body, takes a beating. I just got over beside quickly by the way again, by the way, down what causes my perceive so a heel weakness. let's say the limitations of my body habit from time to time. Anyway, We do want to worry about our joint while we're taking those beatings with our work out. It's part of life, but we do want to worry about that. Can stuff so good news, chuckle fuel, so we too our supplement nation for our joint, which is then started, which is joint warfare, super krill oil boom. The ill sort, joint right out so you'll have to worry about
Also, immunity right, that's a big thing. Getting sick like these are things that, like we do want to have to worry about joint immunity. So for me We got vitamin d also called for. Take these you dont want to worry about it. Definitely take these. Guess are also: what are we discipline supplementing share in kind of kind of like a not even really us up. I mean technically supplement taken, but you, what kind of lifestyle life dial the kind of a lifestyle, lace and actually now they're worth do now that we're thinking about the other way right use the term lifestyle it can be used negative because I'm thinking now, if you think about the let the joint warfare is a lifestyle crude oil. super krill. Is a lifestyle toil yet fully under make vitamin d lifestyle that should be part of your life. It's the way you live called work. The way you live. why would you? Why would you not do that? There's not There is no reason to not,
be living this lifestyle, their zero reason is, will make you better yeah. That's that's that same thing with the discipline you yet true, discipline is one of those when you first came out with it feels like a coup. but you ve really want. I didn't really understand that did earlier. I am, I am a full understanding at this time. I think, so the yes, that is the lifestyle. So this one has three methodologies of deployment for lack of time. We are putting it boomed when powder pre work out? That's my arms in my little routine, my lifestyle, if you will be worked out the powder dis Please go the pills I don't take. After your that's me, because I'm gonna talk and I need that little. Different. I sent you a letter, but the day The plan go canned energy drink. That's just like
real energy. That's going to look at our group is in with energy drink because we know what that means. It has actually, we know that means, isn't an energetic. It's real energy, healthy energy, definitely, So we asked me the day like honour on the social media platform, his elder media. Imagine being asked of it tell me- and I could say yes, it is actually healthy year, also I'm sure you had that feeling like connect him Kennedy had when you asked him. If he was allowed to shoot, is guns in its back you're asking is like I'm not even to justify that question with an answer, and I got you can feel that only because you know that, but here's the thing that's a good question, but all it is a good question and also its a good question, because the chances that you go through the effort. may actually make something and spend the time and effort and money to make thing. That's actually good for you, the chances that are rare, but we did it did it? It is also got milk.
which is also good for you in forty seven different ways, one of them protein, the other one. tasty little this, so I would household lifestyle whatever with it its they don't get dessert during the week These are only the weekends, so every once in a like, when the smashed smashing. Pumpkin Molly came out and I make a big deal out of it. Things. The Hague is one taste this over their eyes. This can be like the desert, but not not. Today's, like a Thursday will tomorrow. So I build the hype you see them saying. Ex day there all excited when we get to try that new thing you guys gotta whatever for make it up, give it to. Of course they live but you got the extra hype and then, on top of that, it's like good for you seem says. I trust you I'm so now in the future. Hey this long game, rippling along game over in the future. Commission,
I think, I'm in a better mood than normal during the week will be like hey and guess I'll, be the good dad giving these are doing during the week and they could die. I'm actually giving you a solid ninety four grade on. That's all it a good man last term tight, unlike that, unlike I'll play, that all thing you play the psychological deeply, the human nature, you know do you a week, we could call it manipulation, but we won't cause you're doing something, that's good for them. For everybody, Would you like it exactly right? So, yes, thank you. Going Charles Jacko be little, my son knows Brian little fields. Actual name refers to him by his first and last name when he said that one is, more or drinking milk eating the use. A little insight tip, the moat bars like he'll. Send me the samples Have you ever made us? Yes, I got a few of them. My son eightam end.
That's part of the reason why he'll be like hey, call, brain little field to call him and tell him to send more or just tell him. Thank you are all this stuff in. So, yes, thank you guys for for creating this. This is helping us on many many levels. If you want to get any this stuff, you can get it at all. Urging main dot com? You can get it? at the vitamin shop nationwide you can actually get it on Amazon. Prime, and if you're in Florida. if you're in for go, to a while, walk in Florida and school, clear out the shelves, Who care about? Why? Because of go discipline, go in the can. Is there we're try two it's beyond infiltrate, but we start we have to start. We have to start with infiltration. It starts in Florida of your down. There go to war a clear, clean out the shelves clean him out and they will get you the whole he's coast and will be out West Coast
embracing will be everywhere. You go you'll, be able to get some you'll be able to get that little Hid her and its doing good, that's the thing is doing good for us for all of us who drink this doing good yeah, I guess you can land in Wisconsin, hopefully in the little be like ok, I'm gonna to any store, and I'm gonna get some go. Yes, true so yes, origin, main dot com, speaking of which has to do give made in America by the way of other key. being items man in America by the way? Also American Denham in boots, made in America again by the way, which is a big deal Oh, it's a real big deal as far as economy. As far as like what year, what the craftsmanship, what you're, actually where it like the whole deal as far as rebuilding the,
economy and the manufacturing capabilities of ordination. Yes, it's a big deal and you can help out. You can help that you can help them. Gonna words mean dot com. If you want something gets, Sweden, we gain something if you want jugglers store called Jacques store. This is what is the discipline equals freedom store is what it is really also too good. Store icy reared, a decent, which is get very funny anyway. You're represent while you're on this path, and the path is not easy, but some of us just represent on this path is good is where you go Historic DOT gay, you know, get a shirt jacket hat. Christmas is coming up with it if guards on their even Ottawa, here's what's going. What, with this going on with this a heads up, Chris
he's coming right now covered the whole nine yards. There is a shortage of aircraft. There's a shortage of shipping personnel them talking about in the entire world. We're not beheld the ship what needs to get shipped? So if you want a if you stuff, don't wait order it now, that's the facts, the yellow throughout say too, and I not just talking about Jacko Store, I'm talkin about origin and talk about Amazon farmer. Wherever you're getting stuff sent from Org, Early, let's be ahead of the power curve. beyond the power of the same The kind of year will be like December. twenty second ordering my wife's gift for Christmas. Don't let it happen. I gotta keep tat in mind now that you mention per year. Good tips for sure salt, but on the store also like I said, we have a gift card, so you don't got to worry about shipping for that can stuff for the gift card, just