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In this installment of our 2024 Memorial Day podcasts we have Zac Dunkle interviewing current PT student and Ret. Marine Corporal Cameron Dunbar. Cameron was a machine gunner in the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines that were deployed to Sangin Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. His group of Marines sustained the largest casualty count of any group. Cameron memorializes his friend Colton Rusk who died during this deployment. At the completion of the the interview we will read off the names of all who died during this deployment. This will be followed by the playing of Taps.

In our first of two Memorial Day Podcasts in 2024 our own Johnny Owens interviews another Johnnie...Johnnie Yellock II. If you begin this pod at 2:55pm and 33 seconds you can also observe the National Moment of Silence at the designated time of 3PM local.

Within the pod Johnnie tells his story of injury and survival as an Air Force Combat Commander. He memorializes fallen service members Danny Sanchez, Mark Forester, Forrest Sibley, and Mark Weber.

Johnnie's website: https://johnnieyellock.com/
Opportunities to give mentioned by Johnnie:

When Johnny's indisposed the podcast gets hijacked by Kyle, Zac and Ben. Johnny's loss is your win essentially. In this episode we discuss two recent papers that further help to elucidate the efficacy and effectiveness of BFR in combination with aerobic exercise. Here are the two papers we reviewed:

Smith, N. D. W., Girard, O., Scott, B. R., & Peiffer, J. J. (2024). A comparison of physiological and perceptual responses to fixed‐power and perceptually regulated cycling with and without blood flow restriction in trained cyclists. European Journal of Sport Science: EJSS: Official Journal of the European College of Sport Science. doi.org/10.1002/ejsc.12068

Thompson, K. M. A., Gamble, A. S. D., Kontro, H., Lee, J. B., & Burr, J. F. (2023). Low- and high-volume blood-flow restriction treadmill walking both improve maximal aerobic capacity independently of blood volume. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. doi.org/10.1111/sms.14534

In this episode of the Owens Recovery Science podcast we chat with Laura Opstedal, PT of Build Physio in Bozeman, MT. Laura has extensive experience rehabbing Achilles repairs over the course of her career which provides her a first-hand perspective on the evolution of surgical techniques as well as integrating forms of measurement like force plates and novel treatment strategies like early weight bearing and BFR. Within we talk all things Achilles which apparently we’re now calling the Taylor Swift of tendons.

You can find Laura at:

@build.physio on IG
@thekhakifreept on IG
@lauraopstedal on Twitter

Some references from our ramblings:

Baxter, J. R., Corrigan, P., Hullfish, T. J., O’Rourke, P., & Silbernagel, K. G. (2021). Exercise Progression to Incrementally Load the Achilles Tendon. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 53(1), 124–130.

Demangeot, Y., Whiteley, R., Gremeaux, V., & Degache, F. (2023). The load borne by the Achilles tendon during exercise: A systematic review of normative values. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 33(2), 110–126.

Yang, J., Hodax, J. D., Machan, J. T., Krill, M. K., Lemme, N. J., Durand, W. M., Hoffman, J. T., Hewett, T. E., & Owens, B. D. (2019). Factors Affecting Return to Play After Primary Achilles Tendon Tear: A Cohort of NFL Players. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 7(3), 2325967119830139.

Owens, J. G., Rauzi, M. R., Kittelson, A., Graber, J., Bade, M. J., Johnson, J., & Nabhan, D. (2020). How New Technology Is Improving Physical Therapy. Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. doi.org/10.1007/s12178-020-09610-6

Centner, C., Jerger, S., Lauber, B., Seynnes, O., Friedrich, T., Lolli, D., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2023). Similar patterns of tendon regional hypertrophy after low-load blood flow restriction and high-load resistance training. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. doi.org/10.1111/sms.14321

Centner, C., Lauber, B., Seynnes, O. R., Jerger, S., Sohnius, T., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2019). Low-load blood flow restriction training induces similar morphological and mechanical Achilles tendon adaptations compared to high-load resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology. doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00602.2019

Castle, J. P., Tramer, J. S., Turner, E. H. G., Cotter, D., McGee, A., Abbas, M., Gasparro, M. A., Lynch, T. S., & Moutzouros, V. (2023). Survey of blood flow restriction therapy for rehabilitation in Sports Medicine patients. Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology: Official Journal of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology. doi.org/10.1016/j.jor.2023.03.007

Yow, B. G., Tennent, D. J., Dowd, T. C., Loenneke, J. P., & Owens, J. G. (2018). Blood Flow Restriction Training After Achilles Tendon Rupture. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery: Official Publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. doi.org/10.1053/j.jfas.2017.11.008

Hansen, O. B., Papson, A., Eble, S. K., & Drakos, M. C. (2022). Effect of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy Following Achilles Rupture and Repair: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics, 7(1), 2473011421S00032.

Bentzen, A., Jørgensen, S. L., Birch, S., Mortensen, L., Toft, M., Lindvig, M. G., Gundtoft, P. H., & Mechlenburg, I. (2024). Feasibility of Blood Flow Restriction Exercise in Adults with a Non-surgically Treated Achilles Tendon Rupture; a Case Series. International Journal of Exercise Science, 17(3), 140–153.

In this episode Johnny and Kyle talk with Adam Weaver, PT and Dylan Roman, PT of Connecticut Children’s. They were part of a team that recently published a paper in The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine detailing the results of a trial they conducted using BFR following ACLR in adolescents (12-18 y/o’s).

The title of their paper is: Early- and Late-Stage Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Training on Knee Strength in Adolescents After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Here’s a link to the paper: journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/23259671231213034

We're very excited to announce that we are partnering with The POCUS PT to offer an introductory course to point of care ultrasound! This course will cover necessary basic science information regarding ultrasound and imaging of a wide range of structures from the cardiovascular system to the musculoskeletal system. Find more information on our Diagnostic Point of Care Ultrasound Courses page.

Well Kyle got his knickers in a bunch over an article’s title so we decided to talk about it for an hour or so. Within, Johnny, Ben, Zac, and Kyle talk about how they go about screening BFR papers to decide if they deserve a closer read.

The paper that got this conversation going:
* Grossl, F. S., Da-Sila-Grigoletto, M. E., Ferretti, F., Copatti, S. L., Corralo, V. da S., & De-Sá, C. A. (2023). The use of a single resistance exercise with or without blood flow restriction in the treatment of pain in knee osteoarthritis: a randomized clinical trial. BrJP, ahead. doi.org/10.5935/2595-0118.20230023-en

The first BFR paper…20 years ago…calling for individualization of pressure:
* Fahs, C. A., Loenneke, J. P., & Rossow, L. M. (2012). Methodological considerations for blood flow restricted resistance exercise. Journal of. www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/traino…icle/-char/ja/

Reference for weekly volume:
* Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(11), 1073–1082.

References for Research Procedures:
* Büttner F, Toomey E, McClean S, et al Are questionable research practices facilitating new discoveries in sport and exercise medicine? The proportion of supported hypotheses is implausibly high British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020;54:1365-1371.

* McCambridge, A. B., Nasser, A. M., Mehta, P., Stubbs, P. W., & Verhagen, A. P. (2021). The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 51(10), 503–509.

* TIDieR: Hoffmann, T. C., Glasziou, P. P., Boutron, I., Milne, R., Perera, R., Moher, D., Altman, D. G., Barbour, V., Macdonald, H., Johnston, M., Lamb, S. E., Dixon-Woods, M., McCulloch, P., Wyatt, J. C., Chan, A.-W., & Michie, S. (2014). Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide. BMJ , 348, g1687.

* CERT: Slade, S. C., Dionne, C. E., Underwood, M., & Buchbinder, R. (2016). Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): Explanation and Elaboration Statement. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(23), 1428–1437.

In this episode Johnny and Kyle talk with two authors, Dr. Ellen Hillegass and Dr. Kathleen Lukaszewicz, of the recent Clinical Practice Guideline covering PT management of Venous Thromboembolism. This was such an enjoyable and educational chat! We know you will enjoy it...

Link to the paper: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35567347/

Link to the pocket guide: www.guidelinecentral.com/shop/venous-…mboembolism/

Link to the app: apps.apple.com/us/app/guideline-…ntral/id567695579

This year our Guest is Ryan Keogh: Ryan Keogh, originally from Caldwell, Idaho, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Ryan served as a conventional Army infantry officer, leading a platoon of soldiers during a yearlong deployment to Northeast Afghanistan, before being selected to serve in the US Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Benning, GA.

While assigned to 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment Ryan completed multiple deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism as a Ranger Rifle Platoon Leader and Ranger Operations Officer.

After more than 8 years on active duty, including 3 years deployed to combat, Ryan retired from the Army after losing his right leg below the knee.

He has numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

Ryan entered the corporate workforce in 2013 as the National Operations Manager from Mission Produce, the largest Avocado and Mango grower & distributor in the world.

While working at Mission, he completed his MBA from Emory University.

Since 2017, Ryan has worked in the Private Equity portfolio and holding company industry partnering with Oaktree Capital and the Stephens Group.

He currently is the Chief Commercial Officer for the Pearlman Group, the holding company that operates several multi-channel distributors of supplies, tools and equipment used by specialty contractors in various end markets.

He currently resides in a suburb of Atlanta (Berkeley Lake, Georgia) with his wife (Laura) and 3 daughters – Taylor (9), Sloan (8), and Chandler (6).

Video about Joe Kapacziewski: https://www.google.com/search?q=joe+kap+ranger&oq=joe+kap+ranger+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i22i30l2.3723j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:3f995416,vid:jPSVUDOqpjg

May is Mental Awareness Month Been observed since 1949

Some Generic mental health resources: National Alliance on Mental Illness nami.org

American Hospital Association https://www.aha.org/mental-health-awareness-month

Mental Health America https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month

National Council for Mental Wellbeing https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-awareness-month/

Resources for enlisted people:

USO - https://www.uso.org/stories/2664-military-suicide-rates-are-at-an-all-time-high-heres-how-were-trying-to-help

Department of Defense: News release on the Annual Report on Suicide in the Military https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3193806/department-of-defense-releases-the-annual-report-on-suicide-in-the-military-cal/

Link to the full report: https://www.dspo.mil/Portals/113/Documents/2022%20ASR/Annual%20Report%20on%20Suicide%20in%20the%20Military%20CY%202021%20with%20CY21%20DoDSER%20(1).pdf?ver=tat8FRrUhH2IlndFrCGbsA%3d%3d

Veteran Resources: The Veterans Crisis Line (confidential support) * 1-800-273-8255 * Or text 838255 * VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat

Stop Soldier Suicide * https://stopsoldiersuicide.org/ * 844.235.2764

A lot veterans struggle w/ transition out of service

Resource for Transition: * https://military-transition.org/


what's up y'all welcome back to another episode of the Owens recovery science podcast this is our 2023 Memorial Day
episode where we step back and don't talk bfr but we dedicate this podcast to
service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and and died in
combat and service for our country if if you didn't know that's actually the
meaning that's the purpose of Memorial Day is to have a national holiday to
remember those individuals that died serving our country and so we wanted to do our part to make
sure that many of those soldiers that have died are not forgotten and so we invite
people on the podcast to come tell their story so that we can
remember and learn who they were what they did
who they've left behind and kind of say thank you if you will
this year all although we've alluded to it another previous Memorial Day episodes we wanted
to try to put more of a focus on the mental health side of
combat of serving our country of leaving the military and the structure that it
provides and those sorts of things if you didn't know
the suicide rate among veterans and active service members is five times greater than that of the general U.S
population in fact since we started tracking veteran and active member suicide since
2001 what we've learned is that on every year
on average about 6 000 service members or veterans commit suicide
that's over a hundred and twenty thousand veterans and service members in the last
20 years that's a big number it's something that has hit a little too
close to home for us that owns recovery science this year in a few different ways and not something that we're
unfamiliar with but has maybe come a little closer then
other times perhaps and so we wanted to just kind of tackle this head-on and
talk about it provide you with some resources if you
are unfamiliar and you know try to just do what we can
to reduce I guess the stigma around mental health issues that potentially
lead to suicide the good news is
from a government perspective from a Department of Defense perspective from a
VA perspective our leaders are very aware that this is a problem and they
have dedicated resources in the form of money and jobs and programs and effort
to try to help stop this but like the va's 43-page document that
they published earlier this year on veteran suicide
everyone can play a role in this if it's just the function of
knowing that some of these resources are available and being able to connect someone
or maybe plan more of an active role or donating money there's there's lots of
options and ways that you and I can just try to help make a little bit of
change for the good here and so I've put together a number of different resources
in our show notes for you from just general groups within the U.S that are
focused on mental health and mental awareness if you didn't know may is mental awareness month has been since
1949. and you know that's something I had no clue of and it's literally been that way
in my whole life so there are groups that are just kind of year round always
trying to provide services to people that need it from a number of different
mental health perspectives and then there are groups that are within the military and or specifically for
veterans that provide resources to those individuals
to help them address whatever mental health complications they they might be
having and so I think you know a minimum if if you and I just kind of know that
these groups and programs are available and and how to connect with them then
that's a win and so one of those resources hopefully can be our show notes for you so
um that's about all I wanted to say on that I you know there's a lot of stats and things you get through at this and talk
about but you know that I think the the big thing from my perspective and and I
think I speak for all of Owens recovery science when I say this is that a it's
important that we know that there's a problem B it's important that we know that there are some resources available to people and and we can try to help
Point folks in the right direction so without delaying any longer I'm gonna
turn this over to Johnny he interviews a gentleman named Ryan Keough who is a
former Army Ranger Johnny got to know him through his time at center for the Intrepid and Ryan does
a fantastic job in this episode of talking about the ways that he coped with leaving the
military that transitioned kind of out of the military and then also with how he approaches
Memorial Day which was really really cool to hear honestly and he memorializes a good friend of theirs
named Joe kapocheski who just recently committed suicide and we'll have some
links to Joe's book and a video about some of the things Joe did while while
he was in the service as a way of of remembering him and then as we typically
do we'll play we'll play Taps at the end so hang around for that if you would and just kind of
maybe say I don't know a little prayer or whatever you like to do for
putting some good out in the world all right here's Johnny this is the Owens recovery science
podcast [Music]
all right welcome back to a special home recovery science podcast this is Johnny
Owens here and I've got Kyle Kimbrough here running the Wheels of Steel in the background
um and you know we do this I think this is our third year right Kyle of of doing a Memorial Day broadcast so this is um
something that is very near and dear to our hearts this is a holiday that that
we take very seriously in a time to reflect and that's Memorial Day and then not only to to reflect on
those of the past in in the wars and and after the wars but also just some of the
stories from from some amazing people as well and so today I have an amazing person on the podcast he's a he's a
great friend of mine we became friends when when he spent time at the center for the Intrepid
um I was his therapist so I got to to really pick on him a ton but
we became friends uh like I did with so many of the folks there and along with his family so I love this this guy he's
got an amazing family he punched way above his weight when he married his wife I mean uh yeah that is that is
about it the truest statement yeah we always did to your Christmas card and my daughters are like oh my God they are so
pretty about your daughters and your wife yeah thankfully my all my daughters look just like my wife so yeah no it's
good that's good you know I I try to I try to provide at least a little bit there but you know thankfully the strong
genes came from that side so I think the first person this card I got for you I text you uh who's the dad
hey look there's you know I've regularly out kicked my coverage in
most of my life and I continued I have as well man I have as well luckily we have weak genes the lady jeans take it
over um but his name's Ryan Keough I'm gonna I'm gonna read your your bio directly
just because there's there's more things in here than I'll bring remember but um he's from Caldwell Idaho he's a Boise
State freaking fan I remember that with that stupid Blue Field they have over there I was always trying to understand
what was going on over there but um he went to West Point and graduated
obviously from from the academy there and joined the army Ryan served in the conventional Army as an infantry officer
um leading in a platoon of soldiers during a year-long deployment in Northeast Afghanistan Afghanistan before being selected to serve in the US Army's
Elite 75th Ranger regiment down there at Fort Benning in Georgia he's still down in the Atlanta area now while serving in
third ranger battalion 75th regiment Ryan completed multiple deployments in the support of the global war on
terrories of terrorism as well as a ranger Russell platoon leader and Ranger operations officer so after more than
eight years on active duty including three deployments Ryan retired from the Army after losing his right leg below
the knee um he's he's reserved he's received more Awards and than we could probably count in decoration including the Bronze Star
Purple Heart combat infantry badge and the ranger Tab and now he's he's trying
to rule the world in the private Equity world so he's he joined the corporate Workforce in 2013.
um he worked for one of the largest avocado producers and mango growers in the world um he completed his MBA from Emory
University and now he is with this private Equity Group and again taking over the world he's got beautiful kids
like I mentioned earlier three daughters so he's got it worse than I do because I'm just dealing with two daughters but
I've got the high school thing going on so um just wait dude just wait it's gonna get tough so a little scared a little
excited I don't know which one is is more so but uh you know I'm thankful to
have a pretty amazing wife uh and Laura and then the girls are you know they're close today so we had three in three
years we call those uh we affectionately call that the Dark Ages in our life
from zero to three kids fairly quickly and uh grad school working at the time
you know and going from zero to three kids it was uh it was quite an interesting Journey during those times
yeah lack of sleep and and it's amazing how we get through it well enjoy these
times um my two daughters in high school um just got their belly buttons pierced
the other day and my wife was all beat up about it um because I I gave him the go ahead but I said babe it's better
than a neck tattoo and she was kind of tear it up she said no that's gonna be their boyfriends now
uh I I I usually have effectively said um the uh The Matrix of good decision
making and neck tattoos uh are perfectly inversely correlated yeah
you know like they are they do not as one goes up the other Goes Down And so
there's a lot of places you can get tattoos on the neck I would usually say is not a good idea
yeah anywhere above the net we call that the we call that the tooth to tattoo
ratio in physical therapy school
oh man so Ryan it kind of all joking aside here if you don't mind you know I
I know um you're such a humble guy you don't want to delve a ton into to your your background and injury but I kind of want
to get into you know your background of joining the military and and sort of the story if you don't mind of of the
Rangers because I think it's so cool um just how the Rangers kind of stood up and you know people don't understand
that we geographically in the U.S there's the regiments are kind of in different spots as well as kind of how
they deal with things around the world they also kind of let's get into more Memorial Day and then we have a huge
tribute to someone that was it was someone else did both of them we really yeah and man looked up to a ton it
really it really hurt us this year when this person passed yeah yeah so I mean
uh you know originally from from Boise uh just outside of Boise my parents are you know Outdoors was how why we ended
my parents you know move from from California to Idaho it was they always say they opened they uh affectionately
call them big hippies from the 70s but uh you know they're um you know my dad is a super competitive triathlete and
Outdoors my mom is I would say the quiet uh athlete of the family so she just she just goes out there and works and still
like pulls my dad around everywhere when they they're you know in their 70s riding their bikes around Europe
but uh Outdoors was what we did and that's why we grew up in Idaho and so uh
my parents say they opened up a map and picked the greenest spot out there and that's how we ended up just outside of
Boise and having a life where you could be in the outdoors and physical it was
that was growing about was who I was and and then you know Sports were such a
huge part of it and and I always I laughed where I said like I wanted to be a professional athlete and then realized I wasn't good at any sports so the next
best place that you can get paid to work out and do things out is in the in the
military and so I think every young you know boy you know and I think maybe
where I grew up at the time was hey you played you know you played army man and had the little army soldiers and then in
my formative years really you know would watch the news and do different things and I vividly remember Desert Storm one
um so in 91 and then uh which I think for me was where I found out about the Rangers is in uh operation Gothic
serpent right so that's Black Op down is what I think people effectively calls in 1993 and
um that was such a huge piece to learn about this and so there's a obviously
the famous book Black Hawk Down uh which read I think that book came out in like 95.
um I think was when the book came out in the movies you know I would call it early 2000s
but finding out about this incredibly Elite
um traditional infantry force it I just that was for me it was one or two and
then I think for once you get into the military and you realize how much of a small population actually
does that yeah uh you're like well try it and then if it works out it's that'd
be awesome and um but if you bank on that usually those are the folks that that don't right like
I remember you know I'd go to West Point find out about West Point in the mid 90s and man you mean because you know my
parents are Educators finding out about hey this is what the military is and I
wanted to be a military oh and you can go to school and this is what West Point is I was like this is all I want to be
this is all I want to do and so I was able to go there for like a kind of Summer uh experience Camp uh I think
before my junior year came back and was like all right that's what I want to do um and 911 had had just happened
um and so it was very you know 9 11 happened literally as I got back and that kind of sealed the deal for me and
was like this is what I want to do and this is how I want to go be part of it and thankfully you know uh Iowa says I'm
you know I'm sure it would have been harder from other places uh but Idaho it's like you know I I could get it was
easier I think from just a population standpoint to get a nomination but was luckily to get accepted and uh to go you
know we but I will you probably know this story actually I know you do Johnny my wife will regularly tell me that uh
West Point was her safety school because she turned it down and so she she got in
and and decided not to go uh because her dad and uncles are grads but uh she'll
regularly tell me that it was her safety school so always reminding who you know who's better at most yeah my safety
school was Austin Community College if I didn't get into UT I thought you would have said A M I mean
yes I should have my I have such a good friend here uh
locally uh now and he's he's big Longhorn guy and he uh he won't even
refer to that them as a college um and um so but uh yeah so that was
kind of what I wanted to do um and when I you know I was in them at West Point and you know you've got to
compete for what you do want to do in the army you know your class rank determines what job what what you want
to do and was really thankful enough to be able to to get selected as infantry because normally in years past and I
think now it's not really competitive to to pick infantry most folks want to you
know be helicopter Pilots or they want to go be doctors or they want to go be Military Intelligence like my years a
huge population wanted to be infantry that's why you joined after 9 11 like that was a 911 thing right yeah and it's
super competitive um and we we joke now and then I you
know and so like when I was there and we pick infantry all of my friend group
um we would this is how I ended up this was like what I always think signifies
most people compete when you go compete about what unit or what place you want to post you pick uh a place based on a
location so infant you know Hawaii or Italy a lot of guys in my unit what we would do is we they'd pick out this it
was a calendar we called it the patch chart that's what it was referred to and it had a deployment calendar and so you
knew what units were deploying at what times and so we would lay this out and be like okay what unit is going to
deploy at the time I will get there after Ranger school and infantry officers like
that's what you picked yeah was about how the fastest can I get to the fight
and and you know again luckily is graduated went to Ranger school which is
obviously Leadership School in uh airborne and kind of did the basic infantry officer stuff and and deployed
pretty quickly afterwards to Afghanistan and so um you know got expense the chance to to
do that which was you know what we call the Wild Wild West at the time um was because a lot of focus was on
Iraq and it was a very informative you know I would call it transformative and uh
developmental for me as a human as a leader as an officer because it was it was unique and you
know you're you're um at that time in Northeast Afghanistan if you got in trouble like there was
nobody coming and so it was it was you and um but thankfully and I you know this is I
think what we're getting to the Rangers was able to put a packet in and get invited to come selected to be part of uh the ranger regiment and so how that
process works is you put in a paper application and they have a board or they select and say sure we'd like to
invite you to come to rasp which is called Ranger assessment assessment and selection
um program uh it's called rasp 2 for officers and you go there for I think three or four weeks it's been a decade
or longer since I'm in but um and you go and you go through the physical process you go through a board
and then you know was luckily enough to get selected to go to third range Battalion and is that down at Benning
did she go through yeah Benning rasp is it bending and then um you get selected and you go to the
one of the three battalions so there's third second and first I was you know selected and and had kind of been
penciled in by Third um and I will tell you is there's few
things in life that I have found um that live up to the hype that what
you put on something on a pedestal um about an organization or a group of
people or you know like sometimes he says like you know in in uh in the civilian world or corporate world you're
like oh that business looks great oh man those guys have a menu again it's like the grass is greener and then you get on
the other side of the fence and it's AstroTurf and you're like yeah or you know it's it's fertilized with with
manure right that's another thing but uh I got to range regimen and and it lived
up to every bit of the hype uh the professionals that exist in that
organization at every level um it is you know you see why the and
you not only are you selected to be there you earn your right to stay there every day
and so it you know it was it was such a great time and and
um had a really uh good experience there um obviously you know getting hurt while
I was there and then leaving the military and um that was obviously not my choice now my
life is is great and I love it now yeah but uh and I think at the time it was right for me to get out when I did
obviously you know went to San Antonio and and spent obviously the great time with you but the ranger regimen is not
sure if it's a great time but yeah there were some good times not a great time I could admit it was
not my favorite time of my life but uh you know I said I left uh left with a
kid and I'll never you know that was uh a super great thing for my life but uh the
ranger regiment you know for those that don't know it is the Army's Premier light infantry unit right it's it's
um a a piece of uh Special Operations that
specializes in direct action so whether that's um season airfields that's really kind
of the national command Authority right when you think of Panama or Grenada or jumping into Iraq or Afghanistan those
were Rangers right season airfields but in the global Wars on terrorism days
it transformed into a raid force and so all the blood Ranger regiment what we
did every night was we planned raids uh to go after guys that are not good and
not just guys but gals but most of the time all guys right into these are these are guys that that uh uh if they came up
on the radar of Special Operations they're not good people and they were moving against what would be you know
life limb happiness of of either our soldiers or the population and that was what we were tasked to do and so it uh
it was uh it was a very unique um ability and and they're very good at
it I was lucky enough to uh to be along for a ride short period of time but uh
it was it was a great experience and um they they are pretty special organization and it's uh they got some
pretty special people which I know a little top of my Joe cap and yeah I will tell you it TR it it allowed me I
think to be who I am today um just you know the expectations of
professionalism and the expectations of Excellence that you know you have to bring every day with it and that's
that's the Excellence is the standard not not the the goal yeah well I know that's probably a long
answer no no I love it I mean I'm gonna back up on a little bit of things but um
yeah you know I'm also a just for ease of the conversation of Black Hawk Down Baby because I was in college when that
happened right um and so I remember how much those pictures affected me of seeing them
dragging our servicemen down the you know just down the road you know they were basically naked I remember it also
made me really want to keep my grades up because I was worried there was going to be a draft of that you know that was the first award forever I was like oh
my dad was the right I'm gonna I'm gonna abuse in the service um but I I do remember that was just you
know like wow and then I read the book yep and then that was the first you know I was like what this Ranger's thing is
crazy and then kind of when I get into you know the how you guys kind of work hand in hand with the you know I think
we can say their names at this point in time I remember my boss always said you don't say their names out loud but you
know work talking with the working with the Deltas and then Black Hawk Down came out and if you haven't seen that I mean
that's a great movie and just seeing how rangers are as well as the Deltas Blackhawk Down is one uh and it's it's
even my girls at this point know and I and I you know people that I work with and they know and it's one of the few
TNT it's one of those movies that are on TNT that I have to if it's a Saturday afternoon Black Hawk Down it's like well
I know what I'm doing today I know what I'm I know what I'm getting into you cannot if it's on you cannot walk away I
mean you have to watch it and dude it's got like now when you watch it you're like it has every like male stud looking
dude in the world from Tom Hardy like I know Eric Bana right I mean the the
geeky dork is you and McGregor it's like that's how that's how many
studs are in it and I'll I'll go back to also you know I've been lucky enough to go to all the ranger battalions and
Delta and all that you know I would get to go visit dude when you leave these Rangers science I felt so pumped up and
like God Bless America like you know there's something they bump in the air there I'm like this is just it is also
the most competitive place that I've ever heard it is yeah I did not think it could get worse than like my friend friend group at West Point yeah
no it'd be like in Kyle they wear basically underwear for sure so that's the only problem I have with the Rangers
Ranger panties uh nobody it would be like well I'm gonna be here at 5 30 and
then the next day it's like well I'm gonna be here at 5 25 and then I'll be here at five o'clock doing push-ups so
like you know and it just it just it's the culture that is bred there and right
there's all the good and all the bad that come with it but it is it creates such a
uh infectious culture of Excellence that is is really I have never seen anything
like it obviously my my good friends uh uh uh left Ranger regimen and gone on to other you know very specialized Mission
units um here kind of maybe so them I I can't speak to those uh but I can speak of you
stick 800 18 19 to 27 sometimes you get you
know the colonel law or general all rats they're you know the commanders but they're only in their 40s of the most
competitive testosterone filled you know humans on the planet and it creates
something pretty special how hard was it to get through Ranger School uh well
Ranger school obviously different than Ranger regiment um Ranger school is is just a Leadership
School right and a lot of folks can go to it uh yeah I mean is it impossible no
because you know a lot of folks do it that uh is it would I ever want to do it again absolutely not I went in dinner
um and I went uh you know it so it was cold and it was rainy and folks got hypothermia I think one of the
um you know there's a few things obviously now living in Atlanta and close to Dahlonega where Mountain phase is and I remember a saying is you know
you get there first time the mountains you look up and you see the huge mountains the Tennessee Valley divide you're going to climb and
there's nothing but character in them Hills is saying is
that's awesome uh you know I work with a A you know a guy in another business uh
that has our same Financial sponsor and he's a Navy SEAL and uh he and I were just kind of talking about some shared
experiences he's very similar age as mine and he said you go into the surf and you come out of a changed human
yeah and I I wouldn't I don't you know Ranger schools obviously it's very different the buds and you know they're
totally different experiences and the longevity of it versus hell week versus the food deprivation it's a very very
different experience um but I still think it's the same way you you you you're just different and in
terms of what you can push yourself to what you you find very differently
around what the difference of between pain and discomfort is and you if
anybody have I think you taught me that more than anybody in my life is there's a difference between pain and discomfort
yeah when you're learning and going through Rehabilitation after a major injury it's hey what is what is pain and
what is discomfort because discomfort is good and pain is not and right right I think where you got to learn when you
come through it on the other side you're a changed person that's for sure yeah I remember being down in San Diego and just looking at their buds training and
we didn't get to see it because it was going to be the next morning but they had this giant rope that went from one
end to the other it was like 80 feet in the air on these two towers and at the
end of all this like crazy stuff they would have to get on that rope and and Scoot across the rope and right over
there we're like so how do y'all what do you all harness them in case they're falling the guy goes oh no man we don't
harness them man there's sand below we call them lawn darts if they fall they just go down and their legs are sticking
out of the sand when they're done like yes it's a different world than what I'm used to yeah yeah I want to clarify too
and I I did misspeak because this is something that gets confused to people people are going through Ranger school
they're like I'm a ranger you hear this with some of these politicians you know yeah verse you know you know they're
like I got my tab versus I actually went through regiment yeah just clarify that yeah and I I think some folks uh you
know I I there are some folks that still kind of beat their chest around it at the end of the day like it's uh
it's a it's a way around it right and now I will tell you there's a very different uh pathway of Ranger regiments
I I always say say once you put on a tambourne that's a it's a different life and you live it you've done different
things and but uh yeah it's it's a uh it is it's a there are two very different
uh aspects of it not to Discount one or the other it's just they're different
and people if you watch Black Hawk Down we see Rangers and Delta or these tier
one kind of groups working very close together can you can you speak under that relationship how those missions kind of work
yeah uh again it's probably totally different than it is now but they work really Co you know we we would work with
a lot of different units whether it's a CL unit um that exists or it's a Delta unit that
exists or um you know there are some other ones out there right and we all have diff
like what we bring to bear uh to the fight is very different right it's uh
um there is uh uh Rangers right when you bring you know 60 to you know 50 to 60
heavily armed uh very uh well-trained infantry
um soldiers like that's what you bring with Ranger regiment versus you know maybe somebody that's strained in counterterrorism or something like that
and so it's a they're complementary forces right like uh Rangers show up with machine guns and you know all
different types of things that uh mortar systems that you know that maybe not a different special Mission Unit might not
have because they're just different organizational structures but they'll go to missions and we do we work collaboratively together right yeah um
at least I mean again that was how it was again when I was it was very different but uh
um they have different different Mission sets and so but they they're all you
know at the same end goal of trying to trying to be that Elite raid for us if that's what the mission is I thought
that was so cool when we were all together at the center for the Intrepid was you know you had across the spectrum
of all these these different groups your your young infantry Kid Young Marine you
know up to you know them all looking up to you and Ranger guys and you'd have the the other special horses guys but
everyone it was almost like a an even playing field but you guys were able to drive those other other folks so well
you know just seeing the way they looked up to y'all because sometimes they got sick of my and I would have to ring
in like a Ryan Keough or some of our other buddies that were there to you know kind of like okay I think some of
it comes yeah some of it comes with age um some of it comes but I think too is like just the expectations right I mean
we both know young Rangers they were young SEALS or or the marsok we both
know some folks that were from the marine Special Operations unit it's that same the same people that
gravitate to those organizations they just uh they have like the expectation about
it and then a lot of times what you found and even you know and obviously me trying to to go back
um is you don't uh people ask it's like you don't want to leave the All-Star team once you make it yeah you know there
were folks their entire life have been spent hey I want to go be a MARSOC Raider or I
want to go be a Navy SEAL or I want to go back to the unit right to going back to being a an operator
and that's what they do that's what they know um I think you know as we'll talk about
I'm sure later on that that strikes both ways if that's all that you know
and that is what you define Yourself by man that's tough that is so tough to get
over it is um and I think everybody's got to find a way
um to do it and I you know um we can kind of transition to that too
as I yeah I thought about as you know as we were talking about it um somebody asked me a long time ago about
how you deal with the transition and uh if you've never been to Arlington
you should go um it is it is
when you I'm out I go to the West Point Cemetery when I'm near there because I just have some very close friends that are buried there or Arlington is another
way and if you've never been there it is such a powerful
visual representation yeah of of the sacrifice that have been made by
such a small portion of the population and one of the things that which I I put
on that I uh that that really has made me kind of think about is if you think of people on
earth um that have been here that should that could be or should be
um resp like proud of their professional accomplishments that would you know the
medals on their chest or the the units that they LED or the things that they
did it would be in that Cemetery yeah but the common things that you see
beloved father um you know uh um
cherished husband uh friend those are the things that they
wear yeah on their head right it is and that really kind of impacted me it was
like what matters and like what am I like what what do I want to be defined by and I will not let myself be defined by
my injury or my time in the Army like that doesn't mean that I'm less proud of it it is just like what you like what
are you going to be defined by and I think that that is where our I think some folks sometimes struggle is they
they're not allowing themselves to Define themselves other than what they did yes
dude you couldn't have said that better and I I think that is one of the keys that in the code that we haven't been
able to crack is not being defined by that and it is so indoctrinated that this is who you are this is who you are
this is who you are um yeah making that transition is crazy tough and I think what what another
piece is is realizing how and you with that that's all you know right and
you've been in the military for 20 years in your game you know what success looks like the
next rank the next position the next job that it is defined a lot of times it's
by time it's or it's by experience it's this unit
will define success for me and that is like really powerful and
easy for folks to view when you get out of the military you don't have that and
so you have to Define your own success and I've you know for me it's it's even I've struggled in ways of saying like
where I'm you know I'll a huge you know if I'll take a new role or get something here and I'm like man I I do
not believe I can be successful and like that that self-doubt of Jesus this is
hard I've watched a lot of people fail and um I think what what you get to is
you gotta Define your own success because I had you know somebody kind of give me some feedback when I was really
strong he said look your your problem is you have a view of Success Through one lens and that's Excellence that's it it
is if this is the goal there is it is a pass or fail there is no other thing
other than Excellence is success but what you have to help redefine is
like you get to Define Excellence by the way and that was what he told me it was like it's time and resources to achieve
the mission in which you have it stand and so if you you get to Define accidents and I think people struggle
that's another aspect when people struggles they're like I can't I'm not successful I'm not I don't I don't know
where the next move is or I don't I see other these other people doing these things that I'm not doing and they that
is such a deflating for somebody that has had such a defined success so when
you take that and you lose your identity for a lot of folks again this is how I
viewed it so I'm not saying this is you know this is Ryan keough's opinion it is I think that's where a lot of
folks really struggle and I you know it's not that I haven't struggled at
times but like I didn't I didn't allow myself and I didn't have a partner in Laura that would allow me to yeah you
know and it was like Hey I get out and I have three kids in three years and it's like no no you are a dad and this is
what we do here um and this is you know like this is we're successful like this is what's
we're gonna do as a team and uh that helped me
I also know that that's been that's been huge and I think that's where when I call it the good the bad the ugly
of getting out of the military is you have that is is like those sometimes hit people with just it's a brick wall for
some folks it's hard yeah yeah one excellence
is life or death when you're in the military almost you know and so it's easy to say like I'm gonna put everything into this and like you said
how do you redefine what Excellence is going to be for you at this point when it could just be this is just to get a
promotion in this job and they're almost looking down on it but it's like man you gotta again there's way more that
defines you and and the dad the father all of those pieces were such huge game
changers for guys like you and so many other of our folks that we saw that that succeeded was that I mean I always would
tell the spouse you are the key component here
that is the like the anchoring you know it was it was such an anchor for me
there it's been an anchor everywhere is like you know it's you I mean I think you guys know this too is picking the
right spouse a partner is probably the most important decision you'll ever make
it is and you know and I think that's that is where you know for me it's
helped me be successful and and help me and that transition out of
right there is no there is no end there is what what even in the military times there's there's end lines right there's
Finish Lines I'm going to finish command and then I'm gonna go do something else
in this you know in the civilian World there is no Finish Line I know the
journey is the the entire aspect that is the race yeah and uh you know there's
the accreditations oh I got this badge that means I can do this like that
doesn't exist yeah I know I wish you did I would win my email badge every day
20 emails today exactly and then I think that those are but I you know I think
we're we're at you the balance is is not allowing
the military to Define you but not allowing you to lose the things
that are special about you it and what it did for you and I think that's where
like that's a constant I would say like back and forth for me is you know if you've
ever done a disc personality right um the high D the drive I'm about as
high like there literally is no higher D on a disc for me uh than that exists and
but knowing is like that has equal ramifications the other way
right and being aware of yeah and uh that's those are all like
aspects that I think people deal with in the transition I I hopefully this is you know what what we wanted to talk about
and you know kind of pieces yeah the transition is what worked for me and so I that's going to lead us into
[Music] Memorial Day and difficulty with the transition because you know we lost
someone special and it's in ripples through our community of friends I know through your Ranger Community
um and this guy is a Legend um and you know yeah I just wanna I
don't wanna I know it's hard for you to even talk about it but if you want to kind of give the the backstory of Joe
cap and yeah um you know Memorial Day uh at first is
you know uh I don't view it as a holiday that can't be celebrated and
some people do they're like it's a sad you know it's a sad day and yeah it is but it is meant like I view it through
we get the opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices of people
and folks that have that have made such an impact on me and
community and in our country and I I use that so that's the thing we were talking
earlier like I'm I'm looking for we leave tomorrow for the beach we're gonna go down to South Carolina to the beach
and I do a thing that and this will now be the fourth year in a row that we've done
it um and I'm gonna make it a you know tradition is I literally like put together a presentation like this is the
nerve like work nerd in me about a friend or a soldier Ranger of mine
that passed away and I make a slideshow presentation this is who they are this
is where they're from this is what they did this is where they grew up here's a pictures of us together here is
um here is what where they where they died this is what they were doing when they died and it puts a face and a name
actually it puts an my way I described it it puts an address on Memorial Day
yeah and my girls have like ingrained this now and so they go into Memorial
Day and they're like who are we celebrating this year uh like Daddy tell me about who we're
celebrating this year wow I'm like you get like we're gonna find out about it and like
being able to like put an address to Memorial Day not only is it helpful for
me and it's like um therapeutic right because I get to like dig up old pictures of like me and
this guy together and I'm like holy smokes I was in shape
what happened yeah or or B and then
to like it's therapeutic to like think of the good times and not
what has been very hard uh is looking at the things that they missed
out on um you know I got um a guy that we did last year such a
very close friend his name is Jay Jones who's my West Point classmate and uh was in seven special portions group and uh
was killed in Afghanistan in 2000 and um uh I believe it's 2000 yes 2014. and
um and it was incredibly tough for me to
think about he didn't get to be a dad and he didn't get like the world didn't get to see how
unfairly it was of how good he was at everything how smart he was how athletic he was
like the things like how it was annoyingly good at everything and the world we missed out on that
that was sad for me but I was able to like therapeutically talk about it with my girls about you
guys let me tell you about Jay and like I gotta tell you some funny stories and my wife Laura gets to sit there about
you know we had him and our other friend over for dinner one night she's like I just had to listen to you three idiots
just make fun of each other for an hour and a half yeah like that was what we did yeah yeah and uh and
so but that's how I use Memorial Day one like I'm always like that's I will like
for me I will never work on a Memorial Day in my life like I don't yes I don't care what it is and that is like you can
you know when somebody wants to hire me it's like yeah that's great I'll do that except if it's on Memorial Day like I will not that is one I'll work on
Veterans Day you know it is what it is and like hopefully I cannot have to and I get to go do something but Memorial Day is so
it carries so much emotional weight from me in a good and bad way so
that's interesting this is cathartic and um you know my Latino wife and her
family they celebrate Day of the Dead it's a very it's you know pre-coco
they've been doing this forever you know and it's very serious to them and my
father-in-law he basically died from drinking himself to death from from
Vietnam you know three tours my mother-in-law said I don't remember him ever sleeping through a night you know he always had these night terrors and
but it is almost the same for her she she brings out all his medals and you
know Day of the Dead and we celebrate him and it's that's interesting because we we always kind of do the flag in the
ground and talk about him on Memorial Day that I'm gonna I'm gonna bring this up this weekend I think that's a great idea and I um you know it is such a it's
such a great way of like one like forcing myself to like go look at pictures and go look at and like think
of memories um you know I always say sometimes like time itself uh it's like a it's like a
sine wave right like it's easy and then it's hard and then it's easy and you know it's like because you get to view
at least I do view these sacrifices through the lens that I carry with me
today right because like I look at like incredible men and women uh that don't
get the opportunity to experience the things that I've gotten to experience
and that's uh that is I think is is been fairly sad
um so I say all that is you know around Memorial Day it's such a you know and some folks like oh no it's
it's not a beach holiday and it's like look it that is on us to educate people
um I don't you know where folks will you know they the the the the difference the chasm between you know the folks that
have served that don't serve it's not because they don't want to know it's they just don't right and it's hard you
know I got especially like moving to Atlanta and being you know the Social Circle of like not around anybody that
that was in the military a lot of folks don't even know somebody that was in the military which is so
hard to Fathom if that's all you've ever known right like I went to college but folks that went to the military I went
you know my grant and it's like oh my God you know this person well my grandfather served in the Navy and then there was no one in their lives
that serve or they know I knew this one kid in high school 20 years ago that joined the army and
that's their only connection to it that is um that's on us you know as veterans and
the folks that you know that know the sacrifice to help educate folks and it's not shouldn't be like a hammer that
you're not celebrating the sacrifices you know right it's like no no no let me tell you about how awesome this dude was
let me tell you about the sacrifices they've made and that's what I try to do
and I try to celebrate it with my girls because it you know that's what matters to me it's fantastic are you doing Joe
this year uh yeah yeah we'll do Joe this year so um you know so so Joe cap man
um I I I'm gonna be very proud if I get through this next time uh I'm being emotional uh man I I don't
even know where to start with Joe other than
um he was in my opinion specialty made by God that people like that they don't
like that is one of one and um so if the government said I'm
gonna make a ranger out of parts they yeah Joe they they built Joe
basically yeah so if for those physical and and mental mental spiritual everything even though look you just
look it's kind of like when he shows a picture of um what's his name uh Tillman uh Pat Tillman Pat Tillman you're like
yeah he looks like special you're like okay he had muscles he had muscles in his chin I didn't even know they had
muscles that's Joe man um but for Joe kapocheski
for for those that don't don't that know who who Joe is so Joe uh from
um just outside of uh is in the Northeast I believe just outside of Boston joined the army
um before just just before right after 9 11 um and enlisted to become a ranger
um so Joe you know uh jumped into Iraq has a you know had a mustard stain from jumping in that's a mustard Sansa an
award you get from from a combat jump there's only been three since 2001 all of them down by third ranger battalion
um I'm from Special Operations there's some other folks that have obviously done them but um and uh
uh in 2005 was in Iraq and lost his uh was is injured in a grenade attack
and um injured his leg tried to have limb salvaging and ended up being an elective
amputee and so when I showed up the ranger regiment in 2009
um Joe uh yeah 2009 Joe 2019 2010 Joe
was a newly promoted platoon Sergeant so it was the second McMahon of a platoon
right there was the senior NCO of platoon and I believe it done like four or five deployments post amputation yeah
and was a he was a rasp instructor which is like for the June grasp one the
unlisted guys and the aura that Joe
carried around because of his ability he was a physical
freak of nature where we would work out together and go
on runs and he had one leg and I had two and I could not keep up yeah sub hour 10 miler
with a prosthetic um you know uh he he ran on a Pathfinder
which is like this walking prosthetic he ran five miles and under four minutes in
a prosthetic that is not designed to run yes like that have you told the the
manufacturer of that they couldn't fathom that somebody could do that yeah
and he he had just an Outlook of life that there was no obstacle
that he could not overcome and I think people you know we see pictures of these
service members missing a missing a limb you know in a prosthetic and in their uniform you're like oh these guys are
just all redeploying and doing stuff like that that is not a common thing at all it's it's extremely rare and he was
the first and to be able to do it as a ranger correct and you know it did a
total of 11 deployments with or without his limb which is I believe he did not I want to say he did seven after
um and like I mean literally like in one deployment that that we did at the same time like he took like he would always
carry an extra leg like he took a he took shrapnel in a prosthetic like you know bronze start with Valor for
carrying a guy off the battlefield like I mean just I think that that story is amazing you know that there's he's got a
prosthetic he's backing out as a Ranger a ranger gets shot in the battlefield and fire everywhere and who runs out and
drags this guy back with his prosthetic like it's no nobody's business his joke I would tell you you know how mad he
would be that we were talking about him wearing a prosthetic right now
but and I think you know and obviously with when I got hurt and I remember him walking into my hospital room and being
like what's wrong with you man let's go we got things to do and um I think for him like having that
connection that I had with him allowed me to know it's going to be okay and like I'm gonna get through this and like
that is such an infectious way of viewing like I you know I remember when
we went to the Boston bombing and people were like how'd you get here I'm not uh we got on a plane and drove
and they're like you can drive like yeah dude like I can definitely drive and but
it like when I you know just experience is like Joe can do everything I could do better
than me before my injury and and um I will tell you Joe was an incredible
father of you know two young boys um and this year you know I think got
out of the military a number of years ago um did did retire
um did some some other stuff with the government for a while and I think ultimately uh continue to struggle with
some demons and uh you know unfortunately uh uh took his uh took his own life this year and it
um I think it would have been uh I I really I think struggle with it of
of knowing that I probably should have been there for him more ultimately uh
you know folks are or that's a that's a that's a battle you have to deal with internally and
um you know he had a private I I even said my wife and I were talking about it and uh his service was was fairly
private because I said man um if they were you know he's barely in Arlington and not if they would have had
a public service that I had to have it at like FedEx Field yeah um that was the impact that he he had in
the community not just uh wounded people wounded
soldiers amputees the Special Operations community um Ranger regiment is he he carried with
him I think a lot of that um of being that
you know when you think of Rangers like that's who I think of yeah is is that
he he really was such a
powerful you know symbol and uh man uh I
think obviously the the the worst tragedy is is the fact that you know you get two
boys that don't have their dad and Kim that doesn't have her husband anymore but uh man uh
we're all we're all at a loss because he's not here and
um you know I I've made uh a conscious effort to try to reach out to to more folks in my circle because of
it um if anything just to tell folks hey I love you man and and uh
I wish we could you know I wish we lived near closer we'd get some beers and yeah but uh God he he really was something
special man one of one and uh I miss him and I I I I I thank for every
thankful for everything that he did for me and whether he knew it or not and
what he meant to me whether he knew it or not and I tried to tell him and we'd get together and
um you know we'd have beers and we'd talk about random thing I mean he's just he was
super special yeah well and I think this is you know this is mental
health month in May and also we want to point out for Memorial Day that it's not only for those that you you know might
think it's just on the battlefield the the battle is continuous lots of times and you've done such an amazing job with
yourself um with this but you know you and I both know lots of times if I see a text come
up from you or from anyone back in these days together I I'm really nervous because yeah you know half the time it
is bad news like this so you're and I can't tell you how many times I'm just like no way Joe like and they do feel
like like I said you feel like an ass because you're like dude they got it so together it's always like yeah like and
I should have done something you know I had a I had another very uh close friend of mine
um from the army that we went to West Point together and he was a ranger and then he went to to another special
Mission Unit and he died last April um March late March early yeah last late
March uh of a heart attack um just a Widowmaker and um
I after and then obviously then Joe passed away not too
um soon after and um I I had called two folks
to tell them both and I was like man I haven't talked to this person in seven years and I'm both the times that I've
called them are about things that I should not be having to tell people yeah
and uh that was when I said for me it's like okay I am going to make a concerted effort
to reach out to folks even if it is just if I call them and
they don't it's like look man it's not a I'm not calling you to say one of our other friends is dead yeah and uh that's
I think that's been the uh the hardest thing around
leaving the military is knowing how hard it is and folks
knowing that it it folks struggle and you you know and thankfully I'm like you know I've been
out now longer than I was in which is mind-boggling crazy to me that's crazy we're all now yes you know and I've got
my my you know my first like my classmates are Lieutenant Colonels and like my friends are like full bird
colonels and like next up to be generals and like my you know mentors are multiple star generals retiring
but they all have to leave at some point and you try you know and I think for me
it's like what I've tried to do is just be that sounding board of hey look like this is how this is the things you're
going to run into this is hard and like because I uh I would say incorrectly did it my I like
most of my things my life are done my way and like how I when I got out of the army I just muscled through a lot of
things without resources or people to lean on or things like that I remember this old Ryan Kia
back in the day you know it was like hey uh and I
laughed it was like some people were like well how was your transition and I was like well in the two years after I
got out I went from one to three kids bought two houses moved went to grad
school and switched jobs uh so like I didn't have a time to think
about it other than these were the tasks at hand and how you get through it and I
um it's you still think about it and you still try to get better but that's
um that's where I think you know there's always try to be better and try to help other folks behind you and say hey
here's some resources and I think hopefully uh we as a is a military and that
organization have gotten better as well yeah yeah well man
um this is great stuff and we just want to honor Joe and all the other folks
that have passed on this Memorial Day this is like you said it's not a day of Sorrow it's a data of remembrance and
it's not a joke celebration yeah
there is a book about Joe out there called back in the fight which is really cool and and some really good leaks I
saw a video yesterday I was just looking at it uh Gary sadista thing about Joe um not not on his passing but actually
of some of his accomplishments it was pretty cool on YouTube so there's some great stuff yeah that's you know and I
think uh it's uh what I would imagine uh Chris Kyle was like in in the steel
Community or um you know there's there's certain folks like we know in the Marsa
community everyone knew Joe everyone and it's like
you know like uh obviously Joe and I were were you know I think closer because of our far our similar injuries
we joke that like we would buy shoes together he would get the left I would get the right um but like
um but what I would say is um I fell very lucky that I was one of
the many many people that got to know him and uh you know there are folks that no one better or you know and that's not
I was just not a contest but I'm just fortunate enough to be in that group that um that that got to call him a you know
a friend whether you know that's how I view them and uh he uh he was pretty special and I you know I think I would
say the same thing about about folks about you and and uh well you Johnny and I and I'm gonna I'll use this as a way
because I know you will not toot your own horn um in this way is for those that don't
know what Johnny means to a lot of us um I wouldn't
I could not have done and I couldn't do the I couldn't be who I am today without
Johnny have been there and what I would consider the darkest time of my life
um and it I didn't know how to get out of a whole lot of times and when you have somebody
like Johnny even though he is uh you know pain in the ass a lot of times
um was always there but always answer the phone would always be there and wasn't just a physical
therapist and I I'm not going to let this opportunity go by without saying
thank you and thank you for being there for me my
family and being a friend I'm not going to let this opportunity because you know you
probably don't you won't talk about it about how good you are and were as a therapist but mostly as a friend
awesome man I love it that's why I love just being able to stay in touch with you guys it was the best of times it was
the worst of times right yeah you and I just reflected last summer on man I
don't know if we could do it again but I really miss our times with with everyone we missed you at uh at Johnny's wedding
I know it sucks I know we gotta we had uh Dr Shu and I got to uh to spend a lot
of quality time together and I I a lot we laughed and I was like man these are the fun times when like none of us are
in stressful situations and like we get to like be a part of like a good thing
and we're years and years removed from trauma and it's like we get to celebrate
I was like man it was it was pretty awesome to do that and we missed you there so but but I still have it uh
you see it the flag you gave me man still one of my coolest gifts of all
time right after he recovered and redeployed and carried a flag out on his
first mission and then gifted it back to me it was it was super cool never sitting here
all right man that that was amazing Ryan happy Memorial Day brother I miss you
let's keep all reaching out for for the good things and not the bad things and
um I appreciate you doing this my man yeah man of course by the way you know I'll always do that and uh again appreciate you
all right [Music]