If you think your transition out of the military is big…

We’re back!

Deavon and I go right into discussing our recent life changes that led to us being off the air and how they led us to recording yet again.  We dive into the idea that our transition out of the military was almost a decade ago at this point and looking back it seems less of a challenge than our more recent ones.

The conversation is pretty freeform, but should be enjoyable!

Veteranology Interview #27 – Jeff Fowler

Today’s guest is Jeff Fowler, a Marine veteran, machine gunner, and former squad leader from 2/7 Weapons Company. Jeff wanted to share some valuable insights on our VA education benefits with the Veteranology audience, as well as speak about his own challenges and triumphs after leaving the Marine Corps for a new path. Jeff currently works for the Social Security Administration and has found it to be an incredibly rewarding career.

We cover using your Voc. Rehab and GI Bill benefits to their full potentional, what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail, and the mindset shift a veteran must make from making a difference on the battlefield to making a difference in your local community.

Medal of Honor Monday #1 – Capt. Ed Freeman

We are proud to announce our newest weekly segment here at Veteranology, Medal of Honor Monday.  We will work to read one citation each week to not just inspire you to charge your own hills but to make sure these stories or heroism and duty continue to be heard.

All our citation will be read from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, CMOHS.org.

Today’s Citation:

Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers — some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Veteranology 025, Pt.1 – Duane France

In episode 25 I’m joined in the studio by Duane France, a retired Sgt. 1st Class who has built a career as a mental health professional after leaving the Army.  Duane has continued to serve the veteran community in a myriad of ways.  He’s currently a mental health professional working at a private practice in Colorado Springs.  Second, he’s the Director of Veteran Services at The Family Care Center where he specializes in caring for veterans and their families.  Third, he manages a program that provides counseling to his local veteran court.  Finally, he writes the Headspace and Timing blog featured on VeteranMentalHealth.com.

In part 1, Duane and I discuss is time in service and how that experience pushed him towards a career in mental health counseling, while touching on the following topics:

  • The challenges that a serviceman can face when joining the military during wartime and how that can affect the course of their career and their perspective of what it means to serve, especially as their branch transitions to “peace-time” service.
  • How the constant high-speed training and deployment schedule can affect a transitioning veteran leaving the military.
  • How much I sucked at garrison life.
  • How we love going 0 to 60, but we’re horrible at going from 60 to 0.
  • The importance of being flexible and open to several possibilities when planning for your future career and lifestyle
  • How your sense of self shifts during the transition into civilian life.

There’s a lot of great storytelling in Part 1 and Part 2.  I hope you enjoy!

Important Links:

Headspace and Timing Blog

The Family Care Center in Colorado Springs

After Action #1 – Redmond Ramos

Redmond Ramos revisits Veteranology to give an update on what he’s accomplished since our last chat during Veteranology #18.  Besides working on a Macy’s athletic wear campaign and booking more motivational speaking gigs, Red landed an opportunity that has me quite jealous.  He is one of the contestants on this season of The Amazing Race.

In this quick 20 minute episode Red shares a bit of what’s going on behind the scenes of the race, his partnership with fellow racer Matt Ladley, and how they used smiling to hide their true thoughts while competing against the other teams.

The 29th season of The Amazing Race launched on CBS March 30th, and new episodes premiere every Thursday at 10/9 central.

The Amazing Race‘s website.

Redmond and Matt’s bio videos for the show.

Veteranology 023 – Justine Evirs

Our guest today is Justine Evirs. She is currently the Senior Director of Programs at Service to School. Since leaving the Navy, she’s become an intrapreneur and a subject matter expert on finding and closing the gaps of service found in campus programs and policies related to veteran education.

Before joining Service to School she was hired at the college of San Mateo to be their first veteran services program coordinator. Altogether, Justine has dedicated the last 6 and a half years to transforming academic advising and program development for the active duty, military spouse, and veteran communities.

On today’s episode Justine and I discuss the personal challenges that got her started on her current career path, the trends she sees in how veterans interact with and navigate their college experience, the statistics behind how many veterans are first generation college students, and much more.

You can reach out to Justine Evirs on LinkedIn.

Check out Service to School, non-profit that provides free application counseling to military veterans. Our goal is to help veterans win admission to the best universities possible and to help them maximize their education benefits.

Are you a vetrepreneur?  Looking for more information on VETCON? Find out more and register here!

Veteranology 022 – Ian Faison

Getting hired is tough, no matter who you are.  Veterans face their own hurdles to finding employment, but there are people and organizations on our side, one of them is Ian Faison.  Ian has spent his post-service career helping leaders build amazing companies.  He’s been hired by companies to build better veteran hiring practices, and gives them the tools to connect smarter and faster with the 1% of the US population that serves in the military.

Beyond his work in the military hiring arena, he’s also an avid mentor when it comes to veteran entrepreneurs, often giving them valuable insights into sales and business development practices that can take their company to the next level.  Ian has taken this drive one step further, and joined a team of vets to create VETCON, the “veteran entrepreneur [vetrepreneur] conference, an annual gathering of visionaries, hustlers, and game-changers from around the world. We promote the international community of veterans who run their own businesses.”

VETCON takes place this year in Redwood City, CA on March 23rd-25th.  You can register to attend and find more information at http://www.veteranconference.com/

Ian and I dive into a lot in this interview, from the value of your experiences in garrison and training to some of the specific challenges we as veterans have in communicating out work experience to hiring managers and recruiters.  If you’re a veterans currently looking for work or vetreprenuer building a business, this is the Veteranology episode for you.

You can contact Ian Faison on LinkedIn, or find him on twitter at @ianfaison

Paul Warmbier – Marine Corps Infantry to Winemaker & Teacher

Paul Warmbier is a Marine Corps combat veteran who served two tours with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines.  After leaving the service he pursued a career in teaching, becoming an English teacher and serving both middle school and high school aged students.  He’s now completing his Master Degree is Nonfiction Creative Writing.

After visiting with two of his best friends at a wine tasting event, and a lot of wine, the trio of veterans decided to start their own winemaking business.  Now, Dauntless Wine Company is making their third vintage, and are well on their way to having a complete winemaking operation from land to vine to bottle.  You’ll hear the passion for wine throughout the interview.

Currently, the Dauntless Wine Company is raising $10,000 and is less than $1,500 away from their goal.  If you’d like to lend them a few bucks, check out their Kiva loan page here.  Unlike GoFundMe, or Kickstarter, you don’t pledge money for a prize, but get your money back on a monthly repayment schedule.


Other links from the show:

Team Rubicon

Farmer Veteran Coalition

Veteranology #19 – Liam Fuller

In this episode of Veteranology Marine Corps infantry veteran Liam Fuller shares his story of leaving the Corps, finding his next path, and building a business that not just benefits him, but the lives of his employees as well.

Liam has built Blackguard Customs LLC, a custom metal & wood fabrication shop that specializes in functional works of art.  Under his leadership and with the help and guidance of many friends, family members, and mentors the company grown into a great success. He didn’t start off with the goal of building this business, and he didn’t know it’d become as big as it is now when he got started.

Here’s some of my favorite pieces from the Blackguard Customs website:

Top quote from the episode:

“It’s not about the dollar at the end of the day, it’s about the quality of life for my staff and my family.”

Veteranology #18 – Redmond Ramos

Redmond Ukulele

Redmond Ramos is a former FMF Navy Corpsman and founder of Redmond Ramos STS, where he continues to serve as a motivational speaker.  During a deployment to Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, where he joined up with the marines and sailors as a combat replacement, Redmond was struck by an IED, severely injuring his left leg.  After failed attempts to save his leg he decided to have the medical staff perform a below-the-knee amputation.

Shortly after Redmond has his leg removed he continued his fight through physical therapy.  He was not about to be stopped by his injury, nor let it define him.  It would merely become a part of who he was.  He began to train for the Warrior Games, an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members.  He doesn’t stop there and his incredible story is one of the greatest Veteranology has gotten to host to this point.

Redmond Ramos STS – http://www.redmondramos.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/redmondramos.com

The Travis Manion Foundation: http://www.travismanion.org/

The DoD Warrior Games: http://warriorgames.dodlive.mil/

Challenged Athletes Foundation: http://www.challengedathletes.org/