This week's Borne the Battle – a benefits breakdown – features VA Mobile Mental Health Apps, which provides free tools and information to support and help Veterans manage PTSD-related symptoms and stress, learn mindfulness practices, aim to reduce suicide risk and strengthen parenting skills. The apps were designed to meet the needs of Veterans; they are free, easy to download, and are available via VA App Store, Google Play and Apple App Store.
According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, some hopeful data shows that 399 fewer Veterans died from suicide in 2019 than in 2018, reflecting the lowest raw count of Veteran suicides since 2007.
Navy and OIF Veteran Tim Avery, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and readjustment counselor at the Peninsula Vet Center. These statistics are the reason why Avery’s work is so vital. In this episode of Borne the Battle, Avery answers these questions and more:How are the apps developed?How can Veterans access these apps via VA App Store/Google Play/App Store?How have these apps helped Veterans?What training is required to use these apps effectively?
The VA Mobile Mental Health Apps are available to and beneficial for all family members of Veterans as well. Avery delves into how apps such as Couples Coach and PTSD Family Coach provide a great source of information that can help enhance communication and improve relationships.
Having access to effective mental health care resources is important to improving quality of life after service. If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is experiencing a mental health crisis, call VA’s Veterans Crisis Line for immediate assistance. People like Avery are working for and alongside VA, and are committed to providing mental health care for all Veterans and their families, 24/7, and are ready to help at a moment’s notice.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Navy Veteran Michael Edwin Thornton
Additional Links:Borne the Battle #247: Irreverent WarriorsVA Mobile Mental Health Apps PlaylistNational Center for PTSD AppsDigital Safety Plan YouTube introductionVet Centers (Readjustment Counselling Services)Tech into Care siteMillions in adaptive sports grants help disabled Veterans with rehabilitation goals VA improves quality of care for Veterans diagnosed with ALS
When Bill Czopek decided to transfer to the Naval Academy, he knew that he wanted the structure and support of a military career. Through persistence and dedication, he was accepted. Little did he know, that experience would lead him to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
In this week’s episode of Borne the Battle, Special Agent Bill Czopek discusses his time in the Navy, his experience in the DEA, and some things Veterans should be concerned about when it comes to counterfeit pills and the illegal drug trade.
In the Navy, Czopek served as a Surface Warfare Officer. He became a “jack of all trades” and learned versatility in this role. His first-ever “drug bust” happened off the coast of North Africa, where his ship intercepted a dhow (fishing boat) smuggling two tons of hashish.
After his service, Czopeck turned his eyes toward serving his country in a civilian role, today as a DEA officer, and and he talks the state of drug trafficking in America, including:DEA foreign officesCounterfeit pillsThe drug trafficking supply chainOnline drug salesHow Veterans and other citizens can protect themselves from the effects of drug trafficking
He also gives advice for other Veterans planning on applying to federal agencies after their service.
Want to know more about counterfeit pills, an issue that directly affects Veterans receiving medical care? Among other details in the podcast, Czopeck shared:Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl can look exactly like legitimate prescription pills.According to the DEA, the number of counterfeit pills in circulation has increased 430% since 2019.According to the FDA, consumers should ensure their pill and drug packing look normal before taking any medication.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army and Air Force Veteran William Bonelli
Additional Linkshttps://www.dea.gov/ep/360-strategyhttps://www.dea.gov/alert/sharp-increase-fake-prescription-pills-containing-fentanyl-and-methVA resumes overpayment notifications, medical copayment collections while continuing to offer Veterans expansive debt relief options Veterans Legacy Memorial expands to include VA-grant funded state, territorial and tribal Veterans cemeteriesVA embarks on process to design new model to deliver seamless integrated care
In 1945, warehouses in Birmingham, England, were brimming with unsent postal mail intended for U.S. soldiers at the frontlines. At the same time, African American organizations pressed the War Department to create more opportunities for African American Women’s Army Corps members to serve. Tackling two issues at once, the War Department started recruiting African American women and formed the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The job was expected to take six months. The "Six Triple Eight" did it in three.
Retired Air Force Major Fannie Griffin McClendon was one of these women to take up the monumental task of ensuring soldiers on the frontlines received mail sent to them by their loved ones, regardless of rain, sleet, “buzz bombs,” racism, and sexism. Indeed, throughout her time in the 6888th Battalion and later as a commander with Strategic Air Command, she faced and overcame many instances of racism and sexism thrown at her. This ranged from men who refused to serve under her because she was a woman. Focusing on her vital duties to the country, McClendon knocked down barriers and shattered glass ceilings at every corner of her military career.
Even as a centenarian, McClendon remembered stories from her days in the military like the back of her hand. Stories she discussed in this episode of Borne the Battle include:What life was like for her while serving abroad in Europe during WWIIThe casualties the 6888th suffered while in FranceBecoming a commander in the Air Force
Surrounded by the stench and sight of death, soldiers on the frontlines depended on members of the 6888th, like McClendon, to deliver them letters written by their loved ones back home. Despite the importance of their role, the 6888th, like many other segregated units from WWII, received little recognition after the war.
The 6888th only recently started gaining popular recognition, with a documentary on it released in 2019.
In 2021, the Senate passed the “Six Triple Eight” Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2021, an act awarding congressional gold medals to members of the 6888th for their “pioneering military service, devotion to duty, and contributions to the morale of personnel stationed in the European theater.”
While formal recognition for her service was long overdue, McClendon seemed not to mind too much. Rather, she focused on the many opportunities the military gave her and the spectacular life it allowed her to live.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Marine Veteran Zane Jones
Additional Links:Even at the age of 100, McClendon went out of her way to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Click here to learn how you can get vaccinated through the VA.To read more about the 6888th Veterans, check out the 6888th’s website.practical resources for transitioning service members VA stands ready to offer COVID-19 booster vaccinesVA request for information on proposed rule change published in Federal Register on character of discharge VA, National Support Network teach Veterans how to fight cybercrime
If you know of Black Rifle Coffee Company or watch Mayans MC on FX, you may already know this week’s Borne the Battle guest – Army Veteran, entrepreneur, actor and overall entertainer Vincent Vargas.
It was a windy road that led him to this point in his life. Too many wild parties got him kicked out of college and ended his childhood dream of playing professional baseball. At 20, as a young father who was no longer playing ball or attending school, Vargas felt like a disappointment to his family.
In 2003, during the invasion of Baghdad at the outbreak of the Iraq War, Vargas watched a televised newscast in which a Marine helped to topple a statue of dictator Saddam Hussein. News reporters interviewed the Marine’s family, who emotionally expressed their pride in his service.
The next day, Vargas went to a military recruiting office to enlist. He later served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, became a drill sergeant, and after serving, even joined the U.S. Border Patrol.
In this week's episode of Borne the Battle, Vincent Vargas discusses his many transitions between sports, military and civilian lives, getting into acting, his time on the Drinkin' Bros podcast, and the founding of Beteran, his Veteran-focused clothing line that emphasizes empowerment and positivity rather than the prevailing Veteran narratives of depression, alcoholism, and suicide.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Ricardo Barraza
Also Mentioned in this Episode:https://vincentroccovargas.com/VETSmile pilot program to improve affordable dental care access for VeteransProgram of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to provide an additional year for eligibility and reassessment of certain participants
David Bonilla grew up in El Monte, California, where, as a child, he had the opportunity to be involved with a few film projects. Through his mother’s connections, he gained both experience in the film industry and an interest in filming and directing. He initially had no plans to join the military, but when a recruiter offered to buy him lunch, his life found a new direction.
Bonilla discusses his deployments overseas to Baghdad and his position as part of the logistics team during the Gulf War. There, he experienced what it was really like to be in the field and understand what a near death experience was like.
After completing his service and later a college degree, Bonilla landed a position at Solar City, a company under Elon Musk. While working at Solar City, Bonilla’s assistant noticed how he was struggling with panic attacks and helped guide him to VA. This led him to VR&E, where he found purpose and goals in life.
Now finished with his military path, Bonilla returned to his early love of the film industry and began studying audio by using his GI Bill benefits. He started working as a foley artist, eventually winning an Emmy for his work on Disney’s Eleanor of Avalor.
In this episode, Bonilla discusses:His experiences in the militaryWorking in the film industryWorking for RaytheonHis time at a company under Elon MuskHis projects as a sound engineer, including Disney’s Eleanor of Avalor
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Jose Lopez
Additional Links:VA enhances geriatric emergency care for older VeteransVA annual report shows decrease in Veteran suicidesVA assembles Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention Workgroup
On September 11, 2001, Air Force flight surgeon John Baxter showed up to work at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, to a full load of patients and completing physicals–just like any other day.
Halfway through his morning while getting his next patient, he saw that a civilian airliner had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers.
While with the patient, Baxter said he noticed the background noise in the Pentagon changed. It seemed quieter than usual. Then, he heard shouts. He opened his door and saw people running and shouting, and smoke in the hallway.
At first, Baxter didn’t know if there was an explosion, a fire or some other event. Despite the unknowns, he assembled his team of flight surgeons, a nurse and medical technicians. They grabbed medical kits and traveled as a group. Their emergency plan was to meet up with other medics at the Pentagon’s DiLorenzo Clinic.
Then they heard the news: there were casualties in corridor 5.
Baxter’s team ran to the spot. They found Army Veteran Brian Birdwell, who was in excruciating pain from burns. It was a situation that Baxter was unexpectedly prepared for: Months earlier, in an emergency exercise, the flight clinic trained for the same scenario that unfolded on 9/11: a plane crashing into the Pentagon.
John Baxter still serves at the Pentagon, though now as a civilian flight surgeon. For this week’s Born the Battle Podcast, Baxter details his story of 9/11 and the days that followed.
(Originally casted 9/11/2019)Army Veteran and 9/11 victim Max Beilke
#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:
This episode of Borne the Battle – a benefits breakdown – features HUD-VASH, a collaborative program between HUD and VA that provides support to help homeless Veterans and their families – and those at risk of becoming homeless – to find and sustain permanent housing.
Veterans Matter is one of the many nonprofits which work alongside and enhance HUD-VASH’s ability to reduce homelessness among Veterans.
According to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, there were 37,252 homeless Veterans in 2020, and 15,204 of those Veterans were unsheltered.
For Meghan Deal, national director of the HUD-VASH Program, and Ken Leslie, a former homeless man and founder of Veterans Matter, these troubling statistics are an indication of the importance of their work. In this episode of Borne the Battle, Deal and Leslie answer these questions and more:What motivates them to help Veterans despite not being Veterans themselves?What does help from HUD-VASH and nonprofits like Veterans Matter look like?What makes a Veteran eligible for HUD-VASH assistance?What makes a Veteran “homeless?”How can people get involved with helping homeless Veterans in their community?
The HUD-VASH program also has resources geared specifically for the Native American Veteran population. For tribes that are interested in providing rental assistance and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, read up on Tribal HUD-VASH and considering submitting an application.
Having access to safe and adequate housing is a human right. If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of being homeless, encourage them to call VA for assistance. There are people working for and alongside VA, like Deal and Leslie, who are committed to rooting out homelessness and are standing by ready to help.
Borne the Battle Veterans of the Week:Marine Veteran Darin T. Hoover of Salt Lake City UtahMarine Veteran Johanny Rosario Pichardo of Lawrence MassachusettsMarine Veteran Nicole Gee of Sacramento, CaliforniaMarine Veteran Hunter Lopez of Indio, CaliforniaMarine Veteran Daegan Page of Omaha, NebraskaMarine Veteran Humberto Sanchez of Logansport IndianaMarine Veteran David Espinoza of Rio Bravo, TexasMarine Veteran Jared Schmitz of St. Charles, MissouriMarine Veteran Rylee McCollum of Jackson, WyomingMarine Veteran Dylan Merola of Rancho Cucamonga, CaliforniaMarine Veteran Kareem Nikoui of Norco, CaliforniaNavy Veteran Maxton Soviak of Berlin Heights, OhioArmy Veteran Ryan Knauss of Corryton, Tennessee
Additional Links:Check out the Borne the Battle episode on Supportive Services for Veteran Families, another VA program helping tackle Veteran homelessness in its own way.The VA recently announced its Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grants to enhance Veterans’ abilities to live comfortably in specially adapted homes.VA expands rental support, increasing housing options for Veterans
On this episode of Borne the Battle, Army Veteran Tommy Davis shares his story about deploying to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and Afghanistan, then later working in the video game industry.
Tommy always enjoyed playing video games, but his journey to working in the video game industry was not straightforward. After taking some courses at a community college, he still felt uncertain about the future and what he wanted to do. He spoke with a recruiter and enlisted in the Army.
After serving seven years in the Army, Davis transitioned to civilian life and enrolled in George Washington University. He discusses connecting with fellow Veterans on campus and serving as president of GW Veterans. They are a chapter of Student Veterans of America, who focus on issues regarding Veterans and education.
Next, Davis talks about becoming interested in and doing extensive research about the video gaming industry after earning his bachelor’s degree. He discusses how he convinced himself to apply to his dream job after being encouraged by his family and friends. His determination led to him applying to and accepting a position with ZeniMax Media as a video game quality assurance tester working on The Elder Scrolls Online.
Later, he delves into how the framework he learned in the military helps him stay focused while working in web development. He talks about the Veteran community affiliation within Zenimax Online Studios. That community helps recruit Veterans and helps them with civilian integration.
Finally, he provides advice for Veterans interested in joining the gaming industry and developing specific skillsets by attending the Microsoft Software and Assistance Academy.
In this episode, Davis talks about:What he learned from his experiences in the military.His post-military education at George Washington University.Various positions available to Veterans at Zenimax Online Studios.Career advice to transitioning service members and how they can gain valuable specific industry training.How important it is for Veterans to get involved with Veteran service organizations, such as Team Rubicon and Wounded Warrior Project.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Air Force Veteran Patrick Peter Caruana
Additional Links:Borne The Battle 140: Danny Chung – Marine Veteran, Chief of Staff, Microsoft Military AffairsVA spotlights special benefits for elderly wartime Veteran populationVA grants improve transitional housing, prevent Veteran homelessness
Army Veteran James Stejskal spent nine years in West Berlin during the Cold War, serving in a clandestine and small special forces unit known as Detachment A. His mission bordered on the impossible, tasked with being ready to cross into East Germany and sabotage the Soviet army at a moment’s notice in case the Soviet Union ever decided to launch an invasion.
He spent 23 years in service with special forces and 13 years operating under the CIA. Stejskal lived a life brimming with unique experiences. A few of the stories he shared on this episode of Borne the Battle include how he:Fought to get a role in the Army Special Forces after initially serving with the 82nd Airborne Division.Was prepared to blow up Soviet trains and destroy Soviet railway networks if West Berlin was invaded.Nearly had to amputate his leg after being in a vehicle that rolled over an old Soviet tank mine, but had it saved by an orthopedic surgeon with an ingenious idea.
For nearly half a century, information pertaining to Detachment A remained classified and hidden from the public eye. The government only declassified information about this unit in 2014. With a story virtually absent from the history books, Stejskal is determined to keep Detachment A’s legacy from being forgotten.
One of Stejskal’s most notable books on Detachment A is “Special Forces Berlin.”
Though Stejskal is a professional historian, he also enjoys writing fiction. Adept at writing in a variety of styles, Stejskal has written a diverse selection of books, ranging from historical fiction to professionally researched historical narratives.
For decades, Stejskal had to keep his lips sealed about Detachment A because it was classified information. Now with it declassified, he wants everyone to know its story. Hear what Stejskal could not talk about for years by listening to this episode of Borne the Battle.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Tom Rice
Additional links:Stejskal gave his opinion on the state of publishing in the age of digital media from the perspective of being an author. Hear Navy Veteran and singer-songwriter Jonathan Kingham share his perspective on the future of the music industry in Borne the Battle #246 Many credit the tactics used by Detachment A as being the basis for today’s special operations and law enforcement tactics.VA expands mandate for COVID-19 vaccines among VHA employeesAfghanistan: How Veterans can learn from Vietnam Veterans
Links to programs and resources mentioned in this episode:Veterans Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/https://www.va.gov/find-locations/https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/https://www.maketheconnection.net/https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM - 10PM & SAT 8AM - 6:30PM ET)https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/https://www.va.gov/files/2020-11/mental-health-quick-start-guide.pdf
In 1954, the United States became actively involved in the Vietnam War. John Ligato followed suit and joined the Marine Corps to serve his country after receiving a draft notice in 1966.
Ligato breaks down his experience during the Battle of Hue City from an operational view. He discusses what he calls the three missing days in Marine Corps history due to the nature of the battle, and how he pushed for 13 years to get the medals that his team rightfully deserved. He was awarded three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam in addition to other valor awards.
After being wounded, Ligato transitioned to civilian life, went to school, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
Ligato discusses working for the The ARC of the United States (ARC), which helps severely handicapped children and adults, and then joining the FBI. There, he got involved in undercover work, spending a total of eight years working undercover in various locations in the 70s-90s. He also talks about working as a pilot with the FBI and spending much of his latter career in diplomatic training missions in various locations around the world. His efforts and time working with the FBI resulted in him receiving the Directors Award and Attorney General’s Award for investigative excellence.
In this episode, Ligato talks:Becoming an adjunct college professor and teaching counter-terrorism and international security at Campbell University.Writing several books and providing advice to aspiring professional authors.Appearing in several movies.How Veterans can become involved in Veteran Service Organizations, such as Hope for the Warriors and Semper Fi Fund.
VA's Office of Community Care (OCC) aims to place the choice of provider in the hands of eligible Veterans and assist them in finding the best options for their care.
On this episode of Borne the Battle, Dr. Elizabeth Brill, chief medical officer at OCC, breaks down the process of determining eligibility, making appointments and receiving care through community care.
Types of care available under Community Care include:General careUrgent careEmergency careForeign medical careHome, health and hospice careIndian Health ServicesIn Vitro Fertilization (IVF)State Veterans HomesFlu shots
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AVAILABLE TYPES OF CARE
Eligibility depends on the individual Veteran’s needs and circumstances. For example, travel distance from a VHA facility is now calculated by drive time, not mileage, and Veterans living over 30 minutes from a VHA facility are eligible for community care.
The other eligibility categories include:Needing a service that VA doesn’t provide.Not having a full-service VA in the state or territory in which you live.When VA cannot schedule appointments in a timely manner.When available VA care isn’t meeting quality care standards.
It is also possible for Veterans to receive Community Care authorization at the recommendation of their VA doctor, even if they don’t meet any of the eligibility criteria.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION FOR FAMILY MEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS
Once Veterans are approved to receive care in their community, VA will make the necessary appointments or assist the Veteran in making the appointment.
Dr. Brill also provides instructions for providers to apply to become Community Care Network providers for VA. If a Veteran wants to be seen by a provider that isn't in the Community Care Network, they can ask that provider to follow the instructions to care for Veterans under VA benefits instead of private insurance. Providers can also receive CCN provider status without a Veteran’s request to better serve the Veterans in their community by making themselves available under VA benefits.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO BECOME A VA COMMUNITY PROVIDER
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Mike Tarpley
Additional Links:Provider and Facility locatorVA Community Care Network CCN – Extended informational videoBorne the Battle BONUS: COVID Update #7: Clinical Trials and Emergency Department ProceduresOnline scheduling – manage community care appointments online at the click of a button – VAntage PointVA MISSION Act: Answers to top questions about community care appointments – VAntage PointVA to start processing disability claims for certain conditions related to particulate matterVA clinical breakthrough study shows effective male UTI treatments in just seven days
One day, while in his university dormitory in the late 1950s, Billy Mills opened a window and set a chair against it. He then got up on the chair and mentally prepared himself to jump. As he stood, he thought about his difficult upbringing as an orphan and the racism he faced, even as an NCAA All-American runner. He simply wanted to leave all his troubles behind.
Suddenly, Mills felt a jolt of energy moving beneath his skin. That was when he heard “an unspoken word,” a sound that sounded like it was from his father’s voice. It was from that experience that Mills found his dream to heal his broken soul, a dream to win Olympic gold.
Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills speaks about his life’s story on this episode of Borne the Battle. He talks about his life’s many highs and lows. He also gives a detailed description of the thoughts running through his head as he ran the 10,000m in 1964. Topics in this episode also include:His time as a Marine Corps officer.How his Lakota virtues and values intersected with his military service.How he trained for the Olympics.How he almost backed out of going to the Olympics,Why he felt guilty about his military service.How he is helping the next generation of Native American youth to achieve their dreams.Why he speaks on tour around the world, even at the age of 83.A message he wants his fellow Veterans to hear.
The odds were stacked against Mills when he prepared to run the 10,000m in 1964. He faced Australian runner Ronald Clarke, a multiple world-record setter and favorite to win gold at the 1964 Olympics in the distances. Additionally, Mills, being borderline type 2 diabetic, went low blood sugar just 20 minutes before the race. With the U.S. never having won gold in the 10,000m, it seemed as if even history was against Billy Mills.
And yet, Mills won gold, set a world record, and is still the only American to ever win gold in the 10k event.
This week we revisit the Episode 72 featuring Marine Veteran and Hollywood Stuntwoman, Leaphy Khim. eaphy was born to Cambodian refugee parents and joined the military after Sept 11 as a way to give back to her parents' adopted country. In 2002, she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. From here, she received intense combat and weapons training through the Corps for more than 6 years. Now, she's pursuing a career in Hollywood as an actress and stuntwoman.
Robinson entered the film industry with little more than his Marine Corp background and a drive to succeed. However, he leveraged his experiences, formed connections and learned the Hollywood lingo to land gigs working on some of the biggest films of his time.
His success even allowed him to eventually tour with the likes of Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Overall, with perseverance, some help from his 1956 Corvette, and some luck, Robinson went far in the world of film.
This week we revisit the very first interview on Borne the Battle FKA "This Week at VA" - Marine Veteran and Retired professional soccer player, Haley Carter.
Denise Jelinski-Hall felt stuck in her small hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota, so she created a new future for herself by joining the Air Force. Years, later, Jelinski-Hall became the highest-ranking enlisted female in United States military history.
On this episode of Borne the Battle, Air National Guard Veteran Denise Jelinski-Halldiscusses her selection as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the changing roles of women in the military, and how “gray-area service members” are still entitled to VA benefits.
Jelinski-Hall found her calling with the Air Force but decided to transfer to the Air National Guard after marrying an active-duty Marine. She served three years in the California Air National Guard before transferring to Hawaii. Jelinski-Hall’s 28-year career included 12 years of active service, leadership of the Hawaii National Guard, and a position in the Pentagon advising the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
In addition to her military service, Jelinski-Hall volunteers with United Through Reading and the Military Child Education Coalition. United Through Reading connects military families through recorded stories. Family members can record themselves reading and the recordings provide story time with that absent family member. Jelinski-Hall served on the board of the Military Child Education Coalition, an organization that supports the schooling of military children through mentorship and other supportive resources.
Jelinski-Hall is currently a military advisor for Veterans United Home Loans, where she educates Veterans about VA home loans and home ownership. She also wrote an autobiography, "From the Prairie to the Pentagon," and contributed to the leadership book "Breaching the Summit," alongside five other former Senior Enlisted Advisors.
In this episode, Jelinski-Hall discusses writing her autobiography, how to respectfully not take 'no' for an answer, and other leadership and life tips.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Pedro Munoz
Mentioned in this episode:Borne the Battle #187: Darlene Iskra, GroundbreakerBorne the Battle #150: Benefits Breakdown – 75th Anniversary of the VA Home Loan ProgramBorne the Battle #240: Benefits Breakdown – Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)The Summit 6United Through Reading offer free books and mobile app for Veterans, military – VAntage PointVA Secretary Denis McDonough statement on department’s extension of moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions, as well as new mortgage repayment assistance to help stabilize vulnerable households VA expands “PRIDE In All Who Served” program for LGBTQ+ Veterans
This week’s episode of Borne the Battle features Air Force Veteran Marti Moore, who discusses her military career and she became group vice president of technology implementation at Spectrum Charter Communications. Moore served 11 years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve as a systems engineering chief, and developed software for satellite tracking systems at Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado.
In 1995, Moore transitioned to civilian life. She discusses how she was recruited to work in technology through an officer recruiting program at Peterson Air Force Base and how her leadership experience in the military helped her succeed. Moore held various management positions in the media and telecommunications industries, including vice president of technology at Media News Group, and worked as a reservist at the Pentagon. In 2010, she became the vice president of Web Strategy and Customer Experience at Spectrum Charter. She currently leads an agile transformation team with the Engineering and Technology Department as the group vice president of Technology Implementation. Moore talks about how the entertainment experience is changing and how Spectrum is combatting Artificial Intelligence hacking programs.
Additionally, Moore talks about leading the Spectrum Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG) in 2019 as co-chair at Charter, and also talks about the history and mission of BRG. The Veterans BRG serves to help Veterans successfully transition to civilian life, grow their careers, and help businesses become successful. The Veterans group now has over 1,000 employees. Finally, she delves into how BRG offers employees who are also Veterans the opportunity to partake in mentorship, support and professional growth programs.
In this episode, Moore discusses…Her definition of true leadership.How Hiring Our Heroes helps Veterans secure civilian jobs.The valued skills that Veterans bring to the civilian workforce.Why Veterans should apply to Spectrum Charter.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Army Veteran Francis Cunningham
Additional Links:Borne the Battle #207: Marine Recon Veteran Alex Calfee, Co-Founder of OpLign.Borne the Battle #218: David Muir, Easterseals’ Veteran Staffing Network.Borne the Battle #198: Marine Corps Veteran Beau Higgins, Amazon Military Affairs.https://jobs.spectrum.com/military-recruiting-programs.https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes/.Charter’s Continued Commitment to Military Veterans.VA responds with record number of Fourth Mission assignments to assist America during pandemic.
This week’s episode of Borne the Battle features Texas Army National Guard Veteran Cindy McNally and Marine Corps Veteran Nate McDonald, the president and vice president of Irreverent Warriors. McNally and McDonald discuss Irreverent Warriors’ mission to improve mental health and prevent Veteran suicide worldwide by providing a space to build camaraderie at their Silkie Hike events.
McNally is the CEO and president of Irreverent Warriors. She and her family suffered the tragic and unexpected loss of her husband and Marine Corps Veteran, Rand, who took his own life after years of internal struggle. McNally has three children, two of whom followed their parents’ paths to military careers.
McDonald is the COO and vice president of Irreverent Warriors. He served as an intelligence operative for Special Projects, often jumping from team to team and deploying with a variety of units. Because he suffered multiple TBIs during his service, he chose to leave the military when his ability to perform in the field came into question.
McDonald then worked as a consultant with various US government and military organizations. He lost many comrades due to mental health issues, so when the opportunity to help arose, he joined Irreverent Warriors to positively impact the lives of other service men and women.
One of the greatest contributors to Veteran suicide is isolation, something that Irreverent Warriors seeks to combat by bringing Veterans together. Camaraderie is vital to soldiers during their service, and Irreverent Warriors aims to build it in the Veteran community. The Silkie Hikes are only open to Veterans and active-duty service members and happen across the country. This year, the organization is expanding internationally to recognize that Veteran suicide is not unique to the United States but is a worldwide issue.
McNally and McDonald discuss how they found and joined the organization, gained their leadership roles, ways in which VA can help to combat Veteran suicide, and the stunning impact of Irreverent Warriors on Veterans across the nation.
High military aptitude test scores and high school curiosity earned Jonathan Kingham a place in the Navy that started him on the path toward a career as a singer-songwriter. On this episode of Borne the Battle, Kingham discusses how the Navy helped him enter the Seattle music scene, the evolution and future of the music industry, and how singers and songwriters make a living from music.
A high school friend convinced Kingham to skip class and take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, starting him on a search for the right branch of the military. He entered basic training on Christmas Eve and progressed to machinist and nuclear power schools before being assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln.
As a trained pianist, Kingham had to find a more portable alternative to bring on the ship, so he bought himself the guitar that would eventually accompany him to his first performances at open mic nights in San Francisco.
After San Francisco, the Navy took Kingham to Seattle, where he started performing regularly and landed his first paid gigs. He inquired about performing as an opening act for David Wilcox at a music club, The Backstage. His curiosity paid off, and he began to open for a mix of acts after his successful performance with Wilcox. In 2010, Toad the Wet Sprocketasked him to join as a touring member, leading to Kingham playing over 700 live shows with the band.
Kingham is also a writer for Operation Song, a Nashville-based nonprofit that helps Veterans, soldiers and their families process and transform their experiences into music. Operation Song pairs Veterans with songwriters who help put their stories into words and music.
In this episode, Kingham also discusses COVID’s impact on the music industry, the benefits and downfalls of streaming music, and how musical success doesn’t have to mean being a superstar.
Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:Navy Veteran Harvey Milk
Mentioned in this episode:Borne the Battle #199: Army Veteran Josh Strickland, Lead Singer of the Bayou BanditsBorne the Battle #153: Perry Firoz – Air Force Veteran, CEO Epic Music LA, Analytical ScientistWhy we stop discovering music around age 30 – Business InsiderOperation Song Archives – VAntage Point BlogsBreathe by Clifton Pierce and Jonathan Kingham – Operation SongMobius delivers first of 50 IBots to VA to determine how machines may help Veterans VA's Rapid Naloxone Initiative provides free Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution to Veteran patients