Hazard Ground

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Servicemembers from across the military, sharing their accounts of combat and survival. Hosted by sports talk radio host and Army veteran, Mark Zinno, this podcast brings you firsthand accounts of war, with a perspective you only get from someone who has lived through it. From WWII to Vietnam, Som…

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    • Oct 26, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 5m AVG DURATION
    • 244 EPISODES

    Listeners of Hazard Ground that love the show mention: hazard, military podcast, ground podcast, hg, service members, long trips, mark and matt, true heroes, thanks for your service, air force, quality of guests, heartfelt stories, veterans, civilians, served, love hearing the stories, soldiers, thanks mark, warriors, sacrifice.



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    Latest episodes from Hazard Ground

    Ep. 244 - Laura Nicholson (Aviator/Combat Vet)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 54:31

    Laura Nicholson is a British Army Air Corps aviator who has flown multiple combat tours in Afghanistan. Her bravery under fire while flying Chinooks during one of those deployments earned her the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). During the operation for which she was awarded the DFC, she not only braved Taliban rockets to save a U.S. Marine, but she also rescued a wounded Afghan mother caught in the cross-fire. She entered the firefight twice to make the rescues. Laura's story is amazing, and inspiring - not for just her actions in combat, but also for how she got there. Hear her powerful story of combat and survival on our latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 243 - Ray McPadden (Army Ranger)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 91:37

    Ray McPadden is a former Army Ranger, serving with 2nd Battalion/75th Ranger Regiment. Inspired to serve after 9/11, he began his time in the Army as an Infantry Officer with the 10th Mountain Division. Between Iraq and Afghanistan, he served four combat deployments, spending nearly two years fighting along the Afghan-Pakistan border during one of those tours. In fact, his unit established the first American foothold in the notorious Korengal Valley. In his relatively short time in the Army, Ray experienced the essence of combat and survival in the Infantry and in Special Operations. He's even reflected on it in two books he's written - one a memoir and the other, a war novel. Hear his powerful story of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.raymcpadden.com | "And the Whole Mountain Burned" | "We March at Midnight" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 242 - Special Guest: Sara Wilkinson (Gold Star Spouse)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 122:05

    Sara Wilkinson is the wife of Navy SEAL, Chad Wilkinson. After 21 years of service, Chad took his own life - the result of the compounding effects of blast wave injury, TBI, and PTSD. He left behind Sara and their two teenage children. Sara's story is one of triumph, heartbreak, resilience, and strength - the strength that Sara not only displayed as the spouse of a Navy SEAL who was deployed constantly, but also the strength she displays to this day, sharing her and Chad's story. We can't thank Sara enough for sharing it with us, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND. www.chad1000x.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 241 - Steve Beynon (Cav Scout/Journalist)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 82:36

    Steve Beynon is an Afghanistan War veteran and Cavalry Scout, and continues to serve in the Army National Guard. Steve is also a journalist by trade. He is based in Washington, D.C., and covers ground combat topics for Military.com. Prior to working ground combat, he covered Capitol Hill and the VA for Stars and Stripes. Over the past few years, Beynon has been able to utilize his military experience to objectively cover military stories in a way his contemporaries outside the military simply can't, ensuring veteran and military voices continue to be heard. If you don't follow his writing or social media, give it a look...You won't be disappointed. And while you're at it, check out his story of combat and survival on our latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! @StevenBeynon | https://www.military.com/author/steve-beynon Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 240 - Dick Thompson (Vietnam/MACV-SOG)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 80:06

    Dick Thompson is a Vietnam combat veteran and Green Beret. When he started his military career, he volunteered for the most dangerous path he could take, ending up in Vietnam with MACV-SOG, where he served as a Team Leader. With MACV-SOG he conducted covert unconventional warfare operations, never knowing if he and/or his entire team would return to base once they left the wire. It was a process that would galvanize him into a military leader who served across multiple high-profile organizations for 21 years before retiring. Thompson took those leadership lessons and subsequent skills to the private sector, where he continues to run High Performing Systems, Inc., an international management, consulting, and training firm with a focus on maximizing leadership potential. Hear his inspiring story of combat, survival, and beyond on our latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.hpsys.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 239 - Bill Walter (AC-130 Gunner)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 57:58

    It's not often that we get someone from the AC-130 community on the podcast, but this time we were lucky enough to get someone who is a bit of an establishment in the community. Bill Walter is a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and former AC-130 Gunner. He has played key roles in the AC-130 world for decades. In this episode he talks about his impact on that world from the early days and Operation EAGLE CLAW to the Global War on Terror. Bill is a member of the Air Commando Hall of Fame and SOCOM Hall of Fame. He is also currently writing the definitive history of the AC-130. Hear his complete story on our latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 238 - Tommy Sowers (Green Beret)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 82:45

    This episode is all about leadership - leadership in combat, in government, and in business. Tommy Sowers is a former Green Beret who is also a multi-sector leader in the political, military, government, academia, and entrepreneurial worlds. He and Mark also worked together during Mark's first deployment to Iraq. Following multiple Iraq combat deployments as a Green Beret, Tommy went on to become the youngest Senate-confirmed Asst. Secretary at the VA as well as serve as the senior advisor to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and much more! If you're looking for some motivation, this is an episode you don't want to miss! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 237 - Luke Coffey (Infantryman/Afghanistan/Iraq)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 67:18

    Growing up on a farm in Kentucky, Luke Coffey had an urge from a young age to join the Infantry, turning the agrarian landscape into a makeshift battlefield whenever he could. After high school and a short attempt at college, he made joining the Infantry a reality. He would see two combat deployments in one relatively short enlistment - one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. His Afghanistan deployment, the most dangerous of the two, would take him to the Panjwai District of Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold, where everyday life was most certainly about combat and survival. It was there he would form a strong bond with Curtis Grace (Episode 233), who he would eventually start the "The Panjwai Podcast" with after leaving the Army and pursuing a Masters degree in Chinese Literature. Hear his powerful story of combat, survival, and more on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.thepanjwaipodcast.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 236 - Tyler Mendelson (Marine/Filmmaker)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2021 74:22

    From an early age, it was Tyler Mendelson's dream to become a United States Marine. His father was a Marine, and he wanted to serve his country after 9/11. He also grew up about an hour and a half from NYC, and his father had helped with the World Trade Center recovery effort, so the attacks hit extra close to home. His second dream was to become a filmmaker, partly so he could tell other veterans' stories, and just make great films in the process. His first major short film, "The Hun" - a drama set in the trenches of WWI - has won several awards. He most recently won the Victory The Podcast's 3-Minute Film Festival, having been chosen by "Entourage" creator, screenwriter, and film and TV director, Doug Ellin as the winner for Best Drama. Hear Tyler's inspiring story of combat, survival, and more on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.tylermendelsonfilm.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 235 - Hazard Ground on Afghanistan

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 12:30

    Our thoughts on the current situation in Afghanistan...

    Ep. 234 - Rick Dickson (Cav Scout)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 83:57

    Rick Dickson's initial combat deployment was to Diyala Province, Iraq in 2006. He spent 15 months there with his unit, when violence in the country was reaching an all-time high. It was combat and survival in the truest sense. Following that deployment he would go on to become an Armor Officer through the Army's Green to Gold program, and eventually transition to Public Affairs, where he still serves today on Active Duty. Rick shares his experiences from that long deployment in 2006, as well as his experience working in the PAO world and all that comes with the military's existence in social and mass media. Hear his story of combat, survival, and more on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 233 - Curtis Grace (Infantryman/Apache Pilot)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 80:17

    If ever there was a warning shot for the detrimental effects of long-term, sustained combat operations on soldiers in modern warfare, Curtis Grace's deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 fits the bill pretty well. In this episode, Grace talks about that greuling deployment to the Panjwai District of Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold. A deployment that dovetails with the Panjwai Massacre, orchestrated by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales in March of 2012. Grace also discusses his transition from grunt to Apache pilot, and eventually flying attack helicopters in Afghanistan, supporting missions he once executed as an Infantryman. Curtis is now working to chronicle the time spent by U.S. forces fighting in Panjwai with a friend and fellow combat vet, through their podcast, "The Panjwai Podcast". Hear his powerful story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.thepanjwaipodcast.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 232 - Kim "Rooster" Rossiter (Marine/Ainsley's Angels)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2021

    Kim "Rooster" Rossiter is a retired Marine Corps Major and combat veteran of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His story is tightly interwoven with his daughter Ainsley's, who was born with a terminal illness in 2003. Instead of shirking from the difficult task of facing Ainsley's inevitable fate, Rooster and his wife embraced it to ensure Ainsley lived every moment of her time on earth. The Rossiter's eventually started Ainsley's Angels in honor of Ainsley. Ainsley's Angels builds awareness about America's special needs community, and aims to ensure everyone can experience endurance events, something that always put a smile on Ainsley's face. Hear this powerful story of combat and survival, both on the battlefield and at home, on our latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.ainsleysangels.org Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 231 - Brett Allen (Afghanistan Vet/"Kilroy Was Here")

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021

    This week we explore the lighter side of combat in the War on Terror, with former Cavalry officer and aspiring writer, Brett Allen. Inspired by the events of September 11, 2001, Brett went into the Army as an officer a fews years later. His quest to serve in combat took him to Afghanistan in 2009, and while not immune to the effects of a well placed IED, his experience in combat fell short of what he had expected, catalyzing his desire to portray it in his recently published novel, “Kilroy Was Here”. The book takes a humorous look at some of the more ridiculous moments of warfare in the modern world. Hear about some of the lighter moments of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.hogwashwriting.com | "Kilroy Was Here" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 230 - Dr. Paul Roach (Combat Surgeon)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 91:47

    Dr. Paul Roach is a recently retired Navy Combat Surgeon. At a young age, he intended to follow in his father's footsteps into psychiatry. But trauma surgery was his calling, and he followed it all the way to the brutal and bloody environs of the war in Afghanistan. It was there he recalls his worst combat losses, and one quad-amputee Marine in particular, that he helped save against the odds.* That same Marine was a former guest on HAZARD GROUND, and is thriving today! Hear Dr. Paul Roach's story of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! *The Marine who Dr. Roach treated and speaks about in this episode gave his permission for Dr. Roach to talk about his case. "Citizen Surgeon: A Memoir" | "The End: A Story of Love and War in the Afterlife" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 229 - Jason Kander (Army Combat Vet)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021


    Three months into his run for mayor of Kansas City - which seemed destined for victory - Jason Kander suddenly dropped out of the race. He did so to confront years of post-traumatic stress that nearly drove him to suicide. His PTS was a direct result of his deployment to Afghanistan where for months he often worked outside the wire as an Army officer, mostly without any fire support - just him and an interpreter, meeting with some of the most dangerous people on the planet. The pause from public service and running for office to seek treatment was ultimately successful, redirecting Jason to a different path leading efforts to help struggling veterans get back on their feet! Hear his inspirational story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.veteranscommunityproject.org | www.jasonkander.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 228 - Mike McGuinness (Army Combat Vet)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2021 160:57

    Mike McGuinness is a three-time Afghanistan combat veteran. His story is a study in why leadership - meaning the presence of qualified people in leadership positions - is so important, from the lowest echelons of the military, all the way to the top. McGuinness served honorably for 16 years. He was also a squad leader in convicted war criminal Clint Lorance's platoon, which would ultimately lead to Mike leaving the military. This is a powerful story of combat, survival - and the hard consequences of not effectively treating moral injury and poor leadership - and the resilience of a man who the war followed home. Hear it on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 227 - Special Guest: Will Thomas (Founder - Op Hawkeye)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021


    Will Thomas is the founder of Operation Hawkeye, an organization that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the families of fallen special operations servicemembers for a decade now. The really interesting part is that Will started Op Hawkeye when he was in middle school! Moved to action by the downing of Extortion 17 in Afghanistan in 2011, Will decided to do something tangible to help the families of the special operators lost on that mission. It started with simply shooting hoops - 17K baskets in a weekend to be exact - and grew into years of raising money through various challenges related to sports, along with a very successful social media campaign. At one point, Thomas's efforts even grabbed the attention of Adm. William McRaven. Hear Will's story of how he turned tragedy on the battlefield into hope for others - starting a movement when he was just a kid - on this special edition of HAZARD GROUND! @op_hawkeye Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 226 - Thomas Schueman (Marine)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2021 103:25

    Thomas Schueman takes us through a young Marine officer's first taste of combat - a very real baptism by fire that ultimately prepared him for the day he'd see it again. Schueman talks about the survival of combat, not just on the battlefield, but also at home. Focusing on that survival at home is not just something he talks about; he's taken action by starting his own non-profit, called Patrol Base Abbate - named after legendary Marine, Matthew Abbate - to give servicemembers a "space to recalibrate inside the wire and community to thrive outside the wire." Hear Thomas Schueman's powerful story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.pbabbate.org Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 225 - Mark Treanor (Marine/Vietnam)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2021

    After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, Mark Treanor served as a Marine Corps rifle platoon leader in Vietnam, when some of the heaviest fighting took place. Years later, Mark would write a book about his experience in Vietnam. But, it's not your typical book about one's Vietnam combat experience. It's a novel, written through the lens of someone who lived through the worst in humankind, and carried the memory of that experience for years after the war was over. Hear Mark's powerful story of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND!     "A Quiet Cadence" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 224 - Brian Fleming (Suicide Bombing Survivor)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2021 82:42

    Brian Fleming joined the Infantry during a time of war to serve his country and test his mettle. He ended up getting a little more than he probably bargained for, but still understood the risks, serving in combat with honor. Brian was blown up twice while deployed to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. The second blast was from a suicide bomber, just three feet away from Brian. Hear how Brian survived that horrific attack and the pain of reconstructive surgery, and went on to become a full-time author, speaker, and resiliency coach on this wild episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.blownupguy.com | "Redeployed" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 223 - Ian Cantelo (Canadian Combat Vet)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2021 87:24

    We have our second Canadian Armed Forces guest on the podcast this week! Ian Cantelo is a Sacrifice Medal recipient - Canada's version of the Purple Heart - due to injuries sustained after he was blown up multiple times while serving in Afghanistan. His injuries would nearly end his tour early, but undeterred by injury, Ian returned to the Panjwai district of Kandahar province to finish out his combat tour of duty. After leaving the military, Cantelo started working as a strength and conditioning/skills development coach for aspiring pro athletes, which he continues to this day, co-founding his own company in the process. Hear his inspirational story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.ctawest.com | www.athleticedgecalgary.ca Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 222 - David Yuzuk ("The Giant Killer")

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2021

    This week’s episode is about Richard Flaherty, the smallest known man to serve in the U.S. military in recent history. Richard served as a Green Beret in Vietnam, among other incredible ventures, earning two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star for actions in combat. Later in life Richard was killed in a hit and run on the streets of Miami where he lived a good portion of his life after leaving the military. David Yuzuk, a Miami cop, befriended Richard and spent several years getting to know the 4' 9" Green Beret, combat veteran. Well, at least David thought he knew who Richard was. That is until Richard dropped a bomb on him just before his untimely death. On this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND, hear David tell the story of Richard Flaherty, "The Giant Killer." A story David promised his friend Richard, he'd share with the world! "The Giant Killer" | "The Giant Killer: The Incredible True Story of the Smallest Man to Serve in the U.S. Military" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 221 - Henry Hughes (Army Combat Vet/Filmmaker)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2021


    Henry Hughes' family tradition of military service dates all the way back to the American Revolution. For him, he chose the Army and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He served multiple combat tours with the 173rd, including one at COP Keating - the infamous outpost we've covered in several previous episodes - in 2008. When Hughes left the Army, it was to pursue a new passion - filmmaking. He has since been mentored by George Lucas, nominated for an Academy Award, and co-produced and acted in "The Outpost" - the 2020 film about COP Keating and the Battle of Kamdesh - as he continues down the path of a working filmmaker. Hear his powerful and inspirational story on our latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! "Day One" | "The Outpost" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light (www.silenceandlightmusic.com )


    Ep. 220 - Eddie Wright (Marine)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2021

    Eddie Wright's story is pretty insane! In 2004, he and his small element of Marines were ambushed in Iraq. Eddie immediately lost just about 100% of his physical ability to fight back. Calm and alert through the entire firefight that followed, Eddie remained a leader on the battlefield, directing other Marines returning fire and guiding those rendering aid. Despite the loss of two limbs, Eddie would return to active duty not long after the ambush. Hear his amazing and powerful story on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 219 - Nick Rucker (Iraq & Afghanistan Vet/Musician)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2021

    Nick Rucker is a veteran of two combat deployments - one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. Those deployments didn't come without a price. After returning home, Nick struggled with Post Traumatic Stress and alcoholism - two powerful adversaries that required the will to fight, even after the wars for him were over. Nick is now a touring country songwriter and singer, an author, and most important of all: sober. Hear about his struggle returning from one battlefield to a war on the homefront that nearly destroyed him, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! "Time Cap" | www.guitars4vets.org | www.killcliff.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 218 - Greg "Billy Bob" Thornton & Raymond "Donk" Strasburger (Fighter Pilots)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2021

    For our first episode released in both audio and video formats with our partners at Kill Cliff, Greg "Billy Bob" Thornton & Raymond "Donk" Strasburger - both Air Force A-10 pilots - take us through one of the most harrowing combat missions at the onset of the Iraq War in early 2003.  Both pilots flew their A-10s through a blinding sandstorm, in a white-knuckle effort to provide critical close air support to U.S. troops in direct contact with Iraqi tanks. One of those troops was also one of their own - a fellow A-10 pilot from their squadron who was serving as the JTAC for the unit on the ground. Hear firsthand how the mission unfolded, and how it nearly ended in disaster, on this powerful, "keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat" edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.killcliff.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 217 - Bonus Episode: Brian Ribera (Navy SEAL/Military Mobility)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2021

    Brian Ribera is a retired Navy SEAL and the founder and president of Military Mobility - a non-profit, adventure-based organization that specializes in off-road expeditions and resiliency training for veterans. Military Mobility's mission is to "put clients in a team environment which fosters camaraderie, trust, and inspires the realization that any challenge - no matter how great - can be overcome." Hear how Brian has served his country at the most specialized levels of combat operations, to how he continues to serve veterans across the spectrum, in this bonus edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.militarymobility.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 216 - Zachary Koppes (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2021


    As we wrap up an extensive look at COP Keating and the Battle of Kamdesh, which occurred on October 3rd, 2009, in Afghanistan, Zachary Koppes takes us on an intense and sometimes hilarious/sometimes heartbreaking journey through the day-long battle and its aftermath. Koppes spent the entire day in the fight, firing his MK 19 grenade launcher at enemy targets while trying to avoid being hit by a sniper who had a bead on his position (and his head). Hear the powerful story of combat, survival, loss, and resilience from the unlikeliest of soldiers, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 215 - Jeff Depatie (Canadian SOF Operator)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2021

    Jeff Depatie is the first ever Canadian servicemember we've had on the podcast. The man was born to be a warrior, spending his career in the Canadian Armed Forces as a sniper/assaulter in JTF 2 - an extremely high-readiness and precise, tier one special operations forces unit. JTF 2's mission is to protect Canadian national interests and combat terrorism and threats to Canadians at home and abroad. Following his time in the military, Jeff co-founded The Special Forces Experience - a program that immerses participants in adverse environments with the intent to catalyze post-traumatic growth and improve human optimization. Hear Jeff's story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.thespecialforcesexperience.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 214 - Chris Jones (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2021 143:01


    This week, another detailed look at COP Keating and the October 3rd, 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan with Chris Jones. Chris was an Infantry soldier in Red Platoon, Bravo Troop 3-61 Cav. He was also one of the five guys who volunteered for Clint Romesha's small team to take back the outpost against overwhelming odds. Jones talks about the intense battle that unfolded that day in October 2009, and the strong bonds amongst brothers in arms that kept a relatively small number of them fighting like hell until COP Keating was once again secure. Hear his powerful story of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 213 - Kyle Knight (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 77:53

    This week we return to COP Keating and the Battle of Kamdesh, which took place on October 3rd, 2009 in Afghanistan. Kyle Knight was a Forward Observer in Red Platoon, Bravo Troop 3-61 Cav. Kyle offers an unvarnished perspective of what life was like on Keating before the overwhelming October 3rd attack, the leadership failures that lead to it, and the hours fighting on the ground to win back American control of the combat outpost. He and his unit of just 53 U.S. cavalry scouts ultimately repelled over 300 Taliban fighters while defending COP Keating. Hear his story of combat and survival on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! "Midnight Chow" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 212 - Special Guest: Dr. Shauna Springer (Trauma Expert)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2021

    Dr. Shauna Springer's father raised his kids like a drill instructor - up at 5 a.m. three times a week to run miles in the dark at a local track. That kind of activity at an early age, along with solo mission service trips to foreign countries starting at the age of 10, may just have been the spark that started Dr. Springer on a path to understanding the psychological trauma veterans face on and off the battlefield. She isn't a veteran, but she has made it her life's mission to understand the psychology of a warrior, to the point where she is one of the most trusted docs within the veteran community. Hear her story and how she continues to help veterans heal in our latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.docshaunaspringer.com | "Warrior: How to Support Those Who Protect Us" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 211 - Richard Rice (Green Beret - Vietnam to Mogadishu/GORUCK)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2021

    This week's episode is all about highlighting an incredible career in Special Operations that spans from Vietnam to Operation Gothic Serpent - better known as the battle portrayed in the book and film, "Black Hawk Down."  More importantly this is a conversation about turning combat experience into leadership and mentoring the next generation of individuals to lead in positions from military service to business and government. Richard Rice began his military career as a Green Beret in Vietnam and served in just about every major conflict after, up until the mid 1990s. He now serves as a Senior Advisor to GORUCK along with developing leaders through speaking at leadership conferences and post graduate programs. Hear his powerful story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.goruck.com | www.goruckevents.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 210 - Dale Rider (Army Combat Vet - Syria)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2021

    Dale Rider deployed to Iraq as a bridge crew member of an Engineer unit initially assigned to advise and assist the Iraqi's, after the war had theoretically ended. So, naturally, in the middle of the Iraq mission, his small detachment would head into Syria for a different mission. Dale shares his experiences with that sudden change of mission, and the struggle to deal with some of its side effects when he returned home. It's an interesting story that explores the volatile environment in Iraq and the surrounding region after the major troop drawdown, and how it's still affecting young servicemembers today. Hear Dale Rider's complete story on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 209 - Char Fontan Westfall (Gold Star Spouse)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2021

    Once again, we step outside the bounds of the typical HAZARD GROUND guest to tell Char Fontan Westfall's story. Char is the wife of the late Navy SEAL, Jacques Fontan. Jacques was killed while attempting to rescue survivors of Operation Red Wings, the ill-fated reconnaissance mission in June 2005 in Afghanistan, that left one lone survivor. Char talks about receiving the news of her husband's death, and the long, difficult road she's traveled dealing with the pain, anger, and grief of losing a spouse in such a tragic way. Although not easy, she's handled it with grace and strength, and inspiringly found new hope in an unfamiliar world. Hear her and Jacques's story on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! "A Beautiful Tragedy: A Navy SEAL Widow's Permission to Grieve and a Prescription for Hope" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 208 - Jason McCarthy (Green Beret & Founder of GORUCK)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2021

    GORUCK founder Jason McCarthy went from Green Beret to building a 100 million dollar company, starting with just a napkin sketch of a rucksack that could withstand the abuse of war torn Baghdad and still look good on the streets of any major city. Along with a backpack company he also started a global movement to get people outside rucking, adventuring, and forming community through his GORUCK Challenge events. Hear how Jason McCarthy survived combat and went on to build one of the most inspiring and value-based companies in the world today, on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.goruck.com | www.goruckevents.com | "How Not to Start a Backpack Company" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 207 - Joe "Spoon" Rizzuto (A-10/RPA Pilot)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2021

    Retired Air Force Colonel, Joe "Spoon" Rizzuto has had one of the most interesting careers a military pilot could have. The Air Force Academy grad started out flying C-130s in Alaska - something he wasn't initially thrilled about, but he describes as extremely rewarding and beneficial as a young pilot. He would eventually go from the C-130 to flying both the A-10 and Reaper and Predator drone aircraft in combat. He was even one of the first to fly drones in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Hear his powerful story - the highs and lows of flying close air support in combat, and the psychology around piloting drone aircraft engaged in combat from thousands of miles away from the battlefield, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 206 - Tonya Oxendine (Command Sergeant Major/MVP)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 16, 2021

    For Tonya Oxendine the Army offered an escape from a rough upbringing - a chance for a better life. Although not without extreme hardships and challenges, Tonya embraced the military, using the trauma she experienced in it and after, to become an incredible leader who has made it her life's mission to take care of others. She served over two decades -  including several years in the 82nd Airborne - retiring as a Command Sergeant Major. Today she serves as the Atlanta Program Manager of Merging Vets and Players - a veteran service organization that pairs veterans with former pro athletes to empower them through the transition once they've taken the uniform off. Hear her incredible story of resilience on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.vetsandplayers.org Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 205 - David Smith (Navy Corpsman/CONTINUE TO SERVE)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2021


    Our conversation this week is simply about service - service in combat, and continued service when the uniform comes off. David Smith is a former Navy Corpsman who served in combat in Afghanistan. When an aspiring career in the Navy was cut short, David found another way to serve his country. Ultimately he started an organization called, CONTINUE TO SERVE. Through this organization, he brings together other veterans in continued service to the Nation, particularly when it comes to civic duties and standing up for those less fortunate. Most recently, he rallied a group of veterans through his organization to lead the clean-up of downtown Washington, D.C. and around the Capitol after the January 6th attacks. CONTINUE TO SERVE has also been an outlet for David to seek healing from post traumatic stress, as well as find the same sense of purpose he felt as a Navy Corpsman on the battlefield. His story, and this conversation are something we all can take a little good from. Hear it all, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.continuetoserve.vet Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 204 - Grant Broggi (Marine/The Strength Co.)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2021 76:01

    Grant Broggi didn't take the typical route to the Marine Corps. The extra time he took before ultimately joining meant he entered the Marines with life experience - a key attribute in forming who he would become as a leader of Marines. And the experience he gained from leading Marines in combat would eventually pay dividends when he became a strength coach, preparing Marines for combat as well as forming a small business. That small business would take a punishing hit during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Broggi used the principles learned through his experience in the Marines to navigate the uncharted waters of the pandemic, taking care of people first. Taking care of his members also meant going against sound business principles to ultimately remain afloat and begin to thrive again in uncertain times. Broggi still serves in the Marine Corps while running The Strength Co., focusing on enriching others' lives through physical fitness, training servicemembers for the rigors of combat, and helping to revive U.S. manufacturing. Hear his inspiring story of service, risk, and resilience on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.thestrength.co | @thestrengthco Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 203 - Rod Lurie (From West Point to Filmmaker/"The Outpost")

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2021

    When Rod Lurie immigrated to the United States at a young age, he was taken by what he saw when he visited The United States Military Academy at West Point for the first time. Beyond the institution, he knew attending West Point would provide a means to pay back the country that welcomed him from abroad. Whether his decision to ultimately go to West Point was right or wrong, Lurie has found that his attendance and graduation from there prepared him very well for the profession he knew he always wanted to go into - that of filmmaking. West Point taught Lurie "never to panic, and there is a solution for everything" - guidance that has served him well as he went from Army officer to film critic, to writer and director of feature films. His latest film is "The Outpost", released in July 2020, which tells the story of the Battle of Kamdesh and the fight to save Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. It's a moving and intense film, that portrays the battle and the men who fought there in a way most feature films about war fall short of. It's also a film Lurie poured his heart and soul into, and almost didn't finish. Hear the complete story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! "The Outpost" | "The Last Castle" | "The Contender" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 202 - Ryan Hendrickson (Green Beret)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2021 122:04

    Ryan Hendrickson doesn't know when to quit. If you've served alongside Ryan in combat, that's probably a good thing. Ryan Hendrickson is a retired Green Beret, leaving the Army as an E-7 in January of 2020. Before joining the Army, Hendrickson enlisted and served in both the Navy and the Air Force, until he found his true calling in Special Forces. As a Green Beret demolitions expert, he would find a passion hunting IEDs and working with local villagers. In the high risk confines of Afghanistan, that work would also lead to Hendrickson nearly losing his leg, if not for an experimental limb salvage procedure and an Army surgeon willing to take the risk. Hendrickson then fought through painful rehab to deploy back to Afghanistan roughly eighteen months after his initial injury. As if that wasn't enough, in 2016 Hendrickson was involved in a brutal firefight in which his actions would earn him the Silver Star. Even after his retirement, Ryan still continued to deploy to high risk areas as a civilian. See now why we said he doesn't know when to quit? In all seriousness, this is a story about service, about fortitude, about resilience, and about taking care of those who fight beside you. Hear Ryan Hendrickson's inspiring story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.ryanmhendrickson.com | "Tip of the Spear" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 201 - Donat Le Blanc (Marine/Vietnam)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2021


    Donat "Dan" Le Blanc lost his right arm while fighting in Vietnam as a Marine aircraft machine gunner. Service was in his blood; his father was a World War II veteran and POW. So when it was his generation's calling to combat service, Le Blanc joined the Marines. He cites the 1957 film, "The DI" with Jack Webb as a major source of inspiration for joining the Corps. But, Le Blanc's time in Vietnam would end not long after he sustained life-threatening injuries when the helicopter he was manning an M60 machine gun on flew into a hot landing zone during an evac mission in September 1966. Although his time in combat would end, his service would not. Le Blanc went on to eventually make a career out of working for the VA, providing valuable first-hand knowledge for the development of prostheses for veterans who had lost limbs in combat. He would also write a book about his life and time in combat, titled "Deckhouse: My Story", leaving a lasting record not just for his children and grandchildren, but also for those who return from combat with physical and invisible wounds. This is a story of combat, survival, and decades of service to country and veterans alike, as told by a Marine who lived through all three. Hear it now on the latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! "Deckhouse: My Story" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)


    Ep. 200 - Daniel Rodriguez (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2021

    There's no better story for Episode 200! Daniel Rodriguez entered the Army shortly after losing his father at the age of 18. He joined the Infantry and was almost immediately thrust into one of the worst positions to be in as a new soldier in combat: the replacement for another soldier who had been killed in Iraq. Although it was a rough start, the unit he ended up with would ultimately be the group of guys he not only bonded with, but would also go through one of the bloodiest battles of the GWOT on October 3, 2009 at COP Keating, when the small outpost was attacked by over 300 Taliban fighters. Rodriguez would lose a close friend during the battle, but it was a friendship that would ultimately spark what would happen after Rodriguez left the Army, turning many negatives into a huge positive. Before losing his friend, Rodriguez promised that if he made it out of Keating alive, he would pursue Division I college football and maybe even the NFL if it led there. And that's exactly what Daniel Rodriguez did, making it as a walk-on at Clemson University, playing 3 years before earning a shot at the NFL. Rodriguez takes us through that journey, from a kid looking for direction, to surviving hellacious combat, to realizing his dreams and living big for those who didn't make it home. Hear it all on our 200th episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.danielrayrodriguez.com | @DanielRod_83 | "Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise Kept" | "The Outpost" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts! Episode Intro Music: "Prelude" by "Silence & Light" (www.silenceandlightmusic.com)

    Ep. 199 - Justin Piessens (Army Tanker)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2020

    The junior enlisted servicemembers we've had on this show have never shied away from giving the unvarnished truth when talking about their experiences in combat. They join for a myriad of reasons - a sense of patriotism, a career, or they just didn't think they had better options when entering the workforce. Regardless, you can always count on them to shoot straight when asked for their opinions, especially when it comes to life in combat. Justin Piessens enlisted in the Army after high school, thinking at the time he really couldn't find better options. Plus he was always open to new and interesting experiences. Interesting is what he got, serving as a tanker as the war in Iraq started to heat up in 2004, with a growing insurgency just under the surface. After he returned from his first deployment to Iraq, and ten days before leaving the Army for good, he was put on stop-loss, and headed to Ramadi in 2006 at the height of the insurgency. And this time he wasn't going to be riding in a tank. His brigade commander told his unit it was going to be a "meat grinder." That's exactly what it was, both physically and mentally. In this episode, Justin talks about completing one combat deployment and jumping right back into another 15-month hellscape, and how that eventually led him down a dark road. This is a story of combat and survival in the truest sense, and one that fortunately ends on a positive note. Don't miss it! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

    Ep. 198 - Dr. Jeff Cain (From Army Ranger to Army Doc)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2020

    Dr. Jeff Cain has led an interesting military career to say the least, as both an Infantryman and a doctor, spanning from the period of the first Gulf War into the Global War on Terrorism. Dr. Cain began his career at West Point, choosing Infantry as his branch upon graduation. Following time with the Berlin Brigade in Germany during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cain made his way to 3rd Ranger Battalion where he would serve - along with time at Regimental Headquarters - until he made the decision to go to medical school through the Uniformed Services medical school program. Suffice to say, Cain's time serving in special operations left an indelible mark on him, so much so that his intent upon finishing medical school was to go back and serve as a doctor in SOF. Which is exactly what he did, becoming the 1st Ranger Battalion physician, and completing two OEF rotations and one OIF rotation with multiple JSOTFs. Cain even ended up serving as the lead medical planner for the Jessica Lynch rescue, going in with the recovery force and remaining on the ground to secure other remains during exfil. Today Dr. Cain still practices medicine while focusing on productive methods for treating post-traumatic stress, sustaining a valuable connection between medicine and the veteran and military communities. Hear his inspiring story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

    Ep. 197 - Tom Spooner (Army SOF/Warriors Heart)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2020

    When Tom Spooner enlisted in the Army, he had every intention of becoming a Ranger. But, a last minute change in orders would send him to the 82nd Airborne, where he quickly found, Ranger or not, that he was in his element as a paratrooper. From then on, wherever Spooner went in the military he would find his element along with seasoned veterans who mentored him into a proven combat leader and special operator. Aside from serving in the 82nd, Spooner went on to earn his Green Beret and serve in Special Forces for a little bit before being selected to serve in the Army’s top special mission unit. His experience in combat, coupled with the tools given him by the mentors who fought before him would also help him find a way to heal his mind and body after 12 deployments, and suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury. Make no mistake about it Tom Spooner is a warrior in the truest sense of the word, and today, he helps run Warriors Heart, which he co-founded - a veteran service organization where warriors help other warriors heal through treatment for chemical dependency, alcohol abuse, and co-occurring psychological disorders relating to PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury, carrying on his legacy of service while helping other warriors heal after combat. Hear his powerful story of combat and survival on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.warriorsheart.com Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

    Ep. 196 - Gordon Sumner (Army Aviator/Grenada)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2020

    Gordon Sumner joined the military at the end of the Vietnam War era. As such, the timing of his entry into service led to very unique experiences while serving overseas, both in combat, and during the tense years of the Cold War. He began his military career as an Infantry officer, but through a weird twist of fate, would transition to Aviation before nearly resigning his commission. That move to Aviation would set Sumner on a trajectory to Grenada, where he commanded an Air Cavalry unit with the 82nd Airborne Division. He would also be one of the few to be combat wounded during fighting there. Sumner would also go on to serve with the British Army as an American exchange officer. That position would lead to him becoming the first American to command an attack helicopter squadron in the British Army - work that would put him at the forefront of efforts to quell attacks by the Irish Republican Army. After retiring as a Colonel, Sumner would take part in one of his greatest acts of service - working with Veteran Service Organizations, particularly Veterans Moving Forward, where he currently serves as President and CEO. Hear the complete story on this latest episode of HAZARD GROUND! www.vetsfwd.org Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

    Ep. 195 - Jeff Morris (Army Infantry/"Legion Rising")

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2020

    This is a story of combat and survival in the truest sense. Survival not just from bullets and bombs in Baghdad, but from the indelible scars war leaves on those who’ve experienced it firsthand. Jeff Morris is one of those individuals. His time as an Army infantry officer led him to fight in Iraq both as a platoon leader and company commander. It would carry him through bloody firefights where he would lead soldiers, all trying to survive, and achieve the “little victories” that make long, drawn out campaigns seem worth the sacrifice. And ultimately, it would take him to the brink of his humanity, forcing the reckoning that undoubtedly comes for a man who has lived through combat and chooses to be a force for good after he returns home. Hear Jeff Morris’s powerful story of combat and survival, from officer candidate eager to get into the fight to war veteran searching for healing, on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! "LEGION RISING: Surviving Combat And The Scars It Left Behind" Support the podcast by supporting our sponsors at www.hazardground.com/sponsors! Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

    Ep. 194 - Don Culp (Army Aviator)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2020

    Don Culp's passion for aviation began as a young boy. Watching his stepfather work with the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team, Don knew he wanted to join the military, and specifically go into aviation when he graduated from high school. His journey would take him a little longer than expected though, as he was initially recruited into chemical operations instead of aviation in the late 90's. It would take him roughly a decade and five attempts to transfer out of his Chemical specialty and into Army Aviation. He went from E-6 to Warrant Officer Candidate, and not long after, into flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama. By 2011, Culp graduated as an Apache pilot, and three weeks later deployed to Iraq for his first combat tour. But, Culp's aviation career would not come without challenges - one in particular was directly related to his daughter who was born a few days before he left for Warrant Officer Candidate School. In this episode, Don Culp talks about those challenges and how they shaped him not just as an aviator, but as a father, and the man he is today. Hear his powerful story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND! www.braelynaubreyfoundation.squarespace.com Shop Amazon! As an Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases...You Know The Deal! (Paid Link) Help grow the show! Spread the word, tell a friend!! Subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts!

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