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In this week's Team Never Quit Podcast, Marcus has 11-year combat veteran and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, Benjamin Sledge in the studio. Benjamin served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning 2 Army Commendation Medals. He lost his best friend in combat. These days, Benjamin is a viral writer, graphic designer, and author of Where Cowards Go to Die where he reveals a brutal portrait of war and the cost of returning to a country that no longer feels like home. He travels around the country educating businesses, non-profits, and churches about veterans’ mental health issues. In this episode you will hear: I got to see the best and worst parts of war. Often times we were the first ones in the door, so we either made friends or got shot. I was 21 when I first got to the battle, thinking “I literally have no idea what I’m doing.” There’s a very distinct smell to death. It’s like rotting meat dabbed with knockoff CK1 cologne. Many combat veterans don’t necessarily come home with PTSD; it’s moral injury. It’s the physiological damage that occurs when you violate your sense of right and wrong. Seeing death from that close does something to the mind. It became a real struggle point for me. When I first got home, they didn’t know how to handle me, because I didn’t know how to handle myself. I was drinking myself silly, so I could get the images out of my head. The strangest thing happened to me – I found myself missing war.  My wife left me while I was in Iraq. War really is a spiritual experience. What does it look like to live a courageous life and carry that into career and family relationships – Never give up, never accept defeat, and never leave a fallen comrade behind. Inside every man, there’s both a warrior and a poet. Support Benjamin Website: https://benjaminsledge.com Book (Where Cowards Go to Die): https://amz.run/5GAb Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.sledge/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benjamincsledge/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/benjamincsledge Support TNQ https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/
The ultimate tour de force of human strength, endurance, mental toughness, and unyielding perseverance. That's what this week's Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Mike McCastle is. Listen in as Mike and Marcus engage in a discussion about Mike's seemingly unbelievable feats he refers to as "labors". Endurance athlete - yes; Multiple world record holder - you know it; In-demand performance coach - for sure; Motivational speaker - of course. After serving 11 years in the U. S. Navy, he founded Twelve Labors Project, a charitable initiative driven by a mission to redefine the limits of human potential while inspiring others to elevate beyond their perceived capacity for greatness. Mike is perennially challenging his own physical and mental limits, and he's not anywhere near done yet. In this podcast, he reveals his upcoming 9th labor, and it will blow you away when you hear it. Mike's 8 charitable labors he has accomplished so far include: A 50k run while wearing a 40lb vest for Cancer Research. A 13-mile, 250-pound tire flip for wounded veterans. A Rope Climb that equaled the height of Mount Everest - 29,029 feet in 27 hours for Parkinson's Disease Research. Breaking the Guinness World Record for 'Most Pull-ups in 24 hours after completing 5,804 pull-ups, while wearing a 30-pound pack to represent the heavy burden of the wounded warrior. Pulled a Ford F-150 pickup truck for 22 miles in 19 hours across Death Valley to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide. Ran 20 miles per day for 100 consecutive days to heighten awareness of the Veteran Suicide epidemic. Pulled a full-size pickup truck for 10 miles through the Arctic Circle. Broke the world record for the longest full-body submersion in ice (2 hours and 40 minutes). In this episode you will hear: I basically grew up in a cornfield. I went to BUDS (Navy SEAL Training) and blew my knees out. Then I needed to re-find my purpose because my one-man pity party wasn’t working for me. My dad’s Parkinson’s started to progress, and one day I came home and he was on the floor. He had had a stroke.  I decided to take care of my dad and stop the pursuit of sports. But in my mind, I quit. You can fool other people, but you can never fool yourself. Things that pull you away from your purpose are those are things behind the doors in your hallway of life. You’re tested, dragged through the fire, and you feel like you're cursed but you still have a choice.  If you put all your eggs in one basket and when it gets taken away from you, you’re left with nothing. Then who the hell am I? I needed to find my purpose again. That’s how The Twelve Labors Project got started. I wanted to create a physical manifestation of the message I wanted to deliver. It’s not a weakness to be vulnerable. Finding your purpose in life requires risk. I don’t give a shit about records. What I care about is “Is this going to deliver my message?” “Are people gonna remember WHY I did it?” Reality isn’t what happens to us, it’s our interpretation of what happens to us. We're all writing our own stories. You cannot only come back after failure, but you can come back stronger after failure. My father always said, "You suffer more in imagination than you do in reality." Finish what you started. If you're gonna do it, go all the way. We're all the heroes of our own story. You go through the crucible you come back, and you share the lessons learned. The reward for finishing a labor is the next labor. The internet is undefeated. Our time on this planet is very limited. The things we do echoes through eternity from the lens of your loved one. The only goal for my son is to leave this world a better place than he found it, like I hope I am doing and I hope that everyone who hears my message does. Follow Mike www.MikeMccastle.com https://www.instagram.com/mikemccastle/ Follow TNQ: https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/
This week, the Team Never Quit Podcast presents an extraordinary man with an extraordinary military resume. Travis Osborn served as both an Airborne Ranger and a Green Beret in 17 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious service 15 times. Travis played an integral part in the rescue of Navy SEAL "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell. As an 18Delta Special Forces Medic, he treated Marcus while awaiting extraction from an Afghan village. Listen in as Travis chronicles Marcus’ rescue, and the horrific conditions they had to endure to achieve it.  In this episode you will hear: • When we got the call, we knew it was abnormal, and something was up – out of the norm. • In the briefing, we were told that we had four SEALs on the run, a helicopter down, and we’re going in. • We decided to put boots on the ground – whatever it takes. So our guys came up with a plan, and we stole some trucks from the marines.  • By the time we left, we had 120 people and 50 donkeys headed up the side of the mountain. • None of us had ever worked together before. • [Marcus]: “That’s what showed up to get me out of there.” • We walked almost straight up a mountain for the next 3 days. • We climbed 5,000 feet the first day and only walked a distance of 2 kilometers. • It’s the most ass kick I’ve had in a long time. • It was walking straight up shale, and every type of boots were cut. • There’s a lot of ridiculousness in these situations. • About halfway thru the village and from within a crowd of people, I looked and saw a really tall Afghani and saw that he he had tattoos. • “You must be Marcus.” “Fuck yes, I am…” • “We’re here to get you home.” And he said “Yeah, I’m just ready to go home.” • [Marcus] “When they showed up, the literally looked like death.” • We just recued a fuckin’ American. We walked in with a bunch of donkeys on foot, & found this guy in the middle of nowhere. • To treat him, I threw him into the first thing I could find – it turned out to be a donkey pen with 10,000 years of donkey shit in it. • The next time I see you is gonna be on Oprah. • When you’re in mission mode, you don’t mentally unpack. You put all that shit in the deep freeze, then it takes a while to unpack it because it’s all at the bottom of the freezer.
This week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guests, Mike Sarraille and Rey Baviera bring a gut-wrenching, firsthand account of their collective 35 years of military service as Navy SEALs - most notably witnessing the valor and heroism of fellow SEAL Michael A Monsoor, who willingly jumped on a grenade to save those around him. While the story is heart-wrenching, it is equally heart-warming to know the source of “Mikey's" character and moral fabric. Michael A. Monsoor When US Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor sacrificed his life by throwing his body on a live grenade to save his comrades during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he inspired thousands around the world and reminded us that freedom is never free. On September 29, 2006, Michael Monsoor and three SEAL snipers watched vigilantly for enemy activity from their rooftop post in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. When a grenade thrown from insurgents bounced off Michael's chest, he could have escaped. Instead, he threw himself onto the live grenade, shielding his fellow soldiers from the immediate explosion. Michael died thirty minutes later, having made the ultimate sacrifice. Defend Us in Battle is cowritten by Michael’s father George Monsoor, who is himself a Marine veteran, and Rose Rea. It also includes a foreword by Dr. Donald C. Winter, former Secretary of the Navy. Through interviews, military documents, and eyewitness accounts, the authors detail Michael’s remarkable military career and devotion to God and others. The book highlights how Michael prepared for this selfless act all his life—a life that will inspire readers to have a similar generosity of heart. Michael grew up a quiet boy in California, but his childhood of asthma and being bullied made him a staunch defender of justice and passionate about never quitting. It was because of that passion that he achieved his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL and saved numerous lives throughout his deployment. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Michael received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart for his years serving his country. But his greatest legacy is in the hearts of those he inspired to live, and even die, for the sake of brotherly love. “Michael Monsoor was an exemplary SEAL—a man of great integrity, a skilled warrior, and a loyal teammate. That loyalty led to his willingness to sacrifice his life for his teammates.” —Dr. Donald C. Winter (Secretary of the Navy, 2006–2009) Mike Sarraille  During his 20-year military career, Mike Sarraille served as a Recon Marine, Scout-Sniper, and U.S. Navy SEAL Officer. Much of his career was in the Special Operations community, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command. He now works with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies on the principles of leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and living a life of balance and purpose. Rey Baviera  Rey Baviera served almost 15 years in the SEAL Teams, with multiple deployments and operations in violent urban environments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also worked as an intelligence and targeting officer at the Special Operations Command Pacific. He co-founded VTH Consulting, with the intent of bridging the gap between medical providers and veterans, helping veterans fight for the VA disability claims they morally, ethically, and legally deserve. May the memory of Michael Monsoor never die. Purchase the book honoring “Mike” - Defend Us in Battle, wherever books are sold: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0785290591/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_hrd_swatch_0&sr=&asin=0785290591&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1 In this episode you will hear: Not all Marines are equal, just like not all SEALS are equal. Performance comes into play. Rey: I had no direction, and I joined the military because I had made a promise to my brother. Mike: I’m standing in for Rose Ray who wrote the book Defend Us in Battle alongside George Monsoor, Mikey’s father. My second time in Ramadi, I fired my weapon for the first time. You don’t really know what you’re walking into until guys start getting wounded,. Shark base [one of the places we slept] was once of Saddam’s vacation palaces. We had tents in there. We had to take bottled water showers. Mikey spoke thru actions, not words. It’s highly competitive in the SEAL teams in a good way. With each mission, we learned more lessons. When you step into combat, there’s an inter-service rivalry. But eventually you get past the butt-sniffing phase. But when we mesh together, it’s amazing what we can do as a team. The longer you sit in a position, you lose relative superiority, and the momentum shifts, because you’re static. It’s different than training when you know it’s a live grenade in front of you. Mike did not hesitate. He went right down on it. What came next was brutal. While the SEAL teams may have trained Mike, his character and moral fabric who he was was given to him by his family. His family is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
From 15+ years as an Army Ranger to deploying in Iraq and Afghanistan 15 times, to becoming a film military advisor, and now Senior Content Production Manager at Black Rifle Coffee Company, this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Jariko Denman, has lived a very interesting life. After 54 months of combat experience as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force, Jariko speaks with Marcus about what it was like to be on the ground at HKIA during the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. While he has retired from active duty, Jariko still leads quite an adventure, such as joining with a team of guys who will be skydiving in each of the seven continents over seven days. In this episode you will hear: Wherever something’s happening, I just don’t want to miss out. As a retired guy, I have a lot of freedom. My dad talked to me like a drill sergeant would talk to you, so I had a certain amount of bandwidth. Ranger school sucks, but it’s kind of a speed bump – you just gotta do this to move to the next level. In a 90-day rotation, we’d do 120 raids. We’re locusts. We just come in and destroy. When I got out, I never really decided to do anything. I just rode the wave. As a technical advisor for film, I have the freedom to say, “Screw your movie. I’m not gonna be a part of it.” If there were 2 job offers and 1 was a rad action movie and 1 was a true story, I’d do the rad action movie because it’s more fun. A true story takes the creativity out of it. I didn’t plan on going to Afghanistan for the shit show withdrawal. My function turned into me getting to the gate and plucking as many people out as I could. I had to ask myself: What am I doing here?” Being there in a whole different context was so weird. Coming up soon, me and a team of guys are skydiving in each of the seven continents in seven days. www.BlackRifleCoffee.com www.LegacyExpeditions.net
This week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Colin O’Brady, could be classified as an over-achiever by most standards. As a passionate outdoorsman, his adventurous life took a turn for a worse when he suffered a tragic incident in Thailand. While he was fire jump roping (yes, a rope on fire), the rope got caught around his legs, causing severe burns on over 25% of his body. The burn wounds were so critical that doctors told Colin that he would probably never walk normally again. But Colin was too full of ambition to let his trauma slow him down. His mother challenged him to set a goal for himself and he decided that he would compete in a triathlon. After a year and a half of intense rehabilitation and training, Colin competed in the Chicago Triathlon. He not only competed, but he won. Since then, O’Brady has raced in 25 countries on six continents over six years. As if that weren’t enough, Colin’s biggest claim to fame is that he became the first human being to walk across Antarctica solo entirely on human power. No sled dogs, kites, or powered machines. He consumed 8,000 calories a day while burning off 10,000 calories a day. Colin gained 20 pounds of muscle to prepare for the trip. Colin O’Brady became The Impossible First, which was the name of his amazing attempt to achieve the unachievable. In this episode you will hear: While I like being around people, there’s something beautiful about solitude. I had parents who always gave me positive reinforcement. When we don’t know exactly how we’re going to get where we’re going, you’ve got to create your own reality over time. We’re the net product of the 5 or 10 people we spend the most time with. I started out with a curiosity for nature and adventure in my own back yard. Fun Scale: Type 1 Fun:  Laughing, watching a great movie, dancing, drinking a cocktail on a beach while watching the sunset. Type 2 Fun: Is not fun when it’s happening, but a week later you’re telling your friends that it was epic. Type 3 Fun: Is not fun when it’s happening and it’s not fun afterwards. For me, Type 2 Fun is most gratifying. In Thailand, I saw these guys jumping a flaming jump rope, and because I’m 22 years old, I had to try it. I tripped, the rope wrapped around my leg, and I caught on fire. I jumped in the ocean to extinguish the flames, but not before 25% of my body was severely burned. My Doctor said “You’ll probably never walk again.” The emotional trauma was intense, but my mom would come into my room with positivity, and have me set life goals & accomplishments. I call it “a possible mindset.” My mom was a positive influence on me throughout my entire life. All of us as humans have reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve extraordinary things. My body can always handle more. My mind is stronger because of my previous traumas. I’m lit up. I have this aliveness inside of me. Sometimes, you make decisions when you’re 22 years old – Then you wake up and you’re 65 years old and still on that same path. My childhood dream was to climb Mount Everest. What is your Everest? If you’re not on the path that YOU’RE meant to be on, then you’re not living with integrity with yourself. What I was really fascinated about crossing Antarctica is that it had never been done; it was a world first. I couldn’t call up anyone to ask how did you make it? Most people are stuck in what I call the zone of comfortable complacency.
Understanding war and the never-ending effects it has on veterans coming home from it is what this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Ben Kesling, lives to convey. After having joined and served in the Marine Corps as an officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ben went back to school to become a journalist and put his war experience to use reporting for the Wall Street Journal as a foreign and combat correspondent. Because of his experiences, Ben has a unique perspective on the effects of war and spends his time focusing on veteran n affairs and domestic security issues. Ben also authored the book, Bravo Company, telling the inside story of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the men of one particular unit, whose war didn't end for those soldiers when they came home. Bravo Company follows the men from their initial enlistment and training, through their deployment, and on to what has happened to them in the decade since. An interesting side note: Ben Kesling is a two-day Jeopardy! champion. In this episode you will hear: To know that you’re talking to someone who’s been there and understands what you’re dealing with opens up a whole world. Being in Iraq and Afghanistan helped me immensely because I was able to see those things and understand what soldiers were dealing with. In my book, Bravo Company, I wanted to tell their story. I didn’t want to tell my story. When you go to the VA, you’re treated as an individual, and we almost forget that we were part of a unit. The reunion that Bravo Company did brought them all together to remind them that they are members of a team. Strength to the group brings strength to the individuals. One thing we can do for each other is to have graciousness and empathy. We all carry the same weight, though some are more publicly known. There’s the trauma we go through just by living our lives. [Melanie]: That’s why we started Team Never Quit. It’s persevering through hard times. No man is an island. We’re not doing this on our own. You need people around you who love and care for you and to call you out on your bullshit. A burden is not a curse. It’s what life gives you. It can be a curse and a blessing. Anytime we try to do something by ourselves, we must remember we’re members of a team. [Marcus]: The irony of life: Some people will have a skillset that you won’t possess. Thru my book, I hope that people who have never served can understand what it’s like to be in combat.
ATV riding on the family farm sounds like a lot of fun - until you strike a live, fallen power line. This week's Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Jason Koger, shares his unbelievable account of the near-fatal injuries he suffered as a result of such an accident. Waking up after 3 days in a coma, Jason's life was forever different, as both of his arms had been amputated below the elbow to save his life, and the first thing he wanted to do was to hold his two daughters in his arms again. In short order, Jason taught himself how to drive again, and went on a turkey hunt and deep-sea fishing. Within a year, he was fitted with prosthetic arms and relearned the essentials of life, including how to feed, dress and bathe himself.  These days, life is back to “normal” for Jason and his family. He has a new son and has taken on the mission of encouraging other amputees. Jason’s goal in life to use his story to help others. In this episode you will hear: My arms are body-powered. They basically work off of a cable. When you move your opposite shoulder from your amputation, you’re basically pulling a cable to the opposite hand.  My cousin said it looked like the Fourth of July was coming off of me. He thought I was dead. It basically blew my left thumb off. In the helicopter, they cathed me, and my urine looked like Dr. Pepper. By the time I made it to the hospital, they had to immediately amputate to save my life because my kidneys were shutting down. The surgeon said it looked like a shotgun had gone off inside of my arm. The electricity pulled all my tendons off. We’ve always had faith. When I woke up from a three-day coma, I had no idea they had amputated. When my dad says it’s gonna be possible to get through it, it’s gonna be possible. I told the doctor, “I gotta be able to hold my kids. That’s all I care about.” He said he’d make that happen. I’ve always been a strong-willed person. I want to do things myself. I don’t want someone doing things for me. Eventually, my insurance company said yes to two bionic hands. My goal was to be the best prosthetic user in the world. I got a call from CNN, asking if they could run my story. Then amputees all over the world started reaching out to me.  I told my wife I think this is my calling - to help others. I want veterans and non-veterans to know there’s a way to live. 95% of being a successful amputee is mental attitude. The hands have an Apple app. My hands know where they are in space at all times. The hardest day I ever had was the first day I was home, because one of my girls laid on my lap. My brother-in-law bought me a shirt that read: “Look Ma, No Hands.” I wrote my first book: Handed a Greater Purpose. You can live life to the fullest, no matter what you go through. 
When a rare genetic disorder hits home, it takes someone like this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Stephanie Herzog, to help find strategies to cure it. The Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) diagnosis of her son, Max, was the driving force to connect her with Cure Rare Disease, who is currently developing life-saving therapeutics in collaboration with the world’s leading academics, clinicians, regulatory experts, translational experts, and manufacturing experts. Stephanie serves as a board member. The organization’s ground-breaking research is bringing to fruition the potential for permanent muscular regeneration, which was, at one time, science fiction. In this episode you will hear: When we learned about our son’s condition, we put together a golf tournament to raise funds because it was A: Our only option, and B: Our best option to cure our kid.  80% of boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have a gene deletion in the dystrophin gene. Max has a duplication of the dystrophin gene. In what should be the best time ever with your child, that’s when we find out he has this horrible disease. We had like a funeral in our house for like a month.  The weight of his future was heavy. Our team, through Crispr technology, hope to edit Max’s gene mutation. 6 years ago, this was science fiction. Boys usually get diagnosed between the ages of 4-6. They lose their ability to walk between the ages of 10 and 12. They usually lose their battle in their early 20s. They’re literally knocking out the gene duplication along a string in his DNA on the cellular level. Using the Crispr technology, the muscle cells are auto-correcting, producing dystrophin on their own. You wonder: “How am I going to live with this? And you do.” Faith is everything. You need somebody to pray to. When the going gets tough they have prayer.
What’s the difference between a professor of Criminal Justice and an undercover CIA, and FBI counterintelligence agent? In the case of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Tracy Walder, the answer is Nothing. They‘re the same person. Listen in as Marcus & Melanie Luttrell discuss Tracy’s first-hand accounts as a CIA officer and FBI field operative – fascinating stories. She successfully hunted down terrorists around the world using aliases and had face-to-face discussions with President Bush and General Colin Powell. Yet, she shares her experiences in a genuine, unexaggerated, and engaging manner. Tracy is the author of The Unexpected Spy, and has appeared on numerous national programs, and has written several national security pieces. In this episode you will hear: I was born with a developmental disability called Hypotonia. (Low muscle tone). It has no cure. I didn’t roll over until I was 1. I didn’t walk until I was 3. I attended USC for free since my dad was a professor there. The CIA polygraph process was annoying. All the questions were very frustrating. One session was 8 hours long and another was 3 hours. My job was to try to get as much information as possible on terrorist training camps. I served in 13 countries. I once had a meeting in the trunk of a car. Having Bin Laden in our sights at one time and not being able to do anything about it was really upsetting. My boss at the CIA was the best boss I have ever had in my life. My target was a guy named Zarqawi who founded ISIS. Zarqawi became enemy number one. That meant going overseas. My job was to manipulate people to give me information. It worked well for me. I worked with SEAL Team 6 a lot. I left the CIA because I didn’t want to live overseas anymore. I was totally burned out. As part of the CIA, you are not entitled to the same benefits as veterans, like mental health care.I love the counter-terrorism mission.
"Navy SEAL Down!" Those are words no soldier in battle ever wants to hear. In the case of this week's Team Never Quit guest, Jeff "Spanky" Peterson, the mission he had trained for as an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter pilot finally came into play in the mountains of Afghanistan. His mission: to rescue this podcast's host - Navy SEAL 10's Marcus Luttrell (code name: "Spider-Man") - after a dramatic & horrific ending to Operation Red Wings. Listen in to Jeff's detailed description of the events leading up to that harrowing rescue, and learn firsthand the degree of risk taken by U.S. soldiers on a day-in-day-out basis. The average American has no idea of the degree of "badassery" occurring in the theater of war by the U.S military around the world. In this episode you will hear: People call us heroes, but I don't think of it that way. “Pack a three-day bag. You’re going up north.” A rocket-propelled grenade brought a Chinook chopper down, killing 16 men. Command picks up a clicking sound on a rescue radio frequency. My crew included a 57-year-old flight engineer, a gunner - a nervous University of Arizona student. My co-pilot was “Skinny”, 40-year-old seasoned by thousands of hours flying a Blackhawk. Are we looking for Americans, survivors, or is this a trap by the Taliban to draw in another chopper and blow it out of the sky? An elderly Afghani man arrives at a small Marine camp, with a note written by Luttrell. We have to fly into hostile Taliban territory to get him out. “It was dark and the weather was bad. It was a black abyss.” Except for the green glow of the rooftop position lights, we were flying black. "It was the Fourth of July out there." “We didn’t even know where we were going and which strobe light was the right one. It was just like a flashlight from God.” Within 10 feet from the ground, the rotors kicked up a storm of dust, sending us into a total brownout. I couldn’t see the wall, the ground, or the cliff. Both of ‘em were wearing Afghani man jammies. Before taking him aboard, we had to authenticate Marcus by asking him to say his dog's name and his favorite superhero. For the record, the answers are Emma and Spider-Man. When we got back, the only thing I wanted to do was talk to my wife, but we couldn't talk openly. All I could say was "Everything is good, "Everything is really, really good." "We stick our butts on the line to save people." "That's our combat mission.”
Excellence, Leadership, and Mentorship. Those words exemplify the life of this week's Team Never Quit guest, Aaron Walker. Aaron and Marcus kick around the adventures of entrepreneurship, a spectacular marriage, and how he applies that which he learns from his experiences – good and bad - to propel him to new heights. After learning tough lessons from a horrific life event, and then being guided by the finest financial and spiritual leaders, Aaron now plays it forward by mentoring others. In this episode you will hear: I didn’t have anything at 18, and I was able to retire at 27. I played golf every day, I fished every day, and you can’t do that but so much, because you gotta have a purpose. While driving, I watched an older man walk across two lanes, he got to the median, and stopped. As soon as I got to him, he took off running to catch a bus, and I ran over him. It was literally like my life came to a standstill. One day I made the decision: I’ve been chasing money since I was 8 years old. I’m 40 now and I’m retiring – I’m through. Through a series of events, I spent 21 years sponsoring Dave Ramsey’s show, and we became best of friends. The Mastermind radically changed my life. We can’t quit. People need you. You can’t sit on the sidelines. We have to get up because nobody can live your life but you. I had great success financially, but I had no significance. I want my legacy to be that those I come in contact with are different as a result of having interacted with me. I want to leave a legacy of helping, giving, supporting, encouraging, lifting people up and helping them accomplish their dreams and goals. God is always working in the background. The thing that I thought was taking me out was the catalyst for transforming the lives of other people. We all need trusted advisors. Don’t do what I did and have a pocketful of money only to come home to a house full of strangers. You can go faster alone, but you can go much further together. Failure is in not trying, not in not succeeding. Go out there today. Go for it. Never quit. 
It's hard to imagine how life could possibly go on when someone who has everything to live for commits suicide. How do you respond to such a tragedy? In this week's Team Never Quit Podcast, our guest, Sara Wilkinson, Gold Star wife of Navy SEAL Chad Wilkinson, speaks candidly about her military family life, her love for Chad, and raising their children on her own. Sara is determined to reduce the stigma surrounding the silent epidemic of Veteran suicide and bring awareness to its warning signs and triggers. She brings honor to Chad's legacy, and discusses the importance of fitness, and living large, despite what life brings. In this episode you will hear: My whole life I moved around. I attended 15 schools before I graduated. [For the military guys] it’s really hard to hop off the hamster wheel unless someone tells you to hop off. And no one tells you to hop off. I was a Crossfit trainer and I opened a Crossfit gym in Virginia Beach. Men and women can all suffer from Blast Waves, PTS, PTSD, etc. It’s really important to educate spouses and first responders on the ways that little things may be signs of something way bigger happening. In a partnership, it’s our job to care for one another. If someone is exhibiting symptoms of PTS, PTSD, etc. the only thing you can do is manage the symptoms. It comes down to focusing on sleep. Everybody’s mind is affected by the life they’ve lived. Ask yourself - What are the things you need to function optimally? How do we transition veterans from an operative status to living life independently, regardless of their history? I want my kids to know that this is a chapter in their story, and they have their whole life ahead of them. It’s a backpack they carry that they’ll never put down. But they’ll do some amazing things in their life. Your kids are always watching you. The way they watch you and observe you is the biggest responsibility you have. My motto: Live big. Support Sara: CHAD 1000X website: https://chad1000x.com Sara Wilkinson Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarawilkinson7/?hl=en The Step Up Foundation: https://www.instagram.com/thestepupfoundation/?hl=en Follow Us: https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/ DraftKings Disclaimers If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/LA/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit http://ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA(select parishes)/MI/NH/NJ/ NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. New customer offer void in NH/OR/ONT-CA. $200 in Free bets: New customers only. 
Can you say “One of the first of two female graduates of the US Army Ranger School and Apache attack helicopter pilot?” Meet this week’s Team Never Quit guest, Shaye Haver. From being a cross country runner and soccer player in high school, to Army brat, to following in her dad’s footsteps as an Apache helicopter pilot, Shaye and Marcus share an engaging conversation about her influences and accomplishments. In 2016, Shaye and Kristen Griest, who also graduated from the US Army Ranger School were ranked 34th on Fortune magazine's list of the World's Greatest Leaders. In this episode you will hear: I grew up as an Army brat which put me in an environment of serving and sacrifice. My dad always said, “Go do something better than me.” ROTC was the beginning of my understanding that the military was about opportunity. You can make it what you want it to be. Good, better, best – Never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better best. I absolutely don’t take no for an answer – especially for myself. I did not go to West Point because of my intellectual prowess. I went on my leadership and physical fitness abilities. Ranger School reminded me that the mission is about the people to the left and right of you. Crisis provides opportunity. The tactic for success I use is to visualize success. The first day one, there was 19 of us; the second day 1, there were 8 of us; the third day one, there were 3 of us. I have had my tab ripped off my shoulder two times. Once by another Ranger. I choose to walk in the responsibility of bearing this thing that I have earned for the duration of my life. You can let it weigh you down, or you can let it inspire you. There’s not a quitting bone in my body. The warrior culture is not just for men. Heroes come in the most unlikely boxes. They’re all around us and everybody has a story.
Unapologetically American, and an all-around badass - That’s who and what Tim Kennedy is – a true patriot. In this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast, Marcus and Tim have a fascinating conversation about Tim’s military service as an active Special Forces master sergeant and sniper and his role in the most elite counter-terrorism and hostage rescue unit within the U.S. Army Green Berets. Tim holds a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu and is a former professional mixed martial arts fighter and two-time title challenger. He authored the book, Scars and Stripes, an inspirational memoir offering lessons on how to embrace failure and weather storms to unlock the strongest version of yourself. These days, he lives a remarkable life as a serial entrepreneur owning multiple companies. However, Tim’s most personal accomplishments are that of a husband, father, and lover of this country. In this episode you will hear: When I grew up, all I did was fix the barbed wire and throw Bahia bales. You have to be an involved parent and mentor to your child. Now, every high school graduate has had every decision made for them. And when they arrive at college, they have been force-fed everything to this point, and now they get fed something much more dangerous – ideas. They’re given the freedom to make their own decisions with those dangerous ideas, and what you have is a petri dish for disaster. I want little kids to make all their decisions and learn the consequence of bad decisions, so when they hear someone say something stupid, they’re like, “that doesn’t work.”In Afghanistan they’d “beach ball” babies to the gate with the hopes that some marine would pick them up. It’s not rocket science that you don’t move tactical elements before you get your people out. You don’t give up strategic and tactical positions until you’re ready for a proper withdrawal. There’s nothing more dangerous than a broken man. Jesus didn’t go into the holiest of places. He went to where the prostitutes and tax collectors were. I stepped away from God for almost two decades. I became a narcissist. It wasn’t until my marriage was on the rocks that I was convinced to talk to God about all the horrific things I saw & experienced. They were throwing money at me to get people out of Afghanistan. That was so wrong in my heart to go back there for the money. In ten days we evacuated 12,000 people with our own planes. Follow Us: https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/
“Life is a gift, that is why they call it the present. Cherish it always.” That’s the mantra of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast, Kevin Hines. Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Miraculously, a sea lion kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. He is one of only thirty-six (less than 1%) to survive that fall. He shares his compelling story of hope, healing, and his will to live with Marcus. His story was featured in the 2006 film The Bridge by film director and producer, Eric Steel. Kevin has inspired millions worldwide in the art of wellness and the ability to survive pain with true resilience. “Be here tomorrow...” In this episode you will hear: My biological parents had me on a diet of Kool-Aid, Coca-Cola, and sour milk. My parents would leave me and my brother unattended to go score and sell drugs. Then Child Protective Services picked us up and put us in foster care. The only time I ever lost faith was when I stood atop the Golden Gate Bridge looking down. I found it on my way down. There’s a high number of suicidal teens who went through foster care. Many were abused and neglected by the ones in place to protect them. [Marcus] “I think the kids that go through it, are the ones who can fix it.” I finally ended up with foster parents who saved my life. They gave me a beautiful childhood. At 17 my brain broke. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and then things got completely out of control. I had auditory hallucinations telling me I had to die. If somebody would have just asked me, I would’ve just told them the truth of my situation. I left a suicide note in my backpack because I wanted my family knows I loved them. When I was still underwater, I thought, “I’m gonna die here and no one's gonna know I don’t want to. No one's gonna know I made a mistake.” On that [Coast Guard] boat, I made a cognitive decision: I would never again attempt to take my life as long as I should live, no matter the pain I’m in. When you encounter a suicidal person, it’s about being with them in the moment. “What do you need from me to say here? How can I help keep you on this planet?” My new motto is: I’m gonna be here tomorrow, and every day after that, no matter the pain I’m in. Every moment of every day is a good moment. It’s a privilege to exist. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Support Kevin: https://www.instagram.com/kevinhinesstory/ https://www.kevinhinesstory.com/ Follow Us: https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/
In one devastating blow, dreams are shattered. Although this week’s Team Never Quit guest, Cesar Perez, went from rising Hollywood star to miraculously surviving a head-on collision with a drunk driver, he shines brightly with the resilience of the human spirit. Cesar starred alongside Daniel Ratcliff (Harry Potter) in the action thriller Beast of Burden for which he also did graphic design work. He was also cast as a major lead character Javier in the action thriller Blind Trust. Despite his severe brain injury, having his face shattered, and learning how to breathe, walk, and talk again, Cesar lives a life of courage and shows us firsthand that even in the darkest of moments, life has meaning. In this episode you will hear: I did a video tape audition that got me a role with Daniel Ratcliff {Harry Potter}. My life was really on the rise. I was driving to see my girlfriend when a drunk driver hit me head-on going over 70mph. He spun me around and then a big rig hit me – also going 70mph, and then I don’t remember anything for the next 2 weeks. If life had a reset button, I must have pressed it. I was making a statement with my life and then it got cut abruptly. I thought if I can get out of this, there’s nothing I can’t do. The first thing I said to the guy that hit me was “the last thing I ever wanted to see is someone from my country behind bars.” I wanted my life back and no one could give me that back. Talking and facing that demon helped me put the period at the end. My family never left me – they showed me what true love actually is. That was the love that got me through it. My family’s sacrifice gave my life meaning when my life felt meaningless. Once I could finally run, I thought “I’m gonna do more”, and that’s what got me back to where I am. The drive I had as a kid is more intense now. It was running hot, but now it’s running with a different fire. Putting my experience down in words helped me heal. As long as there’s breath in me, it’s still possible to live a beautiful life. If, in the end, I helped save a life, it was worth it. 
Using the grief of a husband killed in action to fill a void in estate planning for fellow widows. That’s the mantra of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Keri Mills. Her transparent story of being a lackluster student to attending law school is inspiring, as she strives to educate other Gold Star families and service members in planning ahead in the event tragedy should strike. Keri’s husband, Special Operations Chief Stephen “Matt” Mills was killed in action along with 29 other Americans and a working dog when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. With one knock on the door and one sentence, Keri went from being a married woman to a widow. Unprepared as she was for that life-changing event, it sparked her decision to help others be better prepared than she was. In this episode you will hear: Standardized tests are not my forte. What I realized about who I am is that I’m a person that does what I say I’m gonna do. I have worked for 8 ½ years to solve this problem. If I can keep someone from having to figure things out – the way I did – it’s worth it to me. The stigma that comes with estate planning is that people think you have to have a pot full of money in the bank. That’s not what it’s about at all. It’s about setting up your legacy. I don’t have any stories to tell about Matt because they’re not my stories to tell. I’m trying to carry on Matt’s legacy. There are 300,000 veterans in Houston. The part that I see myself playing is education for the special operators and our community. [Marcus] “There needs to be a way to teach you how to get out.” 
“A government-trained predator.” That’s one description of this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast guest, Jay Dobyns. While he participated in hundreds of undercover operations as a federal agent, he is best known for getting past multiple layers of security and becoming a member of the Hells Angels. Jay's book about that investigation - No Angel, My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels - is a New York Times and international bestseller. Dobyns served as a federal agent for twenty-seven years and was driven to succeed at any cost without regard for himself. These days, Jay has gone from a life of daring, undercover operations to becoming a High School football coach in Tucson, Arizona. Listen in as Jay and Marcus share an engaging conversation about Jay’s encounters and adventures. In this episode you will hear: The entertainment industry gets second takes.  If they miss a line, they can try again. In real life, there are no second chances. I feel very blessed to have entered undercover work. Nothing really prepares you until you get out there and get your feet wet. I’ve bought pea shooters, rocket launchers, bombs, homemade PVC pipe bombs, and servo-activated C4. I infiltrated home invasion crews. That’s where I got my training to take on the Hells Angels. I didn’t always succeed at things, but I always tried. My undercover persona eventually became who I was. I made a million mistakes in my life, and my wife and family have given me one million and one second chances. We fabricated the murder of a Hells Angels rival, and that is when I was welcomed into the organization. I ruined everything for the mission. It was heartbreaking to see what I had done to get there. God does not build us to intentionally betray people. My agency failed to react to threats against me. I was told “You’re on your own.” When no one cares who gets credit for success, we’re on to something. Want someone to remember your name? You’re gonna have to do something they will never forget. If you want something you’ve never had before, you’re gonna have to do things you’ve never done before. Life is about making mistakes, but don’t remake mine - I can tell you how they turn out. It’s not good. 
A path to healing from invisible wounds. That’s the mantra for today’s Team Never Quit guests, Retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant John “Spike” Garcia and Marine Clayton "Clay" Cook from The Lone Survivor Foundation. Their sole purpose is to support veterans after their service to this great country. They’re teaching strategies to manage Post-traumatic Stress, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, and chronic pain – taking back your life. The Lone Survivor Foundation offers both Face-to-Face & Virtual Programs, at no cost. All it takes is for you to be ready to take the next step on your journey. Once the Service Member has attended an Individual Program, couples and their families can qualify for the program as well. Service Members (both active duty and Veterans) from all military branches and service eras, experiencing symptoms as a result of service are eligible. In this episode you will hear: How the Lone Survivor Foundation and Team Never Quit go hand-in-hand The Lone Survivor Foundation provides a holistic approach to treatment and addresses the entire family. It’s the only program that does Accelerated Resolution Therapy. "I got more out of it in three hours than I had in 18 years." The spouse is the first one that is affected by what the veteran is going through, followed by family members and friends, and the ripple effect can affect businesses and coworkers as well. Once the vet goes through the treatment, the spouse & family can assist in their recovery.  Q: How do you know if you’re a good fit for the program? A: Go to LoneSurvivorFoundation.org and take a self-assessment. You don’t have to be diagnosed, you only need to be suffering from symptoms.  Support Lone Survivor Foundation: Donate to the LSF Follow LSF on Instagram Take the Self Assessment Follow Us on Social: https://www.instagram.com/marcusluttrell/ https://www.instagram.com/andrewbrockenbush/ https://www.instagram.com/team_neverquit/
Comments (76)

What Shame?

Whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? (Isaiah 23:8) https://youtu.be/krcNIWPkNzA

Nov 23rd
Reply

What Shame?

Job I'd volunteer for a day / a thousand years: World wide underground adult entertainment inspector. https://youtu.be/Ohw1uI1NsmU "Hear ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? (Isaiah 42:18-19) https://youtu.be/0d61Rjj0wu4 "For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:28) https://youtu.be/ZEUal5vqBkA A clean jobsite, is a safe jobsite.

Nov 23rd
Reply

Travis Tripp

this is such an awesome interview

Oct 6th
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WVsimpleman

God Bless

Sep 10th
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jackieblue361

Love the way you guys encourage her!

Mar 3rd
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NatalyD04

This was a beautiful episode. Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful heart-warming stories. From the jokes that Taya likes to play on others, to the tears that you two shared during the talks. 💗

Sep 15th
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WVsimpleman

sorry Marcus. Love your show but cant stand jj watts views and what he promotes. Your too great a dude to have a AntiAmerican lefty like him on your show. Trump 2020

Aug 19th
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Clancy Ortmann

this is one off very few podcasts I've actively gone back and listened to again.

Jul 17th
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sakib tanvir

awesome

Jul 3rd
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Badger

Mike Day... cause even Chuck Norris needs someone to fear.

Jun 30th
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FW B

Just listened to the mamma. Great great interview. She is the bad ass in that family but as sweet as apple pie. Get well Mamma. Loved the stories and look forward to hearing more from you.

Apr 26th
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Adrianne Kuch

Thank you for this episode! She is definitely a badass and such a great message of "I Can and I Will!" I needed this today, thanks!

Apr 9th
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Casey J

Ever wonder where the baddest men on the planet come from? The baddest women on the planet.✌

Feb 11th
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Travis Tripp

What a moving story!!!!

Nov 25th
Reply (1)

Travis Tripp

One of the best shows

Nov 23rd
Reply (1)

Brian Fish

just lost some respect for this show after seeing a mike pence intvw. fuck that war mongering Israeli cuck

Nov 13th
Reply (2)

WVsimpleman

God bless

Nov 13th
Reply (1)

WVsimpleman

Love ya brother Gary

Oct 17th
Reply

WVsimpleman

amazing leadership and heroism

Oct 11th
Reply

Estevan Cavazos

One of the most motivating and amazing interviews! i couldn't stop listening!!

Oct 8th
Reply
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