Today's American Veteran is presented by the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes The show is hosted by Emmy nominated actor and Patriot Jack Scalia.
The Coalition supports all Veterans and is a non partisan outreach.The views expressed by our guests are their own and may not reflect those of The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
The mission of the Mary Seau Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Foundation is to raise funds that will aid in the investigation of the long-term effects from repetitive head impacts sustained during contact sports, military conflicts or other potentially hazardous environments. www.msctefoundation.org
Kathy Roth-Douquet is an advocate for the role of the military in civil society; she is an author, nonprofit leader, attorney, and former government official. Kathy is the CEO of Blue Star Families, the largest Chapter-based nonprofit organization serving active duty of all branches, Guard and Reserve, wounded, and transitioning veterans and their families. Blue Star Families mission is to strengthen military families and our nation by connecting communities and fostering leadership to millions of people. bluestarfam.org
My life was forever changed when I was catastrophically wounded while on deployment in Iraq. On August 22, 2004 I saw the world for the last time. An improvised explosive devise crushed 45% of my cranium, took both of my eyes and left me with other life-altering injuries. That day my service in the military ended but my service to others continued.
When I woke up in that hospital bed faced with the greatest adversity I had ever encountered I had to make a decision; what kind of life was I going to live. I drew on my Marine Corps training; not just in leadership and character development, but in mission accomplishment as well. I decided to develop a personal vision of what I wanted my life to be and then I started to implement a plan to make that vision a reality. Overcoming adversity is something that I have become good at; not so much by choice as by necessity.
Barbara Allen was just 32 years old when her husband was killed in Iraq at the hands of a fellow soldier. She has since triumphed over tragedy and has written two books, is a national speaker, a co-founder of American Snippets, a veteran’s advocate and supporter of other Gold Star Wives.
Lance was canoeing near his hometown of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas in 1993, when a decision to dive into the river to retrieve his baseball cap resulted in life-changing circumstances. Lance’s head hit a submerged rock, shattering his C5 vertebrae and leaving him paralyzed. In 2011, without having tried any of the sports, Lance signed up for the Marine Corps Trials, competing amongst 200+ Marines to field a 50 man Marine team for the Warrior Games (the military's version of the Paralympics).
After success in multiple Trials & Games he was selected for the emerging shooter program with the USOC. He has completed the Challenged Athletes Foundation Million Dollar Challenge 4 times (a 620-mile bike ride from San Francisco to La Jolla, CA).
John had developed a unique set of skills thru his life, from personal adversity, to military training to traveling the world as an MMA fighter. When the opportunity came available for him to train soldiers for the US Army; John embraced this opportunity with the same passion and dedication that had helped him grow and develop to be the man he is today. John was the first civilian certified by the Army to train soldiers and has direct influence on several of the cutting-edge trainings that all soldiers go thru in the military.
As John was leaving the Army to pursue his bachelors degree he found a new phenomenon to display his inner “scrapper” it was called MMA. This adventure lasted 10 years with 68 professional MMA, boxing and kickboxing matches under his belt and 6 world titles spanning three different continents. Proving Adversity can be overcome time and time again!
he has now found a new adventure in the travel industry. It is a perfect mission for his talents and abilities that have made John successful so far, to come together and help entrepreneurs find success doing business God’s way, by giving back and never asking in return. Thru all his adventures, John has been a “Traveling Warrior”; you will not find anyone better suited to lead you on your next business adventure that provides more time, more freedom and more life. https://johnrenken.com/
Mast enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in May 2000 and went to become a combat engineer. In 2006, he transitioned to the active U.S. Army and became an explosive ordnance disposal technician. Mast later joined the elite 28th Ordnance Company. He served in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On September 19, 2010, while clearing a path for United States Army Rangers in Kandahar, Mast took a wrong step into an IED along the road. The explosion resulted in the amputation of both his legs and one of his fingers.
On June 8, 2015, Mast announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination United States House of Representatives in Florida's 18th congressional district. Mast faced five opponents in the August 30, 2016, primary; he won.
Elliott McKenzie is a U.S. Marine Corps Iraq War veteran turned R&B singer/songwriter. When he came home from Iraq, Elliott experienced severe PTSD, depression, and anxiety. So much so that he ended up homeless. After years of treatment, Elliott started using his abilities in music as a form of therapy for his issues and is now a successful recording artist and college graduate. His debut single entitled “Gunshots” is a powerful anthem about being a combat veteran with PTSD. His latest single called “Fight Back” is another inspiring song about fighting back against mental illness. His music has influenced and inspired people all across the world. Elliott’s debut album “Therapy Session” is set to release in 2019. To learn more about Elliott and support his music please visit www.elliottmckenzie.com
You can listen to Fight Back at the end of this interview.
Jack Scalia had the opportunity to speak to Golden Knight's Mike Elliott who had the privilege to tandem dive with President Bush. Listen to the interview on the coalition to Salute America's Heroes Show aired December 1,2018
Here at the Academy of United States Veterans, we believe in the magic of collaboration among powerful communities to create a more united, sustainable and healthy tomorrow not only for our veterans, but all Americans. Every veteran deserves to have a voice in our American community. Every single service member on active duty, in transition, or separated from the military has a right to live a meaningful and sustainable life. As veterans, we all believe in an old fashion conviction called public service. We wear our title of veteran as a badge of honor. As brothers and sisters in arms, we are called to confirm our values and our vows, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up to the legacy of those who served before us and will serve long after us.