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Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 034 - Ben Harrow

Speaker 4: Hello and welcome to learning the dad. My name is Tyler Ross and my guest today is us army, captain green Baret. And I'm pretty sure you rent your wallet [00:00:30] to Sam Jackson in pulp fiction. Cause it says bad on it. And I think that's your wallet, man.

Speaker 1: I think here it's in my first question. Is, are we allowed to curse on this?

Speaker 4: Absolutely. Yeah. It's a bunch of dads listening, those moms too. And every one of them let a little bit out,

Speaker 1: But uh, it happens

Speaker 4: That the things that I know about you, uh, John O'Bannon put us together. He's been a great supporter of the show. You guys played lacrosse together. [00:01:00] Woodberry forest in Virginia. I played lacrosse with, with John. Um, I have a special place in my heart for you cause you played midfield and defense. Uh, I know you played attack two, but we'll only count midfield defense. Uh, but yeah, it went to, went to west point, played lacrosse there, uh, deployed to Afghanistan. A couple of times you stepped on a bomb, your third deployment lost your legs, uh, injured your arm and hand. [00:01:30] And it's going to bring me tears to think about it. But I know you had a daughter after that injury. That's amazing. Um, you know, you led a 12 man special forces team. Like you're a leader. I can't wait to talk to you about resilience. Um, you kids, everything, but you know, let's, let's start with what you're doing now.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Um, being a dad, full-time dad. Um, but uh, my day job now is actually working private aviation and [00:02:00] uh, I'm a vice-president of all of the business operations for an aircraft management company. It's called M jets and they're based out of Los Angeles and we have an office up in Teterboro for all our New York city clients. And down in Miami, we have a bunch of south Florida stuff going on. So I joke about it all the time. I travel more now without legs and I did than I did with legs on the go, just for work. And, um, it, I found myself in this field that I knew nothing about, but as I got introduced to it and the guy that brought [00:02:30] me on that, I helped start the company up with, you know, he came from private aviation and I told him, I said, Dave, you know, you know me, I'm an SF guy.

Speaker 1: I jumped out of planes. I know how to talk to planes, to drop bombs. I don't know much about Gulf streams and private jets. And he's like, nah, don't worry. We'll teach you about that. So it's, it's actually been interesting. Um, you know, it's an industry that I knew nothing about on one hand, but at the same time, it's stuff that I actually knew about operations and the logistics and the day-to-day stuff. And the, um, [00:03:00] you know, the private aviation world was created by a bunch of guys after world war two that got out that, you know, they all learn how to fly B 20 nines and they got into private, you know, private aviation that way, um, out of Los Angeles and kind of built up the van Nuys air field. And, um, it's not so far fetched for a veteran like myself to end up working in private aviation and dealing with Gulf streams and Bombardi or business jet. So it's kind of want to do now.

Speaker 4: Cool. And you seem energized about it and psyched about it. Uh, how long have you been [00:03:30] doing it?

Speaker 1: Um, so I've been with the company since day one. We started the company up, uh, from scratch and I'd say I think two and a half years. Um, and within two and a half years, we went from zero clients to, we have, uh, 11, I believe it is. We're about to sign on full-time, uh, planes that we manage. And, um, yeah, you know, I tell people a lot, I get out of the military, especially coming from special operations that, you know, you're when you leave, you're going to have a huge [00:04:00] void because what we did day to day was this exciting, you know, job. And you know, it, it is what it is. We jumped out of planes, we made things go, boom, we traveled around the world, we learn another language. Right. And it's, it's really interesting, but you know, you get out of the army on Monday and on Tuesday, it's kinda like, well, what do I, what do I do?

Speaker 1: And you know, the sooner that you can realize that you'll never experience something, that was that total package again like that, but you'll be [00:04:30] able to do things like, you know, instead of teaching a guerrilla forces, how to overthrow a government, I actually love being able to teach my kids hockey and, and things that I loved growing up. Right. And being that dad, and instead of being able to plan unconventional warfare for overthrowing some, some country and, you know, wherever, um, now I'm planning business operations and trying to figure out how to break into the Latin America market using my Spanish skills. So if you're able to kind of piece things together, I think they are able to [00:05:00] do a pretty good job at filling that void of what, you know, gets your interest going. And that's kind of what I've been doing. And, you know, honestly, I had kind of figured that out for myself, stepping out a bomb and waking up in the hospital bed and, you know, coming to the conclusion that I don't have lends anymore and life's not going to be the same. And, you know, what's kind of figuring out what's important to me.

Speaker 4: So do you, do you find yourself in a position to speak to a lot of veterans on that particular subject kind of help them adjust particularly injured veterans?

Speaker 1: Um, yeah, I do. It's not something that like, [00:05:30] it's my, my second gig and, you know, go to my website and I'll come talk to you. It's best, um, word of mouth, you know, I do book, I do some speaking engagements stuff, but that's really kind of like, you know, somebody asked me to come talk to the hockey team, a lacrosse team or something like that. And I, I think of it as kind of like giving back and paying it forward, um, just to be able to help out younger guys, whether it's a high school team or college team. Um, but I, I haven't really had the opportunity to act as a, an official mentor to guys getting out [00:06:00] of the military. It's just, you know, it's such a small community that you still talk to. I still talk to everyone on my team and I still talk to guys that I went to the special forces qualification course, and I still talk to my lacrosse teammates that live across with a west point and, you know, something that we always talk about, especially for, you know, our generation, um, you know, deploying.

Speaker 1: I mean, so for me personally, I was a freshman in high school when nine 11 happened, I deployed to Iraq and from oh six to oh seven, I was there for 15 months. I went to Afghanistan twice. So, you know, I did a lot of stuff, but [00:06:30] my classmates the same deal. So, you know, to get out and to, to have to look, to be able to look back 15 years ago, everything that we did and how, how the world has kind of changed and deployments for a little different now. And, um, the fights, not just the same fight, it was, you know, when we were in Iraq and that was like the wild west, um, you know, it's stuff that we still talk about.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, uh, I got so many different things I want to, I want to go over with you and I hope, um, uh, we'll put a pin in the one that's in my head. Cause I [00:07:00] like to start with what's going on now and then kind of go back towards the beginning so that we have an idea of what your world, like, what your world was like when, when kids were introduced to it. So, uh, I think a good place to start would be maybe tell me about when you met your wife.

Speaker 1: So, so Jean and I actually met each other when we were in middle school and, uh, both of them on an island, both in great neck and I went to great neck north and she went to great neck, south, so opposite [00:07:30] sides of the town. Um, so the first time that I actually saw her was at the skating rink, uh, Friday night. And that was kind of like the thing to do in middle school was go to the ice skating rink on Friday nights, right. Hockey hockey was my first sport and first love. And, um, you know, I, I remember kind of skating around her and being a little Brad and maybe trying to sprayer cause she couldn't skate. And um, and I remember, uh, seventh grade also being in a, in a big Jewish town. Uh, we were going to bar mitzvahs all the time and [00:08:00] I saw her there again.

Speaker 1: And I think I asked her out at a bar mitzvah and then we were each other's first kiss in seventh grade in front of this movie theater in town. And, uh, that's where Jean and I first met. And then I w I went to Woodbury. Uh, my parents got divorced. My mom moved back down to North Carolina. My dad moved into the city. So I never really went back to my town on long island to great neck. You know, the only time I was back on long island was maybe to visit some family or when in college [00:08:30] to go back to the island with friends that were from like, you know, Huntington or, or somewhere out in Suffolk. Right. And, uh, so fast-forward, uh, it would've been the summer of oh six. Uh, I'm about to deploy to Iraq and I'm down in Texas and it's like, you know, it's, it's, it's a Saturday afternoon.

Speaker 1: We're probably like all me and my Lieutenant buddies are all texting Trump. They're trying to figure out when we're going to drive the 40 minutes to Austin to go hang out on sixth street. Um, I think I was [00:09:00] on, uh, uh, my space at the time and I'm just like, you know, Googling who I knew, like, you know, I'm totally bored. So I'm just like seeing what I would have graduated high school with back in the islands. Um, I'm on my space and I'm like, God, I remember that kid. And I remember that kid and I randomly come across Gina and I'm like, holy, holy. I remember this girl. And so I, I friend requester and, um, and that she wrote me a message back saying, you know, did you use to live in great neck? [00:09:30] And you know, your nickname was bear on the hockey team.

Speaker 1: So I'm thinking this girl has no clue. Like she does. She doesn't remember me. And that's how we started talking again is, you know, I was like, yeah, you know, it's me then. He's like, oh no, I remember you and I, we started emailing and, um, I deployed to Iraq and while I was in Iraq, we still just kept on playing email pen pal. And, uh, I came back from my, my, uh, mentor leave. So I had like, you know, 15 days off and I came back [00:10:00] and I spent most of it actually up in New York, just so I can hang out with her and start to like officially date and see each other. Wow. And, uh, when I came back to back in oh seven, uh, I was in Texas, she was still up in New York. So we had this long distance relationship. And I actually proposed to her in front of the movie theater that we had our first kiss, uh, at, you know, back in seventh grade. It was actually the night, the reason I remember it. And we always joke about it. It was the night that OJ ran off and the white Bronco [00:10:30] will never forget the date. I could always just Google, when did OJ runaway and Bronco. And, you know, I think it's like June 26 or 28 or something crazy like that.

Speaker 4: Yeah. That's amazing. What an unconventional way to start a relationship. Uh, I mean, like for two years, is it fair to say that you guys had spent less than just a couple of weeks together?

Speaker 1: Yeah. Um, so it was probably, I would say a year because my deployment was 15 months. Um, [00:11:00] so yeah, it's for about a year, a little more, we had this kind of long distance relationship where in between those, uh, those 15 months I came home and we kind of, you know, we, we went out on a couple of dates and that was pretty much it.

Speaker 4: And so, uh, new proposed to her in front of that same theater, uh, very near deployed again, after you get married or did you get deployed and then got married.

Speaker 1: So, um, so let's see. So I got, we got married and then I started the special forces [00:11:30] qualification course. So Gina moved down to North Carolina because of courses at Fort Bragg. And, uh, for officers it's a little more than a year. It's probably about a year and a half. And depending on what your specialty is on the team and your language, you know, for medics that are learning a longer language like Russian or Chinese to be going through the special forces qualification course for like two years before you get eat. Um, but for officers, uh, for me, because I, I was learning Spanish, that's one of the shorter languages. I think [00:12:00] it was like a year and maybe, I mean, maybe it was, uh, uh, 18 months or something like that. So we were down in Fort bread. And then, um, and then from there, uh, I deployed, uh, to Afghanistan, my first deployment as an SF guy to Afghanistan. Um, Gina stayed back in North Carolina and went back to New York a little bit to, just, to, to be around family, but we had actually ended up, uh, she got pregnant right before I left, um, for that deployment. So I actually came [00:12:30] home about a month early, um, for my first, for my first kid Aiden, uh, to be born.

Speaker 4: Yeah. So I I've never been deployed anywhere. The closest I've probably ever been though is while my wife was pregnant, uh, you missed a pretty missed.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Well, I always joke about it. I'm like, that was the easiest pregnancy to Find it as funny.

Speaker 4: Yeah. You, weren't bringing macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets to tell your wife every hour [00:13:00] required, but yeah. So I'd imagine that the Headspace that you're in, um, haven't been deployed deploying again and then having a kid, like, did that change the way that you approached your job overseas?

Speaker 1: Yeah, totally. I mean, it sounds so cliche, but once you have a kid, I mean, you totally look through life in a totally different lens. Right. And, you know, going back on my third total deployment, my second deployment as an NSF [00:13:30] guy, um, it, I dunno, you know, you're not, you don't, you don't, obviously you don't want to risk anything anyway, you know, normally in a you're careful to plan stuff. And, um, but I think that, uh, thinking about what I wanted to do after that deployment, I was more ready to kind of call it quits in the military and special operations. And, um, you know, I had Gina sent me a GMAT test, a test book while I was on that deployment exotic. I figured, [00:14:00] you know, I'm going to get out. I never really was in the military to, to make general. And I saw what higher ranking officers had to do. And it just, it didn't look fun anymore. And I always thought that I was gonna get out of the military when it stopped being fun. And, um, you know, I was always more, I could tell people I was in it more for the journey and not so much the destination. And, um, it just so happened that fate had it, that I, I stepped on the bomb and that was it. You know, I was, I was done. Um, so I mean, I was thinking [00:14:30] about getting out anyway. It just kind of sealed the deal.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, how old was your son when you stepped on the bond?

Speaker 1: Uh, nine months, I believe when I got injured.

Speaker 4: Okay. So his legs were too, as I recall in the article, which I'm going to, I'm going to give this article a little shout out the, uh, us lax If you look up Ben Hearos name, I'm sure you'll find it written by Matt Hamilton. That was a good article. Um, it said that your son was born in, I want to say 2011. [00:15:00] So you said,

Speaker 1: Yeah. Now, uh, so,

Speaker 4: So he's, so his basically entire life, he's known you as you are now.

Speaker 1: Exactly. And, uh, you know, and that was really, you know, talking about waking up in a hospital bed and kind of coming to, and realizing that life is going to be different now. Um, you know, that's one of the things that I definitely knew [00:15:30] was kind of like my purpose was making sure that I can get my son and then, you know, now daughter to the most normal like life there is, and be just be like the dad that I still wanted to be. Right. Like, it's still obviously, so obviously tough, but I've, I've worked it to a way where, you know, I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home and I travel a little bit, so I'm able to take him to soccer. Um, I mean, look, I'll be honest. If it kills me, I grew up learning how to ice skate when I was four, [00:16:00] my dad put me on the ice and I like, you know, I skated with my dad, can't skate with my son.

Speaker 1: You know, it's just one of those things. But, um, I I'm cognizant of that and I try to do other things, you know, I guess, to make up for that. And, um, I will say, you know, bless him, bless his little heart. I do. He has my determination and resiliency. He's become a pretty good soccer player. And I tell people all the time, like, I mean, it's that in itself is something amazing because let's be honest. I don't have legs. I'm not outside [00:16:30] kicking the soccer ball with them. It's all him. And, you know, he made the travel team this year and he's, I'm not just saying this as like a proud dad, but I'm like, as an athlete, I'm like that kid is actually pretty talented at soccer and you know how I was, and probably you, you know, in high school, like I'm going to go find a wall and throw it through, you know, just throw on the wall for a couple hours and work on my left.

Speaker 1: I mean, that kid's out back, like he's dribbling all over the backyard and we don't even have that much of a backyard and it's on a hill. So he's like he's running up hill half the time and like doing the soccer [00:17:00] drills and it's all on him and he's eight years old. So, um, I feel like if there's one thing he's been able to absorb from a, is that determination and that work ethic, you know, that both. And I think that's something both myself, my wife, like really want to ingrain in our kids is that work ethic and, you know, nothing comes free in life and you gotta work.

Speaker 4: Yeah. That's, that's amazing. And, uh, you keyed in on one of my favorite words and topics is resilience. And I want to jump into that, but first [00:17:30] I want to ask you about how your, what did your injury teach you about your relationship with Gina?

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, it, it definitely strengthened it. I know Gina tells the story all the time that she was, uh, you know, for her, she didn't know if I was to live or die, really. They, and they told her that, you know, don't go to Germany. She wanted to fly to Germany to, to be there as I flew from Afghanistan. And they were like, look, honestly, don't fly there because he may die in Germany. And then, you [00:18:00] know, when the body goes over, you, you know, you're gonna miss it because you guys are gonna be in the air. And, um, so she had no clue what, what she was going to be walking into. Right. Like Ben stepped on this bomb, how it's up in the head, Izzy, Izzy, cognizant, you know, like everything. I'm sure she was thinking from a to Z worst nightmare.

Speaker 1: And, um, I mean, I still remember, even though I was kind of in and out of it and getting taken off the ambulance and, and seeing [00:18:30] her for the first time at Walter Reed. And, uh, I said, I think I was in the elevator. Um, and my good friend of mine and his wife who had closed the cross with Maddie element, I think were there also. And I look over and I see Gina and I just said, Hey, babe. And, um, and she like, right. Then she knew that it was like, all right, like it's up and he doesn't have legs and all these other injuries going on, but mentally it's still bed. So I think that put a lot of, uh, her words to bed right away. Um, and then, you know, I think it just [00:19:00] reinforced how important family really is. Um, you know, for me, for somebody that was constantly deploying and, um, you know, having almost having everything taken away from you, just how important it really is to, to be there for one another. Um, so I think that any, any little things that any, any cracks or fractures that we had in our relationship before, like, you know, anyone does that probably solidified and fix those, um, [00:19:30] just because, you know, going through a crucible like this, uh, just really, you know, it strengthens it, right. It's like anything else in life, you, you kind of go through a test like this and you come out stronger. Yeah.

Speaker 4: I think one of the major problems that I have in communicating with my wife is my ego. You know, if I don't let it go, um, I'm not going to allow some of those gaps to get filled in because I'm protecting them. Did you find that, you know, you had to overcome like this [00:20:00] ego from, you know, as you were recovering or did you find that it wiped away and that you were open and available and made for a better partner in that sense?

Speaker 1: Yeah. So eco is interesting. I tell people a lot that whatever type of facade you had, uh, that got blown away with your, whatever limbs you're missing, right? Like you are who you are, especially now. And I think the ego thing, uh, you know, with my wife has definitely helped. And I, I I'm sure she'll say different, especially now, something a little more mobile and cocky [00:20:30] again, you know, in the beginning, going back to the dad thing in the beginning, you know, I wasn't as mobile as I am now, you know, I'm, I'm up and walking on legs. And we went through a whole process for learning how to do that and a whole bone lengthening process for even being able to get a chance to learn how to walk on prosthetic legs. And, uh, before that I was in a regular, you know, wheelchair, but in the very beginning, I mean, I was banged up.

Speaker 1: So I'm in this like Dr. Evil, motorized [00:21:00] wheelchair, you know, this arm was like Cox all the way back, like that movie, rookie of the year where he breaks his arm, he's got like a super strength. Right. And so like, Gina, God blessed her. She's still like forced me and made me step outside my comfort zone to be, to like, go pick up Kate in a daycare, even though I'm like stuck in this like motorized wheelchair, you know? So I got to get in this, uh, handicap van with this ramp and drive over there and go pick up Peyton. [00:21:30] And I would put them on my lap as I would like, you know, use the little joysticks to drive my wheelchair to and fro for like the first six months before my right arm was like strong enough to, to use a regular wheelchair. Um, so yeah, like that's that, that ego thing, you know, I, I was, uh, I was a four year Letterman college athlete, D one lacrosse player, you know, special forces, tactical athlete, and then boom, I'm this guy that can even like walk, right.

Speaker 1: So you're talking [00:22:00] about a major blow to ego. So I could easily have sat there and been like, nah, just, I just, I can't do it. You know, like, I, I feel sorry for myself, but to be honest, that that thought never, never crossed my mind. It just didn't seem like a thing to me. It was like, no, you're right. I should go do that. Thank you for reminding me to like push myself, you know? So, uh, the ego thing, I think that she helped me kind of like get over any sort of bruised ego I had and like, get back, get my back in gear. Yeah.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Well, [00:22:30] our mutual friend, uh, John had told me, you know, he knew you in high school and he said that you always worked hard. You were always grinder. You know what I mean? And that's evident by, you know, this article that again, encourage people to read that you came out of the hospital, you know, four months faster than anybody thought. And so you, do you feel like you are resilient as a result of your upbringing or that, do you think it's innate, like the way your son [00:23:00] is out there, you know, working his off, uh, you know, w how did you become that way?

Speaker 1: I get asked that all the time, and I think it's such a mixture of things, you know, I, I definitely, wasn't raised with a silver spoon in my mouth and I kind of had to work for stuff. And, um, I think it kind of really all started at Woodbury with, uh, you know, given those opportunities that you have. I mean, I, it's not, like I was destined to go to [00:23:30] some elite old boys boarding school. It was an opportunity that was given to me. Um, and I'll still remember my granddad sat me down after my first trimester of, uh, of grades. And I had like seasoned DS and he's like, look, this is an opportunity. It's like, you know, I'm paying for this, your grandmother's helping pay for this. People are helping pay for you to go to the school. He's like, this is like, play time.

Speaker 1: He's like, this is time, you know, you, this is like an investment. He's like, this is like a job he's like, you have, he's like, don't, you know, there's people that are expecting [00:24:00] for you to succeed, you know, that we'll want you to see, to see that wants to see you succeed. So take advantage of those opportunities. And, uh, you know, like, I'm sure, like everybody, I really looked up to my grandfather and to at, at 15 to have this feeling like, I just like let him down. Um, that was kind of. And, um, you know, so I, I really took advantage of every opportunity I had at Woodbury, whether that was for academics or for athletics. Um, I just, [00:24:30] that's kind of where it all started. And I think I started to see the results of hard work at a young age, and it just made sense to me and all right, well, if I keep working a little harder in this direction though, see how far I can go and ah, that, you know, I, I made it to here, let me work a little farther, you know, and then obviously go into west point and going down the ranks of the military, you know, if you're willing to, you know, you can really learn about mental toughness in the military is an understate understatement, right.

Speaker 1: Especially in the world of special operations. So, [00:25:00] uh, it's like a, it's like a graduate school for that.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Yeah. So you, you kind of saw it and felt it. So how, how do you think you can make your kids resilient? You know, I mean, they, weren't old enough to kind of see the work that you had to put in to, to be able to walk again, to use your perspective legs. They didn't see you go through special forces qualification. Um, they didn't see you put in the work at the gym and the lacrosse field. Like how, [00:25:30] how can you teach your kids to be resilient? Do you think,

Speaker 1: I think sports are so big for kids. You know, growing up, I played like every sport there was, and I was a multi-sport athlete. And I think that's like, I think that's so important for athletic development. Um, and, and nowadays, you know, you see a lot of parents just focusing on one sport, you know, their kid will be eight and they think that their kids are going to be going to, like, Chaddick St Mary's to be the next Sidney Crosby. And he needs to eat like six days a week. And, uh, [00:26:00] I mean, I remember playing hockey with kids that were that's, all they did was play hockey and they were kind of this one sport athlete. And then, you know, they went off and played junior somewhere and magically developed a Coke habit. Right. Because mommy and daddy, wasn't there to make sure that they were like pushing themselves.

Speaker 1: Right. And, uh, sports, you know, my son in particular, like with soccer, for example, he's starting to see at a young age, if, if he's out there practicing on his own there's benefits to that and rewards [00:26:30] that he'll reap from that. Right. And I think it's just little lessons like that. He will start to figure out, you know, all right, well, if I do this in sports, maybe if I do this in academics in school, right. Then that will start to it that way and progressing as well. But I think athletic competition in sports is so big with development, with resiliency and mental toughness. Um, you know, I mean, look, I'm my kid's age. It's not a comeback. I got 'em outside, like running wind sprints. But at the same time, I, I will encourage him [00:27:00] to, to work hard. And, you know, some days he doesn't want to go to practice and that's fine, but we're not going to sit at home. I take him down to the park and I make them run around the park, like an hour, and he's doing something athletic you're running around and being outside and developing. I think that's so important.

Speaker 4: I couldn't agree more. How would you daughter

Speaker 1: Uh markiza is for, yeah, she just started a pre-K so she'll be in kindergarten.

Speaker 4: Yeah. My, my daughter's going to be five on Sunday. Uh, so [00:27:30] we got in the county in the same boat there. What do you, what do you think is the biggest difference you've seen in between reasonable and,

Speaker 1: I mean, they're just on, it's so funny. They're just so different. Personality wise, little more timid and shy and more cases. We'll just go to anybody at the playground and say, Hey, best friend come with me. He's like the little Jesus, she's four years old, but she's like this little pied Piper of kids or the playground and, you know, making kids follow her around. And she's just kinda, she's just like born leader. And it's pretty [00:28:00] interesting to see, um, she's roping into like singing and dancing and, uh, you know, girly type things. And that's cool. Um, you know, I think that we'll probably get her. I told Gina today, I was like, we should get her on the ice just to teach her how to skate, because it's a skill that you probably need to learn younger if you're gonna do anything with it. And, um, you know, Gina wants her to be a figure skater and doesn't want him to play hockey, which is forever, you know, it's just, I just wanted to do activities. Right. I just want to do sports things, but we'll see, you know, like I said, she's four. [00:28:30] So maybe like little kid karate, maybe like soccer, just something.

Speaker 4: Yeah. I had my daughter in jujitsu for a couple of weeks and then we got thrown out, but there was nothing more satisfying than watching her, you know, as four year olds to choke each other out and then say, all right, let's go again. So you learn how to fail, to be dominated by somebody else and then get up dust off. And

Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, the failure thing is so big, you know, I think that it's, it's part of the resiliency piece [00:29:00] and I mean, it's with everything in life I do. And I was just talking to Mike Graybeal, who's one of the co-founders of the PLL, uh, the premier lacrosse league in order about, um, you know, how successful they've been and things that, you know, looking back on year one, that they would have done differently. And I was like, yeah, man. But those are like, those are the biggest lessons. Like you really need to be able to like, remember those because you're two and three, you won't make that same mistake, but it's because you failed year [00:29:30] one on certain things. And it's, you know, for me, I look back and it's like, for everything, for learning how to walk on legs, you know what I mean?

Speaker 1: I may be able to walk into a room or I walk through airports or wherever, and I don't need a wheelchair and people go, oh my God, it's amazing. But people don't also see how many times I fell. Right. Or like still learning how to walk down ramps or like down a stair, you know, it's, um, it's pretty much like riding a skateboard and going down a pipe on these things, but they, you know, they can cave in any minutes. So it's, you gotta have this like perfect balance. It's, you know, people, I think [00:30:00] focus too much on like the, uh, the after product and that success. And they don't always realize that there's a lot of failures before that. Right. Like I tell paid in all the time, I was like, look, Michael Jordan, didn't make the varsity basketball team. First time around, you got cut. And, you know, that's something that you need to remember, remember,

Speaker 4: And that's, that's awesome. Um, yeah, I get so many different my mind spinning in a thousand different directions. Um, let me ask you about, uh, [00:30:30] leadership because you brought leadership up, um, being in the special forces, starting, and then becoming a captain and leading men. Um, she talked to me a little bit about like the way that kind of influenced or equipped you as a parent or a, or a spouse.

Speaker 1: Um, yeah, I mean, I think, uh, I think with what I did in special forces, not so much from a leadership, but also understanding that, you know, especially in special forces, you know, you're one of 12, [00:31:00] so wherever you are in the woods, in the jungle, you know, in some city in Europe, wherever, you know, you're one of 12, so you better be a team player and going through the special forces qualification course, that's what they're looking for is guys that can work well without people in high stress environments. Right? So throughout the course, you're constantly able to peer people out if they're not team players and you're constantly being assessed and ranked with how you are with your peers. Um, you know, being a team player also means, um, kind of giving into other people's wishes and demands, [00:31:30] right? Not always going to be about, as Gina says, it's not, you know, this isn't Ben's world and we're just living in it.

Speaker 1: Um, it's true, you know, it's, and, uh, that, that's something I think that as a spouse and a parent, you know, realizing that it's not, oh, you know, it definitely isn't about me anymore. It's more about the two little ones that we're raising and making sure that we're, we're trying to do the best for them. Um, you know, I guess leadership wise, I'd say one of my biggest [00:32:00] leadership things was always trying to lead by example, obviously can't do that so much anymore by just the simple fact that I'm not able to run around and kind of show Peyton like how to do it. So I kind of have to get clever and think of other ways to show, you know, show him how hard work or show them what right. Looks like.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Yeah. Well, what's, what's something different about the way your kids are grown up in the way you grew up?

Speaker 1: Um, I mean, I, I do think [00:32:30] that, uh, we have given both, I mean, Gina also, you know, she grew up even on the wealthier side of town, but her parents were strict with her. And, uh, I grew up not on a great side of town and, you know, like I said, didn't have a silver spoon in my mouth and kind of just, uh, you know, your middle-class long island family. Um, but I think our kids are definitely growing up in a nicer area and they definitely have a lot more opportunities than, than we had growing up. Um, you know, [00:33:00] I, me personally, I loved hockey. I wish my dad was around to take you to the rink all the time. And, you know, if I wanted to skate, you know, they would be able to, to cover that expense. And I used to have to sneak on in the rank and, you know, beg and plead to, to stay after, you know, Saturday night sessions, just to be able to skate for 30 minutes with a pocket of stick. Um, you know, now he has all these opportunities, whether it's soccer or hockey, um, you know, but that's something that we as parents want to do, right? Like [00:33:30] we, you always want to be able to give more to your kids and Jean and I work our asses off for that, but we know at the end of the day, it's giving those opportunities and the ability for our kids to do stuff that we weren't able to do when I was eight or for

Speaker 4: How about the flip side of that? Like, what's an advantage that you had growing up that your kids don't, or won't,

Speaker 1: Um, probably growing up in New York and we tell them, we joke about it all the time, like paid in that came in, the more [00:34:00] kids are lucky to have two parents that grew up on long island and kind of learns, you know, adult things that, you know, most people I feel like learn about in college. I think that we were dealing with as like freshmen in high school and at a really young age, whether that's just, you know, sex and drugs and crime and just, uh, you know, uh, adult type things. And, uh, I, I think that with our experiences just kind of coming from where we did, [00:34:30] um, you know, it kind of puts them, I feel like a little more of advantage. You said it, you know, Peyton may have been born in North Carolina, but he's raised as like a, a new Yorker. Where,

Speaker 4: Where do you guys live

Speaker 1: Now in Bethesda? Very similar to, yeah, it's that, you know, we're, we're from Nassau county. So Bethesda, Montgomery county is very similar to Nassau county, right? It's just, it's a really nice suburb of a big city, you know, people commute to and from, and, you know, good schools. So, you know, when I got injured, we were thinking, [00:35:00] where do we want to end up? And we're thinking about going back to long island, but I told Gina is, was like, look, you know, the, the long island we grew up in 20 some odd years ago, it's just, it's not the same. It's, you know, and a lot of people were Thomas that too. And, uh, we just decided to stay in this area because one specifically, if I needed anything, the hospital's a mile down the road, um, I didn't know what I was going to do for work, but I figured whatever it is going to be, I'll be able to tap into, uh, the special operations community or even the west point [00:35:30] in the military academy, the service academy communities, very big support networks here in the, in the capital region. So it made sense to kind of stay in the area.

Speaker 4: Cool. Cool. Um, I wanna talk a little bit about discipline. You undoubtedly have extraordinary discipline, uh, after all of your experiences and I've overcome obstacles from the qualifications to your injury. How do you discipline your kids? Like how do you keep them in mind? Keep them from being little shitheads.

Speaker 1: [00:36:00] Yeah. I mean, that's funny, like sometimes you deal with kids and you're like, man, somebody just needs to teach this kid not right. It's honestly, it's, uh, it's you do have to get strict and stern with them. Like, look, I don't hit my kids by any means, but I do raise my voice and it's just, I feel like you have to instill that kind of sense. I tell him, we joke about it. It's better to be feared than loved sometimes. Like my kids know [00:36:30] when I'm serious, right. And when I say it, say, you know, time to go, it's time to go. Like now's not the time to be around and running around the house and tell me that you only can find one shoe, but look it there they're eight and four. So, so happens, right? Like Hayden misplaced his sock and cleat the other day.

Speaker 1: And we're running late to soccer as much as I want to be like, dude, this is just so unacceptable, deep breaths and a case myself. And I [00:37:00] do remember that he's eight and like, all right, let me be a little clever about this and how can I turn this into a learning lesson? And so now I, you know, Gina went and bought him a new pair of cleats and I told them, Hey, those are inspectable items, wherever you want to keep them, you keep them. But I'd better be able to look at any point of the day and see those two cleats right there. I was like, you want to put them on your bed so I could see them. Now you want to put them in your bag. I leave you in your soccer bag at any time when those things aren't on your feet, they better be in that bag so I can check them out in the bag.

Speaker 4: [00:37:30] That's great. Um, so do you have any particular practice that you use to keep from freaking out? Like some people count to five, some people hold their breath.

Speaker 1: Um, I wouldn't advise holding the breath. Uh, I'd say what I do. Uh, so two things, one losing my legs has definitely taught me to be more patient. Uh, just [00:38:00] because, you know, before super type a personality, go, go, go. I obviously can't go, go, go as much as I want to now. So I have to be more patient about things. So it has taught me patience. Uh, the second thing is I'm a big practicer of, or practitioner, I guess, of a hot yoga. So I do it like twice a week and I feel like not just for the physical, like stretching and you know, it is like rehab for me because walking in prosthetics, it makes my back tight and, [00:38:30] you know, just always, constantly working out and, you know, being in the seat helps, but also I think mentally it helps me kind of calm down and get, you know, just to be more Zen. Um, so I think that has helped a lot too. Um, plus I remember a trick that a taught you in SERE school during if you're ever getting interrogated, these are supposed to take like three deep breaths and make sure like, you're, you're keeping like you're keeping pace and a good rhythm of like how you're speaking. So you don't, you're not all frantic and off [00:39:00] and you want to just be cool and calm and slow and methodical. So that helps with,

Speaker 4: So can you, can you give me an example of that a little bit 3d breaths? Like, uh, you're like before you speak or is that like, as you're speaking, you're trying to create some cadence and like, explain that.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So yeah, so, so what I would do is I would take a deep breath and then I would tap my, like, I would tap my leg like five times or three times just to make sure I'm [00:39:30] giving myself a pause. Like, and then I'll be like, all right, let me, let me address this. Like, whatever it is, um, that I do that, you know, and I'm thinking about that also something that as a, as an SF guy, especially as a captain and a leader, you know, when you're talking on the radio during a firefight, one of the things I was always taught, especially during the, the officer portion of the qualification course was, you know, you're, you're on Satcom. [00:40:00] So people can hear you all over the globe, you know, in this firefight requesting for bombs to be dropped on, you know, like danger close, because you've got, you know, half your team is bleeding out and you're being overrun by that. But people need to hear on the radio, this like cool, calm and confident voice that you have everything under control because that is, uh, you know, it's like a comfort or I guess what's the right word. Like, almost like beyond most is like, if they hear that you're cool and calm, everybody else is going to be cool and calm around [00:40:30] you.

Speaker 4: That's, that's amazing. And I, and I I've of course seen portrayals of such things and it heard recordings of such things and it impresses me to absolutely know, and, and it's, it's almost kind of funny to me to think that the same person that can deliver that message to be like, get your cleats in order where you're, you're cool, but [00:41:00] Leave it to a four year old, eight year old defined yours. Um, what, what are a couple of characteristics your kids have that they get from you?

Speaker 1: Um, you know, I think that Payden painting has my, my determination and my wife's determination. Um, and I think my daughter, Jean has already said, gee, uh, Martiza has my fearlessness. I mean, she, she steps off things and goes down [00:41:30] slides. And, uh, you know, they're at the beach, we're at, we're back up a long island at the beach for most of the summer and she just run into the waves recklessly and get thrown around and, you know, you'll shock and realize that, all right, I'm cool. I'm okay. And laugh it off and run right back into the ocean. So I think that she has that part to me, which we'll probably have to be a little more careful of as she has older.

Speaker 4: Yeah. So what are, uh, what are some characteristics you hope that your kids have as they get older?

Speaker 1: [00:42:00] Um, you know, I just hope, I hope that they're not like little, right. Like I just hope that they're good human beings. And, um, I think that we're, you know, nobody's perfect. Um, I, I think that, that we try and do the best that we can as parents, um, with steering them correctly. Right. You know, it's like, they'll, they'll do well. And then they kind of drift and get into this pattern and we correct them a little bit and they do well and they drift and get into this habit and we correct them a little bit. [00:42:30] And I think it's just making sure that we're always kind of cognizant and present with them and like, and with them. Right. So that it's not like they go so far off to the right. And when you try and correct them, it's, you know, it's, it's such an effort that they may not recover from. Um, but yeah, I guess I would hope it paid and continues to be this dedicated, hard working little guy and, uh, or case at two and just, uh, the good people and happy.

Speaker 4: What's a, what's a great piece of [00:43:00] advice that somebody's given you in regards to parenting.

Speaker 1: No, honestly, I haven't, I guess I haven't really been given any sort of advice when it comes to parenting. I kinda, I, I, I've kinda just been figuring it out on the fly and, and looking back on, on my lessons and, you know, things that I feel like my parents did. Right. Or, you know, as a kid I really enjoyed, [00:43:30] um, you know, being around there as a kid, things, I enjoyed that my parents, you know, that my parents did. Um, and I think one of those things is trying to just be like cognizant and available for them as much as possible, you know, like I, I try and make an effort, I think, to, to like wrestle around with them and, you know, and to play around with them. And, you know, when we go to the park, I don't just like, without my phone [00:44:00] and start like going through Instagram and like doing emails, like I'll play with them, however I can, you know, whether it's like I push them on the Seesaw a little bit, or I push on the wings because I think that those are things that they'll kind of like always remember, those are the things that are a member of my parents.

Speaker 1: They would be on the playground or my dad, you know, throwing the ball around with me, like the football around with Hayden, you know, or little things like that.

Speaker 4: Yeah. I get your, son's probably not old enough [00:44:30] to start flirting with like social media. What what's, what's like a eight year old parent managing with an eight year old right now.

Speaker 1: Um, well he has just figured out a YouTube and the iPad. So that was a big thing, you know, like, I guess we'll always let them use the iPad and YouTube, because I think that if you, you know, if you try and shelter them from it too much, then when they eventually figure it out, you know, like almost [00:45:00] like sugar or cookies, right. Like if you hide it from the kids, once they eat cookies, they're gonna be like, holy, this is the greatest thing ever. And so I want to eat cookies, so like trying to pace them, uh, and, and let them play around with it a little bit, because I think it's kinda like when we grew up in, I had an attender, right. Like my parents didn't want me to sit in front of the computer or sit in front of the TV and play Mike Tyson punch out for six hours, but I was allowed to play it for a little bit.

Speaker 1: And then my parents would turn it off and make me go outside and be a kid. So I feel like we're, [00:45:30] we try and do the same thing when it comes to the kids being able to like, to mess around on the iPad or watch our phones, or, you know, watch like little kid videos on YouTube or whatever. And I think that's perfectly fine. I mean, we're still very cognizant and like, I'll listen and see, or hear like what he's listening to and making sure it's not just like something crazy. Um, you know, like he somehow went into like some sort of like, uh, ISIS, a YouTube black hole, and like watching deep, you know, decapitation videos or something crazy like that, which [00:46:00] hasn't happened. Um, and so, yeah, that just little doses I think are fine. Um, yeah, that's pretty much the biggest thing right now.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Um, what's, what's one of the biggest impacts just having kids has made on you and your personality?

Speaker 1: Um, I mean, I don't think that there is something that I classify or like determined as like a setback by having kids. Um, I mean, I think that, [00:46:30] I guess a better way maybe to answer it or to phrase it as just you realize that it's not about you anymore. I mean, there's just takes up so much of your time because you have two little human beings that you're responsible for and, um, it's just, you really gotta be better, you know, with your time and, uh, with like what you want to do. So, you know, for me, um, uh, I've always been pretty structured, you know, uh, all boys boarding school for high school and west point and then an army. So, you know, putting together like a calendar to do [00:47:00] list isn't, you know, it's like what I do every day, like knowing what I'm going to do and knocking out tasks. And, you know, I wake up and I think about, what am I going to work out? And I'll have about 30 minutes to workouts here. And then I got to take eight into this or pick up more kids after that. So just knowing that I'm kind of, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And, uh, it's just, you know, part of my life. And that's fine because I, I couldn't imagine life. Like without them. It's just, uh, I don't know. I, I have too much free time on my hands.

Speaker 4: [00:47:30] I'm curious to know, um, you know, I get the feeling that there are probably a lot of people that feel like their life has been disrupted by having kids. They love their kids, but they get in the way of their own goals. You know, like I used to have 17 hours a day to work now I only have 10 or 12. And so I, it would be incredibly easy for you to feel like it is band's world. You know, I'm the one that was the victim of this. I'm the one that had this. [00:48:00] I can only imagine that after a traumatic event, it took you a while to adjust your mind to your new way of living and to take yourself outside of that, to be the parent that's focused on their kids and not on themselves. Is there any particular process or piece of advice that you could suggest for other parents who might have a, you know, a reason to feel like the kids aren't more important or that they should be oriented [00:48:30] in a better way?

Speaker 1: Um, I don't know if I have a piece of advice, but as you're saying that it jogged my memory, you know, something that I was doing. And I don't know if it talks about it in that article, or if John told you, or maybe you saw on the social media, I was playing, I was playing a lot of stud hockey and I was actually playing sled hockey, um, with the Italian national team. So I qualify for dual citizenship, et cetera, et cetera. And, uh, I was back in back playing with them last, last September. And, [00:49:00] um, I was set to go back to Italy in the fall to go play in like the annual tournament into Reno. And, um, I loved it. I was able to play hockey again, which is a sport I grew up, you know, my first sport. I love those things boldly, which is like the position that I grew up playing.

Speaker 1: And, um, I, I traveled to Europe for a long weekend to go play hockey. And it was, it was cool. I, you know, I felt like I was, uh, almost like a professional athlete again, you know, at this high level and, uh, dawned on me [00:49:30] one, uh, during the winter, um, I was actually up a white tail steep and the guy got me into a motto seat and I was riding the lift up there. And I, you know, I was like, you know what? I just, I feel like I would rather take my time and enjoy like what I got here and trying to like continual continually try and like push it to like achieve and gain and achieve and gain. Like, I just learned how to ski. I kind of feel like I would rather just come up to white tail [00:50:00] and steep one Friday morning and then take Peyton to hockey on Saturday morning and then watch him play soccer on Sunday and, you know, watch them do whatever with Morteza and help coach Peyton and hockey, and just like watch these to become like amazing athletes and human beings and focus my time on that while also building my business then trying to like, be this Paralympic hockey player.

Speaker 1: And it just, you know, like for me personally, I don't know an obvious [00:50:30] word for other people, but look, I, I played four years of different across the highest phase, right? Like these are things that like in high school, you dream about doing, I did everything in the military I wanted to do. Right. I earned my green Baret. I did all these combat stuff. You know, I have three bronze stars. It just, I was like, I'm content. Like I'm, I'm not looking to like reopen a career in something else. I just it's. I just felt like it was time to kind of like, enjoy like what [00:51:00] I got going on now and new hobbies and figuring out like new things and new activities now that I don't have legs, like Moto skiing, which I love. And, um, and just watching, like watching these two, like grow up and be there for them.

Speaker 4: So I can sympathize with the idea of wanting to continue to push yourself so much to the extent that you go, oh. You know, I'm missing stuff. Um, did you have like, was that like an aha moment on the, uh, on the ski lift where he went, [00:51:30] you know, I need to pay more attention to this, or if right now, all I want to do is take my weekends and go do, go do, you know?

Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, I, I still like for skiing, like I still try and figure out how we can get away with like my, my army buddies that do ski, like to go do stuff. And, but skiing is just another activity that it sees an activity I've picked up after I got injured. And, um, to be honest, I think if I see before I got injured, I probably wouldn't enjoy skiing as much as I do now [00:52:00] because there's something new and totally different for me. Um, but yeah, I don't think it was so much of like I'm missing out on being there for Peyton. It was just, I, I, maybe, I guess it was some of that because I did enjoy being, you know, a, a coach it for pain into that hockey and, and, um, and being there, it was just like, I was like weighing it.

Speaker 1: Right. Like having like that's one of the reasons I love skiing is because the 10 minute ride up on the lift is like the quiet, [00:52:30] peaceful time where you kinda just like gather your thoughts. And, uh, it just kinda dawned on me, like, you know what, I actually enjoy, you know, coaching hockey and watching Peyton become a hockey player, soccer player. And like just being around more than playing hockey, because I was like, in my mind, I'm like, it's Paralympic hockey. I mean, it's, it's, it's not, it's not the, uh, Olympic, you know, it's not like I'm playing division [00:53:00] one lacrosse and the super competitive world it's it's Paralympics. I mean, like, I, you know, not to knock the Paralympics, but like it's, it's Paralympics. It's not like what I did before. So it just, I was like, you know what, I'd rather just find other new, interesting things to, to push myself and whether that's, you know, skiing new slopes and going off jumps or something funny, crazy like that. And just watching kids.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Well, I want to be sensitive to your time. [00:53:30] I'm going to jump into some kind of call them short answer questions. So let's say what's your role as a dad?

Speaker 1: What, um, I guess I think that my role as a dad is, uh, to kind of be the example that, that my, my son and my daughter went to want to grow up to be, you know, it goes back to the leadership piece is, [00:54:00] you know, you wanna be, you wanna, you wanna, you want to follow the leader that looks right. You want to be that example. And you wanna, you wanna lead by example.

Speaker 4: Yeah. What, what's the greatest hope that you could have for your kids?

Speaker 1: Um, I just sat there for happy when they're grown up and there, you know, like, like now, like I'm, I'm pretty, I'm pretty happy. Like, you know, I mean, look, I've lost my legs, but I've done a lot of great things in my life, athletically and personally, [00:54:30] and I'm just pretty content and still going forward. You know, I hope that they're the same way when they get older.

Speaker 4: Yeah. This, this is a little off topic, but I wanted to ask you what, since your injury, what's something that you've learned about yourself.

Speaker 1: I th I think that's probably that I'm a lot tougher than I think that I am,

Speaker 4: You think always had it in you and that's what it took to find out.

Speaker 1: [00:55:00] I think that it, I always kind of had it in me and it took something like a, as crazy as this to really show me that I can endure a lot more than I, you know, physically and mentally think that I can endure, you know, I'm, uh, I think that, especially within special forces or not, especially within special forces, but for me, you know, being around so many, I don't know, everyone has like self doubt. Right. You know, you're around all these guys that are other [00:55:30] special forces guys and, you know, you're like, wow, I I've made it. Like I'm in, I'm on a special forces team. I'm leading SF guys. And sometimes I think that that can be intimidating. Um, you know, just like any other job, like I'm sure guys, when they first get to the NFL, you know, the bomb I'm in the NFL. Um, but I think that after getting injured and going through everything that I did and, um, I mean also going through everything that I did, uh, before my injury, you know, kind of looking back, um, you know, there was a reason that [00:56:00] I was there. There was a reason that I got selected. It was a reason that I was allowed to meet two separate SSF teams. Um, so yeah, it just solidified that.

Speaker 4: Cool. Uh, if you were going to write a book about your life as a parent, what would be the name of a couple of chapters?

Speaker 1: Um, Jesus, uh, I guess failure would be one of them. Um, I've been, somebody else was telling me that I [00:56:30] need to write a book and I just have not had enough time in the day to sit there and like write a book. Um, that's tough, I guess. Yeah. Failure. I don't know. I don't know, man. I'd have to come back to that when I I'm still, I'm still right. I guess I'm still trying to figure out the chapters right now. My kid's only 84. You come back to me like 10 years.

Speaker 4: Well then we can do that. Um, yeah. You have a favorite fictional [00:57:00] dad. Favorite TV, dad,

Speaker 1: Favorite TV dad, uh, painted. And I like watching the Simpsons. So homework,

Speaker 4: Um, uh, the billboard question you're on 4 95 going two miles an hour, actually be like to be in a 4 95, going 75 miles an hour. And there's a billboard on the side of the road and you've got it. You can, you can leave a piece of advice for all parents out there. Uh, but it's got to fit on the billboard and they gotta [00:57:30] read it going 80 miles an hour past. If, what do you put on that billboard?

Speaker 1: You do an interview questions. Um,

Speaker 4: This is an interview.

Speaker 1: Yeah, true. Um, I guess I would say take a deep breath and then, and then, and then say, take a deep breath and then speak.

Speaker 4: I think that's awesome advice. Um, if money, time space were no object and you were able to [00:58:00] give a gift to every father on the planet. Uh, what gift would you give every father?

Speaker 1: Um, I would give the look that Marquese gave me the first time that we were in her swimming pool and she like swam like by herself for the first time of me that look that look of like I did it and I adjust. I mean, I melted my art. Like I there's nothing else [00:58:30] like that. Like having your daughter so excited and happy that she just swam to you. And it was the first time ever. And, you know, she thinks that she can now go swim in the deep end with all the big girls. Cause she's,

Speaker 4: That's so cool. Uh, when in your life do you feel the most loved

Speaker 1: When my life I feel the most loved, um, [00:59:00] I mean, I guess what I'm, it could be, you know, what it is is that night when I'm putting my kids to bed, I think, uh, so I'm more of the evening person and she knows more of the morning person. So I'll usually put the kids to bed. So that's usually when I feel, I guess the most loved is laying bed and putting more cases to sleep and then she'll fall asleep and then I'll head over to Peyton's room and we'll, he'll read his book and I'll read whatever book I'm reading and then [00:59:30] we'll fall asleep watching some sort of, uh, either, either some sort of history documentary or like Survivorman I think right now we're on a watching episodes of Survivorman so, still entertaining, but educational at the same time.

Speaker 4: Cool. Uh, and this will be my, my last question. So in the event that this recording, or to last forever, and you got to deliver a message to every generation of your family, their kids, their kids, their kids, what's a message, uh, [01:00:00] that you love for them to all hear from you.

Speaker 1: Um,

Speaker 1: Just don't give up. I mean, really it's that simple? Don't give up. I, it just continue going, you know, one step, one, step, one foot in front of the other. There's a, I guess it would be, you know, before I started ranger school, I was very, [01:00:30] obviously everyone's intimidated to start ranger school. It's like this major people, like kind of your first real big military school, um, as DRI officer, like you got to pass it otherwise you're kind of looked down upon by not having your ranger tab. And, um, I remember talking to a west point guy that I graduated in oh five. He was oh three. And I remember talking to him and he's like, yeah, man. He's like, and he's like, look, you can do it. He's like, all it is is just putting one foot in front of the other. I think that's really, it it's like, you just [01:01:00] continue to walk just every day.

Speaker 1: And I was like, wow. You know, it just, it sounded so simple and kind of stupid, but looking back on it, it's so true, right? Like it's not all right, Jesus, I'm starting Rangers school. Like I got 72 days of this. That's not like what you focus on. It's just, what, what do we got going on today? All right. I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and do whatever this task is and go to bed. And then tomorrow one foot in front of the other and whatever this task is and [01:01:30] do it and then go to bed. And then before you know, it you're on day like 70 and you're going to graduate in two days. So that's probably the advice I'd like to give to the gym generations of harrows coming up after me.

Speaker 4: Awesome. Ben Hara

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