SOCRS067- Anthony Maggert- “Cooking Up Stories with Chef Maddog”

February 14, 2019

You may know Anthony Maggert as the veteran and amputee who helped Colin Powell change his tire, then asked for a selfie. We know him as a passionate chef who takes a bus from D.C. to New York every weekend to pursue Culinary Arts career training — after 23 years of military service and two master’s degrees.

Tony joined the Army after high school at age 17, completing two tours in Afghanistan and three in Iraq, among other stations. “After 63 countries, you get a better appreciation for the world,” he says. “In Iraq, we linked up with a bunch of locals. They took great care of us, and we were having things like barbecued camel. I got to experience different cultures and their perspectives. Even being in New York, it’s nothing compared to when you go into somebody else’s country and they invite you to their table and you eat their cuisine. That’s just such an awesome experience.”

Tony contracted flesh-eating bacteria in Afghanistan in 2011 and lost his left leg in 2014 as a result. “The folks at Walter Reed [National Military Medical Center] do a phenomenal job,” he says. “You can figure out being an amputee, today. If you have a burning desire to continue to do things, you won’t let it stop you.”

And Tony doesn’t. He continued his service until June 2018 when he retired in a Virginia suburb of D.C. to stay near Walter Reed and enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. “The only thing I knew was I had this burning desire to go to culinary school. I told my wife, if there’s anything that I have to do in life, before I kick the bucket, I have to do that,” Tony says. “I always felt like there was some sort of black magic when it comes to cooking. I think a lot of people think that and I’ve got to understand what this thing is that’s such a mystery.”

In his final module of the curriculum, Tony says he was a rock star at Thanksgiving and has washed more dishes than when he was in the military. “Chefs will tell you that any monkey can read a recipe and figure out how to cook, but once you really understand the techniques, you have this sort of eureka moment,” he says. “All of this makes sense, and I know how to put this together, and I understand the flavors. That’s so worth the tuition right there.”

Tony says learning how to fabricate a chicken properly was one of the most rewarding lessons, and smoked fried chicken is his latest signature dish. He shares experiments like lacto-fermentation and sous vide preparations on his Instagram account (@chef_maddog_maggert) and posts instructional videos (like “How to make a homemade smoker for less than $20”) on YouTube.

“When you’re going through the process of physical therapy, the doctor’s know how to talk to you about trivial things, but nobody ever tells you how to cook well for yourself,” Tony says. “You have a lot of people out there that have a lot of health issues, so I want to help to educate people on how to cook better for themselves, how to eat right and how to operate the kitchen.”

He doesn’t think of himself as handicapped and says working with one leg requires planning and figuring things out like everything else in life. Fortunately, fellow veterans and the nature of working in professional kitchens have eased the transition.

“Chefs like Carmine Arroyo, who was in the Army, are great teachers and they get it,” Tony says. “They understand that you come from this background where things are very structured and you have a certain degree of rigor, and when you go to culinary school, you fall back into the life that you were in previously. You just trade one uniform for another.”

As for his enthusiasm for culinary school after six months of taking a Vamos bus and staying in a hostel every weekend, Tony says, “I don’t think anything really excites me as much as cooking, being in the kitchen, being part of food, being part of that entire experience.” He most enjoys applying the techniques he’s learned to make beautiful meals for friends, though he has loftier goals following graduation.

“I want to write a cookbook called ‘Deconstructed Kitchen,’ reaching out to my peers that are amputees and getting them involved in cooking,” he says. Then of course, “be famous. I’ve got to get some good air time.”


SOCRS066- Nina Lorene Hermann “The Lost File Episode: Reflection in Baghdad”

February 7, 2019

Nina was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, and can often be seen wearing KU gear.  She graduated Cum Laude from The University of Tampa with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2000.  She was also designated as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) while being commissioned into the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Finance Corps.  She served in the U.S. Army as a Finance Officer from 2001 to 2008, serving in multiples capacities such as Detachment Executive Officer and Disbursing Officer for the 126th Finance Battalion in South Korea, Army Element Commander and Chief of Operations Division at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) in Orlando, Deputy Comptroller for 5th Special Forces Group and Comptroller for the Iraqi Special Operations Forces while deployed in Iraq, and Financial Management Company Commander at Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg. After ending her term of service as a Captain, she was sought after to become a site lead and project manager for a Defense Contractor, where she opened a site in Alaska, set up operations and procedures, and hired and trained the staff to complete the mission.  Additionally, she was responsible for the establishment, implementation and data migration of a central platform ( for use by multiple offices.

Nina is passionate and driven to learn and help others heal. Physical pain was a significant part of her life since 2006 and following her time in Alaska, her journey to heal herself and help others do the same led her to become a Certified Rolfer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Certified Yoga Teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.  She also opened a healthy food truck, Thrive Street Eats, in attempt to provide the healing foods that she recommended and couldn’t find nearby.  She recognized that her passion to heal others was a stronger personal passion, and therefore, she decided to pursue another passion of Real Estate as a career. 

Nina's thoughts, talents and experience of successes and failures have all led her to where she is at this moment in her career. She is a proud Veteran and out to helps others whenever she can. 


SOCRS065- Scott Huesing- “Revisiting Ramadi: Leadership & Humanity”

January 31, 2019

Scott A. Huesing is a retired USMC Infantry Major with over 24 years of service, both enlisted and as a commissioned officer.  His career spanned 10 deployments and he conducted operations in over 60 countries worldwide.  During his numerous deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa he planned, led, and conducted hundreds of combat missions under some of the most austere and challenging conditions.  

As a Marine Infantry Officer in 2006 Scott had the privilege to command Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines as part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Special Operations Capable (SOC) while attached to 1-9 Infantry Battalion ("Manchu"), 1st Brigade Combat Team (1 BCT “Ready First”), United States Army (USA) as part of the Surge Strategy in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.


SOC12 - Kris Hager “Gold Star Father” ARMY RANGER SSG Joshua Hager KIA Iraq-2007

January 28, 2019

My name is Kris Hager.  I am a Gold Star Father.  My son, SSG Joshua Ryan Hager, Army Ranger, was KIA on February 22nd 2007 in Iraq. 

Joshua R Hager

Joshua Hager

U.S. Army
RAMADI, IRAQ 02/22/2007


SSG Joshua R. Hager was killed in action Feb. 22, 2007.  He was an Army Ranger and had served at the 6th RTB prior to transferring to Ft. Carson, CO for deployment.  Josh loved being a soldier and was proud to serve his country.

Josh is survived by his wife Heather and son Bayley.  Joshua’s mother Lois lives in Broomfield, CO and his father, Kris Hager, in Venice, FL.  Joshua’s brother Aaron is in the USCG and is stationed in Miami, FL.  Joshua now has a younger brother, Carson, who loves to say “Hi Joshie” as he looks at the portrait presented by Mr. Reagan.

Mrs. Jane Brown is his maternal grandmother and lives in MI.  Mrs. Dorine Hager lives in Littleton, CO.  Joshua’s grandfather, Zack Hager served in WWII as a glider pilot and passed away in April of 2008.   They are laid to rest beside each other at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver, CO.

At the End of the Row

When I’m asked for directions,
Where the visitor might go,
I say, “Through the main gate,
Past the brick building, very slow.”
On the right, just a bit,
A wood stair you will see,
It leads to the lake,
And a bench by a tree.

Directly across, to the left side of the way,
Park your car, and get out,
By the green and white sea.
The green is the grass, always mowed and trimmed,
And the white are the markers,
Too many, and him.
His spot is just there,
A few steps more,
He’s with the fallen heroes,
At the end of the row..

Kris Hager


SOCRS064- Daniel Jarvis- “22Zero.Org: Erasing Despair, Sharing Hope”

January 24, 2019

Retired Army SFC Dan Jarvis was deployed to a combat zone in Afghanistan in 2011. Shortly after his arrival, he stepped on a pressure plate and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) five feet from his position on the patrol. The IED inflicted a traumatic brain injury. He insisted on continuing to lead his troops on the battlefield instead of convalescing, however the Battalion surgeon ordered him out for a week before rejoining his Soldiers. After weeks of no sleep, as a result of the IED blast, he led his squad on a mission to escort an explosive team to defuse a bomb found by another Platoon. His role in the lead vehicle was to detect IEDs on the route, to ensure safe passage for the other vehicles in the convoy. An undetected IED exploded under the fourth vehicle in the convoy, taking the life of SPC Doug Cordo. Dan felt responsible for the loss of one of his Soldiers.

Near the end of his deployment, Dan received a Red Cross message informing him that his mother was deathly ill. He immediately left Afghanistan and headed to the United States in hopes of seeing his mom before she took her last breath. Unfortunately, he did not make it in time to say good-bye before she died, which weighed heavily on him. After her funeral, Dan returned to his assigned duty station in Fairbanks, Alaska. Burdened under the weight of such guilt and still unable to sleep, Dan self-medicated with alcohol, binge drinking each night until he feel asleep.

On the night of March 2, 2013, he contemplated suicide – eyeing the rifle in the corner and convincing himself that it would be easy to end the mental torture. Hearing the pitter-patter of little feet on the floor of the apartment above him, he realized he would potentially endanger those kids if a bullet was fired. Not long after, he passed out from the alcohol. He awoke the next morning to a call informing him that one of the soldiers from his former Platoon, SPC Corey Smathers, had shot and killed himself the night prior. Questioning how they missed the signs that Smathers was struggling, Dan realized that he too was masking the signs from those he knew and loved. Dan and the other men struggled emotionally as they grieved their fellow brother and Soldier. Watching the men struggle and worrying that he may “green light” one of them to do the same, Dan resolved that he would not take his own life. However, the mental torture remained as did the binge drinking each night.

Due to multiple combat injuries, Dan medically retired from the Army on September 11, 2014 and returned home to Winter Haven, Florida. He quickly busied himself by reentering the law enforcement profession. Mutual friends introduced Dan to his future wife in January 2015, whom he married in April 2016. All the while, he hid his struggles and the need to self-medicate. Unfortunately, his combat injuries forced his retirement from law enforcement in May of 2017.

With little to occupy his time, the weight of his military experiences, and transition out of service began to manifest more visibly in his drinking, depression, nightmares, night sweats, and negative outlook. His wife strongly encouraged him to seek help, and he contacted the local VA Office. The VA diagnosed Dan with Post Traumatic Stress and began to treat him with prolonged exposure therapy, which tormented him nearly as much as the trauma he had experienced. He opted not to continue this line of treatment.

Months later, Dan met Retired Army Lt. Colonel Scott Mann, who introduced him to professionals in alternative treatments, such as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) and Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) Protocol. Dan’s experience with alternative therapies was so life-changing that he was compelled to help others find the same relief from traumatic memories.


SOCRS063- Athena Ives- “Thank You For Raping Me: Resiliency Personified”

January 8, 2019

Athena Ives is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran.  She holds a Masters in Forensics and is a Doctoral Candidate in Forensic Psychology. As a child, Athena used reading to cope with ongoing trauma, which inspired her to study psychology and forensics. She plans to use her degree to research how to treat and understand the psychological triggers and effects of PTSD, suicide and rape. 

When she isn't traveling the world, Athena resides in San Diego where she is active in multiple Veteran Assistance Projects.  


SOCRS062- U.S. Navy CDR Janette Arencibia- “Duty, Honor, Freedom, American Values”

December 28, 2018


Global Health Specialist Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence Officer


Janette Arencibia is a 1988 graduate of Mercer County High School in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1995 and in 1996 from the EKU MPA program where she was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow and Presidential Internship Management Candidate. She is a graduate of the U.S. Navy War College where she earned a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies. LCDR Arencibia is, as well, a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff, Marine Corps University and is currently enrolled in the Uniformed Services University Global Health Engagement program.

In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she was the first Medical Service Corps officer to deploy from a training command reporting as Chief, Joint Visitor’s Bureau with BCT 41 - Task Force Phoenix V to Afghanistan. Arencibia became one of the first female officers to instruct security and weapons training for females in the Afghan National Army ranks. She well represented the U.S. Navy among Army ranks earning the Keith L. Ware Award for her photography and additional written submissions throughout the course of her assignment in Afghanistan. She was awarded by the Afghan National Army for training and instruction provided and is also an honorable member of The Order of St. Barbara, a military honor society of the U.S. for both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Artillery, including Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery as a result of her involvement in artillery field training.

Arencibia’s initial sea tour was aboard USNS MERCY where she was a medical planner and patient regulator managing over 200,000 casualties during OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE –HAITI. Immediately following her redeployment from Haiti, she deployed onboard the USS IWO JIMA (CP 10) as the Lead Medical Planner. While serving aboard the IWO JIMA, she liaised with Central and South American embassies on behalf of FST-2. As the Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence DUINS awardee, she reported to the Joint Staff Surgeon’s office in 2012. During her Joint Staff assignment, she was the Project Manager for the Joint Medical Planning Tool; now the required verification and validation analytical tool for the Joint Forces. She was requested to extend at the Joint Staff Surgeon’s office then accepted the Lead Medical Planner Position at NORAD-USNORTHCOM in 2013 where she served until 2016. Arencibia transferred to Marine Forces Central Command where she served as the Lead Medical Planner for exercises EAGER LION and NATIVE FURY and is currently the USCENTCOM Theater Security Cooperation Manager for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Her shore assignments include the Navy School of Health Sciences Security Manager, NNMC-Bethesda Officer in Charge of Contingency Operations, BUMED M3 Readiness Officer, and Medical Officer Recruiter. LCDR Arencibia donned the Commander rank in September 2018.


SOCRS061- Steven Eugene Kuhn- “The H.I.T. Man-Managing Your Mindset”

December 20, 2018

Steven Eugene Kuhn is a decorated U.S. Military combat veteran who turns failing business into success across Europe and the US. Steven has been handpicked to consult some of the most influential people in the world about how to expand their brand, build value and loyalty and develop strategies for increasing beneficial relationships. Throughout his career Steven has led international organizations, managed multi continent projects, and coached executive teams in non-traditional ways that led to significant success across the board.

Steven hails from Pennsylvania in the USA and served in the U.S. Army from 1986 -1993 based in Germany. During his service career Steven served one tour in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm as a Sergeant.

Upon discharge from the Army, Kuhn continued to live in Europe where he later became a best-selling author, a multi-country start-up and turn-around specialist, as well as a political consultant all while simultaneously completing his MBA at the prestigious Bradford University School of Business Management in Leeds, U.K.

Kuhn has an astute business mind, tailored to the ins and outs of building, operating, turning around and growing a businesses successfully. Having accomplished this success in 9 countries and various industries, Kuhn has gained a reputation of a no nonsense, “boots on the ground” executive who leads by example.

Since 2006 as the Principal of his own company, S2K2 Precision Management, Kuhn actively consults companies from various industries and in multiple countries. His work with the EU Parliament and German political leaders has allowed Steven to gain success within governmental organizations as an outsider, and non-European, a testament to the value he brings his clients and partners. Steven is sought for the unbiased opinion on Trans-Atlantic and American issues.

Steven is a valued asset for Blue Energy because of his hands-on work ethic, honesty, integrity, straightforward communication style and the pleasure he takes in passing along this knowledge. We know he is the perfect leader for driving the business to the next level as a Blue Energy Board Member and Managing Director for Europe.


SOCRS060- Mike T. Burns- “Hanoi Hilton Resident (Survivor-Hero): The Coast of California”

December 13, 2018
Name: Michael Thomas Burns
Rank/Branch: O2/United States Air Force
Unit: 433rd TFS
Date of Birth: 18 October 1944
Home City of Record: Fort Wayne IN
Date of Loss: 05 July 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 173600 North  1062700 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D
Other Personnel in Incident: Carl Crumpler, returnee

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.

I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am 28 years old, my
birthdate is 18 October 1944. I attended De Paul University and graduated
with a BA in Economics in 1966. I was introduced to flying through the ROTC
during my senior year, and I loved it. Pilot training at Vance AFB, Enid,
Oklahoma was one of the biggest years of my life. Learning to fly jets was

I was sent to the back seat of the F-4, and upon completion of the normal aircraft training and survival schools, I went to Ubon, Thailand 29 May 1968. Colonel Carl Crumpler was my front seater and we were shot down on 5 July 1968 attacking a gunsight in the panhandle of North Vietnam. It took 35 days to get to Hanoi by truck. I was beaten up but not severely tortured. I lived in five different camps during the 56 months of my stay.

There were various things that, at different periods, had great value to me and gave meaning to my life. The firm conviction that no matter what else happened, my family loved and cared for me constantly, was very important to me. At times, the overwhelming feeling of life-sounds, breathing, consciousness, good health - the sheer realization of just "being," and a subtle, distant conviction of the existence of our "Source," that almighty "Love-Energy" that created all and is a part of all, was overwhelming and good. Of course, those guys, those other minds that I was "forced" to live with, who made me laugh (at myself), informed me, and shared their life's experiences with me - to them I look with respect, sympathy and love.

I came home, to beautiful home, in March 1973. Since my Air Force debriefing, l have been traveling back and forth across this country, seeing and meeting friends. I'm presently at San Antonio getting recurrent in the T-38. My plans for the future are not definite. A career in the USAF, a career with the commercial airlines or a return to school (stressing the humanities) seem to be foremost in my mind. I'm very proud of my 56 months as a POW. We did not stop living in Hanoi, we just found other avenues of existence that had meaning for us.

It's good to be home. Thank you America, whatever your beliefs, for the wonderful welcome I received. Thank you USAF for your kind reception and treatment.

===================== Michael and his wife Cynthia reside in Florida.


SOCRS059- Erik Shaw “Tactical 16: Publishing The Inspiring Veteran Stories that Matter”

December 6, 2018

Erik is a Combat Veteran (US ARMY) with tours to Afghanistan (2013) and Iraq (2005). He started Tactical 16 in 2012 to fill a void in the publishing/consulting industry after seeing so many Veterans get terrible book deals that did not better their personal lives. Since 2012 Tactical 16 has grown and now includes authors of all backgrounds, not just military!

Erik has been a guest on FOX News multiple times, and the Tactical 16 team has been featured on Yahoo, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, SKYNEWS, NEWMAX, and EWTN. Tactical 16 has grown from a Veterans-only and focused company to having resources to not only help Veteran authors but non-military authors as well. Erik started working with multiple NFL players and other notable celebrities in 2018 on various publishing and non publishing projects that will benefit Tactical 16’s growth for years to come. “Our goal is to build a one phone call network, so when our Tactical 16 teammates need some help, we can provide it quickly and efficiently from reputable and proven professionals.”

Erik’s hobbies include building rifles he never gets to shoot and gives away, softball with Toby Keith, buying cars that he rarely drives and ‘nerding out’ to military aircraft that fly over his house.