SOCRS051- Ethan Samuels- “World’s Finest Navy Intelligence, Transition & US VetLife”

October 19, 2018

Ethan is a veteran of the United States Navy.  He served honorably as an Intelligence Officer from 2009-2015.  During his time, he served as the Middle East Subject Matter Expert for Carrier Strike Group One, on board the USS CARL VINSON, as the carrier strike group sailed through the Arabian Gulf during the Arab Spring.  His Carrier Air Wing, Carrier Air Wing 17 provided Close Air Support for fighting men and women on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.  During these engagements, Ethan led the debrief team and developed the Standard Operating Procedures for obtaining accurate mission reports for the Electronic Attack squadron.  His expertise in the Middle East came from his time at the University of Chicago, where he majored in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a focus on the Islamic Middle East and the Arabic Language.  This background served him especially well as it led to his first job out of college as a civilian Arabic interpreter for deployed troops in Iraq in 2008. 

Since having left the Navy, Ethan has become a powerhouse in the Financial Services field as a top producer for several leading agencies including Northwestern Mutual.  He now serves as the Chief Operating Officer for US Vet Life, a financial startup specializing in helping servicemembers, veterans, and their families successfully navigate and leverage the benefits and benefits market both in and out of the military.

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SOCRS050- Ryan Weaver- “Love of Country, Hard Work, and A Guitar”

October 12, 2018

Ryan Weaver is a high-energy, all-American, rockin’ country music artist who proudly served as an active duty Black Hawk Aviator, Chief Warrant Officer 3, United States Army. Weaver began his music career in 2005 while still on active duty, playing the club and festival circuit throughout the Southeast. His performances are known for their unique blend of high-octane original songs and rockin’ cover material combined with a heartfelt message and genuine humor.

Ryan’s personal story is like no other artist in country music today. Growing up with a family of eleven in a small town in Floral City, Florida, he joined the Army right after high school. After several years of working as a Military Intelligence Analyst, Ryan followed in the footsteps of both of his two older brothers, Steve and Aaron, by attending Warrant Officer Candidate School and flight school. He graduated top of his class in flight school, becoming a Black Hawk Aviator. In April 2003, he deployed to Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, and shortly afterward, one of his brothers, Aaron, was deployed just west of him in Fallujah.

On January 8, 2004, Aaron was killed in action when the Medivac helicopter he was a passenger in was shot down by enemy fire. Ryan certainly understood mortality and the risks of combat. After all, Aaron survived the bloody 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia that became the basis for the movie, Black Hawk Down. When Aaron died, however, something changed for Ryan. He returned from combat, taking a new position training the next generation of Army aviators and officers at Fort Rucker, Alabama and has not piloted a Black Hawk since that fateful day.

Exactly ten years later, Ryan’s brother-in-law, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy Billings, was laid to rest just one row away from Aaron Weaver. Randy was killed in action in Afghanistan on December 17, 2013 when the Black Hawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down by an enemy ground-detonated explosive device.

This second heartbreaking loss made the Weaver family a two-time Gold Star family. Ryan used his heartache as determination to succeed. Both of his brothers’ ultimate sacrifices continue to fuel his fire to accomplish his dreams in music.

Ryan debuted on a world stage in November 2017 as the Patriotic Voice of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) for their Celebrate America campaign. The World Finals is the biggest global stage in professional bull riding - a booming sport now seen in more than 400 million homes worldwide. Weaver made his debut in the primetime performance slot, held in 2016 by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, at PBR’s World Finals in Las Vegas, NV. Ryan’s new EP also titled Celebrate America was released at that time. Ryan worked closely with hit songwriter and producer, Wynn Varble, on the Celebrate America EP as well as co-writing three of the four songs on the EP.

This January, Ryan kicked off the PBR’s 2018 25th Anniversary Tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Celebrate America campaign is a season-long initiative that honors heroes, inspires youth and brings communities together.

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SOCRS049- Carl Higbie- “Crisis of Culture”

October 5, 2018

Former Navy Seal & former Presidential Appointee.

Carl believes his oath of service is to the Constitution, not to the government, and those obligations are to the ideals represented in that Constitution of freedom and liberty. The critical importance of that in a democracy can never be overestimated.

Carl Higbie was a Special Operator with SEAL Team Ten, Echo Platoon. He deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has been a  regular contributor on Fox News and CNN. Higbie ran for Connecticut's 4th Congressional District in 2014. He resides in Greenwich, CT.

Carl discusses his newest book, "Crisis of Culture", and what We (Americans) need to do to turn it around...

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SOCRS048- Bryan Jacobs- “Vets2Success: Building Future Lives Through Food & Brew”

September 27, 2018

Bryan Jacobs was originally born in Virginia, USA.  Even as a child, he lived a very different lifestyle than his peers.  He say's, "Around the age of 8 food found me and it wasn’t by accident my grandfather happened to be a Chef, a German chef at that who served in the Navy during WWII."

After returning from two tours of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps, Bryan fell victim to PTSD and the emotional hardships of fitting in back home.  After a stint with homelessness and the the numerous other rigors faced while adjusting to civilian life, Bryan found his calling-the Culinary Arts.  He was able to gather the courage to go to culinary school, where his military training paid dividends.  His aptitudes & attitude earned him several opportunities to work with some of the best chefs in the United States.  Soon, he found himself as the private chef to the Anheuser Busch family while attending school at USF-Saraota/Manatee, where eventually he'd earn his bachelors degree in hospitality business.

Bryan's life took a turn in May 2014, when he lost his younger brother to Veteran Suicide.  That day changed his life forever. He started a program to make a difference in the lives of his brothers and sisters who wore the uniform, wanting to give them something more than just a hand out. After he studied abroad in France, Bryan returend to America to build Vets2Success, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the lives of veterans through food and brew.

 

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SOCRS047- Fazel Rahim Kaihan- “My Journey to America”

September 24, 2018

Fazel Rahim Kaihan was born in Bagram, Afghanistan.  After graduating from High School, he attended an advanced school where he received training in telecommunicatiosn.  Next, he joined the National Army of Afghanistan and rose to the Rank of Sergeant.  From 2006-2014, he served as an interpreter, supporting the missions of US Army Special Forces, the DEA, the Navy Seals, and the US embassy.  Currently, his wife and him live in North Carolina wher they are raisng their three daughters.  

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SOCRS046- Paul Martinez- “33 Degrees Publishing: Digital Storytelling in The Techno-Age”

September 13, 2018

Paul Martinez deployed 6 times to Afghanistan as a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and is the author of “When the Killer Man Comes”; an account of his combat experience as a Ranger Sniper.  He is also the CEO and co-founder of 33 Degrees Publishing, a print firm that focuses on bringing the American story-telling tradition to the digital age.  Paul is passionate about telling the untold stories of the Global War on Terrorism, veteran advocacy, and equine therapy for service members transitioning to civilian life.  

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SOCRS045- Jose Torres- “Tilt-Shift: The Quiet Professional”

September 6, 2018

U.S. Army Veteran Jose L. Torres is the writer/creator of Speakeasy/Markosia's series The Hunger, Image Comics’ mini‐series Heirs of Eternity and the “American Dream” short in their Outlaw Territory anthology. After attending the Defense Information School, where he was named the Distinguished Honor Graduate of his Combat Photography Course, he was hand‐picked for the Special Missions platoon of the 55th Signal Company. He deployed to Afghanistan with the SOCOM Joint Taskforce

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SOCRS044- Justin Jordan- “And Then I Cried: Stories of A Mortuary NCO (Big Sarge)”

August 31, 2018

At 19 years old, Justin left the beautiful town of Henderson, KY, and enlisted in the United States Air Force.

During his 20 years of service, he held a variety of different jobs – everything from Cook to Combat Readiness Instructor. His most taxing job, however, would be when he was assigned as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Mortuary Affairs.

For nearly six years he spent his time performing human remains inspections, uniforming the deceased, organizing military escorts, arranging for burial with honors, and consoling grieving families.  Justin also managed Combat Mortuary Operations at two separate deployed locations.

In late 2012, Justin decided to share his story in the book, “And Then I Cried, Stories of a Mortuary NCO.” His hope was the story could help others struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

He is also an accomplished artist and his works can be seen hanging on the walls of the Pentagon in the Healing Arts Display. 

In 2013 Justin was Medically Retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service. After retirement Justin continued his advocacy and worked with The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program where he managed the Ambassador Program. He was responsible for teaching seriously injured or ill Airmen how to tell and share their stories of recovery with audiences worldwide. During his tenure there, he trained over 55 Warriors and briefed over 30,000 Airmen ranging from Airman to Four Star General. 

Justin now works at Warriors Heart, the country’s only dual diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment center that works exclusively with Military, Veterans and First Responders suffering from chemical dependency and psychological injuries such as PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Justin has been featured on CMTs “I Love Kellie Pickler” and has been a guest on over 200 radio shows nationwide. In 2015, he was awarded the American Solider Networks Hero Service Award for his work helping veterans in need.

  Justin has only one wish – if his work inspires you, do something about it, live beyond PTSD, live with purpose, and find your voice.

To see Justin’s previous speaking events, click here.

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SOCRS043- Pam Saulsby- “Ashley’s High Five For Daddy-The War at Home”

August 24, 2018

Pam Saulsby is an experienced journalist, word architect, communications strategist, digital storyteller, dynamic speaker, engaging interviewer, and music artist. She is a multimedia relations specialist for the Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC. A true master communicator she advocates for veterans and their families as a producer of media content to raise awareness of issues confronting our military community after deployments.

She has been recognized nationally and locally for excellence in Journalism, having received three regional Emmy Awards, and one National Emmy award. She has twice been honored with the Presidential Award for Volunteerism. Pam was named one of the top Women in Business in The Triangle Area. She was recognized by the state of North Carolina and honored with a Woman of the Year Award in Business.

Pam has recorded two albums. Her most recent “Holding It Down” is a collection of tunes that salute the troops. She is donating a portion of the sales of the music album to Fort Bragg Fisher House. It is a home away from home for families whose loved ones are being treated at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg.

Among her proudest achievements is the publication of her children’s book on PTSD. Pam wrote Ashley’s High Five for Daddy to explain PTSD to younger children. An Army brat herself, she hopes the project can help military families who may be struggling with mental health issues.

She has served as a fundraiser, strategic media advisor and board member for numerous nonprofit organizations over the last two decades. She is a former board member of The Komen-Triangle Race for the Cure. For 3 years Pam worked with community and civic leaders to create the Oak Ranch Project, which is a home community for at-risk boys and girls. She served as an advisor to Family Health Ministries dedicated to maternal and child health in Haiti. Using her instinct, grit, and heart as her GPS, Saulsby’s new career path is fast-paced and in constant motion.

She is considered a thought leader, passionately involved in putting facts in context and exploring the implications of current trends and policies that guide all of our choices and actions. To Saulsby, the old saying is still true: knowledge is power. She lives in Washington, DC.

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SOCRS042- Marc Good- “Cool Under Fire”

August 17, 2018

The Bronze Star Medal

WITH “V” DEVICE

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS MARCUS GOOD

UNITED STATES ARMY

FOR heroism on 3 and 4 October 1993, while serving as a Chalk Medic for Company B, 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment during operations in Mogadishu, Somalia.   On the fast rope insertion, a fellow ranger suffered a C-spine injury. Private First Class Good stabilized, immobilized and extracted his fallen comrade under fire. Though the extraction vehicle was engaged all the way to the rear, he kept his Ranger buddy alive.  Private First Class Good’s dedication to duty and total disregard for personal safety reflects great credit on him and the United States Army.

Good’s File

Name: Marcus Eugene Good
D.O.B: 19 March 1970
Hometown: Cook County, Ill.
Currently: Venice, Fla.
Entered Service: 6 Aug. 1992
Discharged: 29 May 1996
Rank: Private 1st Class
Battles/Campaigns: Mogadishu, Somalia
Unit:  Bravo Company, Third Army Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Commendations: Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Lapel Button, Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Grenade Bar, Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Egyptian Parachutist Badge, British Army Parachutist Wings, Royal Thai Army Airborne Wings

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