Straight Outta Combat Radio-Honoring Combat Wisdom
SOCRS091- Roy Duncan- “Do Your Job, Come Home, and Get Busy to Work”

SOCRS091- Roy Duncan- “Do Your Job, Come Home, and Get Busy to Work”

August 22, 2019

U.S. Army Veteran and Bronze Star recipient Mr. Roy H. Duncan is THE FIRST WORLD WAR TWO VETERAN to join us on the show. 

Roy is the son of a sharecropper and was born in Western Kentucky. During the war, he was a Radio Operator assigned to HQ Company, 21st Armored Inf Bn, 11th Armored Division in General Patton’s Third Army.

This native Kentuckian answered his Nation’s call to duty and his story is amazing, one worth hearing. The tail-end of his military service took him through the last six months of the war that had the 11th Armor Division pushing through the sun-covered countryside from France to Linz where they liberated the Mauthausen Concentration Camp on the day the war ended.

Roy Duncan was not awarded just one Bronze Star Medals, he’s got three.  

SOCRS090- Brandon Long- “I Feel Like Superman…I Feel Free (Shut Up & Be A Marine)”

SOCRS090- Brandon Long- “I Feel Like Superman…I Feel Free (Shut Up & Be A Marine)”

August 13, 2019

Brandon Long (In His Own Words):

I was born and raised in Fort Wayne Indiana and knew from the age of 5 that I wanted to be a Marine. My mother's uncle served in the Air Force and he was a big idol of mine. I wanted to be like him and he helped to encourage me. When I was a sophomore in high school, I got into some trouble with the law and I was no longer able to join the Marine Corps. I knew that I had to try anyways. I had to talk to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps and the Commandant for 3 months for them to make an exception and let me join. I am so thankful they did. I was able to join the Marine Corps in February of 2009. Somehow my recruiter got me to become an early graduate so I did half my senior year.  In February of 2009, I started my Marine Corps career with boot camp in sunny San Diego, California. Boot camp went by pretty fast and it was a lot of fun. After boot camp, I went to Infantry School at Camp Pendleton. Once that was completed, I was placed with my unit, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines out of San Mateo in Camp Pendleton. When I got with those men, i realized I was in it for real now (lol). I trained with AMAZING men and learned a lot from them. We found out around January of 2010 that we were going to be leaving for Afghanistan at the end of September. The work up for that deployment was pretty intense but very fun. On September 28, 2010, we loaded up on buses and headed to the airport for Afghanistan. It didn't take long before we were there. I remember walking off the helicopter and seeing a massive black cloud from something that exploded earlier in the day. It was a complete culture shock for me. We spent 2-3 days getting our gear ready and making sure we knew what we were doing and where we were going. We then took a helicopter ride to our main F.O.B. called Nolay. It was nick named 'No Legs' by the Brits. We spent a day there and the we were drove to our patrol base. From then on, while I was overseas, we never used vehicles again. It was all foot patrols.

Immediately we took a lot of contact every day. We started having injuries pretty quick. Seeing one of your brothers laying on the ground injured is a hard thing to process but this is war and we have to adapt and over come. Of those many men that were injured, I served with Lt. Robert Kelly (General Kelly's son). Lt. Kelly was my LT and he was motivated as hell. On December 21,2010, I was reunited with my squad of men after being apart for about 2 weeks. This is also the day that changed my life. We went on patrol early in the morning and i was on point. Everything was going good for the first few hours until i came across the Helmand River. There I found rocks stacked on top of each other on each side of the road. This was consistent for almost a mile with about 5 feet in between the stack rocks and the were spaced out wide enough for a vehicle to drive in the middle.. Towards the end of the rocks, there was a little path on the right that had the same concept with the rocks but now the path was like a walking path of stacked rocks. The rocks lead to a big bush where you could see that someone cut the top of the bush so you could see behind it. On the other side of that bush was about 50 stacks of rocks in a 10 foot circle. As I went to step over the bush to investigate more and find a wire or something to indicate it was an IED, I put my foot down and the explosive went off. Immediately, I was thrown in the air, landing on my right side. I opened my eyes and the dust was every where and I couldn't breath. I knew right then what happened but didn't know how bad. I laid on my back and told myself "I have to see how bad this is". i went to lift my right leg and instead pulled the bone out of the leg. I went unconscious for a minute or so before regaining consciousness. While I was out, I had visions of seeing my daughter who was about to be born, I got to see my wife (now ex), and I got to experience what I think was heaven. When I regained consciousness, I was not allowed any pain medications or it would have stopped my heart. I don't remember exactly how look it took for the Medevac team to get to me but it felt like forever. I remember asking my men if I could ever ride a bike again and they said not to worry about it. When I was on board the Medevac, they were finally able to properly put me under. One of the medics saw that I had severe internal bleeding and if he didn't do something, I wouldn't make it to the hospital. So he took out his knife and cut my stomach open so he could dump out the blood. Come to find out, there was a LARGE rock inside my stomach sitting just below my lungs. The rock had entered through my leg during the explosion. When I got to the hospital in Afghanistan, they did everything they needed to to get me ready for coming home. I unfortunately woke up. When they pulled the air tube out, I was able to make a phone call home. I called my wife and told her I was injured and that I loved her. She was going into labor at that moment. I called back a few hours later and I could hear my baby girl crying in the background. It was the happiest/saddest moment in my life.

When I got home to the USA, recovery was pretty difficult. I was on a lot of heavy medications and my body doesn't handle medications too well. The first 2 1/2 years are kinda blurry for me. I remember some things. When I got out of the military, I went back home to Indiana. But, I had forgotten that it snowed there and I was in a wheelchair now. So my wife and I decided to move to Florida. I had never been before. We moved here and built a house. Unfortunately though, we did end up separating not too long after moving. And that's where my motorcycle came into play. My wife wouldn't let me buy a motorcycle because she didn't want me getting hurt. However, when we separated, I went straight to Adamec Harley-Davidson and bought my first trike!! The people there were great! They had never modified a motorcycle before and I had never seen one in person, so we collaborated together and did our research. They were able to help me take my ideas and turn it into a reality. This is my 2nd Harley Davidson now. I plan on getting more.

SOCRS089- Lani Hankins- “Kruse Corner: Where Nobody Fights Alone”

SOCRS089- Lani Hankins- “Kruse Corner: Where Nobody Fights Alone”

August 12, 2019

Lani Hankins (In Her Own Words):

I grew up in a small town on the Central Coast of California, and was the youngest of two kids. My father, a Vietnam veteran, worked for a company that specialized in metal coil and paper roll restoration, while my mother worked in human resources. Prior to joining the Army, I was enrolled in the Fine Arts program at the local community college. Shortly after completing my associate’s degree, I was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for Basic Combat Training (BCT), followed by Fort Lee, Virginia for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where I was trained as an Automated Logistical Specialist (92A).  I was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, where I worked as a supply and dispatch clerk for the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. During my time in 1-4 CAV, I was a member of the Female Engagement Team (FET) and completed one combat deployment to the Paktika Province of Afghanistan. In February of 2015, I transitioned to the Army Reserves where I continued to serve as a 92A in Cape Coral, Florida.

I decided to leave the Army after 6 years to continue my education with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. While working on my master’s degree, I was given the opportunity to address veteran suicide and communication problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. My capstone project inspired me to start a blog where I could continue to bring awareness to veteran suicide and veteran health care issues. Today, the Kruse Corner blog is where I share personal stories about life in the Army, the transition from soldier to civilian, and my struggles with mental health. My mission has been to encourage other veterans to reach out and share their own story to take action against veteran suicide and end the stigma attached to mental illness.

SOCRS088- Annette Whittenberger- “A Wild Ride Called Life”

SOCRS088- Annette Whittenberger- “A Wild Ride Called Life”

August 9, 2019

Annette M. Whittenberger, currently living in Fairfax, Virginia understands the challenge of veteran transition and development as she is a Retired Combat Veteran, an Army Spouse and mother to a college freshman and high school sophomore. She focuses on coaching others through PTSD, anxiety and depression and trauma.

 She is a mentor with VeteratieMentor and for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

 She is also a blogger on Medium.com

 Annette has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Environmental Management. 

SOCRS087- John Cunningham- “Freedom, Protecting Your People & Splendid Isolation”

SOCRS087- John Cunningham- “Freedom, Protecting Your People & Splendid Isolation”

August 8, 2019

John Cunningham is originally from Baytown, TX. He attended the United States Military Academy West Point in 1963, he was the first person in his family to join the military. "All I knew about West Point when I arrived is what I saw on TV," says Cunningham. Originally, he started West Point with a class of 865 students, in 1967 Cunningham was one of the 565 students who graduated, with his bachelors in General Engineering and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Signal Branch in the United States Army.

From there, his first assignment in the army was Ranger School at Fort Benning, GA. After successfully completing and graduating Ranger School he continued his Signal Training attending various training schools in Georgia and New Jersey before being stationed in Germany. Shortly after, Cunningham served first combat assignment of 12 months in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division.

Later, John discharged with the Army in 1972 at Fort Hood, TX. He the enrolled in law school at the University of Texas and graduated with his Law Degree in 1975 and went on to earn his MBA and CPA. After 25 years in the corporate world with his Wife, Marlies and three children; Michael, Sean and Katrina Cunningham.  In 2000 John and his family moved to Columbus, Georgia where they bought a Harley-Dealership, Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson, located just outside of Fort Benning. 5 years later, Cunningham expanded and built a secondary retail location, Big Swamp Harley-Davidson, in Opelika, AL just miles away from Auburn University. Today, one a year away from their 20th Harley-Davidson Anniversary, John and Marlies Cunningham are proud owners of Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson and Big Swamp Harley-Davidson. 

SOCRS086- Jeff Lodick- “Freedom, Baseball, and Life”

SOCRS086- Jeff Lodick- “Freedom, Baseball, and Life”

July 31, 2019

Jeffrey Lodick was born in Buffalo, NY. He joined the Army in 1997, a year after graduating high school and enjoyed a 20-year career. Jeffrey was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Korea, Fort Jackson, SC, Stuttgart, Germany, and MacDill Air Force Base, FL, but had the pleasure of seeing the world! He served as a Squadron Sergeant Major, Operations Sergeant Major, First Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, and Drill Sergeant. He was a Paratrooper, a Master Rated Jump Master, a Pathfinder and a graduate of the Battle Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Course among other military schools.

He has continued his service by assisting transitioning Service Members as an Associate Instructor for FourBlock and is the host of On The Other Side: Leadership After Transition, a podcast designed specifically to allow experienced Veterans and those who truly want to assist Veterans the ability to provide insight on leadership and the transition process.

 

In 2002, at the age of 23, Jeffrey was diagnosed with testicular cancer. This was the first time in his life that he realized his mortality and he began to appreciate living. During his time as a Drill Sergeant in 2005 through 2007, he found his passion to help those who truly wanted to help themselves and who were simply asking for guidance. With his passion for life and his desire to teach, coach, and mentor, upon his retirement, he opened Change Your Forecast, LLC, an organization that uses organized sports to teach life and leadership lessons to student athletes at both high school and collegiate level. He is an inspirational speaker, a member of the National Speakers Association, and a member of Toastmasters.

 

He is married to Alexandria with 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy ages 14, 12, 4 years, and 10 months.

SOCRS085- James Van Prooyen- “Networking The Veteran Highlander”

SOCRS085- James Van Prooyen- “Networking The Veteran Highlander”

July 16, 2019

After graduating high school, James Van Prooyen went into the Air Force thinking that all he would do was serve a four year enlistment and then go back home. Twenty years later, he retired from the United States Air Force, March of 2015. James provided IT support in many places around the globe to include Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, South America, and Africa.

After leaving the Air Force, James learned about the power of using a podcast to amplify a message. The message he most wanted to help get out was using the podcast medium inside the veteran community.  James see how valuable podcasts could be to help veterans, active duty, and their families. He has great experience in both producing and hosting multiple podcasts and wholeheartedly believes in the power of good to create positive change.

SOCRS084- Justin Cobb- “Call of Duty, Freedom, and the Harley-Davidson Family”

SOCRS084- Justin Cobb- “Call of Duty, Freedom, and the Harley-Davidson Family”

July 4, 2019

Justin Cobb, U.S.M.C.

Justin was born in Enterprise, Alabama in 1988.  He went to G.W. Long High School in Ozark and graduated in 1986. He enlisted into the Marine Corps right after graduation and served 9 years with the 2nd LER Battalion. He deployed to Iraq in 2008, and again to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2011 with the same unit. In 2014, he went back to Afghanistan as a foreign advisor. In 2015 he left the Marine Corps and transferred to the US Army National Guard (186th Engineer Company) in Dothan, Alabama.  He served with that unit for 3 years. Currently, he is the Can-Am Service Manager for Harley-Davidson of Dothan.

SOCRS083- Pete A. Turner- “The Break It Down Show: Telling Relevant Stories One Human Being At A Time”

SOCRS083- Pete A. Turner- “The Break It Down Show: Telling Relevant Stories One Human Being At A Time”

July 2, 2019

Pete Turner is a former US Army spy who's been on over 1000 combat patrols. His ability to survive meetings with warlords, Taliban leaders, Al Qaeda members, and criminals is a testament to  his ability to gain the trust of, not only US commanders, but the enemy. Once Pete returned from combat, he focused his abilities on consulting companies on culture and building podcasts. His network of podcast hosts and shows reaches millions of listeners each week. Catch Pete's own shows the Break It Down Show and Popping the Bubbl

SOCRS082- Scott “Jacko” Jackman- “Whiskeys Wish: Dogs & Recovery”

SOCRS082- Scott “Jacko” Jackman- “Whiskeys Wish: Dogs & Recovery”

June 28, 2019

Scott "Jacko" Jackman served with the 8/9 Royal Australian Regiment.  He deployed to both East Timor and Afghanistan where in 2012 he sustained an injury.  In 2013, he was diagnosed with Major Depression, PTSD and debilitating back and neck injuries and was medically discharged from military service. 

Soon after, Scott was deeply devastated after the death of his assistance dog "Whiskey".  In an effort to support and assist in Scott's rehabilitation, close family and friends gave Scott the encouragement he needed knowing that he was more than able to help and support others through his experiences, knowledge and empathy.

Thus, was the birth of Whiskey's Wish.  Its important Mission is to provide training and puppies for service dog training to veterans, first responders & correctional officers who suffer from PTSD and service-related injuries.