Borne the Battle

Borne the Battle
Hosted by Marine Corps Veteran Tanner Iskra, Borne the Battle recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits VA offers our Veterans.

#207: Using AI to Align Veterans to Careers Opportunities w/ Marine Recon Veteran Alex Calfee
Aug 10 • 68 min
This week’s episode of Borne the Battle features Marine Recon Veteran Alex Calfree, the co-founder of OpLign, a website that uses artificial intelligence to connect veterans to employers.
#206: VFW Talk w/ Army Veteran Terrence Hayes, VFW’s National Director of Communications
Aug 3 • 48 min
Army Veteran and former VA employee, Terrence Hayes, is the VFW’s National Director of Communication. In this episode, Hayes discusses what he’s learned about the VFW since starting his new position.
#205: Benefits Breakdown, Alaska Native Veterans Program of 2019
Jul 27 • 60 min
An estimated 2,200 Native Alaskan Veterans who served during the Vietnam War, or their heirs, can soon acquire up to 160 acres of federal land in Alaska. Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and VA break down the Alaska Native Veterans…
#204 Staff Writer and Air Force Veteran Blake Stilwell
Jul 20 • 58 min
Air Force Veteran Blake Stilwell a former combat photographer and current staff writer for whose work has appeared on Business Insider, Fox News, ABC News, NBC, HBO, and at the White House.
#203 The (Serial) Hiking (Army) Veteran, Erik Schlimmer
Jul 13 • 99 min
Army Veteran Erik Schlimmer has camped over 1,000 nights, climbed over 2,000 summits and hiked over 15,000 miles. In 2010 he hiked the entire Trans Adirondack Route – which spans over 230 miles – over just a few weeks. Schlimmer believes that hiking is…
#202: Bring Every Dad Home w/ Marine Veteran Ben Killoy, Host of Military Veteran Dad Podcast
Jul 6 • 67 min
Marine Veteran Ben Killoy struggled with the challenges of being a father. He found online communities of other men going through the same struggle, connected with the and in doing so, was able to better connect has a husband and as a dad. He spent years…
#201: Benefits Breakdown, CARES Act Funding to VA Homeless Programs
Jun 29 • 41 min
Breakdown on how the VA is addressing the challenge of homeless and at-risk veterans during COVID-19 with 300 million dollars in emergency funding provided by the CARES Act.
#200: AEW Wrestler Big Swole, AKA Air Force Veteran Aerial Johnson
Jun 22 • 51 min
This 200th episode of Borne the Battle features Air Force Veteran Aerial Johnson, better known by her wrestling name “Big Swole,” Aerial shares her time in the military and how she transitioned into civilian life to eventually became a professional…
#199: A COVID Nurse’s Story w/ Army Veteran Joshua Strickland, Lead Singer, Bayou Bandits
Jun 15 • 73 min
Army Veteran Josh Strickland is a family man, the lead singer of the Phoenix-based band the Bayou Bandits, and a registered nurse who has worked through the COVID-19 pandemic in some of the hardest-hit areas of the United States.
#198: Transition Talk w/ Marine Corps Veteran Beau Higgins, Amazon Military Affairs
Jun 8 • 69 min
Marine Corps Veteran Beau Higgins shares his story of how he started working for Amazon, and talks about the current employment landscape during COVID-19.
#197: COVID Business Survival w/ Army Veteran Luke Wade
Jun 1 • 49 min
While most events and clubs can’t function as normal, Army Veteran Luke Wade and the KC Crew have found ways to keep people and communities connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#196: Tips and Changes to VA Home Loan w/ Navy Veteran Bryan Bergjans
May 25 • 77 min
“Navy Veteran Bryan Bergjans is bridging the educational gap of the VA Home Loan Program by educating future veteran homeowners, and realtors.”
#195: TEDx w/ Prince Taylor, Navy Veteran, Deputy Director, VA Voluntary Service
May 18 • 65 min
This week’s episode of Borne the Battle features Prince Taylor’s journey from a rough transition with entry level jobs to VA HR to organizing TEDx Veterans Affairs.
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus No. 6
May 16 • 23 min
COVID-19 update on VA benefits (GI Bill, Home Loan, etc.) featuring Undersecretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration, Dr. Paul Lawrence.
#194: Amazon and USA Today Best Selling Author, Marine Veteran G. Michael Hopf
May 11 • 59 min
Marine and Gulf War Veteran G. Michael Hopf shares his journey from joining the Marines to signing with the largest book publisher in the world.
#193: Talking Team RWB w/ Army Veteran Mike Erwin
May 4 • 55 min
Through founding Team RWB, Army Veteran and Team RWB Executive Director, Mike Erwin, discovered that he didn’t have to be in the military to continue serving. He has since founded more nonprofits and has co-written a book.
#192: Emergency Relief w/ LTG Raymond Mason
Apr 27 • 50 min
LTG Raymond Mason says that receiving help in times of struggle is a sign of great strength. Today, he’s the Director of the Army Emergency Relief (AER).
#191: Analyzing Human Behavior w/ Marine Scout Sniper, Brian Marren
Apr 20 • 80 min
Marine Corps Veteran / Sniper Brian Marren is an expert in Human Behavior Pattern Recognition and Analysis. He has trained Tier One military units, Fortune 500 companies, schools, churches, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.…
#190: Benefits Breakdown, Debt Management Center, COVID-19 Relief for Veterans
Apr 13 • 20 min
The director and director of operations for the VA’s Debt Management Center break down how they are executing the president’s directive to suspend or extend all VA Debt Collection due to COVID-19.
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus No. 5
Apr 8 • 23 min
Two new VA coronavirus websites are online. Update on the Wheelchair and Golden Age Games. VA suspends debt collection. Update on COVID-19 support from New Jersey Medical Center. Interview with Army Veteran Chad Butters, who early on, transformed his…
#189: Operation Abilene w/ Phil Hall and Fred Navarro
Apr 6 • 40 min
While they only knew him for one day, Army Veterans Phil Hall and Fred Navarro remember the man that sacrificed his life for them and their fellow brothers in Vietnam. They both signed statements of recommendation to upgrade Airman William H.…
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus No. 4
Apr 1 • 28 min
Updates on SBA loans for affected small businesses, where you can find Veteran Health Administrations COVID-19 Response plan and FAQs, VA’s medical support to New York City, where mobile vet centers are currently being deployed to, and an interview with…
#188: Justin Nassiri: Navy Veteran, Entrepreneur, Host of Beyond the Uniform Podcast
Mar 30 • 44 min
Founder and host of the podcast Beyond the Uniform, Navy Veteran, Justin Nassiri shares his journey from the Navy to his own business. Through his podcast, he advises and encourages Veterans as they transition from the military into civilian life.
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus No. 3
Mar 25 • 9 min
Included in this episode: GI Bill Changes, National Cemetery Information, Update on rehiring retired VA medical staff, VA Home Loan assistance website.
#187: First Women to Command a Naval Ship w/ Darlene Iskra
Mar 23 • 55 min
Navy Veteran Darlene Iskra was the first woman to command a US naval ship. She now works as an ambassador for Women In Military Service For America Memorial to help Americans discover the military women who have served our country.
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus No. 2
Mar 18 • 5 min
An in-depth breakdown of VA Public Health’s coronavirus website and a message from the chairman of the board of veterans appeals.
#186: Women in Choppers w/ Army Veteran Hallie Johnston
Mar 16 • 50 min
Before she transitioned into civilian life, Johnston followed her (pioneer) mother’s footsteps by becoming a Black Hawk helicopter pilot. Through her work as a board member at Carry the Load, Johnston helps provide a way for Americans to honor their…
UPDATE: COVID-19 / Coronavirus
Mar 12 • 5 min
A quick update on VA’s responses to COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic and where to find information as it gets released.
#185: Benefits Breakdown, Burn Pit Registry
Mar 9 • 45 min
This week’s Benefits Breakdown features Army Veterans Dr. Eric Shuping and Vincent Mitchell. They discussed the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry - why it’s important, who’s eligible, and how you can sign up and take part.
#184: Honoring Vietnam Veterans w/ Army Veteran MG James T. Jackson
Mar 2 • 54 min
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is fast approaching (March 29). Army Veteran MG (ret) James T. Jackson is the director Vietnam Commemoration. Directed by Congress and executed by the DoD, the commemoration’s goal is to reach out and thank those that…
#183: 9/11 NYPD Officer to Acting w/ Marine Veteran Hiram Murray
Feb 24 • 46 min
Marines Veteran Hiram Murray is a film military advisor and actor in LA. Murray discusses his journey from NYPD police officer on 9/11 to the USMC, to the LAPD and how those experiences led him to his current roles in Hollywood.
#182: Talking Sauce w/ Air Force Veteran Charlynda Scales
Feb 17 • 57 min
This week Borne the Battle’s guest started with a recipe handed down from her grandfather, a $25,000 investment, and turned it into a successful business that launched on Amazon this past November.
#181: The 2020 State of VA
Feb 10 • 27 min
Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Robert Wilkie talks gives the Secretary’s “State of VA” address where he talks about the department’s 2019 successes and his priorities for 2020.
#180: Benefits Breakdown - Board of Veterans Appeals with Cheryl Mason
Feb 3 • 40 min
This week’s Borne the Battle begins where episode #169 left off, featuring guest Cheryl Mason, Chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). In this Benefits Breakdown, Chairman Mason talks about the third lane of Appeals Modernization. Chairman Mason…
#179: Benefits Breakdowns, Meritorious Segments - 2019
Jan 27 • 41 min
What does the VA Home Loan Program, the VA Office of Faith and Opportunity, the VA Assistive Technology Program, Vet Centers, Appeals Modernization Office and VA’s diabetes training and self-management have in common? They were all featured as benefits…
#178: Meritorious Segments - 2019
Jan 20 • 43 min
If you’ve never heard an episode of Borne the Battle, this is a great place to start. Marine Veteran Tanner Iskra shares some meritorious segments from 2019. Segments include soundbites from NC farmer Valroy Williams, actress Jennifer Marshall, Postal…
#177: Panel - The State of Military Film
Jan 13 • 69 min
“1917” and “The Last Full Measure” will soon be coming to a theater near you. These military movies have been carefully crafted to capture an authentic look at life in the military. Fortunately, many military films have been carefully crafted with the…
*Bonus - “THE NEXT MISSION, Marine Veterans who are Changing the World” Presented by the Military Times
Dec 25, 2019 • 60 min
BONUS for subs! A panel of three Marine Veterans making a difference in their new respective fields. Sam Meek, CEO of SANDBOXX, Martha MacPhee, Director of Special Projects for Susan Davis International and Richard Cardona, Video Content Strategist. Panel…
#176: Congressional Recommendations on Military, National and Public Service w/ Veterans Shawn Skelly and Ed Allard
Dec 18, 2019 • 79 min
Should every American Citizen serve in the military? Should women be required to register for the selective service (draft)? What should the future of the Selective Service look like? Navy Veteran Shawn Skelly and Marine Corps Veteran Ed Allard are…
#175: Benefits Breakdown - Diabetes Education and Self Management
Dec 11, 2019 • 46 min
According to our guest, 25% of Veterans receiving VA care have been diagnosed with diabetes. Mary Julius, a PM for Cleveland’s VA diabetes self-management and education training program, (and also diagnosed with Type I diabetes) breaks down devices, tools…
#174 Wreath Across America w/ Army Veteran Wayne Hanson
Dec 4, 2019 • 39 min
Wreaths Across America is a national campaign that coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at over 1,700 national cemeteries, culminating at Arlington National Cemetery. The three-fold purpose of WAA aims to remember fallen U.S Veterans, honor those who…
#173 On the Firing Line with Marine Veteran Dan Duitsman
Nov 27, 2019 • 40 min
Marine Veteran Dan Duitsman is Camp Valor Outdoors’ Shooting Sports Program Director. His role is to get disabled veterans into competitive shooting – no matter the disability. Currently, Camp Valor Outdoors’ shooting teams compete in professional matches…
#172 Lakota Warrior and Vietnam Veteran Dr. Robert Primeaux
Nov 20, 2019 • 64 min
From reservation to the Army and later to Hollywood, Primeaux describes life as member of a Lakota tribe, his service during the Vietnam War, and shares the Four Cardinal Lakota Virtues in hopes of helping other Veterans. He credits the Lakota Four…
#171: Seven Summits w/ Benjamin Breckheimer
Nov 13, 2019 • 67 min
Army Veteran Benjamin Breckheimer discovered mountain climbing after his service and is now aiming to be the first Purple Heart recipient to climb the Seven Summits of the world. Breckheimer details on how he survived an IED blast, a divorce during his…
#170: Dale Dye, Marine Corps Birthday Episode
Nov 6, 2019 • 104 min
When watching a movie, it’s easy to think that everything is real and true and lifelike. It’s no surprise that that isn’t always the case, especially with military movies. That’s how Marine Veteran Dale Dye got involved. He wanted to tell Hollywood the…
#169: Benefits Breakdown - Appeals Modernization
Oct 30, 2019 • 54 min
Executive Director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Appeals Management Office (AMO) and Army Veteran David McLenachen talks about the appeals modernization process. Before becoming executive director of the VBA’s AMO, McLenachen acted as…
#168: Coaching NCAA Lacrosse with Marine Veteran Chris Burke and Mitchell Shafer
Oct 23, 2019 • 92 min
Chris Burke discusses his service in the Marines, including his injury and recovery from an IED explosion. However, Burke’s real story begins on what he did after his service. He went back to school and walked on to a NCAA lacrosse program. Chris found a…
#167: Paging Dr. Albert Weed, Green Beret Medic, Army Medical Officer, VA Surgeon
Oct 16, 2019 • 64 min
Dr. Weed’s career has taken him from enlisted Green Beret Army medic to an Army medical officer to VA surgeon. Weed discussed his name, his family’s military background and medical experiences led him to, among other things, from peacekeeping in Egypt, to…
#166: Navy to NASCAR w/ Jesse Iwuji
Oct 9, 2019 • 72 min
After his football career ended, Jesse found racing. However, he was at a disadvantage compared to his peers who started racing at a very early age: Iwuji started in his mid 20’s. He lacked sponsorship and he wasn’t born into a racing family. Despite…
#165: The Battle of Mogadishu w/ Army Ranger Veteran, Jeff Struecker
Oct 2, 2019 • 51 min
This week’s Borne the Battle episode features Army Ranger Veteran Jeff Struecker. He discusses the Battle of Mogadishu and his life as a chaplain, a pastor, and an author.
#164: Benefits Breakdown - VA Vet Centers
Sep 25, 2019 • 53 min
2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of VA’s Vet Centers. This week’s interview is Pennsylvania National Guard Veteran Michael Fisher who is the VA’s Senior Readjustment Counselor. He leads and has direct oversight of over 300 Vet Centers, 80 Mobile Vet…
#163: Helping Reunite Veteran Families w/ Nathan Goncalves - Army Veteran, Equal Justice Works Fellow
Sep 18, 2019 • 90 min
Army Veteran Nathan Goncalves applied to UCLA’s Law school to study corporate law. He was accepted, but a bitter divorce, where his military mental health history was used against him, hampered those plans. Through his own experiences, Goncalves realized…
Bonus Episode! - Mel Brooks, Adrian Cronauer, 2019 Military Influencer Conference Roundup
Sep 16, 2019 • 26 min
For months, I’ve been promising a special bonus podcast episode for when Borne the Battle received its 100th rating and/or review on iTunes. We did it! But, before we get to Mel Brooks and the late Adrian Cronauer. In five months, our listenership has…
#162: September 11th with Dr. John Baxter - Air Force Veteran, 9/11 First Responder, SecDef’s Flight Surgeon
Sep 11, 2019 • 59 min
Dr. Baxter has been the SecDef’s flight surgeon for over 25 years – both in and out of uniform. 18 years ago, he was the commander of the flight clinic in the Pentagon when the plane hit the building. Before any helicopters landed, before the first…
#161: Todd Boeding – Marine Veteran, Carry the Load
Sep 4, 2019 • 52 min
Marine Veteran Todd Boeding talks about Carry the Load’s volunteer opportunity to honor heroes this September 11th at VA National Cemeteries.
#160: Benefits Breakdown – Assistive Technology Program
Aug 28, 2019 • 29 min
In this week’s Benefits Breakdown, Army Veteran Ursula Draper talks about the development of the VA’s Assistive Technology program; how the program started, how a Veteran can get in the program, and some examples of the technology being developed to…
#159: Curtez Riggs – Army Veteran, Entrepreneur, Military Influencer Conference
Aug 21, 2019 • 66 min
Curtez is the CEO of the Military Influencer Conference (MIC). Started in 2016, the conference is a community of entrepreneurs, influencers, creatives, executives, and leaders who are connected to the military community. Curtez said he sees the conference…
#158: David Gowel – Army Veteran, RallyPoint CEO
Aug 14, 2019 • 40 min
This week’s Borne the Battle interview is with Army Iraq War Veteran, David Gowel, a West Point and Ranger School graduate who later became an assistant professor at MIT’s ROTC program. David is currently the CEO of RallyPoint, a military-themed social…
#157: Ursula Draper – Army Veteran, Occupational Therapist, Assistive Technology Professional
Aug 7, 2019 • 47 min
Since some veterans have multiple traumas, known as polytrauma, VA dedicates resources to help Veterans with very complex issues. This week’s Borne the Battle interview is with Army Veteran Ursula Draper, who developed the VA Assistive Technology Program…
#156: Daniel Sharp – Marine Veteran, CEO PopSmoke Media, Smokepit Podcast Host
Jul 31, 2019 • 66 min
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, you either follow this week’s guest or have seen his work shared on your social media feed. This week’s Borne The Battle episode interview is with Marine Veteran Daniel Sharp, the Chief Executive Officer of…
#155: Gary Profit – Army Veteran, WalMart Military Programs
Jul 24, 2019 • 44 min
Back in episode 43, Gary gave his original testimony on Borne the Battle. This week’s Borne The Battle episode provides an update from the Senior Director of Military Programs at Walmart on the hiring initiatives through the company and the Walmart…
#154: Benefits Breakdown – VA Center of Faith and Opportunity Initiative
Jul 17, 2019 • 34 min
The VA understands that sometimes, faith is the best way to reach a Veteran. Therefore, VA set up a resource that educates local clergy on Veteran concerns and Veteran benefits so they can be the one to tell the Veteran what is available to them. In this…
#153: Perry Firoz - Air Force Veteran, CEO Epic Music LA
Jul 10, 2019 • 49 min
Perry Firoz is smart. Not just Air Force smart, but “can I copy off your paper,” smart. He was an Analytical Scientist for the Air Force. His entire job was to figure out how to make the Air Force more efficient. Returning to his first love, music, Perry…
#152: Denise Loring - Army Veteran, Camp Valor Outdoors, World Class Competitive Marksman
Jul 3, 2019 • 40 min
This week we interviewed Camp Valor Outdoors’ Chief Operating Officer, Army Veteran Denise Loring. She is a world class competitive shooter, having shot in a CMP and NRA Nationals, USA Olympic Trials (Air Rifle), and World Championships. We talked about…
#151: WWII Weekend Part II - Walter Stitt and Victor Marulli
Jun 26, 2019 • 51 min
Walter Stitt was a Sherman tank gun loader in General Patton’s 3rd Armored Division. He was one of the first tanks to cross the Siegfried Line – receiving a Purple Heart in the process. During WWII, Victor Marulli served as a frogman in Guam, Philippines…
#150: Benefits Breakdown – VA Home Loan Program
Jun 19, 2019 • 84 min
On June 22, VA will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the G.I. Bill. In honor of this historic event, Army Veteran Maxine Henry and Air Force Veteran Mark Connors of the VA’s Loan Guaranty Service team sat down with Borne the Battle to discuss one of the…
#149: WWII Weekend Part I - Pearl Harbor Survivors Richard Schimmel and William Bonelli
Jun 12, 2019 • 49 min
For three days, the MidAtlantic Air Museum brings WWII Veterans, reenactors and a full air show to their community. This year included two living survivors of Pearl Harbor. Richard Schimmel was one of the first soldiers to ever work with radar. He shipped…
75th Anniversary of D-Day
Jun 6, 2019 • 4 min
Quick Bonus episode reflecting on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. Features General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech to the troops of the eve of the operation.
#148: Army Veteran David Lucier, Green Beret Medic, Vietnam Special Forces, Security Contractor, Veteran Advocate
Jun 5, 2019 • 64 min
David talks about becoming a Green Beret, being attached to a MIKE Force in Vietnam, being a security contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan as a 55-60 year old man, and helping advocate to reform Arizona’s university system to work friendlier with the GI…
#147: Marine Veteran Brett D’Alessandro and Alexa Modero: Backpacks for Life
May 29, 2019 • 63 min
One couple, Marine Veteran Brett D’Alessandro and his partner, Alexa Modero, have made it their mission to help those Veterans that find themselves with nothing but a backpack. The first thing they are doing is literally improving the backpacks that rest…
#146: Dave Coker: Army Veteran, President of Fisher House Foundation
May 22, 2019 • 45 min
Fisher houses are a vital part of helping Veterans heal. If there is an open room in a Fisher House next to a VA or military medical facility, a family can join in their Veteran’s recovery at no lodging cost. Today, two new Fisher houses opened at the…
#145: Jan Ohrstrom: Army Veteran, Professional Wrestler, Documentary Producer, VA Employee
May 15, 2019 • 41 min
Not only is Army Veteran Jan a wrestler, he’s a producer of the documentary “Valhalla Club.” The feature documents how three wrestlers, formed a wrestling stable based on collectively fighting their PTSD through wrestling. Recently, the Valhalla Club were…
#144: Joseph Pennington - Navy Seabee Veteran, AllState Director of Military Affairs
May 8, 2019 • 58 min
Before our interns left for the year, I wanted to reward them with their own episode. For his “final” we challenged Zach to go find an interview off his campus. He interviewed Joseph Pennington, a former Navy Seabee and the current Director of Military…
#143: Stephen Holley - Navy SEAL Veteran, Naval Academy Quarterback, CEO of Carry The Load
May 1, 2019 • 50 min
For the next month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry The Load and this week’s guest, Stephen Holley, is the CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit, Carry the Load. In addition, he is a former quarterback at the Naval Academy…
#142: Carroll Harris - Marine Veteran, Postal Inspector, Marine Corps Historian
Apr 24, 2019 • 55 min
FBI, CIA, AFT…USPIS? It’s not an alphabet agency that is often brought up in conversation around DC Beltway. However, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was founded almost 100 years prior to the FBI and almost 150 years before the CIA. Their mission is to…
#141: BourBiz - Military Veteran/MilSpouse Networking Event
Apr 22, 2019 • 18 min
Bonus episode! This episode is an experiment of a sorts. I attended a Veteran/ military spouse networking event called BourBiz. It was held this last Thursday by The Veteran Success Resource Group at the MGM, National Harbor, Maryland. I was told about…
#140: Danny Chung – Marine Veteran, Microsoft Chief of Staff of Military Affairs
Apr 17, 2019 • 43 min
Danny Chung is an positive example of a Veteran that found a way to give back to the transitioning active-duty community. Danny’s team is trying to do is fill a gap in the civilian workforce. At any given time, there are over 500,000 open jobs in the…
#139: Jennifer Marshall – Navy Veteran, Actress (Stranger Things, Hawaii Five-0)
Apr 10, 2019 • 62 min
Navy Veteran Jennifer Marshall joins us on the show. Since transitioning from active duty, she’s been hustling out in Hollywood. She’s a veteran of some movies and shows you may have seen: “Stranger Things” “Hawaii Five-0” “A Dog’s Way Home” “Timeless”…
#138: Sean Ricks – Navy Veteran, CEO of Ricks Roasters Coffee Company
Apr 3, 2019 • 40 min
There are many veteran entrepreneurs in the coffee industry. Today we focus on a local roaster in the Northern Virginia area that is making waves in the coffee industry. In this episode, Sean talks about his unique military career. Starting out as a…
#137: John Buckley II – Army Veteran, Koch Industries, Veteran Advocate, Wichita Kansas
Mar 27, 2019 • 42 min
I love finding Veterans who are out there working to bridge the military-civilian divide. This week’s guest is continuing to serve by connecting Veterans to communities as the military relations manager at the second largest private company in the United…
#136: Valroy Williams – Army / Navy Veteran, Queens NY Submariner to NC Farmer
Mar 20, 2019 • 37 min
How does a Navy submariner from Hollis, Queens, NY, become a farmer in North Carolina? That is exactly what Valroy Williams did after over 30 years of dedication between the Navy and Army. In this episode we talked about his service, how he learned to…
#135: Rick Robinson - Marine Veteran, Emmy Award Winning Director of Photography and Cinematographer
Mar 13, 2019 • 73 min
Tanner’s first podcast features a former mentor. Rick Robinson is an Emmy award winning director of photography and cinematographer. Rick talks about being a combat videographer in Grenada and Beirut, breaking into Hollywood and working on major motion…
#134: Tanner Iskra – Marine Veteran, new host of Borne the Battle
Feb 27, 2019 • 55 min
This episode is a humbling one for me. Episode 134 is the last episode I will produce as the host of Borne the Battle. I launched the podcast in 2016 under the title “This Week at VA,” renamed it Borne The Battle about a year later, and have interviewed…
#133: Joel Chaverri – Marine Veteran, Vet Center Director
Feb 8, 2019 • 64 min
Vet Centers are one of VA’s most valuable and crucial resources. Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active…
#132: Brent Thompson – Navy Veteran, Head Brewer at Texas Ale Project
Jan 31, 2019 • 41 min
Since I joined VA in April 2016, we have avoided alcohol themed content in our production. However, with so many Veterans involved in the industry through craft beer, distilling, wineries, and more, I decided it was time to feature a Veteran inside the…
#131: Ozzy Ramirez – Army Veteran, Actor
Jan 23, 2019 • 43 min
Back in October I interviewed Ozzy Ramirez, an Army Veteran that is pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. Ozzy’s interview got buried in a swarm of interviews conducted in that time span and I just discovered it again last week. When I went back to…
#130: Robert Freedman – Army Veteran, Professor
Jan 16, 2019 • 21 min
This week we have a unique episode. One of my interns, Zach Wheeler, conducted an interview with one of his professors at Johns Hopkins University. Zach is a sophomore and is studying International Studies. His professor, Robert O. Freedman, is an adjunct…
#129: Student Veteran of the Year, Air Force Veteran Alexandria Sawin
Jan 11, 2019 • 44 min
Our week of podcasts focused on student Veterans is coming to a close. On Monday, we spoke with Student Veterans of America president Jared Lyon. Then, Tuesday through Thursday we had a conversation with three groups of Student Veteran of the Year…
#128: Student Veteran of the Year finalists Angela Peacock, Kyle Venable and Carlos Caro
Jan 10, 2019 • 33 min
Today, we continue our discussions with Student Veterans of America’s Student Veteran of the Year finalists. This episode features Angela Peacock, Kyle Venable, and Carlos Caro. We learn about their chapter’s success in 2018, their philosophy on outreach,…
#127: Student Veteran of the Year finalists Chanel Powell and Tyler Freeman
Jan 9, 2019 • 25 min
Today, we continue our discussions with Student Veterans of America’s Student Veteran of the Year finalists. This episode features Chanel Powell and Tyler Freeman. We learn about their chapter’s success in 2018, their philosophy on outreach, and how to…
#126: Student Veteran of the Year finalists David Cote, Katherine Pratt, and Wesley Wilson
Jan 8, 2019 • 33 min
Each year, Student Veterans of America selects a “Student Veteran of the Year.” They receive hundreds of submissions for consideration and narrow the field down to ten finalists. Year after year, these ten finalists prove to be exceptional individuals. I…
#125: Jared Lyon - President of SVA’s interview from #NatCon2019
Jan 7, 2019 • 31 min
I just returned from the 2019 Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference (NatCon). It was my fourth conference in five years. I’ve been to two as a student Veteran, and two on behalf of VA. Each year this gathering proves to be more powerful…
#124: Nick Armstrong – Army Veteran, Senior Director of Research and Policy at IVMF
Dec 19, 2018 • 44 min
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University is a key contributor in the support of Veteran entrepreneurs and research on transitioning Veterans. In the past, we have spoken with IVMF’s Director, Mike Haynie, and their…
#123: William Daniels – Army Veteran, Actor
Dec 5, 2018 • 28 min
Every once in a while I’m pleasantly surprised to discover that someone famous is a Veteran. A couple months ago, a story came out about William Daniels when he fended off an intruder in his house. When I saw his age, I wondered if he served in World War…
#122: Sarah Verardo – Caregiver, CEO of Independence Fund
Nov 28, 2018 • 39 min
To round of National Caregivers Month, we feature Sarah Verardo. Sarah is the CEO of Independence Fund and a caregiver for her husband, an Army Veteran. Sarah also authored the children’s book, Hero at Home. Founded in 2007, The Independence Fund is…
#121 Veterans Legacy Program: Terence Patrick Halligan
Nov 23, 2018 • 16 min
Today’s podcast features a Veteran spotlighted by NCA’s Veterans Legacy Program. Kenneth Holliday, who joined us on episode 106, joins us today for the unofficial debut of Veterans Legacy Program podcast. Today, he tells us about Terrence Halligan.…
#120: Liz Rotenberry – Caregiver, Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellows Programs Coordinator
Nov 21, 2018 • 49 min
Everyone needs a break from time to time. Borne the Battle - and, more importantly, its host - decided to take a short break from production. It’s been a month since our last episode was published, but I was still recording interviews in that span of…
#119: Elliott McKenzie – Marine Veteran, R&B artist
Oct 10, 2018 • 60 min
After a short break, Borne the Battle is back. This week we bring on Marine Veteran Elliott McKenzie. After returning home from a deployment to Ramadi, Iraq, Elliott started showing signs of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By 2008, his…
#118: ‘Back to School’ round table featuring Jared Lyon, EJ Delpero, and Kirsten Battocchio
Sep 19, 2018 • 56 min
September means back to school, even for Veterans. Being a student Veteran on campus is a unique experience. Student Veterans are typically older than traditional students, they have more life experience, and they can even have families at home. One…
#117: James McDonough – Army Veteran, IVMF’s Managing Director for Programs and Services
Aug 29, 2018 • 51 min
About 30 episodes ago, we spoke with Michael Haynie, the Founder & Executive Director for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. The IVMF is higher education’s first interdisciplinary academic institute, singularly…
#116: Petey Ace – Marine Veteran, Hip Hop Artist
Aug 22, 2018 • 44 min
Music is a great way to communicate one’s feelings and cope with experiences. Veterans have been using music in these same ways as a way to come to terms with some feelings they have and to tell their audience their story. Petey Ace is a Marine Corps…
#115: JJ Pinter - Army Veteran, Executive Director of Team RWB
Aug 1, 2018 • 62 min
Back in December of 2016, we featured Army Veteran Blayne Smith on the podcast. At the time, he was Executive Director of Team RWB. That was episode 11. He has since moved on to the GORUCK team, and here on episode 115, we are featuring he successor, and…
#114: Bennie Adkins – Army Veteran, Medal of Honor recipient
Jul 24, 2018 • 42 min
I’ve been podcasting for more than five years. I look forward to each interview, because I love hearing new perspectives and unique stories of life and service. There are some interviews that truly get me excited, like this week’s with Medal of Honor…
#113: Dan Cnossen – Navy Veteran, Paralympic Gold Medalist
Jul 18, 2018 • 39 min
I met Dan Cnossen on the red carpet at the Team USA awards back in April. I spoke to him about the opportunity to represent the United States in a different uniform and his experience with adaptive sports. Hour later, he was named 2018 Male Paralympic…
#112: Adam Storck – Army Veteran, Denali Summit
Jul 11, 2018 • 53 min
A five-member mountaineering team of U.S. military, Veterans, and a physician from non-profit U.S. Expeditions and Explorations (USX) summited North America’s highest peak, Denali, Alaska, during a scientific research expedition to benefit the study of…
#111 Benefits Breakdown – VetChange App
Jul 2, 2018 • 19 min
Drinking can be a concern for many people. Veterans can fall into behavior of using alcohol to cope with emotional distress following a deployment or transition out of the military. For some, the volume drinking turns from moderate to heavy, and the body…
#110: David Zurfluh – Air Force Veteran, National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America
Jun 27, 2018 • 42 min
When I was visiting my then-girlfriend in Columbus a few years ago, we realized her apartment complex was not outfitted to accommodate a wheelchair. There was handicap parking, but unless you were on the ground floor, that person would not be able to…
#109: GI Bill 74th Anniversary w/ Barrett Bogue & Lauren Augustine of SVA
Jun 21, 2018 • 69 min
Education is one of the most valuable things a person can have. Following World War II, the original GI Bill helped provide Veterans returning from war the opportunity to pursue a college degree. Since its inception, the GI Bill has gone through a few…
#108: Sally Roberts - Army Veteran, Wrestle Like a Girl
Jun 13, 2018 • 39 min
One of my favorite parts of podcasting in the Veteran space is learning about what Veterans are doing in their communities and their industries. This week we hear from Army Veteran Sally Roberts, founder of Wrestle Like a Girl. Sally was a resident at the…
#107: Jason & Emily McCarthy – Army Veteran & MilSpouse, GORUCK CEO & Chief of Staff
Jun 6, 2018 • 63 min
A couple weeks ago, GORUCK hosted an event in Washington D.C. called the Star Course 50-Miler. More than 700 participants wondered around Washington visiting way-points in attempt to walk 50 miles in 20 hours. The idea originates from an executive order…
#106: Kenneth Holliday – Army Veteran, Veterans Legacy Program
May 30, 2018 • 33 min
Continuing the theme of memorializing those that have served our country and passed, we’re going to talk more about the Veterans Legacy Program. Last week, Bryce Carpenter laid the ground work last week by explaining the creation and development of the…
#105 Benefits Breakdown – Veterans Legacy Program
May 28, 2018 • 29 min
I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day. However you recognize the holiday, I hope you take a moment to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. In theme with Memorial Day, we’ll be looking at the Veterans Legacy Program on…
#104: Wendy Tenhula – Director of Innovation and Collaboration for the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
May 23, 2018 • 49 min
Hopefully, you watched our panel discussion on mental health or listened to the audio on Monday’s podcast. Today’s episode is an extension of that conversation. Coming out of that YouTube Live event, there were a number of things I wanted to ask that just…
#103 Benefits Breakdown - Make the Connection
May 21, 2018 • 55 min
May is Mental Health Month and one of VA’s leading resources for mental health, Make the Connection, kicked off the month with a YouTube Live event. The event was a panel discussion about Veterans and mental health. I was honored to host the event, and…
#102: Jennifer MacDonald – Army Veteran, Director of Clinical Innovations and Education, VHA Connected Care
May 16, 2018 • 43 min
Tele-health has been a priority at VA and we’ve made great strides in the care we can offer Veterans. From video conferencing between physician and patient to our mobile app “Annie.” I’ve personally used mobile apps and digital platforms to connect with…
#101: Raymond Kaloplastos – Army Veteran, Mobile Vet Center
May 11, 2018 • 30 min
We’re wrapping up Public Service Recognition Week and I think a nice bookend to the week is to talk with someone that serves Veterans through his public service. Raymond Kaloplastos is known as “Ray from VA” around his community in San Antonio. I spoke…
#100: Bruce Silverglade - Army Veteran, Owner of Gleason’s Gym
May 9, 2018 • 42 min
This is a big milestone for us. 100 episodes of Borne the Battle. We’ve spoken to Veterans from all branches (even one Coast Guard Veteran) and learned about so many industries. The stories have been interesting and learning about their current vocations…
#99: Benefits Breakdown - Community Engagement, Homeless Programs
May 7, 2018 • 28 min
VA is very active in addressing and attempting to prevent Veteran homelessness. We hold a “no wrong door” policy, which allows Veterans to touch base with any point of contact at VA with confidence they will be guided to our resources and services to…
#98: Nick Karnaze – Marine Veteran; Owner of Stubble & ‘Stache
May 2, 2018 • 51 min
After a successful round table on women Veterans topics, I was excited to do another one. I decided to curate a round table of Veteran entrepreneurs, but had a couple guests back out and was forced to postpone. Fortunately, one of my invited guests was…
#97: Tim Kolzcak – Army Veteran; The Veterans Project
Apr 25, 2018 • 60 min
Tim Kolzcak asked his dad what the plan was for college. After learning there was no money available for his education, he had to choose between going into debt or joining the military. So, he enlisted in the Army. After his tour, which involved…
#96: Alphi Quitevis – Marine Veteran; Meditation Practice
Apr 18, 2018 • 42 min
Alternative healing and mental health awareness is becoming more important and more popular. One thing Veterans are trying out is meditation. Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, thought or…
#95: Rob Jones – Marine Veteran; Month of Marathons
Apr 11, 2018 • 35 min
I’ve never run a marathon. I’m definitely one of those people that say, “I’d like to run one someday,” but the truth is I probably won’t. Rob Jones, a Marine Veteran who has two fewer legs than I do, ran 31 marathons in just as many days. His journey…
#94: Benefits Breakdown – Smoke Quitline
Apr 9, 2018 • 12 min
I smoked for nearly ten years. I picked up the habit when I was 18 or 19 years old, and didn’t truly quit until my late 20s. Like many smokers, I tried a number of different philosophies to kick the habit. It was easier to quit when I left the military,…
#93: Robert Blackman - Marine Veteran; President and CEO, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
Apr 4, 2018 • 35 min
Washington D.C. is full of amazing museums. The National Mall is lined with preserved history and remembrance. However, one of the best locations in the area for military history, the Marine Corps Museum, is an hour south in Quantico, Virginia. The Marine…
#92: Women Veterans round table featuring Lauren Augustine, Joy Ilem, & Sarah Maples
Mar 30, 2018 • 43 min
We have some bonus content for you. I sat down with three amazing Veterans to help wrap up our focus on Women Veterans this month. Lauren Augustine from Student Veterans of America, Joy Ilem from Disabled American Veterans, and Sarah Maples from Veterans…
#91 Sarah Holzhalb – Coast Guard Veteran, Athlete and Team RWB Relationships Manager
Mar 28, 2018 • 41 min
This week’s podcast marks our fourth and last installment in the series featuring women from the Women Veterans Athlete Initiative put on by the Center for Women Veterans. Today, we feature Sarah Holzalb, a Coast Guard Veteran and Relationships Manager…
#90 Candice Caesar – Army Veteran, Athlete and Team RWB member
Mar 21, 2018 • 36 min
This is the third installment of our series spotlighting women from the Women Veteran Athletes Initiative put on by the Center for Women Veterans. Featured on this week’s episode is Army Veteran Candice Caesar. Candice Caesar joined the US Army as a…
#89 Mila Dimal – Navy Veteran, Athlete and Team RWB chapter leader
Mar 14, 2018 • 27 min
Mila Dimal served as an aviation mechanic in the US Navy and Navy Reserves, retiring after 20 years of service. Her passion is being the best mother, friend, and employee possible, and she credits sports and physical activities with helping her meet her…
#88 Bernardine Donato – Navy & Air Force Veteran, Athlete and Team RWB leader
Mar 7, 2018 • 26 min
Bernardine “Bernie” Donato is a Navy and Air Force Veteran that lives life to the fullest and on her own terms. She is a cancer survivor and lives with two autoimmune disorders; one which affects her joints and the other her muscles. Yet, she’s an…
#87 Randy Reeves – Navy & Air Force Veteran, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs
Feb 28, 2018 • 35 min
Many of us have a passion for serving Veterans. For some, it’s a true calling. That’s what I saw in this week’s guest, Randy Reeves, when we were conducting our interview. Randy C. Reeves was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to serve as the 6th…
#86 Steven Weintraub – Marine Veteran, Chief Strategy Officer for Vet Tix
Feb 21, 2018 • 45 min
It’s interesting how long one can be aware of something before finally checking it out. I heard about Vet Tix a few years ago and appreciated the concept, but never looked into them. Finally, after interviewing their Chief Strategy Officer, Steven…
#85 Michael Haynie – Air Force Veteran; Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University
Feb 14, 2018 • 30 min
This week’s interview is with Michael Haynie. Michael is an Air Force Veteran, Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University, and Director of Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). He is also a professor of entrepreneurship. IVMF is widely…
#84 John Preston – Marine Veteran, musician
Feb 7, 2018 • 58 min
Suicide prevention and Veteran suicide is an important topic for us all. Secretary Shulkin and VA continue to make it a priority. Personally, I’ve been talking to people about this topic for several years, to include sharing my own suicide attempt.…
#83: Benefits Breakdown – VA Welcome Kit
Feb 5, 2018 • 9 min
VA recently released a Welcome Kit that can guide Veterans to which benefits they may qualify for. What makes this product unique and refreshing is the guidance is based on the Veteran’s stage of life. The road map starts with the moment you join the…
#82 Josh Elledge – Navy Veteran, consumer expert & entrepreneur
Feb 1, 2018 • 55 min
Back in October, I attended the Military Influencers Conference. While there, I met dozens of awesome and unique Veterans. During a social event, I was introduced to Josh Elledge. Josh is an expert on saving money and getting upgrades. He told me about a…
#81: Benefits Breakdown – Center for Women Veterans
Jan 29, 2018 • 17 min
Women Veterans make up the fastest growing segment of the Veteran population, and VA is committed to providing them with the best health care. This week’s Benefits Breakdown features Kayla Williams, the Director of the Center for Women Veterans. Kayla is…
#80 George W. Casey, Jr. – 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
Jan 24, 2018 • 26 min
The past couple months have been amazing with so many great Veterans agreeing to be featured and doing interviews. Sometimes, when I get a stash of interviews recorded, I forget how good some of them are until I go back to edit them. That’s the case with…
#79 Danielle Corazza - Army Veteran, National Outreach Coordinator, Center for Women Veterans
Jan 17, 2018 • 46 min
Before 2017 ended, I sat down with Army Veteran Danielle Corazza for an interview. At the time, Danielle had been selected for a position at our Center for Women Veterans but had not yet started. Danielle has since started her role as National Outreach…
#78 Chris Rolph - Air Force Veteran, Student Veteran of the Year
Jan 13, 2018 • 40 min
“Someone has to be the best.” That’s what my Gunny told me when my colleague received slightly better marks than I did when I was at MALS-26 on MCAS New River. In a competitive field, someone has to be named the best. I imagine the committee at Student…
#77: Randy Dexter – Student Veteran of the Year finalist
Jan 12, 2018 • 27 min
Today, we speak with Randy Dexter. Randy is an Army Veteran and just received his bachelor’s from University of Nevada in Las Vegas. He just started his pursuit of his master’s degree. Randy shares stories from his service, recovering from his deployment…
#76: Jessica Kirksey & Luke Opyd – Student Veteran of the Year finalists
Jan 11, 2018 • 33 min
Each year Student Veterans of America choose an exceptional student Veteran as Student Veteran of the Year. This year, they narrowed it down to ten finalists, announcing the winner at the end of their national conference. This week, we are spotlighting…
#75: Gretchen Klingler & Jessica Nelson – Student Veteran of the Year finalists
Jan 10, 2018 • 37 min
Each year Student Veterans of America choose an exceptional student Veteran as Student Veteran of the Year. This year, they narrowed it down to ten finalists, announcing the winner at the end of their national conference. This week, we are spotlighting…
#74: Aaron Slatton & Kirsten Battocchio - Student Veteran of the Year finalists
Jan 9, 2018 • 31 min
Each year Student Veterans of America choose an exceptional student Veteran as Student Veteran of the Year. This year, they narrowed it down to ten finalists, announcing the winner at the end of their national conference. Student Veterans of America’s…
#73: Jared Lyon – Navy Veteran, SVA President
Jan 8, 2018 • 41 min
If you’ve been following our Twitter or Instagram accounts, you’ve been seeing some stories and images from Student Veterans of America’s National Conference. It’s a place where thousands of student Veterans and their supporters convene to make the…
#72: Leaphy Khim – Marine Veteran, actress/stuntwoman
Jan 3, 2018 • 37 min
I was first introduced to Leaphy Khim through Got Your 6. She had shared her experiences at their Storytellers event in Los Angeles. Leaphy was born to Cambodian refugee parents and joined the military after Sept 11 as a way to give back to her parents’…
#71: Billy Hurley III - Navy Veteran, professional golfer
Dec 27, 2017 • 29 min
We’ve featured a handful of Veterans from professional sports on this podcast including an NFL player, an NCAA coach, and an NWSL goalie. This week we add a golfer to that list. Navy Veteran Billy Hurley is the only military Veteran currently listed on…
#70: Bonnie Carroll - Air Force Veteran, Founder of TAPS President and Founder
Dec 20, 2017 • 39 min
The second part of VA’s motto calls on us to care for the widows and orphans of those that have “borne the battle.” Earlier this year, we had Ashlynne Haycock on during our round-table podcast talking about the Forever GI Bill, and she talked about how a…
#69: Boyd Renner – Navy Veteran, Everence
Dec 13, 2017 • 29 min
A couple months ago I attended the Military Influencer Conference. There were a lot of great creators and entrepreneurs there, but one group of people stood out to me. I met a few people representing a product called Everence. Everence is a patented…
#68: Benefits Breakdown – Veterans Crisis Line
Dec 11, 2017 • 11 min
I promote the Veterans Crisis Line whenever I can. It is a very important resource to be aware of and I try to remind people however I can. I’ve used the line to help a friend in need. I encourage everyone to put the number in their phone. 1-800-273-8255…
#67: Sterling Cale - Navy Veteran, Pearl Harbor survivor
Dec 6, 2017 • 20 min
Last year I had the honor to visit Pearl Harbor for the 75th Commemoration of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The ceremony was sobering, as a naval ship lined with sailors passed by the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. The honor and recognition given to those that…
#66: Benefits Breakdown - Homeless Veterans Outreach and Communications
Dec 4, 2017 • 12 min
Veteran homelessness is an issue that is very concerning in our community. VA is committed to aiding those that are homeless or at risk for homelessness. That second part is so important to remember. If a Veteran is experiencing family or financial issues…
#65: Dr. David Shulkin – Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Nov 29, 2017 • 11 min
A few weeks ago we released episode 1103 of The American Veteran, a compilation of videos and stories from around our community. Included in that episode was an interview we recently conducted with Secretary Shulkin about improvements around VA,…
#64: Benefits Breakdown - Office of Tribal Government Relations
Nov 27, 2017 • 22 min
Native Americans serve our country at a high rate compared to other demographics. Many of us are familiar with the Navajo Code Talkers, who were key to our victory in World War II. As we round off Native American Heritage Month, I wanted to spotlight VA’s…
#63: Nate Boyer – Army Veteran, Community Leader
Nov 22, 2017 • 34 min
Covered in Episode 63: Happy Thanksgiving! Interview with Army Veteran Nate Boyer Why Nate joined the Army and became a Green Beret Transitioning out of the military and going to college at University of Texas His involvement with Waterboys, building…
#62: Alex Rucshner – Navy Veteran, Keys to Progress
Nov 15, 2017 • 45 min
Navy Veteran Alex Rucshner joins Borne the Battle to tell us about Progressive Insurance’s program “Keys to Success” where they help out Veterans in need by gifting them a car. Listen in to learn about this amazing initiative!
#61: Benefits Breakdown - Social media across VA
Nov 13, 2017 • 9 min
This week’s Benefits Breakdown explains how to find your local facility on social media and how following them can help you discover news and developments coming from that medical center.
Have a fun and safe Veterans Day!
Nov 11, 2017 • 3 min
To all of our Veterans out there: Thank you for your service. This is your day. Enjoy it however you see fit.
#60: Craig Grossi – Marine Veteran, Author of “Craig and Fred”
Nov 10, 2017 • 39 min
Happy Birthday, Marines! Today’s episode features Marine Veteran Craig Grossi, who met his best friend, Fred, in Afghanistan and figured out a way to get him back to the United States. This story is a fun and heart felt one and I know you’re going to love…
#59: Mika J. Cross – Army Veteran, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
Nov 9, 2017 • 38 min
Mika currently leads the Strategic Communications team at the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS). She brings years of experience in public service and continued service to Veterans. She joins the podcast to discuss her service in the…
#58: Phil Klay – Marine Veteran, Author of “Redeployment”
Nov 8, 2017 • 39 min
Today we bring you a Storytellers alum Phil Klay. Klay’s New York Times-bestselling short story collection won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014. His book Redeployment also received the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb award for…
#57: Sebastian Junger – Journalist, author of “Tribe”
Nov 7, 2017 • 33 min
Sebastian Junger, award winning journalist and author of “Tribe,” is the first non-Veteran who isn’t the Secretary, to be on the podcast. I believe he makes a great fit with his experience in conflict zones and his longtime relationship with the military…
#56: Benefits Breakdown -
Nov 6, 2017 • 8 min
The newly branded podcast is here! Borne the Battle is the same great content but simply under a different name. This first episode is an introduction to a new program we’ll be publishing in this feed called Benefits Breakdown. Each Monday, I will focus…
#55: Kevin Leverence – Marine Veteran, VA health care user
Nov 1, 2017 • 66 min
When we first launched the podcast, initial response questioned whether or not our audience would hear from Veterans that have had trouble with VA. A few of my guests in the past have alluded to challenges with VA health care, but I wanted to to dig a…
#54: Melissa Castillo – Navy Veteran, Dallas County Veterans Service Officer
Oct 25, 2017 • 30 min
A couple weeks ago we published a special episode with the Center for Minority Veterans to feature a panel that was originally scheduled for the Women Veterans Summit. One panel member was missing from that episode, so I brought Melissa Castillo on to…
#53: Alejandro Villanueva – Army Veteran, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle
Oct 18, 2017 • 26 min
One great thing about podcasting is the ability to think, “hey, I want to talk to that person,” and then taking action to make it happen. When I learned that Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva is a former Army Ranger, I knew I wanted to talk…
#52: VA’s Center for Minority Veterans panel discussion
Oct 13, 2017 • 38 min
The 2017 National Women Veterans Summit put on by VA’s Center for Women Veterans (CWV) was cut short due to Hurricane Harvey. The CWV has been developing ways to deliver information from the summit and I’ve collaborated with them to produce a podcast,…
#51: Mike Krzyzewski – Army Veteran, Duke Basketball Coach
Oct 6, 2017 • 17 min
I’ve published more than 500 podcast episodes in my podcast career. A couple times a year, there’s usually an exciting interview, one that feels like a badge of honor. This week’s episode of This Week at VA features the epitome of those interviews. Thanks…
#50: Timothy Lawson - Marine Veteran, Podcast Host
Sep 29, 2017 • 35 min
I knew I wanted to do something unique or cool for episode number 50. I’ve decided to flip the microphone and let someone else ask me the questions I typically ask my guests. My colleague Melissa Heintz stepped in to host and asked me about my service in…
#49: Forever GI Bill round table w/ TAPS, Got Your 6 & SVA
Sep 22, 2017 • 35 min
The wonderful people over at Got Your 6 emailed me one day asking if I wanted to do a round table podcast talking about the Forever GI Bill. I was in right away. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 AKA the Forever GI Bill…
#48: Kevin Quarles - Navy Veteran, Operation Stand Down Tennessee
Sep 15, 2017 • 28 min
While I was in Nashville last month, I visited an organization called Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN). OSDTN assists Veterans and their families so they can be self-sustaining and better connected to the community. I sat down with Kevin Quarles, a…
#NeverForget: Five Veterans share impact 9/11 had on military & community
Sep 11, 2017 • 18 min
On September 11, 2001, four planes crashed on the east coast. Two planes flew into the World Trade Center. One plane skipped off of the ground before hitting the Pentagon. The last plane crashed in an open field in Pennsylvania. Thousands were killed or…
#47: Charlie Smith - Marine Veteran, Lipscomb University student
Sep 8, 2017 • 31 min
I was recently down in Nashville and scouted some Veterans to interview. A friend introduced me to Charlie Smith, the president of the Veterans group at Lipscomb University. Charlie and I weren’t able to sit down for an interview while I was there, but…
#46: Doc Todd – Navy Veteran, Rapper
Sep 1, 2017 • 58 min
When I first started podcasting in the Veteran space, often spoke with creatives: authors, artists, musicians, etc. I learned there are a lot of Veterans in the hip hop community. It makes sense. Hip hop is about expression and a lot of emcees use the…
#45: Rory Cooper – Army Veteran, VA Research Engineer
Aug 25, 2017 • 45 min
I first met Rory Cooper at the VA Medical Center in Pittsburgh. He was showcasing a number of products he helped research and develop. I called upon him to join me on the podcast when I saw he was a top 12 finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to…
#44: Mark Rockefeller – Air Force Veteran, Street Shares CEO
Aug 18, 2017 • 51 min
In the Veteran community, there are people you hear of and hear about over and over but never meet or engage with. Mark Rockefeller was on my radar for years. I heard about Street Shares, the company he co-founded, when they first started. I never had the…
#43: Gary Profit – Army Veteran, Walmart Military Programs
Aug 11, 2017 • 36 min
This week’s featured interview is with retired Army General Gary Profit. Gary is the Senior Director of Military Programs at Walmart. Walmart is a leading employer for Veterans and their spouses. Gary connected with us to talk about Walmart’s initiatives…
#42: Brian Stann – Marine Veteran, Hire Heroes USA
Aug 4, 2017 • 40 min
I remember watching Brian Stann fight in the UFC, thinking it was so cool to see a Marine in the octagon. Now, I think its even cooler to see a decorated Veteran taking a leadership position that allows him to influence the lives of so many other Veterans…
#41: Justin Brown – Navy Veteran, HillVets
Jul 28, 2017 • 49 min
I’ve known Justin Brown for a couple years now and one thing I’ve always admired about him is how many people know who he is and know of his efforts. Justin founded HillVets with the intent to bring more Veterans to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.. Justin…
#40: Marc Burgess – Navy Veteran, DAV National Adjutant
Jul 21, 2017 • 35 min
VA works with many Veteran Service Organization to serve our Veterans. One of those longstanding partnerships has been Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has been around since World War I. DAV helps Veterans navigate the VA system, primarily…
#39: Travis Mills – Army Veteran, Travis Mills Foundation
Jul 14, 2017 • 36 min
It’s always humbling to speak with a combat Veteran and even more inspiring to speak with one like this week’s guest, Travis Mills. Travis joins the podcast this week to talk about his service, his injuries, his foundation, being a motivational speaker,…
#38: Darren Sherrard – Army Veteran, VA Careers
Jul 7, 2017 • 34 min
I’m sure everyone enjoyed bathing in the glory of our nation’s freedom as we celebrated our Independence Day this week. I hope everyone’s holiday was safe and joyful. This week’s podcast features Darren Sherrard. Darren is an Army Veteran that served two…
#37: Steve Goggins – Army Veteran, Powerlifter & coach
Jun 30, 2017 • 26 min
One of my favorite things about podcasting is learning about different parts of life and new concepts. Last week we learned about the positive effects roleplaying games have on Veterans, and this week we will learn about powerlifting. Enter: Steve…
#36: Josh Heath – Army Veteran, Reach-Out Roleplaying Games
Jun 23, 2017 • 29 min
Episode 36 brings us Joshua Heath. Josh served in the Army from 2006 to 2011 as a 91J Quartermaster and Chemical Equipment Repairer. While he was in, he ran a Dungeons and Dragons game for MWR while in Iraq, helping soldiers destress and escape. Now, he…
#35: Jeremy Paris – Army Veteran, Veteran Artist Program
Jun 16, 2017 • 48 min
This week’s podcast features Army Veteran Jeremy Paris. Jeremy served in the ’90s in personnel. He is currently with Veteran Artist Program and hosts the Veteran Resource Podcast. He helped coordinate the 2017 Women Veteran Art Exhibit in collaboration…
#34: VA’s Electronic Health Record system announcement
Jun 9, 2017 • 26 min
This week’s podcast focuses on the announcement made by Secretary Shulkin on Monday. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be adopting the same electronic health record system used by the Department of Defense. The podcast features audio from SECVA at…
#33: Henry Huntley – Retired Army General, VA Acting Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Jun 2, 2017 • 44 min
I hope everyone had a safe and solaced Memorial Day. I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Veterans and other members of our community at Sunday’s Rolling Thunder demonstration. It was humbling hearing riders talk about their fallen comrades and…
#32: Kate Tillotson - Marine Veteran, Student Veteran of the Year
May 26, 2017 • 38 min
Each year, at their national convention, Student Veterans of America announces a Student Veteran of the Year. This award is competitive and quite prestigious as the Veterans considered have impressive resumes as service members and as student Veterans.…
#31: Meritorious Segments Volume 2
May 19, 2017 • 15 min
Episode 31 of This Week at VA is another “best of” type episode. This volume of Meritorious Segments includes soundbites from AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly, Team Rubicon Chief Operations Officer Art delaCruz, and Team RWB Executive Director Blayne…
#30: Meritorious Segments Volume 1
May 12, 2017 • 21 min
We are 30 episodes into the podcast and I’m going to do something a little different with this one. This is going to be a “best of” episode. I pulled four clips from our more popular interviews to feature in what I’m calling “meritorious segments.” Even…
#29: Bob Wright – Army Veteran, Prostate Cancer Survivor
May 5, 2017 • 31 min
I was introduced to Bob Wright by an organization named Us Too. Us Too is an organization that supports and advocates for men at all stages of prostate cancer. Bob is an Army Veteran having served in Vietnam. He is going to talk to us about his time in…
#28: Skye Marshall – Air Force Veteran, Actor
Apr 28, 2017 • 42 min
When you’re active in the Veteran community, you tend to hear names repeated in conversation and mentioned on social media. Recently, one of those names is Skye Marshall. I saw Skye in Got Your 6’s #shesbadass campaign and knew she’d make a great feature…
#27: Dee McWilliams – Army Veteran, WIMSA President
Apr 21, 2017 • 47 min
The Women In Military Service For America Memorial (WIMSA), is the only major national memorial honoring all women who have defended America throughout history. It sits at the end of the road as you approach the gates of Arlington Nation Cemetery near…
#26: Doug McCormick – Army Veteran, Financial Expert
Apr 14, 2017 • 36 min
My interview this week is with Army Veteran Doug McCormick. I’ve been very fortunate in the past couple months and have received a lot of opportunities for interviews. My cup has run over, and finally, after sitting on it for six to eight weeks, I finally…
#25: Kevin Jamison - Marine Veteran, Veterans Community Project
Apr 7, 2017 • 30 min
Episode 25 is here! This is a fun milestone for us and we’re happy to continue this great program. This week’s interview features two Veterans involved with the Veterans Community Project in Kansas City. Kevin Jamison retired after 20 years of service in…
#24: Bill Rausch - Army Veteran, Got Your 6
Mar 31, 2017 • 65 min
When Got Your 6 first got on my radar, I wasn’t sure what they did. Years later, I still wasn’t convinced I understood their mission. Then, a few weeks ago, their Executive Director Bill Rausch interviewed Secretary Shulkin for our YouTube Live event.…
#23 Art delaCruz - Navy Veteran, Team Rubicon COO
Mar 24, 2017 • 25 min
When I first conceptualized VA’s podcast, I knew Team Rubicon would be an early feature. Team Rubicon has had a significant impact on the world by providing natural disaster relief and it has had an even bigger impact on the Veteran space by providing a…
#22 Debra Russell - Navy Veteran, Photographer
Mar 17, 2017 • 30 min
This week’s podcast features another participant in the 2017 Women Veterans Art Exhibit, Navy Veteran Debra Russell. The exhibit is traveling to ten different VA medical centers throughout the month of March to celebrate and honor Women’s History Month…
#21 Pamela Corwin - Army Veteran, Artist, Biologist
Mar 10, 2017 • 23 min
The podcast continues to grow and it is thanks to our wonderful audience. Thank you for taking the time to listen to these powerful Veteran stories. This week’s guest is Army Veteran Pamela Corwin. Pamela served in the Army for six years. She went on to…
#20 Bobby Henline - Army Veteran, Comedian
Mar 3, 2017 • 27 min
We’re back with another great episode of This Week at VA. This week’s featured guest is Army Veteran, Bobby Henline. As a 4-tour Iraqi War Veteran, Retired Staff Sergeant, Wounded Warrior, Comedian, and Bravo748 Motivational Presenter, Bobby Henline’s…
#19 Dr. David Shulkin - Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Feb 24, 2017 • 17 min
I hope everyone had a pleasant President’s Day weekend. This week’s podcast is an exciting one as it features our new Secretary, Dr. David Shulkin. This is the first interview Secretary Shulkin conducted after swearing in as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.…
#18 Jared Lyon - Navy Veteran, Student Veterans of America CEO
Feb 17, 2017 • 59 min
The podcast has officially reached more than 10,000 hits. We are truly grateful that all of you have taken the time to listen. This week continues the trend of great interviews with Navy Veteran Jared Lyon. Jared is the President & CEO of Student Veterans…
#17: Joe Chenelly - Marine Veteran, AMVETS National Executive Director
Feb 10, 2017 • 34 min
This Week at VA episode 17 features Marine Corps Veteran Joe Chenelly. Joe currently serves as the National Executive Director for AMVETS. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Joe enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in March 1998, serving with the 1st Marine…
Kayla Williams - Policy Research Roundtable on Women Veterans
Feb 8, 2017 • 22 min
Kayla Williams delivered some remarks this week at the Policy Research Roundtable on Women Veterans. She spoke about her career, the Center for Women Veterans, and data regarding women Veterans. For some of you, this information will be familiar, but I…
#16: James Horton – Air Force Veteran, Cemetery Director
Feb 3, 2017 • 43 min
This Week at VA episode 16 features Air Force Veteran Jim Horton. Jim currently serves as the Director for the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Jim served in the Air Force as a pilot. He never planned to give the military nearly…
#15: Gordon Wallace – Army Veteran, VA Volunteer Services
Jan 27, 2017 • 31 min
This week’s podcast is going to get emotional. Our feature interview is with Army Veteran Gordon Wallace. We first met Gordon at the VA Pacific Islands Health System in Honolulu. He was playing music in the lobby with a fellow Vietnam Veteran. They…
Battle of the Bulge Veteran Harry Miller shares his story
Jan 25, 2017 • 38 min
On December 16, 1944, the Germans launched what is considered their last major offensive of World War II. Just shortly after the Allied force’s successfully invaded Normandy, France, the surprise attack from Hitler’s forces caught the Allies off guard.…
#14: Christian Benedetto - Marine Veteran, PTSDJournal
Jan 19, 2017 • 47 min
Episode 14 of the #VApodcast features Marine Veteran Christian Benedetto. Christian Benedetto was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in November 2013. In the nearly 25 years that have passed since his military service with the United…
#13: John Lee Dumas - Army Veteran, Entrepreneur on Fire
Jan 13, 2017 • 36 min
Episode 13 features Army Veteran John Lee Dumas. John Lee Dumas is the host of EOFire, an award winning Podcast where he interviews today’s most successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week. JLD has interviewed over 1400 Entrepreneurs and EOFire has over 1…
State of VA: Putting Veterans First
Jan 10, 2017 • 80 min
Special midweek episode for you with the State of VA. As part of a two day MyVA Advisory Committee meeting, VA Secretary Bob McDonald and Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson spoke about the significant progress made in the five strategies of the MyVA…
#12: James Davis - Air Force Veteran, formerly homeless Veteran
Jan 6, 2017 • 43 min
I hope everyone had a fun and safe new year. Our first episode of 2017 is with James “Jim” Davis. Jim is an Air Force Veteran and currently does Veteran Outreach for Pathways to Housing DC. Jim has lived an interesting life. For more than a decade, Jim…
#11: Blayne Smith – Army Veteran, Team RWB Executive Director
Dec 30, 2016 • 38 min
I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday and has some fun, safe plans for New Years. Our final episode of 2016 is with Blayne Smith. Blayne is an Army Veteran and currently serves as Executive Director at Team Red, White, and Blue. Blayne works closely with…
#10: Gregorio Kishketon - Marine Veteran, Native American
Dec 23, 2016 • 38 min
We’re ten episodes in! This podcast has been a lot of fun and we appreciate all of the great feedback we’ve received. Episode ten brings us Marine Veteran Gregorio Kishketon. Greg is a VA employee that works at the central office in D.C.. He originally…
#9: Justin Blazejewski – Marine Veteran, yogi
Dec 16, 2016 • 39 min
Episode nine brings us Marine Veteran Justin Blazejewski. Justin’s introduction to yoga began in 2007 while he was searching for different exercises that would help with a back injury he sustained while serving. Soon after his first class he dove into a…
#8: Alfred Rodrigues – Navy Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor
Dec 9, 2016 • 29 min
Episode eight brings us Navy Veteran Alfred Rodrigues. He’s affectionately called “Uncle Al” around the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Uncle Al was in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7th, 1941. We caught up with Uncle Al and talked to him…
#7: Kayla Williams – Army Veteran, Director of Center for Women Veterans
Dec 2, 2016 • 44 min
Episode seven brings us Army Veteran Kayla Williams. Kayla serves as primary advisor to the Secretary on Department policies, programs, and legislation that affect women Veterans. In addition, she oversees the Center’s activities, which include monitoring…
#6: Michael Lumpkin – Navy Veteran, cancer survivor & civil servant
Nov 25, 2016 • 35 min
We hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving. Here at VA, we are all thankful for our Veterans, their families and our staff that are committed to serve them. Episode six brings us Michael Lumpkin. Michael served in the Navy and went on to work in three…
#5: Brad Snyder – Navy Veteran, Paralympic Gold Medalist
Nov 18, 2016 • 34 min
This week’s featured guest is Navy Veteran Brad Snyder. Snyder has been a #VeteranOfTheDay and is featured in our videos from the Team USA Awards, where Brad first agreed to today’s interview. Bradley Snyder is a swimmer on the United States Paralympic…
#4: Robert A. McDonald – Army Veteran, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Nov 11, 2016 • 41 min
Happy Veterans Day! Joining us on this Veterans Day episode is Secretary Robert McDonald. Secretary McDonald, who prefers to be called “Bob,” is an Army Veteran and former CEO of Procter & Gamble. An Army veteran, Mr. McDonald served with the 82nd…
#3: Fred Wellman – Army Veteran, CEO of ScoutComms
Nov 4, 2016 • 46 min
November is upon is and episode three of the podcast is here. This week’s feature guest is Army Veteran Fred Wellman. Wellman is a retired Army officer having served 22-years as an aviator and public affairs officer including four combat tours. He…
#2: Francisco Urena – Marine Veteran, Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services
Oct 28, 2016 • 27 min
Francisco Urena is a Marine Veteran and currently serves as Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services and previously served as the Veterans’ services officer for the cities of Boston and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Covered in Episode Two: The valuable…
#1: Haley Carter - Marine Veteran, soccer player/coach
Oct 28, 2016 • 30 min
Haley Carter is a Marine Veteran and retired American professional soccer player who currently serves as assistant coach for the Afghanistan women’s national football team. Covered in Episode One: Value of the Veterans Crisis Line Interview with Marine…