The Mighty Oaks Show Episode 043
You're listening to the mighty oaks show broadcasting worldwide from our studio studio in southern California. Equipping you with the tools and resources to find victory in life's battles and now your host generally show and Jeremy Stole Necker. It was not. It'd be here with our special guests in. NC for the evening. Chad Prater of the Chad prager show found on ablaze and around the world. All over the world looking forward to being here. I'm glad y'all came to Texas though. Yeah well you've been you've traveled quite a bit just got back from Ireland than it was in Spokane Spokane Washington yesterday. It's amazing how airplanes and make the world such smaller place. It's a small place you can be back in Texas and just a couple of hours just a matter of hours. Thank you trip in. Ireland had a blast. I had a good time. They we've talked about the I had told my wife I said I had to watch. Bridget Joneses diary three. Just understand what they were saying. Because I don't understand British Irish or anything and now I think they're speaking English but I'm not sure my wife loves those. The shows has made in Great Britain. I've no idea what they're saying. I after the volume all the way up so I pick out a word here and there pointing your problem. I don't know what they're talking about this amazing 'cause as I oftentimes. I'm wearing my Texas Rangers. My Red Texas Rangers had so people over there. You'RE GONNA pub or whatever and people think you're wearing a donald trump. Yeah for trump. Uh everyone because they do yeah they do because they love him there they love. Americans don't like him. Oh man it's great to have you here and again I think you we know this. But we've got about twice as many folks attending tonight as we've had in the past three your name on the invitation and people started signing up. Dan Crane Shell Texas so with with a real dramas we get we get Dan and I both. We did an event a couple of weeks ago and had a big big turnout for that so Anything doing stuff dance always fun yeah. He's a sharp guy. robos good as well as your well yourself so I really highlight it really people. You just mentioned I feel like that's that's probably the around the room. I can spot you. It's hard isn't it gets hard. You GotTa look down when when you're doing that. Oh Man I like tonight so you were here. He's been a friend of fern of ours for a little bit now. You're actually had chat on your show and I think that's where all connected and then you had us back. I'm looking invited backer. We showed up but either way either way stations open all the way. We're great and encourage us and I know Chad. Even he'll get every once in while his son hunters deployed and they'll say they're just text me and encouragement that is why is an evening like this where we're trying to raise funds to run a veterans program and and Really disturbed those who have served us. Why is this important to you? I got a message the other day. on Social Media Gasset me thing he said. I'm not even sure if I'm going to hear back back from you're not he said but I want you to know I'm coming home after I've done eight deployments I'm on my way back. Watch your brothers die. He said Gone through the motions of what it would take in my life to load the gun to what I wear. I would put the gun where I would shoot myself these kind of things. I've got small children at home and he said I'm just putting this out there because I think you're a person who understands because you've spoken to these issues and I told him I sent him a message back and I said I'm going to share the message. I think tonight if I get the opportunity with everybody in and I told him I said if you don't get in touch with Chad Robichon at Mighty Oaks Foundation. You're doing yourself a disservice. I I said there's an absolutely no excuse not to reach out to an organization like mighty. Oh there's there's no risk involved warriors and warriors and people who have been right there where you you are this guy. He's coming home here in a couple of months and he's got to readjust. Yeah to to to a life that does that. He hasn't known in twenty years. That story we we were talking the other day about kind of this over the years pushback stress disorder and the combat trauma. Stuff has always been around but there was a time where someone someone would serve. They'd do their tour World War Two Earlier they do their tour. It take them six weeks to get home and then they're reintegrated into community that loves them. Now these guys like the one that you just mentioned for years deploying six seven eight times twenty four hours later. They're home trying to adjust and just the impossibility of that without help. It goes all the way down if you if you take even the out of it. How do these guys are just too? Now they've got to come home and find a career absolutely. They found a life how they normalizing they're coming back to a marriage that they haven't known your children that they haven't known and interacted with other than through skype or a telephone or something of that nature. So so what. You guys are doing a phenomenal. The thing I soon as I found out about mighty oaks. I became a monthly donor. You do the organization and I believe in it and I recommend it wholeheartedly and done it over and over again so to be able to to come in and be accepted by you guys in order to to give me even and more ammunition to use the platform. That God's giving me to speak about these things is very helpful. It helps me to be more effective in that message. So why do you think that you know someone like yourself. In American he loves the military loves. Our country hasn't served. Why do people who haven't served? Why should the responsibility and helping those? Who have? I think that is your service. I think you've got. I think you've got something that that we all as citizens of the greatest country that's ever existed in the history of this planet. We've got something that we can offer. You know it's one thing to serve. It's another thing to be a Patriot to support those who serve on the the board of directors with American Valor Foundation. That's our mission to serve those who serve us and that's what we WANNA do. I hope that by getting the awareness out there. Yeah because I believe that one of the one of the great things that makes this country great enhance for so long as we have men women willing to get up every day put on a uniform with the willingness and the purpose to potentially serve. I serve a sacrifice their lives for our liberty and that's a huge deal for for the for the little simple debt of gratitude. Dude I feel just to be able to use my voice to make people aware and then on the flip side whether they're active duty or veterans to be able to say. Hey there's something else for you outside outside of this life right I I don't I you know I'm kind of one of those very careful when I say to someone you know. Thank you for your service and while I'm thankful there's so much more because it's become so cliche I want. I want that person to know. Hey you wouldn't take that bag you. Yeah that's what people say. I wish I was there right now that that community that try that ability bet something that in that regard I didn't experience but when you come out and now now you're separated from that community to the degree that brings you and help you makes me feel like I'm yeah service to my country. Yeah that's right one of the things you talk about often often on your show is your faith and you just integrate that and everything. You're doing really appreciate the way that you handle your faith because it's not. Let's talk about faith for few minutes. Now let's get beds. It's part of their you lar- I think that's the way it should be. What's the rule of faith in in healing? Not just those who are struggling with combat related stuff but just in life. I think is understand understanding that we're feeble and more shrill. Nobody has to be on top of anything. Nobody has to be controlled. Nobody's got to feel like they've mastered this thing called life because none of us have. Were all novices Mrs. We're all GONNA fail. We're going we're all going to. Have you have men and women who were going through massive trauma in life that they really were not designed by God odd to experience in their lifetimes and they don't know how to process and what to do with so for me to be able to say it's okay to be flogged. It's okay to be hurt. It's okay okay to be wounded. Because you're you serve your. That was wounded for you. So it's okay to be like him in that regard even talk about the apostle. Paul says I had this. I've got this thorn one in my flesh. This besetting thing that holds me back from what I think I could be in my life. I have wound is so it's okay to be wounded and a lot of guys especially in my world coming out of the Western World Military World. We'd like to beat her chest a lot. You know. Depression doesn't exist in my. I've always been very open about my own depression my battles with it anxiety and stress and and things that I work with. Mit doing that. By exposing those uh those vulnerable places of my life it makes me stronger. It makes me a better person by being able to do that as fantastic navel-gazing you know your healthy a victim. Pull yourself up pick yourself up keep walking keep moving forward but you're right and I appreciate you saying that because because for me. I'm not the Guy I've done it in my life but I'm not the guy now now who's GonNa come up and just preach to you and say okay. I need you to believe this I'm not trying to prostate. Anybody proselytize anybody. I want you to to see the evidence in me through my integrity. A man of my word being somebody that lives out what I believe in by doing that would influence. Yeah and I think there's a place to preach but I think what people are looking for is authentic faith right and that's what's missing often in our in our country and our culture our conversation around faith. I asked me the other day a military guy. I don't all these things I'm not proud of. How can I possibly know that God loves me or how do I know that God? Didn't you know I haven't done something that's excluded me. From God's love and I said man the Bible tells us while we're centers that truth alone should humble us and should speak to our frailty but the fact that Christ died for us in loves US illness would side of that I hear people. Let's say well you know I don't want to bother God with that little thing. I'm so insignificant and I said but you see the faulty thinking in that the bad logic as you think that there's something this too big for so uh even the little things even the big things little things to him and people people think that I've done all of this stuff. It's nothing has is it. There's there's redemption. That's that's the beauty of this. Big Word is big. Theological word expiation where he has taken it away from you. He has cleaned up so that even though no matter what you've done he sees you through this lens of Christ it it's it's literally blood blood colored glasses right. You know that one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus such an amazing thing you do and you do well importance to you. Use Humor in a very unique way for my opinion From my position to community true. Yeah way pitcher. Well I you know I jokingly say after laugh keeping crying sometimes because you know you look around this crazy world world in some of the things I've dealt with in life but for me I just always thought if I could take commonsense or truth in rapid in a little bit of humor might make it a little bit easier pill to swallow search it for me. There's so many controversial issues out there and I'm one of those guys that runs in storms head with a water pistol in and goes in. We're here to yeah so I just feel like I don't feel like there's any topic that's off limits and if I can get you can get you to relax unless you have a conversation typically through humor. That's the most effective way to do that. We can we can find some common ground and get somewhere with each other. That's awesome. That's what we try to do. And sometimes I just annoy the piss out of either way man here Saturday night tonight again. We're GONNA have fun race. Money the book. Yeah we might put out shells other. We'll get him in here to Manila last about that. Chad has a goal. My Watch out from little right side. You can't eat a now. Oh Man on that note the man can kill me with Sir. THANK YOU MR coming here in Texas and as he came from from Los Angeles California Texas Ninth Annual Money Warriors Gala. With Narendra Chad. Why why did you make the well? I'm so excited. This is my first gala. I know this is your ninth and I understand that This year it actually is doubling from last year. which is really incredible? And and congratulations to you for something so great that you're doing I came because I wanted to meet you. And the other folks send your team to learn more about mighty oaks and because we've just recently partnered with you you folks Through valorous TV. which is I'm the president of and we're happy to be involved with with you and what you do so well And kind of it fits right in with the kind of shows that that we we do and we want to be able to promote go to our audience. Yeah Yeah so awesome. What you're doing and You know very thankful for you and six hundred fifty guests that we have here at the event tonight right which is just blows me away. It's amazing I remember when I was trying to hustle getting getting ones and twos of people. I think I might add it less than a hundred people here. It's just so crazy and we sold out like a month in advance so we could have had a lot more people here and we will next year but Yeah thanks for coming. I'm happy to be here again. I want to thank keep her. All you're doing and and to all the veterans and Service people who you'd helped Are So grateful. I'm sure as well so it's a great when you're doing well. Thanks for the partnership with Valor. If you if you hadn't heard of ehlers yet definitely go check it out. The content is amazing. It just honors our the nation's warriors and Asian Patriotic Show would just big quality streaming content and their partner might use the mighty oak show is multiple series leases on there. Now you can watch it go in there and subscribe service. Check it out. Absolute that gets thank you. Jerry Stahl necker executive director and the brains behind operation. I think you and never go. Thanks for being here. Tonight is always great to be back in Texas. I never really visited Texas until I met up with the foundation. I've been here a lot and love coming back to Houston. What a great city? It's a shame he doesn't have a baseball team. But aw but you're great at supporting veterans and I appreciate that a few years ago the team you have Astros Astros they WANNA game. The parade was the night of our gala. And you guys remember that and so people can get here. I was so thankful. You're not gonNA have a hard time getting here tonight so appreciate that. Appreciate your support of the Veterans for those who are Air Force veterans in the room. Sorry Yeah I think it's Hilarious when a navy vet makes fun of other services but I guess you have to have someone to look up to and unfortunately fortunately air force you have to have someone look down to all right moving on. Don't be mad about the Astros thing thing we have been talking about tonight and we've been talking about the goal and what we're trying to accomplish and knowing that there were a lot of folks here tonight or who would be here tonight right that have really maybe seen mighty oaks and they're trying to figure this mighty oaks thing out. They don't know exactly where we're coming from. Or why they should be involved. Why why they should be invested? I started to ask the question. Why is it that I got invested in the work of mighty oaks and I thought back to the very first program that I attended? I came back from Iraq in two thousand thousand. Three one of the reasons I heard with Jerry may haunt his right up front here and we serve. We came home. I transitioned out of the Marine Corps went into ministry and had a terrible transition position. My my struggles coming out of the military the Marine Corps. We're not post traumatic stress related. They were a jerk before I left and I was a bigger joke when I came back related. That was my problem album and I had a really really hard time transitioning to civilian life and my family dealt with that and a lot of people had to deal with that and in the process of all of that I was thankful for my service but I had to kind of walk away from it. I was thankful for it but I wasn't GonNa talk about it or spend much time looking over my shoulder anymore. I really felt like in in a big way. I had done my job. I had served with Marines in combat brought them rooms that I was responsible for home and my job was done. And now it's someone else's job to take care of those served pause there for a second because maybe you here tonight and that's where you're sitting. You're saying something like this. There are a lot of things going on. There are a lot of organizations. forty-three thousand housing veteran service organizations the Veterans Administration. I'm here because people invited me. But why should I do something. There are other people who can take care of the veterans and deal with the problems that they're dealing with. That's where I felt like I have a picture of my platoon. I think we can put it up on the screen here. That's my platoon in Iraq. Correct I mean that picture Jeremy Jerry Mayon right here is in that picture and we serve together. We push to Baghdad. Yeah that was in Baghdad at the presidential palace that picture hanging over my desk and I did then I would look at that picture and I would say something like this to myself when my service ended my time it'd my responsibility ability ended and I'm thankful for what I did but now someone else can take care of these guys nine years later. Jeremy I didn't know is going to be here. Give me a call. He called me up. UPI said I met this guy in Houston. His name is Chad. I don't know much about him other than he's a fighter and he just started this organization called Mighty Oaks. I really don't know what it's about a hard. Sell the idea what it's about but he's a Christian. You're a Christian. A couple of us are going up to Colorado. Would you be interested in coming. And I said yes. It was kind of a mini reunion for some of the guys that are platoon soon and I think there are ten or twelve of us there. That was back in the days when we were begging people to attend mighty oaks. That's when I met Chad. And that's when I got acquainted with the work of mighty oaks and again and I was serving in ministry. I was pastoring church. I was doing my thing. I was living my life and I was thankful for it. I had done my job now. It was someone else's turn to do. The job had a great eight week week. With the Marines I served with and we sat and talked and one night we went upstairs in the lodge we were in and we sat around a fire and we all kind of had a really intimate conversation station about where we had been over the last nine years and some of the things that we've experienced. I was always so proud of what I had done. And I was always so thankful for what I'd done and the fact that I had done my duty and yet what I learned that night. Is that many of the guys in. This picture. Didn't do so well when they came home. Learn about guys are guys some of them who took their lives. When they came home marriages that didn't make others rotated back and we're in the first battle of pollution were killed there you know? I learned that night I learned learned in a big way. My responsibility to those that I served didn't end when I hung the the uniform back in the closet for the last time my responsibility did not end one of the Marines. He was one of our young marines in that picture. He sat there that night and he said I hated you for ten years. You remember that he looked at me and said I hate you for ten years. So why do you hate us. Hate me he said well you promised to take care of us and then we all came back and you left. We went back to Felicia. And you weren't there to take care of us and I know that I could not have done anything about what happened. There I know the realities of military life and military transition but what I also know is that in a real way I did walk away from those guys and what I learned that day is I have to invest my life somewhere in helping those who have served our country. I had that responsibility. What I what I want you to understand tonight is that you maybe sitting here asking the question? Why should I get involved in? I would say the same thing to you to that realization. I came to the mountains of Colorado where I decided to radically change my life and invest my entire life in the work of Mighty. Here's what I decided. I need to do something and no one else seems to be doing it. Chad is going to give me opportunity to serve. I'm going to serve. We're going to go. We're going to figure figure this thing out all of the things you just talked about. I WANNA be a part of that. Because when I invest my life work mighty oaks. I'm investing in something that lasts forever. Guys the numbers. I can go through them. You've heard them already have them in the handout on your table but just this year we had seven hundred forty nine graduates come on through our programs. Those who attend our events thirty thousand individuals you heard the message of mighty oaks really the message of God's hope for them we were able to distribute twenty eight thousand resources and when you invest in what happens here what you're investing in our seven hundred and forty nine lives and seven hundred and forty nine families and thirty thousand people who come to an event and say. I don't know why I'm here but I believe that something important can happen. My responsibilities disabilities the executive director of the mighty. Oaks Foundation is to steward over the resources that people put into our hands to us. That's what happened this year. Look at the next slide slide. This is what's happened since the beginning since the beginning more than three thousand people live. Individuals families have come to the program. One hundred thirty thirty thousand plus people attended our events. Eighty nine thousand resources has been handed out not sold but distributed handed out giving away and individual life is soul one who is hopeless looking for purpose comes to our program. They sit in a room full of other people just like them others. Who have served the way they've served have a similar background? People can look in the face and say look. I don't have the same problems you have but I have problems. I've struggled Ben where you've been. I've served the way that you've served. I've experienced the things that you've experienced and I don't have it all figured out but I'm a few steps ahead of you and I want to bring you with me. You See. That's the way forward. It's those who have been there looking all able to those who are struggling and saying there is hope what you're standing in right now. It's a mess but beyond your mess. There's hope and I want to help you. You get there what we're asking you to do tonight is to look at the resources that has been placed in your hands hance and look this area not everyone is created equal. I know that but I also know that in a room like this a goal goal of million dollars to get four hundred people through a program where they can renew their hope and renew their purpose renew their direction and put their families back together and and get on the path that God has for them. What I do know? Is that in a room like this. The resources exist to make that happen. The question you should be asking yourself is this is the mighty oaks foundation a worthwhile investment with the resources that have been given to me. I'll tell you this when I looked at the mighty oaks foundation a long time ago. You know what I concluded my wife and I concluded this is a worthwhile place place for us to invest whatever resources God has given to us. No one is asking anyone in this room to do something that they have not already done. And there are people waiting. There are people in need you cross country people are saying. We love our veterans. We want to support our veterans veterans. The question is where can we support. Who can we trust? And what can we do. We're not perfect. We don't get it right all of the time this year. Seven hundred forty nine. You heard Chad next year. Eight hundred eight hundred fifty folks across the country. Those who have served US coming the home to a community of folks that believe in the hope that exists willing to resource it for them guys. That's all we're asking you to do tonight tonight and I can stand up all night long. And you've heard a lot of things said but I want to share a story with you through a friend of Mine Robert. Kale is GonNa come and tell his story. Robert is the aftercare manager for the Mighty Oaks Foundation and Robert Story didn't begin serving veterans through mighty. Oaks it began long before that retired. Marine Gunnery Sergeant served as a combat engineer. Would she'll tell you it was pretty important. Not a big deal. But that's what he'll tell you joke right there. But he's a dear friend who loves the mission and is on mission with us. Would you join me in welcoming Robert q the I was gonna come up here and tell the joke about how cool marines are and stuff. But I'll just leave it at that because sometimes the truth is just the truth right so like Jeremy said my name's Robert and I wasn't marine. I served for twenty one years. I did seven combat. Deployments I'm married. I have four kids and people always ask me sometimes. Like why do you keep telling your story. Why do you relive those painful events and re exposure? Are you vulnerable. Always telling for two reasons because I want more more than anything to glorify God in for what he's done in my life because I don't stand here right now unless God is real and so I'm here so I'm telling you right now that God is real and he gets all the glory for what he's done in my life and I tell my story for the second reason go ahead the story for a second reason and that is because somebody in this room somebody who watches it later on the Internet. The guys that I talked to were at sessions Russians. Even my own children can understand that there is no problem big enough that God can't take care of and it's okay to have a problem that you need to take care era and it's okay to ask for help and it's okay to need help so I wanna start this out by telling you guys two words and those words are broken and crazy and explain it later later on but just try to remember. Broken Crazy Marines. There's crowns under the table right down on the NAPKIN. You'll be alright so my story starts when I was nine and my parents got divorced and I know that sounds crazy. It's like everybody's parents guide to worship and for me as a kid. That's when I really realized that my life was broken at that moment right and and throughout that whole process you know my mom. She went and did what she needed to do. My Dad was raised. Three kids still active duty in the navy and it just wasn't it wasn't happening he he's still trying to do the active duty thing. Deploying and trying to wrangle three kids and me and my brother are crazy and we were just out of control a little kids because that's what we do right and so I was taken to a boys boys home right for kids. Who Don't listen to their parents right? And so I stayed there for ninety days and then when I came back after that first time I told myself and I'm never going back again. That was that was insane. I can't do that well little did I know I went again and this time when I got picked up to go home I didn't get picked up. My parents got picked up by foster parents. Then when I got taken onto the foster home that's where my life just completely broke in fell apart. I was physically abused from the time I was nine until I was sixteen. That was me and my brother and my sister and so you know I wish it was just like what what kids today think abuses is like when your parents spank you know. And you're like no no that they used to on a no of as a matter of fact you could go to your friend's house get spanked by his mom. She would call your mom on your way home and then they spent you get when you get there and I was like I was normal practice but unfortunately my brother my sister tonight endured physical abuse beyond that. I can remember several times being beaten by my foster mother and to the point of passing out and waking back and still being beaten that can remember taking them taking a toothbrush and rubbing it and lava soap and brushing our teeth with it so that the grit would break open art gums and then rinse off the toothbrush and put hot sauce on it. And then we'll brush our teeth with the hot sauce so they would get in there and record mouse. I can remember not eating. I remember being forced to eat the same meal for six days in a row. Because I didn't finish it on that six days prior and that was that was normal practice in our house. So I just I say that because for me that's where trauma started experiencing combat too but trump started for me when I was a child and so it was it was it was unfathomable for us as kids to think about that. Remember me and my brother used to talk about like. Oh how can we. How can we help our sister because she was four years younger than me and two years younger than my brother and we couldn't figure it out and I remember how guilty we would feel and how much we would cry? And just didn't we didn't have a relationship with God and we didn't. We didn't know how to cry out to him And everything that we had learned about God it up into that point was whatever we were told by right by our foster parents and it wasn't what I know now to be as the truth. I saw my first body when I was thirteen years old in our neighborhood so that was. I didn't know how to unpack that either because I'm going to this other thing at home and I see that and I'm just like well I guess that's just normal. That's that's life that's how it happens. I started drinking alcohol when I was fourteen to cope with everything. And that was. That was a thing that was regular my life up until about four years ago so I joined the Marine Corps. Everybody's got a cool story about while I was Gonna go join the airforce and then I was going to join the army and then I was going to go join the navy. I don't have that story because I already knew what was best already. Knew what was right so I joined the Marine Corps. BOOT camp was awesome. I made it through and it was awesome because I was really used to following rules because I knew what the consequences of not following rules were so I loved bootcamp. I thrived in it not that it wasn't hard because it was physically and mentally but I just I appreciated aided rules and I and I understood those boundaries and I kind of did really well checked into my unit after combat engineer training deal guys all sign autographs afterward. Just because I'm an engineer sneer. Only and so I made it through all that once in my unit and I quickly learned like you can have scored away uniform and listen in and train hard and drink you. You'd be a success in the ring and I was like you know what I'm doing all those things. Let's do this. You know I was young. I know that I don't look like that right now. Because I'm not Asia Asia. I'm not in shape right. I'm shape so you know the whole time on the Marine Corps. I started hanging on my friends. I start to learn like man this. This is the family I never had. You know. This is the Brotherhood this is the this is the life is pre war. And so I put my whole life into the Marine Corps. And I WANNA Kinda to show you why when I say that it's important because I was married at the time My four year Morgan. The rink where I was married with three children I'm twenty two years old married and three children right and so I wasn't a good dad and I wasn't a good husband at all and the reason why because I put the Marine Corps and the Marines I my Drinking second and anything and everything else that I could put in between me and my family to make it so I wouldn't have to do those things because I didn't know how it it was uncomfortable and it was just one of those those things I couldn't figure out right and so I put it down and just keep pushing doing something that I was good at so I would feel satisfied in life so I came home from a field up when I was stationed. Okinawa and my wife at the time told me you know it's not working. You're not communicating. You're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. I'm out and she took the three kids and rightfully so ladies and gentlemen. I want you to know that right now rightfully so because I was not a good husband and I was not the father and you think that would have woke me up but it didn't. I saw other things to help me work myself through that. And that was booze and hanging out with my buddies and then came time for deployments and then as I started to deploy. Obviously you see and you do things while you're deployed and I was pushing more down in more down so I started to notice I was like in. I shouldn't have this much stuff in my pack because I've only been deployed twice at this point but I had stuff from my childhood. I had stuff from some of the other things that I've been through and the key. I was just pushing it all down after I left Okinawa. On a couple of deployments I was over the house in the most traumatic event of my life. Still to this day happened Buddy's house and we were drinking and him and his wifa gotten this big old fight and he told me. Everything's GonNa be all right. Just go to bed and wake up in the morning. We'll eat dinner and everything will be fine and I was taking a shower and I heard I heard his wife screaming and so I was like Oh man. What if they're getting physical start jumped out of the shower ran outside when I run outside they had a sliding glass door door and I saw her standing in it and so when I turned around the corner and I came outside? My friend was sitting on a bench with a gun to his head before I could get yours at my mouth. You pull the trigger and shot himself in front on and his wife. There was super real thing I've ever seen in my life. You hear people talk about that and you hear people say they want to do it or you hear people talk about how how marine who who took his life to see that up close and personal that rocked my world. I it's where I I tell people. That's the light switch went out. Had No motion left whatsoever. Whoever I was completely numb so I pushed myself? More and more deployments. I was remarried at the time short. I'm sorry shortly after that suicide. I got remarried married and had another child from two thousand. She was born in two thousand seven from two thousand seven until two thousand fourteen. I was deployed every year. Except for two thousand eight. I just kept pushing myself into into the Marine Corps and I just kept giving myself to them because they were the only thing that mattered to me and they were the only thing I was comfortable With and to be honest with you ladies and gentlemen it made more sense when I was overseas and it did when I was at home trying to deal with family kids and all the things that happened over over there and then you know trying to visit with families of the Fallen Marines that we lost while we're deployed. It just got too much. I wanted to be away from it in two thousand eleven while I was deployed My best friend. Jason Rogers was killed in Afghanistan by an ID. And I wasn't in his unit unit at the time I was in another unit and I had gotten a phone call from a friend while we're while we're still deployed over there and I remember at the time just being blown away by not even being able to fathom that that that was real even though I knew it was real and because this guy and I were so close and I just I just pushed pushed it down and I don't know how I push it down. Sometimes I WANNA think about it right now I think about like how how do you. How can you push this stuff down so far? And so far I pushed it down and I pushed you that deployment and it wasn't until six or seven months after his death that I finally was able to show some sort of emotion for that and it's just the toll that it took and you know I'm telling you the toll it took on me and I'm saying that out loud in my head. I'm thinking about his mom and his wife and his grandmother other people that I've met through this through this tragedy and imagine that the toilet it's taken on them. After his death. I was filled with a lot of hate and anger. And just even more guilt and shame over everything that I'd done and I deployed again and when it came home and then I deployed one more time and on my last appointment in two thousand thirteen on November twenty six. I was injured by an idea. And I was taken off the battlefield and at that point even before that deployment I was probably what I thought. If he's back then what was the lowest point in my life and now I got hurt and through that trying to recover to get back to my platoon. While we're still want Aghanistan. I also found out that my wife that I was married to at the time that her and I would not let me together when I got home that our marriage was over. She was leaving and going and doing what she needed to do to take care of our child. Because I wasn't home because I didn't show her the things that a husband needs to show his wife life. And so you know things are getting heavy. I'm starting to think about man. It's getting close to me. You know retired from the Marine Corps. And I don't have my life together. I don't know what I'm GonNa do now. I'm injured. Is it gonNA come quicker. What's going to happen and I just started the weight of every decision that I had ever made in my life? Bad bad ones was really upon me. I used to sit in my can And contemplate suicide with my service pistol and press it underneath my Chan. Dan Press it against my forehead. Put it in my mouth and I would just rotate through those three positions for what seemed like for hours and hours on end. But let's not lie. You don't don't have hours and hours of end of time in Afghanistan you just and so I don't know I would just do that. And just think about it and think about it and then I wrote remember seeing my friend. Take his life and I didn't want my Marines Green Safai me like that and I didn't want my kids to know that I went out like that and it just so I just decided you know I'll try to die on the battlefield then and then that way. It'll look honorable. Obviously I'm here right so that didn't happen. Got had a bigger plan and so just coming home from that deployment and not having the purpose and not knowing what was going to happen. I was drinking a lot more at that. You know my kids are so angry at me. They're you know they barely WanNa talk to me to the point where you know. They've even verbally stated we hate. You hate who you are right now and you're so angry you're you drink too much you. You're constantly focused just on the wrong things. Are you ever GonNa folks ever GONNA put US I. I was drinking during working hours at this time. I was doing things that I shouldn't have done as a marine so even the thing that I was good that I was putting all my time and effort into was starting to fall apart because I couldn't I couldn't maintain control anymore. Luckily for me I had From a command that cared about me and I went to Warrior Battalion as active duty Marine. I went there started. Taking care of business started getting fixed up started getting worked on and I found it weird that I was a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps and I was only focused on myself. I didn't have anybody to take care of when I showed up. I was like where's my platoon tune. They're like ha ha. Yeah right okay. Where's my company? Then I just love being accompanying on and give me a company like Noha. Here's your appointments slip. Here's your barracks room key. Go sitting there go to your appointments and when you're done come to formation at check in with us and then we'll let you go home for the day so I was just like Whoa. So you start going to these appointments. And what happens. They give you a bagful of pills and a couple of funny enough I got a quilt right. And that's that's what I did and so when I was there for a few months you know I I started hearing about this program folks and this this big hardcore for sergeant was telling me about it and I was just like okay. Yeah sure Talgo and then I found out it was faith-based and I was like Whoa so then I just I was like Oh yeah I'll go go anyways and then I didn't go now signed up again and I didn't go every session. Just you guys know that there are guys who who who back out like I did because it's scary to go face what was going on in your life. It's scary to unpack all of that stuff and face it and dig through it and and try to get help for something that as stupid as it sounds. I really thought I. I was the only one struggling with this because I thought I was weak and broken. I thought I was crazy. I thought it was out of my mind because I thought Marines didn't go through stuff like that. I didn't think sailors airmen. Whoever it doesn't no matter I didn't think that they went through that? Because we're just tough. We're just trying to do something better. We're trying to go to war thing and then come back. And so in September number two thousand fifteen I went to mighty oaks and I started to notice that from the first day that something was different because Christians are cool people people and the reason why I say that is because I showed up. There intoxicated hoping that they would send me home. Christians are nice. Are they not right. So that didn't work. Matter of fact I think mighty oaks even embraced me more because I showed up there that way. He's trying to show me something and what they were trying to show me the love of Christ I am so I show up there drunk. You know we. I wake up the next morning sobered up and ready to go. We start hearing guises stories. We start getting classes. Can we just start hearing everybody speak. And I'm just blown away and I'm like wait a minute you and you and you and you had childhood trauma and you and you and you have the loss so friends and you and you and you had friends that kill themselves all these things that I was going through we all had a similar story. That looked a little bit different and as I was going through the week I got to this point where I was just like need something different because in my mind I knew what my plan plan was when I left that place. If it didn't work it was the last program I would ever attend because when I went home I was gonna take my life because I was just tired of being tired I was broken. I didn't think I could ever be put back together again on Wednesday night. Just remember. Jeremy was teaching a class and I remember just his guys been through a lot. I would give everything the thing I had for ten seconds of the piece that man has in his life right now because I could see it exuded from him and the other staff members that were there in the joke. As soon as I say that Right Jeremy Start Sharing the gospel. And I'm telling you right now ladies and gentlemen. I don't know how you how you believe and and I'll on Chattan chance team. I don't care I'm here to tell you right now. What happened that night was supernatural and I could not have? I said no to Jesus if I would tried and I surrendered my life to price that night. Jeremy explained that to me that the life that I have been living ving didn't have to be that way and that the things that happened to me when I was a kid didn't have to dictate how the rest of my life was going to play out the things that I've seen in combat didn't have to dictate the way my life was going to play out the way that the bad choices that I made in the people that I hurt and the people that I pushed away. That wasn't the end. I turn the page and I could start a new chapter in my life and if I did it with Christ it would be different than the first half of the book and so. That's I dedicated myself to do and just pour myself into him into learning. Exactly what Christ wanted me to learn. So I went home that program. I went home sober for five days straight which was the longest I had gone and I can't even remember when up into that point I went home with a plan to fight for my kids and I and I and this is how I work that plan out I worked at planned. Put myself in a community with the men that I went through that program with by get myself plugged into a church so that could be equipped to do the things that I needed to do. As a man of God and through lots of prayer and just bumps and bruises along the way and. We haven't conversation with God crying out to Tom that I didn't know how to do it. Please help me please show me and then use them on new favorite weapon the Bible I I just read it and poured myself into it and let it let it just super naturally heal me and let God speak to me through. The word is. Show me Robert. This is how you live your life. This is how you're a good father and this is how you're a good husband so back to things in closing. I introduced you to myself tonight as I used to be a marine. And that's the truth. I used to Marie and you can say once a marine always a marine and I'm glad for those people that want to say that that's not me. My identity will no longer ever be that. I'm a marine. I wasn't marinas a job I did and I loved that job and I love the men that I served with and I'm proud of everything that I did was there but I am not marine because my identity isn't based off of who I am or who I was where I served or what job I did in the marine core even though that puts me above other people but it doesn't. It's not who I am. Who I am is a son of God who am an adopted son of God in? That's that's what I want to be known as now I don't want to be. I don't even want to be known as the after CARE Manager Mighty O.. As much as I love this job and I love this organization because I'm just I'm just child of God I'm just just a man who loves God and his thankful for what Christ did on that cross and made it possible so that I could be here tonight to share that with you and to share that with somebody who needs to hear it because there is. There's somebody somebody that needs to hear that. And that's why we tell our testimonies so the two words right now was broken. Broken crazy right so I was broken. I was very broken again but I needed to be broken because I needed to realize I needed to save your and that broken issues. What made me realize I needed that? Savior and I am crazy and I sometimes am crazy and I was crazy back in the day because I thought I could do it without Christ. I thought I could do it all by myself. I thought I could fix everything that I'd done. I could fix everything. Ah Been Done to me. But that's false. That is a false statement is I need Jesus. And now have him and he's helped me and he's put me right here here and I didn't get here by myself and I hope it's okay just to take two to minutes to think some people's I look out in the crowd. I see some faces that are familiar to me I see. Kevin Schroeder a guy that I look up to a lot. He's been part of this program. I love him and he's helped me a lot. He's been there and walked me through a lot of things and I'm a difficult individual. Anybody will tell you. I'm very difficult. Sometimes and Kevin just walks beside me all the time and I love him for it and very charge going to thank you for praying Bertie because your husband is awesome brandon. And Jeremy I love you guys so much and I appreciate all the the faith and confidence that you guys put in me and you push me that you lead me in that you just mentor me and put lots of hours on the phone with me and I really really I appreciate it Louis. Thank you for the. I don't know ten fifteen twenty phone calls. We have a week at forty five minutes a piece. Sometimes because you just let me verbally process and you you're you're there to point me back to Christ and you're there to me back to the word and you're there to love on me and just walk out life with me and my brother and I really appreciate that and Kathy. Thank you for getting on your knees and taking that problem to God. Because he's the only one that could solve it and now this is where we're at and chat. Thank you for not getting disciple by Steve and just walking away fixed thinking that you found the cancer to shoe or the cure to your cancer. And you're good and you're just going to live your life you reach back and you grabbed and now you're impacting legacies. You'd impact my legacy. Because now I'm able to speak Christ and my children children and I appreciate that as invaluable and I can never ever repay you for that except for. I'm here until the day I die and last but not least I just WanNa think my wife who is God's gift to me because I didn't think I would ever get married after two failed marriages and and just not being that kind of a person right and God has showed me how to be a good husband. If I am even a good husband right but I have I have an awesome wife. She's the most Godly woman I know on the planet. She's beautiful for in and out and she is courageous because from the moment we started dating. I've been very honest with her and told her about my past and she didn't run away because she knows that we serve in love. God God is bigger than anything and bigger pass and she didn't have to be afraid of it. I just want to end with with Bible verse guys and again you know. I don't apologize in flipping chapter three verse seven through eleven it says but whatever gain I Had counted as loss for the sake of Christ indeed accounted everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing. Christ Jesus my Lord for his sake have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I might gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through to faith in Christ the righteousness from God. That depends on faith that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and may share his sufferings becoming coming like him in his death that by any means possible. I may attain to the resurrection from the dead ladies. And Gentlemen everything I've been through in my life I go through it all again and I echo. What Paul says it so that I can have crisis crisis so that I can live for him and ladies and gentlemen? I want you to know right. Now that God uses mighty oaks to help men like myself and there's three thousand ninety others that they've helped impacting families and their lives and their legacies attorneys and it starts with with God first and foremost and then he uses mighty hopes in those men there to change and help men see their need for savior and then it goes down to the donors owners right. It goes to the donors and what you give is used in what you give brings hope and healing to men like myself and men like those other. Three thousand ninety sergeants. Encourage you to give in to to to know that that it's working thing and that everything that you're doing is is is in God's hands and win when we're letting God be in control like Chad said we can't lose. Liz Thank you. You're watching on Youtube and you have not yet subscribed subscribe I consonant comes on here not show of law stuff and put on here. It would love for you to participate that hit the notification bell that lets you know new content think also line and that would be great for you keep track of that show of course comes on and Friday morning at ten Pacific Time. We'll get a lot of stuff going on around that that you're listening on Mojo or the podcast or some other place. Go ahead make your way over to you too and check that out as well or thankful for our partners from I guess somebody a great folks partnering with US Thankful for them but I encourages step over you. Choose well check that out. Thanks for with us. The Ford spending this time with you next time we we get yeah.