Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

How to See Things Differently

Lisa and I went for a drive the other day. I wasn’t on call, and the morning was sunny, clear, and brimming with hope. We needed to get out of the house, so we loaded our son’s dog Dude into the truck and hit the road.

We drove up Casper Mountain Road, through Beartrap Meadow and over the backside of the mountain. We came to a junction of two roads we’d driven before: we could go straight and up to Muddy Mountain, or turn right and wind through gorgeous countryside and back to Casper the long way around.

The third option was a little two-track road to our left. We had no idea where it went, but we both felt adventurous and we had time, so we turned left.

On the GPS, it looked like this road would eventually lead us back to civilization on the east side of Casper. Twelve miles of muddy, sometimes scary, low-4×4 terrain later, we still weren’t sure. But we came around a bend after going through a beautiful mountainous pass and were stopped in our tracks at the view.

Veterans Day 2016

A Thank You To Our Veterans

November 11 is Veterans Day in the USA, a day to say thank you to our military veterans. You don’t have to look very far in America to find a veteran today.

When you do, give them a hug, a salute, or a handshake and say thank you.

These people, our veterans, have bought and paid for the freedoms we all cherish, the democracy we love and saw in action this week again. They step out of their comfortable lives and step forward when the question is asked, “Who will go into danger for us?”

Rangers Lead the Way (Memorial Day Special 2015) [YST Podcast Episode 050]

Guests: Erick Poston of Oakley Corporation and U.S. Army Rangers Marty Skovlund, Bryce Dryden, and Jeff Struecker

This Memorial Day, we honor the U.S. Army Rangers.

Since 9/11, The 75th Ranger Regiment has lost at least sixty-four Rangers in combat, and at least 672 have been wounded. The Rangers have been awarded one Medal of Honor, one Distinguished Service Cross, forty-nine Silver Stars, over three hundred Bronze Start Medals for Valor, and over six hundred Purple Hearts (source: Violence of Action, by Marty Skovlund, Jr.).

It’s easy to be so overwhelmed with those numbers that you lose the impact of each of them individually. And so this year, I want to make Memorial Day more personal by asking you to remember one specific young man who died in Afghanistan on October 6, 2013, when his unit was led into an ambush.

Flanders Fields, Red Poppies, and My Memorial Day

On a field in Belgium in 1915, over the course of multiple engagements, more than 100,000 soldiers from at least six countries fell.

One of those men was Alexis Helmer, and his friend was LtCol John McRae of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. McRae buried his friend, and noted the quick growth of red poppies around the fresh graves of his brothers-in-arms.

This experience inspired McRae’s poem, In Flanders Fields. And since then, the red poppy has come to symbolize the fallen in war. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States uses the red poppy as its symbol, a reminder for us all to never forget the blood that has been shed on our behalf to protect our freedom.

Style and Success with Antonio Centeno [YST Podcast, Episode 046]

Antonio Centeno has led men into combat, and he can lead you into a better, more squared-away life.

Antonio is the founder of www.RealMenRealStyle.com and www.ATailoredSuit.com. He has created over 1000 articles & videos on men’s style, blogs over at the www.ArtofManliness.com, and is the creator of the internet’s best style course for professionals – A Man’s Guide To Style.

Over 100,000 people read Antonio Centeno’s blog every week. His story is inspirational, and he’ll help you decide it’s time to start today.

Violence of Action: Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror (Colorado Springs, CO: Blackside Concepts, 2014)

Marty Skovlund has given us the definitive history of the U.S. Army Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror. 

I give this book my highest recommendation. Our son-in-law, Bryce Dryden, is a medic in the Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. He’s been to Afghanistan twice, and he shared this book with me. After reading it, I’m even more glad that our daughter Kimber married Bryce, because now I understand even more fully the type of man he is. 

Marty Skovlund’s book is inspiring, heartbreaking and powerful. It’s an account of the Ranger’s work in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2011. Chapter eleven is my favorite, and contains some of the best theology I’ve read (surprising in a ‘war’ book).

This book does what it promises: it chronicles the work of the U.S. army Rangers in the War on Terror. It doesn’t politicize, over-dramatize or romanticize. It’s full of heartbreaking stories, intense action, and utter despair. It’s at turns inspiring and unbelievable as we read of some of the things our men had to do to accomplish the mission and make it home. War isn’t easy, and neither is this book.

But Marty Skovlund has given us a treasure. Read it to learn of the extraordinary deeds done by these finest of America’s sons. Read it to remember the fallen, and to more deeply appreciate the living. And read it to be reminded, again, how thankful you should be that no matter the threat, there are people willing to step into the gap and take the fight to the enemy.

As Marty Skovlund reminds us, Rangers Lead the Way.

Memorial Day Special with Navy SEAL and Bestselling Author Mark Divine [YST Podcast 010]

In this episode of You Start Today, I interview New York Times Bestselling author, retired Navy SEAL and founder of SEALFit, Commander Mark Divine.

We discuss his amazing career, his books, SEALFit, and what Memorial Day means to Mark Divine.

If you want to become healthier, feel better and be happier, you have to have an attitude of gratitude for what’s been done on your behalf by others. On Memorial Day. remembering those who have fallen in defense of our freedoms is a great way to Start Today.

No Greater Way to Love (Memorial Day)

Step outside on Memorial Day and listen.

Feel the wind, close your eyes and focus your mind; you will hear them.

Over one million voices, those who have fallen in battle under our flag.

From Concord to New Orleans, Gettysburg to San Juan Hill and Belleau Wood, they call out, “Do not forget us.”

From Bastogne to the beaches of Normandy and the banks of the Chosin Reservoir. You will hear them if you listen: “We did this for you.”

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [YST Podcast 009]

In this episode of You Start Today, we discuss post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. I interview Air Force veteran and psychiatrist, Dr. David Estep.

We’ll learn about PTSD, and begin to understand how to help those we love who have gone through traumatic experiences.

If you’ve struggled with PTSD, listen to learn that you’re not alone, understand what you’re feeling, and begin to heal, starting today.