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 the PGA tour.
Hurley is a 2004 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor's
degree in Quantitative Economics. He also was named Academic All-American.
He was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy in 2004, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. After his graduation from the academy, he was assigned to the USS Gettysburg, a guided-missile cruiser based in Mayport, Florida, where he was a combat electronic division officer and on the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
He had an extended deployment in the Persian Gulf, where he held the position of guided missile destroyer's force protection assistant.
He left the Navy to pursue a career in golf and has successfully made it onto the PGA tour. Billy will talk to us about his military service, pursuing golf, and how his military career has contributed to his success as a golfer.
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 crucial element of the new bill was to benefit survivors. This week, we bring on Bonnie Carroll, the president and founder of the Transition Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Bonnie Carroll founded Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) following the death of her husband in an Army C-12 plane crash on November 12, 1992. TAPS is the leading national Military Service Organization providing compassionate care, casework assistance, and 24/7/365 emotional support for all those impacted by the death of a military loved one. She is a Veteran of the Air National Guard and a 2015 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bonnie and I talk about her military service, losing her husband, founding TAPS, dealing with grief, and how survivors can get assistance and peer-to-peer support through TAPS.
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 technology that allows you to add DNA from a loved one into any new or existing tattoo.
I know tattoos are a common thing in the military and Veteran community, and I had my own curiosity, led me to inviting a member of their team onto Borne the Battle to talk about it.
Boyd Renner, one of the co-founders of Everence, served in the Navy for 28 years. He served at SEAL Team Two for four years and served over 23 years at Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
He's going to talk to us about his time as a Navy SEAL, his transition out of the military, and the unique product Everence.
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 and Press 1
So, in this episode of Borne the Battle, I decided to spotlight the Veterans Crisis Line. In the future, I hope to talk to someone that works there to get their perspective as well. For this week, I explain the different ways you can contact the VCL and the following frequently asked questions:
What happens if I don't press 1?
Can I use the Veterans Crisis Line even if I'm already receiving care from VA?
What mental health services are available from VA?
Do I have to give my name or share personal information when I call the Veterans Crisis Line?
If I share personal information, will it be kept confidential?
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 lost their lives on December 7, 1941 was echoed by each person in attendance at the official ceremony.
However, the most powerful moments of my trip were not at any of the events or ceremonies. They were when I joined my colleague to interview a handful of Pearl Harbor survivors. We had the pleasure of talking with Alfred "Uncle Al Rodriguez, Everett Hyland, and, today's feature interview, Sterling Cale.
Sterling served in the Navy as a pharmacist's mate and was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Sterling shares his perspective during the attack, how he responded, and his role in recovering bodies afterwards. His story is profound and one we're honored to have heard straight from him.
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 that may lead to them being without stable housing, they should approach VA to get connected with the resources they need. We have a "no wrong door" policy. That means no matter how you contact VA about being homeless or at risk for it, that person will get you connected with the people you need to talk to.
Many communities around the nation have proudly announced that they have effectively ended Veteran homelessness in their area. That doesn't mean that there are no homeless Veterans at any given time. It means that they are prepared and have systems in place to aid any Veteran identified as homeless or at-risk for homelessness and get them back into stable housing.
I decided to speak with my colleague at the Homeless Veterans Outreach and Communications Office. He shares with us the ways VA communicates with Veterans regarding homelessness, the challenges in reaching Veterans, and how VA approaches that outreach.