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Borne the Battle

Hosted by 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.
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Now displaying: May, 2019
May 29, 2019

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. In fact, with the nonprofit, Backpacks for Life the first thing they are doing is literally improving the backpacks that rest on homeless Veterans shoulders.

After deploying to Afghanistan in 2014 and exiting his Marine Reserve contract, Brett started experiencing the same problems many Veterans face after deployment. After serving honorably as a turret gunner in country, he found himself without purpose. He was filling the emptiness with unhealthy habits. However, after randomly providing a homeless Veteran with a backpack that allowed the Veteran’s child to have a pack for school, Brett again found a call to serve those that were in need. Upon learning this, his long-time girlfriend Alexa, began supporting his new purpose. Together they founded the nonprofit Backpacks for Life.

They have since patented their very own pack that is created specifically with the homeless veteran in mind. The Bowery Pack features the old sea-bag opening, a stainless cable closing and an iso mat. Their goal is to go to a one-for-one sale model. For each Bowery Pack sold, they can give one to a homeless Veteran.

However, Brett and Alexa believe that the pack is only the first step to getting off the streets. Their overall mission “is to provide Veterans with resources that they have trouble providing for themselves…at the same time fostering self-reliance while assisting Veterans through their hardships…”

Additionally, we talked about how Brett and Alexa met, Brett’s deployment, and how they can afford to make the Bowery Pack in the United States.

Enjoy.

Additional Links to this Episode:

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week

Army Veteran Bill Hayes

May 22, 2019

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 James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, New York City. These two new homes will join the 70+ Fisher Houses currently in operation around the world. By the end of the year, the Fisher House Network will be able to provide for over 1,000 families at any given time.

To mark today’s event, today’s interview is the current President of the Fisher House Foundation, Army Veteran David Coker.

We talked about:

  • His family’s extensive military service
  • His personal service as an Army medical officer
  • His transition in the 90s how he came to be the very first employee of the Fisher House Foundation.
  • The unique way that the foundation got its name.

Enjoy.

FOR INFO ON LOCAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES CLICK HERE

#BtB Veteran of the Week:

Army Veteran Todd Cornell

Additional Links for this Episode:

https://maketheconnection.net/mhm

https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchaseco_loan_fee.asp

https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/ceremony/2019_Memorial_Day.asp

www.carrytheload.org

May 15, 2019

Not only is Army Veteran Jan a wrestler, he’s a producer of the documentary “Valhalla Club.” The feature documents how three wrestlers, including Jan, formed a wrestling stable based on collectively fighting their PTSD through wrestling.

Recently, Jan and his stablemates were featured on the first episode Comedy Central’s new show, “Klepper.” 

Additionally, Jan is a VA employee. We talked about his role in the Office of Business Process Integration.

Additional Links:

https://bit.ly/2DucCtZ

https://bit.ly/2V2gJs3

https://bit.ly/2WchKKw

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/59350/march-memorial-day-va-carry-load-honor-fallen/

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week

Marine Veteran Edgar Huff

 

May 8, 2019

For Borne the Battle, we have a small team of interns that transcribe previous episodes so those with hearing loss can still read our episodes. It is finals week for many universities around the country and we will be soon losing that important cog of our team. 

So, before our interns left for the year, I wanted to reward them with their own episode. We had our intern, aspiring podcaster Zach Wheeler, go and get another interview.

Back in episode 130, Zach interviewed Robert Freedman, his professor from Johns Hopkins University. For his “final” we challenged him to go find an interview off his campus. From there, he took the ball, ran with it, and interviewed Joseph Pennington, a former Navy Seabee and the current Director of Military Programs for AllState.

FUN FACT: ALLSTATE WAS STARTED BY A VETERAN

Joseph talks about how his grandfather, a WWII Veteran, inspired him to raise his right hand. He also talks about his transition, his experience in building military programs for various companies, and how that experience led him to his current role at AllState.

Enjoy.

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

Marine Veteran Megan McClung

Additional Links for this Episode:

 

May 1, 2019

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 and a former Navy Seal.

In addition to talking about Carry The Load, we dive into his four deployments in five years, his transition and what Memorial Day means to him. 

Enjoy.

Additional Links to This Episode:

https://www.va.gov/PAINMANAGEMENT/Opioid_Safety/index.asp

https://www.va.gov/HEALTHPARTNERSHIPS/index.asp

http://www.carrytheload.org

https://bit.ly/2VwziUn

https://bit.ly/2DucCtZ

https://bit.ly/2V2gJs3

https://bit.ly/2WchKKw

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/59350/march-memorial-day-va-carry-load-honor-fallen/

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/59517/veteranoftheday-navy-veteran-marc-alan-lee/

 

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