Episode 204 Tim Gallaudet Making Connections to Help Navigate Difficult Times Transcript
This transcript is from episode 204 with guest Tim Gallaudet.
[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio.
[00:00:18] Scott DeLuzio: And now let’s get on with the show.
[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Tim Gallaudet. Tim is a retired us Navy rear Admiral, a former assistant secretary of commerce and deputy and acting director of NOAA. He has experienced a lot of ups and downs in both his personal and professional life. And we’ll be discussing a bit more about all of that in just a minute, but.
[00:00:47] Scott DeLuzio: I want to welcome you to the show, Tim. Thanks for being here.
[00:00:51] Tim Gallaudet: Thanks for having me, Scott. It really is great to be here.
[00:00:54] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. I’m really glad that you’re on. And I want to first [00:01:00] for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you I want to give you the opportunity to tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
[00:01:07] Tim Gallaudet: Okay. Sure. Quickly I was a career oceanographer in the U S. Did that for 32 years after graduating from the Naval academy studied oceanography. And I wasn’t really set on the military career. I just wanted to work on the ocean, which is really my first love, but had a great time in the Navy doing.
[00:01:26] Tim Gallaudet: And then after the Navy ended up moving into an agency in the U S federal government called the national oceanic and atmospheric administration or NOAA which manages all of the nations environmental program. So the national weather service Marine fisheries and regulating those commercial or operational weather satellites and weather forecasting and things like that.
[00:01:49] Tim Gallaudet: And it was a real one. For years I had in that agency. And now I’m a consultant for a number of ocean weather and space tech company ponies.
[00:01:58] Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s great. And I think [00:02:00] first off, I think it’s inspiring to see someone who maybe didn’t necessarily see the military as like the thing that you really wanted to do as far as being involved in the military side of things.
[00:02:12] Scott DeLuzio: But you were able to find a career in the military that matched up pretty well. Your interest in the things that you were interested in and you managed to make a pretty impressive career out of that. So that’s, to me, that’s a pretty inspiring thing to hear about as well. So thank you for sharing that.
[00:02:31] Tim Gallaudet: Well, its sort of so many of us, we were all blessed to have people carry us along the. And the more people that carry me or lifted me up the more, I guess, I’m interested, invested in the service I became. And now, I’m really in a position where I want to give back. And then that’s what I’d love to explore on your show is how to help veterans at a time where veterans really needed that with suicide rates being so high suicide rates being so high.
[00:02:54] Tim Gallaudet: But yeah, thankful, thank you. I am feeling very fortunate for the.
[00:02:58] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I briefly [00:03:00] mentioned in the intro that you experienced several ups and downs, both personally and professionally things that kind of happened throughout your career and your life. And when we’re going back and forth over email, you mentioned a few of those things to me.
[00:03:16] Scott DeLuzio: And if you don’t mind, I’d like to at least introduce some of those things, just so that the listeners have some idea of what it is that I’m talking about. Things that you mentioned such as losing your home during hurricane Katrina. Right. That’s a pretty big down, I think for anybody would be that’s not something, anyone is striving for that.
[00:03:33] Scott DeLuzio: That’s definitely not what you want to have. You knew several three, I think you said three admirals who committed suicide. And when, to me, anyways, when I think of someone who’s achieved that rank. It’s like, okay. These people seem like they have it all going for them, but clearly there was something, that was missing for them or something that just wasn’t.
[00:03:56] Scott DeLuzio: Right for them. You’ve lost your younger brother. I lost [00:04:00] my younger brother as well, different circumstances obviously, but losing a family member like that is never an easy thing to deal with. So those are some of the down moments in your life that you had mentioned, but I also think it’s also important to highlight some of the highs as well, such as you’ve been able to raise three children and that’s Thing for any fathers to, to be able to look around and say, yeah, I’ve been able to raise these three great kids and, life is good with that.
[00:04:26] Scott DeLuzio: You also serve. In all different levels of the government, not even just in the military, but you said cabinet assistant secretary working with Congress, the white house astronauts, Nobel prize, winners, celebrities, people like that. That’s pretty impressive too. And even professionally in the Navy, Taking the rank of rear Admiral is not the easiest of feats to achieve either.
[00:04:48] Scott DeLuzio: So, you’ve done a lot of things, a lot of ups and downs throughout your life. And the reason I wanted to share some of these things are because sometimes, like I was saying before, with those admirals that I mentioned, sometimes we [00:05:00] see people who seem to have it all, all these good things that are going for them.
[00:05:04] Scott DeLuzio: Great career, a good family, all that stuff. And we might get envious of all the blessings that those people have received, but what we don’t tend to see as all the low points and the struggles that people sometimes have to endure. So, if you don’t mind, could you take us through some of that you’ve endured and some of the things that you’ve gone through and talk us through?
[00:05:24] Scott DeLuzio: Like what were some of those things like for you and how did you continue to persevere throughout all.
[00:05:31] Tim Gallaudet: Well, yes, Scott. Absolutely. So let’s first off, I guess, a great message from this show might just be that even, at every level people are challenged in different ways and like the animals I mentioned one of course was the head Navy, Admiral himself.
[00:05:47] Tim Gallaudet: Warda who killed himself in his residence at the Navy yard and Washington DC. And the other two, one was the commander of the U S fifth fleet. His name was Scott Sterny of ISAT and roll, and [00:06:00] he was a great friend of mine. And and the other was a Navy seal. I don’t want name, but I’ll use Scott story as an example, the fifth fleet commander, everybody loved him, had a wonderful personality.
[00:06:11] Tim Gallaudet: I worked with him very, very closely when I was a one-star Admiral. And I liked him and it’s interesting. I saw your episode or listen to it with Tom Spooner, who was a former Delta operator. And he now runs that a terrific nonprofit to help veterans with substance abuse. And and mental health problems.
[00:06:32] Tim Gallaudet: And he mentioned how so many people see when this happens. They’re like, Hey, I didn’t see that coming. And that’s how it was with Emissary. And I just, so I would like this episode possibly to highlight that fact that like with me and my personal ups and downs, if you will, that happens at all levels, whether the junior listy to the senior flag and general officers.
[00:06:54] Tim Gallaudet: And I think that maybe that common humanity is what unites us all. So that’s one [00:07:00] example. But like I go in a lot of other directions cause she just kind of laid it all out there. So let’s just however you want to proceed. Please. Happy to give each.
[00:07:09] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah let’s roll with that. Let’s just I did kind of lay it all out there, all of these kind of ups and downs and things like that, but you’re right.
[00:07:18] Scott DeLuzio: People do get challenged, no matter what levels you’re at you could be the CEO of a company. You could be the janitor at the same company, and you could be. You could be dealing with the same types of struggles with your family life losing your home. If you lived in the same area during a natural disaster, like a hurricane or something like that, it doesn’t matter who you are, what level of income you have or what your job is or anything like that.
[00:07:46] Scott DeLuzio: Your house is going to get wiped away. If it’s in the path of the storm, no matter who you are. And to me, it’s kind of like, you’re not immune to things just because you are a certain person or a certain, a celebrity or a.[00:08:00] High ranking, military official or anything like that, none of that stuff matters when it comes down to, like you said, the humanity of things.
[00:08:08] Scott DeLuzio: So, yeah let’s dig into that. Let’s talk a little bit more about the ways that you were able to persevere through some of these.
[00:08:16] Tim Gallaudet: Sure. Sure. So let’s use that hurricane example. And this is interesting, it’s a Supreme irony that I, as the professional meteorologist and oceanographer would have one of these traumatic experiences due to a weather event.
[00:08:28] Tim Gallaudet: But so be it, my wife and I, and my oldest daughter were all living on the Mississippi Gulf coast. And in again, In the worst possible place. It was to be during hurricane Katrina. Most of the coasts had between around 15 feet of storm surge that at the very top of this little bay of St. Louis where the water had nowhere else to go, but our neighborhood, the surge was amplified to 28 feet and thankfully the national weather service, which I soon ended up working with.
[00:08:58] Tim Gallaudet: Gave us fair warning and we [00:09:00] evacuated. I’m glad we did. Others did not. And they lost their lives because of that storm surge. Just to think of these images of the tsunami in Japan and that’s what we were dealing with that height. And so the entire neighborhood of about 150 homes, I was just totally smashed up against the that went east to west in a giant lumber mill.
[00:09:18] Tim Gallaudet: That’s just stretched for miles and my wife and I, the next day, I had a basically with my daughter climb over this and, there’s wires everywhere and nails. It’s very hazardous situation. But we did to get to our lot, which was just a slab with all the other 150 slabs. It was just like, God took his hand and just women swoosh across the table and just level everything.
[00:09:41] Tim Gallaudet: But the most important takeaway, first of all, nature is powerful. I’ve got a good taste of that. We learned a lot as a family and I’ve gained this to some of your episodes and and that’s a message here. And I tell people this often, and they’re surprised by it, but, thankfully.
[00:09:55] Tim Gallaudet: My, my daughter and my wife, we were okay physically we, and like happens [00:10:00] a lot in natural disasters. We were reduced to that lowest level on Maslow’s needs hierarchy for a time. We just had to find shelter, but but that was relatively short lived. And and then it, and then there was all this silver lining, the Navy now I didn’t have a property.
[00:10:14] Tim Gallaudet: I was sleeping in my office. My wife went to her parents’ house. Up in Maryland and that predicament forced the Navy’s hand to detail me to where I owned a previous, I already own a house in San Diego and I had one of my best tours that probably helped me make Admiral, and that was working with the Navy seals.
[00:10:31] Tim Gallaudet: And then it made us stronger as a family. It made us much more empathetic. So whenever you see natural disasters or. God forbid shootings and just these things that affect people. It makes us as a family more, I guess, again we feel and understand that we want to give more because of it.
[00:10:49] Tim Gallaudet: And then, there’s that the Navy seals taught me and as is many of your colleagues. That adversity makes you stronger and as chance to grow. And that’s what that [00:11:00] experience taught me in many like it, and it’s very hard to embrace tragedy at the moment, but that’s helped me in future life challenges.
[00:11:09] Tim Gallaudet: And I’ve always paused my wife and I, when something bad happens and we go, well, all right, we’ve been through. Lost our house. We can get through this and we know there’ll be some good at the end of that. I mean that door next door opens. Yeah. So that’s the sort of how I’ve maybe approached those experiences.
[00:11:26] Tim Gallaudet: Yeah.
[00:11:27] Scott DeLuzio: And the thing that I like about that attitude is. You could have gone the complete opposite direction with that. And you could have been like, the world is out to get me well, was me, all that kind of stuff. And you could have had that, that more pessimistic kind of attitude where. Now, what am I going to do?
[00:11:48] Scott DeLuzio: I don’t even have a house to live in. And the world is just out to get me. This is terrible and not to take away, it was terrible. Absolutely. Losing your home in a situation like that is [00:12:00] certainly terrible. But, when you live through an experience like that adversity definitely does make you stronger because if you were able to live through.
[00:12:09] Scott DeLuzio: Where the hand of God came down and wiped the table clean and wiped away your entire neighborhood. Right. You’re able to live through that and not only live, but you’ve accelerated and you’ve advanced yourself to achieve different things. You’ve become stronger as a family. You’ve you? Your career was was the career trajectory was changed and everything like that, all kind of shifted.
[00:12:35] Scott DeLuzio: For the better. And you look at this with a positive mindset. And I think if you had that negative pessimistic mindset about all of this, I don’t know that all of that would have fell in your face. Right. I don’t think you probably would have had the stronger family you would have had the better career or anything like that.
[00:12:55] Scott DeLuzio: Had you had such a pessimistic kind of attitude, but do you agree [00:13:00] with that? I
[00:13:01] Tim Gallaudet: absolutely agree. And I do believe you make your own luck in life. And and isn’t this, we, I think the attitude was key to that. And actually I actually, what I loved about, I love about your podcast, a drive on this is what you’re talking about.
[00:13:12] Tim Gallaudet: Military veterans transitioning, how to. Do that in a way where we thrive rather than just merely survive the transition. And that’s why I was so eager to be on your show. So I think it’s just a really important theme and attitude to embrace as a, that trends move forward in their second year.
[00:13:31] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and it is the second chapter.
[00:13:32] Scott DeLuzio: It’s not the end of a book when you end your military career and you get out, it’s not like the story’s over your story is only just beginning. That was just one section of your, the book of your life. Right. And when you transition out, it’s up to you to write that next chapter and figure out what is going to go into this chapter, what What do I want to make of this and how do I want this story to end?
[00:13:59] Scott DeLuzio: And [00:14:00] if you think about it that way, it gives you a lot of control over things. You’re in charge of this. You’re writing this story. It’s not someone else who’s holding the pen and writing it for you. You’re doing this. So what do you want to get up for this? And I think that’s the attitude, right?
[00:14:16] Tim Gallaudet: It is.
[00:14:17] Tim Gallaudet: It really is. I think, your message. Giving veterans agency, and that is important and wonderful. And I like I have. Optimist by nature. So I always see the glass half full. And and that’s, I think that is also helpful in life in many ways. And it just makes you your overall wellbeing that much better.
[00:14:37] Tim Gallaudet: And it’s not, I wouldn’t say it’s a Pollyanna approach. It’s just about finding a way to yes.
[00:14:44] Scott DeLuzio: Right? Yeah. Finding a way to getting that end result. If you’re in charge of writing your story, How do you want that story to end and figure that out and do the things that will get you to that point?
[00:14:58] Scott DeLuzio: Don’t just sit [00:15:00] back and wait for things to happen because they’re probably not going to just happen and fall in your lap, but yeah, maybe people get lucky every now and again, but most times you, you need to work for this. You need to work towards it and have that attitude that you’re in control.
[00:15:13] Scott DeLuzio: You can do this, but you can also not do it. If you choose to not do it, then you’re going to get out whatever it is that you put in. So it’s probably better off to put in the effort. Right. There you go.
[00:15:25] Tim Gallaudet: Yeah. In fact, I, this is what I love about your book. I have not read it yet, but the story of your book, surviving son, you okay.
[00:15:32] Tim Gallaudet: We both have lost brother. And and how do you deal with that? And it’s this, you went and said, I’m going to turn it around to a good message. And your story is one to help others and challenges like this. And I just think that’s just fantastic. I don’t want to get into this now. We can talk maybe later in another episode, but I’m writing a book where that sort of same reason, not just about my brother’s passing, but includes that story.
[00:15:57] Tim Gallaudet: But others and I think that’s I’m inspired by [00:16:00] people, like you said. Okay. I can take this message and turn it into good. So your story is really terrific. Let me turn the tables here and ask you what when did you have that moment? I mean, I’m sure when you learned of your brother’s death, you were still on deployment.
[00:16:15] Tim Gallaudet: At what point did you decide to change the path from maybe being, in a tragedy to one of helping others in track?
[00:16:22] Scott DeLuzio: This was. It was a process for me. When I first found out I was still on deployment I was actually out on a mission that day that my brother was killed. So, I was in the middle of some random Afghan village and I’d say about 20 minutes after finding out that my brother was killed, we were in a firefight.
[00:16:40] Scott DeLuzio: And so that was the day from hell. It just got worse and worse and worse. And everything just seemed like it wasn’t going right. It was just so there was a lot to deal with. There. I, it was. There was anger. There was frustration. There’s sadness, there’s grief.
[00:16:55] Scott DeLuzio: There’s all of these things being bundled up all into [00:17:00] one very short period of time. And I had to figure out how to process all of that stuff really quickly. It wasn’t something I was thinking that I’d ever have to do. I didn’t never thought that I’d have to do. Process the death of my brother at such a young age, he was only 25.
[00:17:16] Scott DeLuzio: I never thought that I’d have to deal with being in a firefight and grieved the loss of my brother. Like none of these things came to my mind ever prior to the moment that they happen. So I had to figure all that stuff out really quickly. Fast forward, a little bit to when I got home. I was still hanging on to that anger and the grief and the sadness and all of the stuff that was coming along with this.
[00:17:39] Scott DeLuzio: And it was a few months later that I said, I am not the type of person that I used to be. This is not me. Yeah, I w I would get angry and I’d be yelling at people for the littlest of things. And it just, wasn’t the type of person that I was. And I didn’t like who I was becoming. I didn’t want my wife to, to have to deal with a husband who was like this.
[00:17:59] Scott DeLuzio: I don’t want [00:18:00] my son to grow up with a dad who was a jerk and a pain in the neck. I don’t want any of that. So I decided to go in and seek some help, some mental health treatments and. And honestly it, well, I’m not, I’m still not the same person that I was before the deployment. I don’t think I’ll ever be that person because of just so many experiences that have changed me.
[00:18:20] Scott DeLuzio: However, the outlook that I have now is that I can use this pain in this terrible tragedy that I endured, that my family has endured and use that to. Fueled my ability to help other people. And that’s, where this podcast came from I started. The podcast after several of the people that I served with who took their own lives.
[00:18:45] Scott DeLuzio: And I wasn’t willing to just sit around, waiting for that next phone call and saying, another friend had taken their life. So I wanted to do something. And I knew that this was a widespread issue. It wasn’t just the people I served with. [00:19:00] It was, it’s an issue throughout the entire military and veteran community.
[00:19:04] Scott DeLuzio: And so I wanted to do something that could reach a lot of people and help out as many people as possible with the goal of helping just one person. If I can help one person then job well done. But knowing that there’s many more people out there who could also be helped and. That to me was exactly what I wanted to do.
[00:19:24] Scott DeLuzio: And so that’s why I started the podcast. That’s why I wrote the book to tell these stories and share with people all the things that I did wrong throughout my grieving process and all of this, I did a lot of things wrong and I could have done a lot of things better. I realize this now and other people who are going through very similar circumstances may not see clearly what they’re going through and hopefully.
[00:19:49] Scott DeLuzio: My message can help those people down the line. So, that’s where it came from for me is really just seeing how I struggled and knowing that other [00:20:00] people are likely out there struggling too. And there’s no reason that they need to struggle the way I did and they can do things a lot better than how I did it.
[00:20:09] Scott DeLuzio: And as long as we are moving towards a better. A better goal for people. I think where we’re moving in the right track.
[00:20:19] Tim Gallaudet: Amen. Amen. Scott and well said, this is what I was so interested about your drive on podcast. And I had, I saw that when you have categories, it’s, if you want to episodes on grief or comradery or et cetera, these just life issues that you’ve organized them as such.
[00:20:36] Tim Gallaudet: And I love that. And if I can, one of the things that led me to you. My current line of work. So I, my background is an oceanographer meteorologist and hydrography, I now work with a bunch of companies that have, there are technology companies, some are flying satellite, some are operating drones, and they’re doing all this kind of work, but.
[00:20:58] Tim Gallaudet: One company came to me that [00:21:00] has a really cool tech platform. And they are, it’s like basically zoom for mental health. If you will. It’s online peer support groups that are formed and they’re usually no more than 10 people and they have licensed facilitators and it’s all centered around just like your podcast, people that are maybe have.
[00:21:16] Tim Gallaudet: Marital problems or divorced people that have, or grief have lost a loved one, people living with PTSD or people with substance abuse issues. And they organize these rooms along, people finding common ground to get over their loneliness. And I realized wow, this is this company called circle. And so using this modern tech that was developed sort of meeting, meeting technology that was advanced during the pandemic to help these really serious mental health challenges, all kind of revolve around loneliness and veterans are in this space in a really big way today.
[00:21:50] Tim Gallaudet: And so I just wanted to bring that forward and identify that solutions like this are out there for veterans. And because again, Active duty [00:22:00] friends. You’re seeing this, but you’re like you said, you’re seeing that in the veteran world, your you’re calling the leaks in combat deployment. Comrades are seeing these challenges.
[00:22:08] Tim Gallaudet: And so I encourage our listeners to look for solutions like circles or any others. And don’t deal with these challenges by yourself. This was actually the theme of the episode with Tom Spooner. And maybe you can share with your audience a little bit about.
[00:22:24] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I do want to circle, I’m using the word circle back here, but I want to come back to circles and talk about a little bit about that because one of the things that I’ve noticed in all these episodes that I’ve done now on this podcast is.
[00:22:42] Scott DeLuzio: One of the problems that people have when they’re getting out of the military or they’re dealing with mental health issues or whatever it is that they’re dealing with, they tend to just isolate themselves away from other people. They withdraw away from their friends or their family or coworkers.
[00:22:58] Scott DeLuzio: They. [00:23:00] Isolate. And they stay away from certain situations, certain people and circumstances that they may encounter. And in pretty much every circumstance that I have heard of where people do this. It doesn’t make anything better when they go and do that. Right. When you get out of the military and you’re you feel like you’re having trouble relating to the civilians at your job that you’re working at, or just civilians in general, that might be at a coffee shop, giving you the coffee or, whatever, whoever you’re dealing with, you may just have trouble.
[00:23:35] Scott DeLuzio: Interacting with these people and you may not know what to do. And it’s like, well, I don’t want to deal with these people cause they suck. And I don’t want to, I don’t want to be in that situation. Right. And so we tend to just isolate away from society, away from people, but things like circles these groups of people can have.
[00:23:54] Scott DeLuzio: Kind of dip your toe back in the water and get you back into meeting with other people [00:24:00] could be other like-minded people, people going through similar circumstances, I should say like you said, like, marital problems or substance abuse or PTSD or whatever it is that they’re going through, you can get connected with these people and help each other out.
[00:24:15] Scott DeLuzio: And I think that type of thing is super important to us. Especially during the days of COVID, which, fortunately things are opening back up and it’s not as much of an issue as it was a couple of years ago, but where things were literally locked down and you had no choice, but to be isolated in, in many circumstances, you couldn’t go out to.
[00:24:36] Scott DeLuzio: A local whatever to meet up with people they just, they were all closed. You couldn’t do that. So having something like this is I think the next best thing where you can get in touch with people and do it from the comfort of your home or wherever it is that you’re comfortable with getting in touch with these people.
[00:24:57] Scott DeLuzio: Right. And I feel that. [00:25:00] More and more companies like this are probably going to start popping up especially as technology improves and advances where we’re able to have conversations like you and I are having right now. We’re not in the same room. We’re not in the same city. We’re not geographically close to each other at all.
[00:25:15] Scott DeLuzio: Yet. We’re still sitting here having this conversation. We’re able to communicate as if we are sitting in the same room and that’s, to me, pretty impressive that the technology has improved that much. That I can see you. I can hear you. I know what the room looks like around you and stuff like we’re almost, it’s almost like we’re in the same room.
[00:25:36] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah,
[00:25:36] Tim Gallaudet: exactly. It’s really interesting too. How people do a force thrive in the very impersonal in person interpersonal interaction but it’s almost as good. And here we are so far apart and we’re having this conversation like we’re there and it makes a big difference. In fact, the VA surveys, veterans, administration surveys have found that loneliness.
[00:25:56] Tim Gallaudet: Is the top issue, challenging veterans right now, in fact, [00:26:00] so I I met with the director of the VA’s office of suicide prevention and Dr. Matt Miller, great guy. I came, I brought my colleagues from this company circles and he was very interested in what we’re doing because he sees the rise of these online platforms and services just expanding and the VA supporting some of them.
[00:26:19] Tim Gallaudet: But. The federal government is slow to get into the acquisition pipeline from federal services takes forever. And this is in any area, not just this kind of mental health area. And so that’s really why I contacted you because I realized you have a great audience. You’re performing the exact kind of good service that, that we want to provide.
[00:26:40] Tim Gallaudet: And. And so thank you for allowing me to tell that story and and share that company, but also any other things we want to go after here, Scott, in the episode, I’m happy to elaborate. We still have some more time and I have some more stories.
[00:26:55] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, no, absolutely. I’d love to get into some of those stories, but you had mentioned that the [00:27:00] episode with Tom Spooner earlier in this episode and.
[00:27:02] Scott DeLuzio: The program that they have set up, it’s built like a training program, the way that we’re used to in the military. We go to a school or we go through even something as early on as basic training where you’re going through and it’s a very structured program and you go through all of these steps and at the end, there’s an expected result that you are now able to do.
[00:27:26] Scott DeLuzio: Whatever the task is, or you’re able to do this certain job now. And so it’s built that way because it’s familiar to the people who are going through it, but the veterans who have experienced certain things like PTSD or whatever they’ve experienced they’re used to going through certain programs like that training programs and it’s designed.
[00:27:50] Scott DeLuzio: To be familiar and comfortable for those people. And so going back to what we were just talking about, about getting involved in [00:28:00] those those communities, it’s those like-minded people those other veterans who maybe are going through some similar circumstances, you, if you get in touch with them and talk with them, It’s familiar.
[00:28:14] Scott DeLuzio: You’re dealing with that. You’re not getting that comradery that you are missing out on from all those years that you were in the military and now you’re out. You don’t have that comradery. Well, now you can get some of that back. And I think that’s another interesting thing to look at is the.
[00:28:31] Scott DeLuzio: That approach of getting involved with other like-minded military folks that, that better out here? Yeah.
[00:28:38] Tim Gallaudet: Well, it absolutely interesting going back to the company circles th the founding of it is fascinating. The CEO is a man named out there and his mother was, had terminal cancer and family was around her the entire time.
[00:28:53] Tim Gallaudet: But not having anybody who’d been through cancer really caused her to self isolate. If you will, even with people [00:29:00] around her and, being a son, he was just devastated that he couldn’t really help his mom in any way without that common connection. And that’s why he founded the company realizing, and you know how this is.
[00:29:13] Tim Gallaudet: Maybe you’re a veteran and you’re kind of just going about your life. And you’re maybe in some kind of public setting and the minute you find someone who’d been in, maybe your service branch of service or your unit or specialty, boom, you instantly start chatting. You make a connection, you exchange information and it’s like that.
[00:29:29] Tim Gallaudet: And so that’s yeah that’s why these common connections in the platforms that provide for them are just really pure gold in this area of veterans mental health and suicide.
[00:29:39] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I’m the type of person who, I’m not the most. The most outgoing person, as far as being an extrovert and, going to all the events and talking to all the people and everything like that.
[00:29:52] Scott DeLuzio: But when I get on podcasts like this, and I start talking to people who maybe I’ve never spoken to before, prior to getting on the [00:30:00] podcast like you and I, we. Chatted before, but by the end of the conversation, it just flowing naturally, because we have that common connection of that military service, and we’re able to find that common ground, we’re able to have a conversation and just go about the conversation with each other and it feels.
[00:30:22] Scott DeLuzio: Natural like we’ve almost known each other, maybe years and years apart, we, it’s almost like we have that common connection and. It does make it so much easier to get involved with other activities. So maybe things that you are interested in, but you don’t want to do it because you don’t feel like you’ll get along with any of the people there.
[00:30:42] Scott DeLuzio: But if you can find that kind of group of people that you’ll get along with, then it makes it that much easier. So, yeah. So anyways, I know we went off on a tangent as far as communities and circles and the different technologies that are out there. But I think it’s important to, to talk about that kind of stuff, because that [00:31:00] talks to the resiliency that people have to where if you’re just gonna back off and isolate from everything you’re giving yourself that attitude that I’m just throwing in the towel.
[00:31:12] Scott DeLuzio: Just given up on myself kind of attitude. Whereas going back to like your time with losing your home to the hurricane you didn’t have that. I’m just going to throw in the tunnel attitude. You had the attitude of I’m going to. Make lemonade out of these lemons that I’ve been handed, right? You’re coming up with the best of a worst.
[00:31:33] Scott DeLuzio: The worst situation that you could really possibly imagine is losing everything in that your home, your, fortunately your family was safe. But you’re able to look at it as that half glass full type of person. And you really did make the best of this terrible situation.
[00:31:48] Scott DeLuzio: What other, I know you said you had some other stories, but what other things would you say have helped you to develop this half glass full kind of mindset and what has been the key to all the [00:32:00] successes that you’ve achieved, despite all of the hardships. Encountered,
[00:32:06] Tim Gallaudet: right.
[00:32:06] Tim Gallaudet: Well, interestingly, it goes back to this discussion of not being alone, not having to carry these burdens by yourself and, so veterans are in this situation and that was the message of your podcast with Tom Spooner about you don’t have. It’s alone, you can get help. And so for losing my home, for example we had it was actually remarkable after hurricane Katrina.
[00:32:28] Tim Gallaudet: It, most people don’t remember this very well because so much has happened since, but this was 2005, I believe, or six, I kind of get them all mixed up, but the whole country turned out. What happened is my wife evacuated and her family was there for her to give her a home for her and her, my daughter, she went to some warehouse in Baltimore where people had donated things and it was full of clothes and household appliances and use name it.
[00:32:56] Tim Gallaudet: And it was just, a hundred yards long of donations [00:33:00] for Katrina victims. And I remember everywhere I went, people were willing to lend a hand. I had. Good friends of mine offered me an apartment building for the remainder of my time down there. And then just back nonstop, people were just pouring out their hearts for Katrina victims as they were called.
[00:33:17] Tim Gallaudet: And you see America do this so often. So I think that’s the message is acknowledging that you don’t have to go through these life challenges alone. Let me share another one with you. This was what we talked about, but I think a lot of veterans and military families can identify with this.
[00:33:33] Tim Gallaudet: So when I’m just made Admiral I was getting ready to go down and I had two jobs. I wanted the Pentagon and I had one down on the Mississippi Gulf coast where I was before, when my house washed away. About 10 years earlier. And so my family was all going to move with me down to Mississippi because that was my primary job.
[00:33:52] Tim Gallaudet: That was where I was in command. And very shortly before that move I came home and she told me that our youngest [00:34:00] daughter, who we thought just had severe ADHD said that she wanted to kill herself. And so that kind of changes everything. When you have a child, who’s talking about that in school and long story short.
[00:34:14] Tim Gallaudet: She did not move. And we got her very high end treatment at Kennedy Krieger. And for 10 years of therapy and medicine she is just transformed to a really delightful, normal, well adjusted young girl, 13 year old now. At it changed our plans for me and command. So I wouldn’t have my whole family down there.
[00:34:36] Tim Gallaudet: And it’s a funny dynamic. The admiral, the general, they all expect that the whole team, the family to be there in command with you. And I couldn’t do that because of that situation. And of course, people second guess that and whatever. Ultimately, my wife did the right thing for our family, for our daughter.
[00:34:51] Tim Gallaudet: And the answer, long story short we had people, we had these wonderful medical, mental health professionals. We had our family behind us [00:35:00] and the Navy still allowing me to take command and just have those big job while my wife stayed back in the Washington DC area to look after her.
[00:35:08] Tim Gallaudet: So I think that answer your question. It was acknowledging that we could get help. Like I said, no matter your level, I was a one-star it’s like we needed help. And when your daughter or child expresses that you can’t do that alone. And by going out and finding help just like veterans should be doing when they faced challenges.
[00:35:25] Tim Gallaudet: That’s, that was a key to our resiliency and success.
[00:35:31] Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely getting help is. By far the best thing that you could do and reaching out to the professionals who can help with whatever the situation is that you’re going through. And I have said this before in other episodes, but I think it’s worth repeating.
[00:35:50] Scott DeLuzio: If you are driving around in your car and it starts making that funky noise, or you start seeing smoke coming out, right. You don’t just. Drive with [00:36:00] that funky noise going on and the smoke billowing out of the engine and everything. You don’t just keep driving with it. You go and take it to a mechanic and have him look at it and fix whatever is wrong with it.
[00:36:11] Scott DeLuzio: That is the normal same thing to do unless you happen to also be a mechanic and you had the tools and equipment and parts that you can do that yourself. Fine. Okay. You can maybe handle that, but most of us are not mechanics and we’re not going to be doing advanced diagnostics on our vehicles and stuff like that.
[00:36:30] Scott DeLuzio: So yeah, taking it in. Get it fixed is probably going to be the best option there and bringing it to a professional who knows what they’re doing. And no one would second guess that no one would be like, oh my gosh, you actually brought your car to a mechanic. What are you crazy like that? Why would you do something like that?
[00:36:49] Scott DeLuzio: Nobody would say. But it’s just the normal thing to do. So why is it any different for anything else, whether it’s your physical or your mental health or or that [00:37:00] of your family. So like in your case, getting your family taken care of and reaching out to those professionals, instead of just saying, oh, we’ll figure it out.
[00:37:08] Scott DeLuzio: In-house we’ll do it ourselves, between my wife and I, we can handle anything with us and we’ll just keep this out of Anyone else’s view. They don’t need to see what’s going on with us here. They don’t need to know what’s going on with that. So we’ll just deal with it because the story could have had a much different ending had you not gotten the right help and thank God, it didn’t have a different ending.
[00:37:30] Scott DeLuzio: It’s one of those things where if you. Couldn’t swallow your pride and look out to get help. It could have had a much different ending in getting help, no matter what it is, it doesn’t have to be a health-related thing, even in your career, reaching out to other people who can help you along in your career.
[00:37:51] Scott DeLuzio: And get the the wisdom and the knowledge of someone who’s maybe a two or three steps ahead of you in their career to help you out and move along. [00:38:00] There’s nothing wrong with that either. And as long as you’re helping other people out along the way you’re all helping each other move forward.
[00:38:07] Scott DeLuzio: I think that’s what it’s all about is really just figuring out ways to help each other. And. Rely on the support that is out there.
[00:38:17] Tim Gallaudet: Right, right, right on Scott. And there’s all these ways. Right. It could be, again, like extreme was my situation with very advanced mental health professionals, but it could just be getting a mentor or using these kind of.
[00:38:30] Tim Gallaudet: Peer support group services that circles provides. It’s just to make that step, to find someone and get connected. And that’s what seeing me through as is my wonderful and rich team of shipmates family members and colleagues like yourself right now.
[00:38:48] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Well, Tim, I know we’re running close on time here, so.
[00:38:52] Scott DeLuzio: I want to end this episode with you having the ability to just give one last kind of closing thought and things that [00:39:00] might help those listeners who are out there who are maybe struggling to get out there and ask for the help that they may be looking.
[00:39:09] Tim Gallaudet: Right.
[00:39:09] Tim Gallaudet: Well, thank you, Scott. I just think, well, one N one is keep listening to the drive on podcast. That’s my recommendation because you’re doing a great thing. You really are. And that’s what you’re encouraging. Everyone that’s listening to do is to get out there and continue to move forward. And it does whatever is that might be holding you back.
[00:39:28] Tim Gallaudet: There’s ways to get above it by again, engaging others and finding help if necessary and being, reaching your full potential. And I have seen, and it’s actually, as I got connected with this company circles, I just started serving this landscape. Folks like you veterans podcasts, and it’s actually incredibly rich.
[00:39:46] Tim Gallaudet: There’s a number of folks doing exactly what you’re doing, but maybe with different nuances and they’re all from every service. And so I just menu, it just connected with a Navy seal yesterday and another gentlemen who partners with the army. I think [00:40:00] veteran project refit is what it’s called.
[00:40:02] Tim Gallaudet: It’s just it’s a rich landscape. So I encourage all this nurse to just. People like Scott and drive on podcast are out there for you. Don’t be shy. Check them out and use them to your.
[00:40:15] Scott DeLuzio: Well, thanks for that. I really appreciate those closing words. And I appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and tell about your experiences the ups and downs that you’ve had throughout your life, your career, and all of the things that you have encountered.
[00:40:30] Scott DeLuzio: I really do appreciate you taking the time to come on to share it with the listeners, to hopefully help out the people who are listening, who maybe need to hear the message that you had to offer. So.
[00:40:42] Tim Gallaudet: Thank you, Scott. You’re doing a great thing. Keep it up.
[00:40:45] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website. driveonpodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at drive on [00:41:00] podcast. .
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