[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and now let’s get on with the show.
[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Hey everybody, welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today my guest is Dominic Teich. Dominic is a fighter pilot who started Single Seat Mindset to guide goal-oriented individuals towards success using techniques and strategies that fighter pilots use on a daily basis through planning, execution, and debriefing, and different things like that.
[00:00:45] Scott DeLuzio: So he’s here today to talk about how to overcome the transition back into civilian life and what he did to get back on his feet after his own transition coming coming back stateside after several deployments. So welcome to the show Dominic. Glad to have you here. [00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Dominic Teich: Thanks, Scott. Looking forward to it.
[00:01:02] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background.
[00:01:07] Dominic Teich: Yep. So I’m a dad, married, still to the same wife, so that’s been pretty cool and uncommon nowadays. So, so I hear, and I got four kids. I’m, I started out in the civilian world flying airplanes but then transitioned and got picked up to go through OT officer training school, and then went through all that training and I’ve been In the active side of flight training in the military Air Force for 16 plus years now.
[00:01:32] Dominic Teich: And I’m teaching currently in the F 16 schoolhouse here in Phoenix, Arizona.
[00:01:38] Scott DeLuzio: Cool. Yeah. And so, so that’s that’s actually kind of interesting how you started off on the civilian side and then got into the military basically doing the same thing that you were doing on the outside as far as you know, flying and ob obviously much d.
[00:01:52] Scott DeLuzio: Planes and everything that you’re flying, but but you’re kind of following that same kind of career path. How did you go about getting into the military? From there, How [00:02:00] did that come
[00:02:01] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so I had I had gotten the itch as a young kid through, you know, air shows and what have you, and I just loved airplanes.
[00:02:09] Dominic Teich: So at seven, my dad and I built an F four fighter jet on the kitchen table for my birthday. And then at 12 I found myself standing on the flight. You know, at a, in an it was on Alaska Airlines. My uncle worked there as a mechanic and he took me up to the flight deck as they were doing engine runs to test some of their work.
[00:02:26] Dominic Teich: And I just remember standing there going, Holy smokes. This is a freaking coolest seat in the house up here. And then I fast forward to, I was 16, I got, I signed up to go. Basically follow my uncle’s steps, who’s a goal war veteran, and then turn aircraft mechanic and he’s gone through some crazy veteran stuff too.
[00:02:44] Dominic Teich: But yeah, that kind of sparked that, that little flame that I needed. And I found myself signed up to be an aircraft mechanic and in that program, and there was a school counselor that handed me the last flyer at her desk for the flight school. And so my dad and I checked it out and [00:03:00] Yeah, I started taking flight lessons.
[00:03:01] Dominic Teich: I didn’t end up doing the mechanic track, and I just started chipping away and. 18. At 18, I was hired to be a flight instructor and so I just got to fly and teach people how to fly, like as I was finishing college. And then from there I started applying to airlines as well as officer Training school at the same time.
[00:03:20] Dominic Teich: And I got picked up by Sky West Airlines and I got picked up by Officer Training School at the same time. So, Kind of took the, obviously took the military route thinking that, you know, I probably won’t get that opportunity again, but I can always go fly for the airlines again. So a little bit different route.
[00:03:36] Dominic Teich: I would say that. Well, maybe not. There, there are a lot of Not a lot, but there are some civilian pilots that then transition to the military. That’s not super uncommon. I would say that most probably come from the Air Force Academy and ROTC kind of as their bread and butter and then officer Training School is.
[00:03:52] Dominic Teich: Is, the way they explained it to me was it’s like a faucet. If they need more pilots, they open the faucet up. If they don’t, they close the faucet. The biggest [00:04:00] benefit for those listening, if you have young whipper snappers that want to be pilots in the military officer training school or officer candidate school, if you’re going into the Marines or Navy do they call it OCS as well in the army?
[00:04:12] Dominic Teich: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, so OTs or ocs, which they’re basically the same thing. You go get your four year degree and then you join after you’re done with college. So you join as an officer with a four year degree and. Those commissioning sources are the only ones you can go through that guarantee on your paperwork when you sign up that you’re gonna go to pilot training.
[00:04:32] Dominic Teich: It doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be a pilot cuz you have to graduate. But ROTC and the Academy Services don’t, you don’t have any sort of guarantee. And that was very, I knew I wanted to be a pilot, so I wanted to give myself the best chance. The downside is that I had. At 19 years old, I had $70,000 in debt.
[00:04:51] Dominic Teich: So there’s the debt aspect but I didn’t wanna take any chances. I knew I wanted to fly airplanes, so I was willing to go all in on that. Well,
[00:04:59] Scott DeLuzio: it’s [00:05:00] actually part of the reason why I asked that question is because my son he’s nine right now, but for years he’s been obsessed with planes and flying and like anytime we’ve gone on a vacation, like he’s just.
[00:05:14] Scott DeLuzio: Talking nonstop, not about. Going to wherever it is that we’re going. It’s about we’re going to go on a plane. And he’s so obsessed with planes and flying and everything like that. Yeah. Yeah. He, we even, he even gets like the flight simulator things on the computer. Yeah. And he’s like flying the planes and everything and he’s telling me stuff that I’m like, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
[00:05:33] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. This is awesome seeing you. Yeah, I was the same way. Yeah. Hearing your story, I’m kind of, This sounds like my kid and like how he is so obsessed with flying and everything.
[00:05:43] Dominic Teich: That’s, it’s awesome. Well, if you really want to solidify that little route that is growing is just sign him up for 150 or $200 incentive flight in Cessna and go do a ride along with him.
[00:05:56] Dominic Teich: You know, sit in the back seat and have him at the controls and have a, [00:06:00] you know, a flight instructor or somebody take you up. . It does not take that much planning other than just coordinating with a local airfield. You know, you live here in Phoenix area, so like Goodyear Airfield, you could go there and do a little ride along and man I know that has, my kids got the bug early on too, cause I’ve taken up a few times.
[00:06:19] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. I’m definitely gonna check that out because I, I think that is something he would just be so, so happy with. Yeah. You know, even, we even just drive by the Air Force base that’s near us over here and you know, he just watches the planes taking off and landing and everything.
[00:06:33] Scott DeLuzio: He’s just, It on cloud nine. There no unintended there, but you know, he’s loving it, everything about it. So,
[00:06:39] Dominic Teich: so it’s funny is that you know, that you’ve found your passion and your purpose. Cuz I also watched the airplanes too, taking off and recovering. And I’ve been doing, I’ve been flying for like, almost 22 years now, so I had got the bug early on and it’s always been there.
[00:06:52] Dominic Teich: It’s just such a. Thing to do.
[00:06:54] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And yeah it’s a, it’s an awesome career path too. Once when you get into it and, you know, [00:07:00] obviously passing all the training and stuff like that, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Yeah, but it probably shouldn’t be either, because that’s Yeah.
[00:07:05] Scott DeLuzio: Kind of a pretty, pretty intense, dangerous thing to do. You wanna make sure you got the right people up there in the sky. So, so anyways, let’s talk about. Experience your transition after your deployments, you came back home your back state side still in the military obviously, but what was, what were those transitions like and what were, what was some of the challenges that you were facing?
[00:07:24] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so I think the. The pre-story or the before story is that, you know, I started flying when I was 16 and I started going to college and I was hitting it hard. I worked three civilian jobs. I restored a car. I was playing baseball through junior college. I was a civilian flight instructor.
[00:07:39] Dominic Teich: And then, you know, just getting after it. And then I then find myself in the Air Force pretty young. I didn’t have as many life experiences, but I had a lot more than a lot of the academy graduates. So, you know, there were some things that I needed to up my game on, but there was also some other things that I had brought to the [00:08:00] mix.
[00:08:00] Dominic Teich: But I say all of that because as I am in the Air Force, I’m, I find myself, you know, struggling just to be Struggling to learn some of those things that the, that, you know, most people maybe should have. But I didn’t. Right. So there was a lot of people that, you know, just knew that I was a hard worker and they were, they gave me a bunch of second chances and that’s, that helped me grow.
[00:08:18] Dominic Teich: And I think the important piece to that is that If you’re a family member and you know that somebody’s kind of joined, there’s a lot of like upfront stress and the learning curve is super steep for those young guys in the military. So just giving ’em a second chance and when you see you know, there were some things that I did if I go back, I probably would’ve, I probably would’ve done differently.
[00:08:37] Dominic Teich: But it helped me grow and some of it was painful. But there was a lot of people that just really patient with me and willing to, you know, walk that path with me. So I say that because I had been at like a full sprint since I was 16 years old. And then I find myself as you know, going through pilot training, which is, which was one of the most it was one of the toughest courses I’ve ever been to.
[00:08:56] Dominic Teich: I’m just a lot of upfront, even though I had civilian experience, which helped [00:09:00] me. There’s just a lot of military stuff that you have to learn. And so, you know, fast forward, I now am in a single seat fighter jet. You know, I’m on my second deployment, that second deployment. I have my, you know, my second kid is born, but I’m not there for it.
[00:09:14] Dominic Teich: The, you know, the first deployment we had been shelled 56 times, so I was kind of carrying that baggage with me and then, you know, just being defensive that really what I found out is that when you’re on the defense, when you’re unable to be the, you know, go on the offense, essentially, that is, that affected me a lot more than my second deployment where we were primary.
[00:09:35] Dominic Teich: Offensive at the base that we were at and, you know, flying fighter jets and doing stuff. Now all of it affected me in one way or another. But then you add just the nonstop of life getting married. Like quote unquote, doing it all right, like I have it all and then any new thing that comes in, I just add it to life.
[00:09:53] Dominic Teich: So I was that kind of guy, just was like, Let’s say yes to life. And pretty soon life gets really heavy and [00:10:00] I get back state side after a number of years and two deployments, and I think it was like over 30 temporary duty assignments just throughout the world, right? Like off of America’s shores and.
[00:10:11] Dominic Teich: I’m back here in the schoolhouse teaching young guys how to fly, you know, as an instructor and I’m loving it, but I had also started a real estate investing business and I started another business you know, buying and selling stuff and I eventually turned that one off cuz it was too much for the family.
[00:10:29] Dominic Teich: But we kept the real estate. And I’m saying all of this because I. All of that, all of my life experiences and just the way that I was wired as a very action oriented person I just kept piling stuff onto my plate. And even the bad stuff I call it like my little trash can off to the side. I had this trash can and I would throw the stuff I didn’t want on my plate and my trash can.
[00:10:48] Dominic Teich: I’d slam the lid. And, you know, years and years of suppressing that stuff. Some of it was subconscious. Some of it was conscious and then you throw in some some family issues. Not [00:11:00] between my wife and I, but just, you know, what would you call that? Extended family issues. So brothers, sisters, dads, moms, aunts, uncles, that kind of stuff.
[00:11:06] Dominic Teich: . And then one day somebody chucked a hand grenade in my trash can. And it, you know, I’m standing there at the step desk getting ready to step out to fly, and I’m the instructor and there’s students on this ride and there’s, I mean, this is not a day where I can be not on my game and not watching out and ready to go.
[00:11:23] Dominic Teich: And I just remember the pilot that was sitting at the desk, he’s like, All right, is everybody ready to fly? And I just looked at him and I was like, No. And that was like the first time in probably about 16 years of flying airplanes where I was just, eh, maybe it wasn’t that long. Maybe it was like 12, 13, 14 years.
[00:11:40] Dominic Teich: I’d have to go back and look. But I just remember saying, No, I’m not ready to fly. And I had never done that before. And that was just I was like, Well, what? Like, of course everybody’s just like, What the heck is wrong with you dude? Are you going crazy? And I’m like, Yeah, like I am, and I dunno what the hell is wrong, but I don’t like this.
[00:11:57] Dominic Teich: I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. And now granted, [00:12:00] they’re. I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was we were having some fam extended family issues and that was kind of the thing that made everything surface right? Cuz it was, we were finally back home finally back to what we thought was kind of normal and back around family.
[00:12:18] Dominic Teich: And then, you know, that added with. The stresses of deployment and being away and just a lifetime of suppressing all that stuff, I now found myself there just going, What in the heck is going on with my brain? So that’s the backstory to, you know, one day just kind of going, I don’t, I’m not right.
[00:12:37] Dominic Teich: And here’s the tricky part is that sometimes It can be male or female. I’d say that more predominantly it’s maybe a male trade, especially like a type A male trade. You find this a lot in police officers, firefighters any military dude in general, right? They’re like, No, I got this. I was trained to do this.
[00:12:57] Dominic Teich: I’m a machine. I got this under [00:13:00] control. But how do you train a person to have that introspection to go? I’m not. I’m not, I don’t know. I dunno what’s going on. And that takes. In my case, a complete gut punch and to just drop me to my knees. And unfortunately, I think that’s probably the case for a lot of us.
[00:13:17] Dominic Teich: I don’t know. You’ve you deal with this a lot more than I do, Scott, but maybe you can fill in a little bit on that. Yeah. I mean, it,
[00:13:22] Scott DeLuzio: it seems like, first off, just from kind of outsider looking in on the situation it, it seemed like you said no for the first time. Ever almost at that one point when they’re like, Is everyone ready to fly?
[00:13:37] Scott DeLuzio: And you’re like, No, but you know, you had all this other stuff going on in your life. You had several businesses, you had in addition to your job as an instructor. Yeah. And flying and everything else that you’re doing. Plus add on family issues. You know, we all have family issues of. To some degree.
[00:13:53] Scott DeLuzio: Sure. You know, we may not have them right now, but eventually there’s going to be things that happen with your [00:14:00] family, you know, there’s going to be deaths in the family. There’s going to be family drama. There’s stuff will happen over time. Right. But it seemed like all of that stuff in your situation was kind of all just happening at once, pretty much all in the same time period.
[00:14:14] Scott DeLuzio: Or if not exactly at that same time period, it just was building. To a point where you were like, Okay, this is enough. Like I, I can’t do it like this anymore. Right. That, that just,
[00:14:27] Dominic Teich: Well, so I, now that I think of that, I think more, more likely is that I had always been at a full sprint saying yes to everything.
[00:14:37] Dominic Teich: Yeah. That I had never really kind of started to jog and I had hit a point in my life where, My school debt was paid off. I had a business that was making money. I started to jog a little bit, right? And started to like go, Well, what does it mean to like be a dad and to be present and to do all this stuff, and to how do I slow down?
[00:14:58] Dominic Teich: And as soon as I did that’s where [00:15:00] some of this stuff started to come to the fore. And then, like I said, I think that the kicker was, is that I had never slowed down and never given myself that chance to slow down. I had always. Just been onto the next thing, right? Which I think that is a, it’s a good character trait as long as you’re not a workaholic.
[00:15:16] Dominic Teich: But I had become a workaholic. I was, You know, 12 to 16 hour work days were just, that’s just what I, what people did. In my mind, that’s what I did and that’s what I thought that everybody did. But man, was I wrong like that? That’s not a sustainable lifestyle to be doing that for so many years. And then add on a business and add on the stress of, you know, a property under renovation and money going out and like managing all these different things.
[00:15:41] Dominic Teich: And then, Like to forget too about the wife and the kids and just home life and everything. Right. Which right. It’s tough. So I think it was not necessarily like it, yes, it all kind of hit me at once. There were some you know, triggers. Not like the triggers nowadays where somebody’s hair is out of style or whatever [00:16:00] and it triggers you like no, like an actual real trigger.
[00:16:03] Dominic Teich: Not these like, wrap yourself up in a little ball and go to your safe space. Triggers that a lot of. I call them soft millennials have nowadays. But there was a lot of that, right? So it was just, I had never slowed down. And so I think that if I was listening to this and I knew somebody that had never slowed down there, there are some things that like you just, you can.
[00:16:22] Dominic Teich: A lot of times if you’re telling that person to slow down and stop, it’s gonna make ’em wanna run harder. Cause I Right. I’m a reverse psychology kind of guy. Like if you’re, especially if you tell me that my business is gonna fail, it will succeed. Just to prove you wrong. Right. I had my flight commander in officer training school.
[00:16:38] Dominic Teich: Was he washed out, so he failed out of pilot training. And he was this disgruntled, chubby little dude that was mad at life and he did not gimme a good review. Now granted, I had some learning to do in officer training, and I did not, I mean, I wasn’t like the superstar of the class or anything.
[00:16:54] Dominic Teich: But he told me that I probably would not make it through flight training. And so, to prove him wrong, while I was like, he [00:17:00] didn’t know that I had already civilian flight instruction. I took most of the awards and I was the distinguished graduate out of my pilot training class more or less just to prove him wrong.
[00:17:07] Dominic Teich: Right, Right. Just to not give any chance of that being true. And so like those types of people the type A peak performers that are just sprinting at life That’s a tough nut to crack. We can talk about how my support group as well as specifically my wife, some of the things that she did that really helped me during that time.
[00:17:29] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, for sure. And I, I definitely want to get to that aspect of things too, but the visual that popped in my head when you were talking about all these things that you had going on and basically not saying no to anything and just wanting to do more and go harder and harder on all of these things.
[00:17:45] Scott DeLuzio: The visual is you ever see those people who are spinning plates on like a pole and they got the plates spinning and you know, getting one of those to spin is pretty hard. But then once you get the, once when it’s going, it’s kind of self-sustaining it and it goes, yeah, but then you get the second [00:18:00] one and the third and fourth and you.
[00:18:02] Scott DeLuzio: 10, 15, 20 of these plates going and you’re running around trying to make sure that they’re all continuing to spin. Yeah. And that’s a visual that I had is like, this is who this was. It was this person who’s running around like crazy trying to make sure all the plates stay up and none of ’em come crashing down.
[00:18:16] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. But eventually you’re gonna get tired. You’re gonna get burnt out. Something’s gotta give. And it could either be the family life, it could be the businesses, it could be your military career, it could be any number of things that you had going on, any one of those plates, if you will, that you had spinning, could come crashing down.
[00:18:38] Scott DeLuzio: And you know, fortunately, It wasn’t it wasn’t to that extent, you know, where you had 20 actual plates spinning around and you’re literally running around trying to do all of that. But it was a you know, probably a situation where you, you felt like you just had to keep going because if you didn’t keep going.
[00:18:58] Scott DeLuzio: Something’s gonna just come [00:19:00] crashing down. And that’s not the type of place that you want to be in, especially in a you know, kind of high stress environment that you might have been working in as an instructor, as a pilot and that type of thing. You don’t want that level of intensity going on all the time, you know?
[00:19:14] Dominic Teich: Yeah. The, I mean, the lesson of that story is if you’re gonna have plate spin and. Higher plate spinners. And so that’s what I started to do after I like started, you know, and we can get a little bit more into this, but as I started, you know, pulling myself back up by my bootstraps I started for my business side of the house, I started putting people in to the positions that, you know, I needed to pay to do that because it was too much.
[00:19:36] Dominic Teich: Right. Right. And then you, I think it was in your book, right? So the. The one you sent me by the way. Thank you. Surviving sun. Right? So it’s, yeah, I don’t remember. It was maybe about halfway through. I think you had come back from a deployment and then you were dealing with some life stuff. But as that happens it’s just, you’re still in the mix.
[00:19:54] Dominic Teich: Right. And you’re you don’t have time to like process your own life. Yeah. And that’s kind of what was happening [00:20:00] to me is I was just, I was on a hamster wheel, just full sprint and you know, Yeah. Plates are spinning outta control and and then one comes crashing down and then you add a couple more things in there, which is life in general.
[00:20:14] Dominic Teich: Yep. And, you know, it just gets to be a little bit too much. For sure.
[00:20:18] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So, so let’s go back a little bit and you started mentioning, you know, about how you kind of got back on your feet and how Sure you know, your wife and, you know, people in your life helped you out and got you through the situation.
[00:20:31] Dominic Teich: Yeah. So I think the thing that really helped me was not necessarily, it was So I’m a Catholic Christian. I wa I was a very poor Christian back then, but about two years ago. As of this recording, I had like, I don’t know, you call it a reversion to Christianity type of thing. So, that was definitely missing in my life.
[00:20:49] Dominic Teich: For sure. It was something that was I believed in God and I believed in all that stuff, but I didn’t think it was like necessary. Right. But there’s a lot of you know, and I think that’s a very commonly accepted worldview [00:21:00] nowadays is, you know, I don’t know if like, so outside of atheist, like a lot of people are like, Yeah, I believe in God, but I don’t think he’s necessary for my life, type of thing.
[00:21:07] Dominic Teich: So once, sure. That really helped about two years ago, but prior, way prior to that, as I’m starting to pull myself back up thank God my wife, what she’s not one to nag. She you know, she always had her faith in the background and she was, you know, I would say whether I know it or not, she was praying for me and there was a lot of other things going on in the background that, you know, at that point were helping.
[00:21:33] Dominic Teich: Like I said, I did have a kind of a a humiliating, I guess cuz I was such a, I’ve gotta, I’ve gotta keep it together type of guy. But the thing that helped me was when I said I’m not okay, that was what helped me. Now granted, you can’t get. To say that they have to say it on their own. So that’s the tricky part.
[00:21:52] Dominic Teich: But then once that happens, there were a lot of people that, you know, when I said, Hey, I need some help. There were a lot of people outside of [00:22:00] the VA even right. That were a lot of help. And there’s so many different programs now that are run by private organizations that are just absolutely fantastic.
[00:22:08] Dominic Teich: And I’m not gonna plug any specific one, but like, that’s when a lot of that stuff started coming out. And then, you know, there were the military chaplains, you know, they just really sat down and just were like willing to listen, right? And that’s what they get paid to do. But that really helped me get back on my feet and just to like talk through.
[00:22:25] Dominic Teich: You know what the heck is going on in my mind as well as, hey, this is how I’m, this is my past. And like, just rambling on for months and months. Right. What the heck, you know, trying to like make some sense of it. And then, you know, there were two, two chaplains that I remember specifically.
[00:22:41] Dominic Teich: And again, this is when I was you know, I was Christian in name. Mostly because the other stuff that I had tried out didn’t work. So I at least knew that Christianity was like there was something to it. But a lot of these chaplains had a Christian background, so they were bringing in. Biblical references and they were bringing in stuff that I had never [00:23:00] really delved into cause I hadn’t given myself the time to do that.
[00:23:03] Dominic Teich: So the people off to the side, right, that weren’t directly listening to me, like fall apart in counseling and that kind of stuff. My wife specifically was not nagging me. She was just, she was there. She just, you know, knew that I was going through stuff. She just was there, you know, And it took a long time.
[00:23:22] Dominic Teich: It took a long freaking time to get back on my feet. Now granted, life was still trucking along. I was still doing something. I didn’t have this victim mindset where I’m just gonna lay down and die. I’m a fighter, I’m an action taker. So I was doing things, but I still, it, I mean, probably for the first six months I was just kind of in, I was in a bad place.
[00:23:41] Dominic Teich: And by, you know, probably by the end of year one, I started to see some of the things come together. I wasn’t going to counseling as much anymore, but I did realize that was super helpful. And then, you know, in that second year, I went to a, I went to some counseling with my wife, which [00:24:00] also was like painful because it was now that person being pulled into it.
[00:24:05] Dominic Teich: So just fighting through that in the second year. And then by the third year, like I started to kind of catch my breath. And I’m saying that not to dissuade anybody, but just to kind of give a, you know, a general idea of like this brain stuff, right? When you start to, to lose it a little bit and the screws get loose and the machine starts coming apart, especially if it was a.
[00:24:25] Dominic Teich: You know, a high performance jet engine, you get some bolts loose, like fan blades start shredding apart and like it, the whole thing blows up. So I think that the lessons that I learned from all of that was like you know, it’s okay to go, Hey, I don’t feel quite right. And then to, you know, Meet with somebody and just talking it out, like especially the personal, like darker stuff in your life, like that was definitely tough to work through.
[00:24:48] Dominic Teich: But then also realizing that it does take time. It’s not gonna happen overnight, especially if you’re like me. I’m pretty impatient and I just wanted to like, I wanted to fix it and move on, and it doesn’t work that way. Yeah. And it,
[00:24:58] Scott DeLuzio: and it’s hard to slow down [00:25:00] to talk about the issues that you’re going through when you’re worried.
[00:25:03] Scott DeLuzio: Keeping all those plates spinning and everything else that you have going on in your life. And it’s like, well, I, yeah I want to talk about this, but I gotta go do that other thing too. And, you know, you got all this other stuff. So it, you kind of have to force yourself to just like slow down and and take things one step at a time to, to get your head right, to go through the process to.
[00:25:28] Scott DeLuzio: Get through whatever it is that you’re dealing with. And it’s hard sometimes too, especially like when you’re saying that you brought your wife into you know, some of the counseling and stuff like that where it’s like you, you don’t wanna necessarily drag those people into all of the crap you’re going through.
[00:25:45] Scott DeLuzio: But at the same time you know, I know if your wife is anything like mine, She was there for me a hundred percent. And she was just kind of the same way that you described. Like she wasn’t nagging me. Oh, you need to go get help. You need to go do this, you need to do that, whatever. She [00:26:00] was there for me to support me in whatever way she could.
[00:26:02] Scott DeLuzio: And if that meant that she needed to go and sit in In office and listen to me vent about whatever it is that I’m going through, she would’ve done it happily, and she would’ve been there for me no matter what. And it wasn’t like I was burdening her with this. It was, she wanted what was best for me.
[00:26:19] Scott DeLuzio: And that’s what she would’ve done, you know, for me. And I’m sure that’s the same thing with your wife and you know, I, I. I, I can’t obviously speak for everybody, but you know, I know that there’s other people out there who probably feel like, Oh, I don’t want to drag so and so into this.
[00:26:32] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Well, it’s not dragging them into it. It’s them being there to support you and help you through whatever it is that you’re going through.
[00:26:40] Dominic Teich: Yeah, I mean, I agree with you that you and I are super fortunate to have the women that we’re married to in our lives, cuz my wife does share that same personality or characteristic trait to just sit there and listen.
[00:26:51] Dominic Teich: . to not fix, just to like listen. Right? I don’t have that same skill. I’m getting better at it. Cuz I’m a fixer. I wanna like take action like, [00:27:00] I don’t like it when just people sit around moaning and complaining, and sometimes that’s how I view those situations. So I
[00:27:06] Scott DeLuzio: think that’s a guy thing in general.
[00:27:08] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Cause I don’t know that I’ve talked to any guy who is like, Oh, you know what, let’s just sit and listen. You know? That’s like, that’s a muscle that needs to be trained
[00:27:14] Dominic Teich: In a lot of guys. And you can learn it. I’ve I’m not, by no means am I good at it, but like I’ve gotten better.
[00:27:19] Dominic Teich: Yeah. But I would also think that, Some, something that is of value that has really helped me is my Christian men’s group. Because sometimes life is super heavy and the person that you’re trying to, you know, the couple’s life is already such a important thing, especially in our society where it’s not valued that highly.
[00:27:37] Dominic Teich: And family life and your wife and your kids, like those are important things. And bringing that extra luggage, weight baggage into that relationship could cause your relationship to fall apart. So that would be the only caution that I have with that, which is why for the first at least year, I wanted to kind of get my own crap in order.
[00:27:55] Dominic Teich: And then from there, I could then go, Okay, so how have I not been nailing [00:28:00] it as a husband for so many years? And then going through that pain. And I knew it was gonna be a painful thing because if there’s gonna be any problems in our relationship or in our marriage, it’s me. Cause I’m gonna say something, I’m, I don’t like pop off or anything.
[00:28:11] Dominic Teich: We don’t yell at each other. But like, you know, I’m just a go getter. Right? And that tends to, there’s not a lot of people are not wired like and that tends to create some hurt feelings at times with the way I go about things. But I’m, again, I’m getting better with that. Sure it is heavy sometimes.
[00:28:24] Dominic Teich: So, you know, whether that’s the military chaplain that’s there’s military counselors, so even if you are, you know, you don’t wanna make it about religion or whatever, there’s other people that have those skills and that are just readily available. You know, you. Your church group or a men’s group or something like your dudes that are around you that you know, that you can vent to.
[00:28:44] Dominic Teich: Man, that, that has been some, One of the biggest helps for me in my life is to just like, if I have something that’s heavy on my heart, taking that into the men’s group and be like, Dudes, I freaking can’t stand. What is happening right now? Like, what do we do with this issue? [00:29:00] And then another one.
[00:29:02] Dominic Teich: Probably 90 plus percent of the times one of the guys in the unit or in the group will say, Yeah dude, I’m going through the same thing. Or you know, cuz there’s in, in my group specifically, there’s some military guys, there’s a police officer, there’s other fire pilots, there’s, and then there’s just regular old dudes that are civilians that have never been in the military and they just.
[00:29:22] Dominic Teich: Bring a different perspective, you know, And that then I don’t have to bring that luggage into my marriage. I can share it elsewhere. I can kind of get it figured out, and then if I want to, I can talk about it with my wife. But that’s not something that she, I don’t, she doesn’t need to burden or I don’t need to burden her with that.
[00:29:37] Dominic Teich: Well,
[00:29:38] Scott DeLuzio: and after you’ve talked to someone about it too, sometimes, especially someone else has gone through something very similar, like you were saying in your groups, that you guys talk about things, and a lot of times you’ll probably figure out what’s going on and you. You know, not all the time will you figure out Yeah, right, right then and there.
[00:29:54] Scott DeLuzio: But you may be able to think about things a little bit more clearly after you’ve heard someone else’s [00:30:00] point of view and their perspective, and you get to, to think about it a little bit more. And that way it’s not you going to your wife and just dropping this bomb on her. Yeah. And saying, I got this terrible situation going on right now, and I’m just, I don’t know what to do about it and all this stuff.
[00:30:14] Scott DeLuzio: Not to say that you wanna necessarily hide things from your spouse either, but Sure. You know, after you’ve had the opportunity to talk about it with somebody think about it in a clear levelheaded kinda way. Then if you do decide that you want to talk about it with your spouse, then you can go to her and say, Hey I was talking to the guys in the group about XYZ topic, whatever it was, and.
[00:30:36] Scott DeLuzio: This is what we kind of came up with and, you know, what do you think about this? And that kind of thing. And that way it’s not like, like, she needs to be worried about you and all that kinda stuff. So you’re not burdening her in that sense from my perspective anyways you know, I don’t obviously wanna you know, Put my thoughts into your own situation but to me it doesn’t seem like it would be as much of a burden if it’s something that’s already been kind of discussed.
[00:30:57] Scott DeLuzio: Like, I know in my personal experience [00:31:00] I’ve gone to therapy through the VA and things like that. And after a session, after I’ve talked about whatever it was that we’re talking about I’ll talk to my wife and be like, Yeah, this is what we talked about and this is kind of. The the thought process that went into it and what you know, solution might exist for whatever this problem is.
[00:31:16] Scott DeLuzio: And then she’s like, Oh, okay. You know, that’s cool. Thanks for letting me know and all that kind of stuff. So, so it’s not like I’m going to her like, Hey, you need to drop everything I need help with this kind of thing. You know? Yeah. So this is a little bit of a difference there but
[00:31:29] Dominic Teich: yeah.
[00:31:29] Dominic Teich: Yeah. And I think you bring up a good point is that every couple’s gonna be different, every couple. You know, newer in the relationship or older or more experienced or gone through different things, right? And then sometimes life just deals you that curve ball that hits you right in the side of the knee and just drops you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
[00:31:45] Dominic Teich: But figuring out that communication piece is super important. And at least what works and in my relationship, and probably not for all is going, hey, I’m going through this stuff right now and this is what I am doing and this is kind of the, this is the pattern and [00:32:00] this is kind of how long I think it will take to, to move through this.
[00:32:04] Dominic Teich: You know, I appreciate your support. Here are some things that I can share with you. Here are some things that I’m working through that, like I want to kind of get my arms around before I start bringing that in. And that was tough for me to do because I was always the, I got under control guy, right?
[00:32:17] Dominic Teich: Like I, I got this. And then being able to say, You know what? I don’t got this right now. I do need a coach. I need somebody to counsel me and to like help me out with this and I love you. And because I love you, I’m gonna go unload on that person. Cuz if I’m coming home every day dropping a freaking a bomb in the house.
[00:32:35] Dominic Teich: And all these F bombs, right? Like, that’s not helpful. So let me get my A and f bomb squared away and then I can come home and just be here for you and be present. And, but just realize, you know, and I do this in business too, so that helped me in my business, that helped me in my professional life.
[00:32:51] Dominic Teich: That helped me as a dad to just sit down and go, Hey, this is coming up. It’s out of the. And here are some of the things that I’m gonna expect, [00:33:00] but here’s the end date. This isn’t forever. So hey, let’s row in the same direction. It’s be a little uncomfortable for a little while, and then it’ll be over and we’ll go back to more of a, okay, like an even keel type life.
[00:33:12] Dominic Teich: But there are gonna be those ups and downs and just communicating that and being on the same page as much as you. Was helpful. Yeah,
[00:33:18] Scott DeLuzio: communication is huge. I think in any relationship whether it’s your spouse or even in the military, communication’s huge. You know, if you’re not communicating with people, then you’re not you’re not getting the right information at the right time and things go sideways that way.
[00:33:31] Scott DeLuzio: But you know, I think. The best part about the communication, especially in a relationship with like a like a husband, wife kind of relationship, is that you you then have somebody who can act as an accountability partner there. Where if you’re like, Okay I’m working towards this goal.
[00:33:46] Scott DeLuzio: I know there’s an issue and I’m doing XYZ steps to get to this end result. They can be there. Not to nag you to do that but just, you know, just as a reminder, it’s like, hey, you know, do you think that’s really gonna help this situation? You know, and kind of help [00:34:00] you out in that way too.
[00:34:00] Scott DeLuzio: That’s you know, definitely a benefit that’s there. And again, it’s not the right thing for every couple, every relationship, but you know, it could be yeah but even if it’s not, You were talking before about these other groups that might be available Yeah. Through church or other organizations that you might be a part of where you can chat with those people and they can be the accountability partner, you know?
[00:34:23] Scott DeLuzio: But Yeah, but again, I mean, there’s, it all revolves around communication, right?
[00:34:27] Dominic Teich: Yeah. I mean, there’s so many resources. My, like the Gulf War. Veteran uncle that I was telling you about that is now working for Alaska Airlines. I met up with him for lunch, I don’t know, maybe three or four weeks ago and he sent me a link to a Facebook group that was Goal war veterans only type of thing.
[00:34:43] Dominic Teich: . And so there’s, I mean, whether that’s on Facebook or social media, whatever, where you just get on there and just vent, Right. And then go, Hey, like you and I, we live in the same neck of the woods. I didn’t even know this. Right. Like the internet connected us and it’s like, Hey, you live right up the street for me.
[00:34:57] Dominic Teich: Right. And this in a small world. So there’s and that [00:35:00] wasn’t a connection that we made through church or through the military, is through the internet, just, you know, randomly. So, there are so many different outlets and things that you can do. And then just kind of understanding too, I think the thing that I learned is I tended to.
[00:35:13] Dominic Teich: Compare my situation with other people, and I guess the lesson I learned there was it is all right to be in your own foxhole, taken grenades, and that’s how you process your own life. You don’t have to go, Well, Jeff is in a huge graveyard and there’s like a tractor dumping dirt on him, and I’m over here in my trench taking grenades.
[00:35:35] Dominic Teich: It’s like, Well, no, don’t compare people. It’s okay to just go through your own crap. And get yourself back on your feet so you can just have a crappy day. Yeah. And oh, by the way, like sometimes. Coming home instead of just being like, I had the worst day of my life. Right? Like if, Well, if you tell that to your wife every single day, that’s not gonna work out, right?
[00:35:54] Dominic Teich: At some point we need to start seeing some things. But what I would say is something like, you know, I had a really rough day. [00:36:00] I just, I had a rough day. I don’t, and a lot of times I didn’t know what it was. Scott, like those subconscious triggers that you just, something happens, maybe somebody does something, slams the door, what have you?
[00:36:11] Dominic Teich: It happens during the day and it just triggers you into this like bad mode. And it’s, yeah, it’s kind of just identifying those and realizing that takes time, but then you get home and you’re just like, I had kind of a crummy day and I don’t feel good right now, and I’ve, And. But that doesn’t mean that I need to be an asshole to everybody that I live with.
[00:36:31] Dominic Teich: Right, Right. So just, but vocalizing that and just being like, Hey I’m having a rough day. You know? And that goes a long way, even if you don’t wanna talk about it, just to be like, you know, that’s okay. You can have your own crap. You can be, you know, just in the trenches, taken grenades that day, and sometimes you do, and then crawl out of it and run over to another area that you’re not getting shot.
[00:36:53] Scott DeLuzio: Right, Exactly. And it’s, so again, it’s, it reiterating what you just said. It’s okay to have a bad day. We all have bad [00:37:00] days every now and again. Some days we have great days, Some days we have terrible days. Like they there, there’s, you wouldn’t be living life if it was all just kind of static.
[00:37:08] Scott DeLuzio: Like everything like that wouldn’t be like experiencing life in general. , but you’re right. We all have. Bad days, and some people’s bad days are worse than others when you look at things. But at the end of the day someone who drowns in 12 feet of water versus someone who drowns in a foot of water, they both still drowned.
[00:37:30] Scott DeLuzio: It doesn’t matter. They both had a bad day. Like, we don’t need to compare. It’s like, Oh, well that person drawn worse than the other one. Like it doesn’t it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it’s, they both had the same end result a bad day. And so it’s it doesn’t. Do any good to compare one person’s bad day versus another person’s bad day.
[00:37:49] Scott DeLuzio: It doesn’t do any good there. So, you know, just look at it as, okay, well yeah, we had a crappy day and let’s try to move on and [00:38:00] do what we can to improve tomorrow. So that way tomorrow is not a crappy day too, you know?
[00:38:05] Dominic Teich: Yeah. And you kind of said something that like, I don’t know how much more time we have, but like, The, I know that there’s probably a lot of people going, Well, well, how what do I do and how do I do that?
[00:38:14] Dominic Teich: The action takers, right, That are like, Sure, I want to get back on my horse. I know something wasn’t correct, but like, as I started going through counseling and doing things, every person is different. But you’ll start to do things and you’ll start to see that some things help you more than others.
[00:38:27] Dominic Teich: And for me it was choosing to go to bed early. That was one of my biggest. Helps because then I could wake up refreshed and if I chose to go to bed early, I wasn’t like an alcoholic. That’s what every alcoholic says, right? I wasn’t an alcoholic. But in all seriousness, like, Then you don’t stay up and binge watch Netflix and you don’t have, you know, a couple extra beers and you don’t, you know what I’m saying?
[00:38:52] Dominic Teich: So like, not only do you get better sleep you wake up refreshed. I was waking up earlier and when I woke up earlier, I had quiet time in the morning [00:39:00] so I could like get my thoughts straight and just sit still for a freaking moment. God forbid you just sit still and like process what’s like happening right around you.
[00:39:09] Dominic Teich: So going to bed early and then. Not even necessarily like waking up early, but you’re gonna wake up refreshed and then getting some of that time in the morning to yourself and call it selfish, call it whatever you want. It’s necessary, and that helps you with your intentionality throughout the week. That allows you, if you want to pray, you can do that.
[00:39:29] Dominic Teich: You can sit in silence, you can. , you know, meditate, you can stretch. And I was doing all of those things right? And I found that just going to bed early, that I could make that decision. I could make the decision stay up later to drink, to have a couple extra drinks, to do whatever, or I could just go, Hey, you know what, I’m gonna go to bed at this time and we’ll get the kids to bed and then we’ll go to bed.
[00:39:50] Dominic Teich: And that started this whole, Now granted there were other things that I did before that, counseling and everything. But tho those were like the simple little things, like one step at a time, Okay, I’m gonna just get more [00:40:00] sleep like, And when you get more sleep, you’re more rested and you’re more ready to tackle the challenges for the next day.
[00:40:06] Dominic Teich: And maybe you know, You know, if you’re one that likes to just go crazy and party on the weekend, then you’re not having the headaches and the hangovers and all that stuff as you’re going into Monday, when Monday is a normally a bad day, right? Like, and you’re just trying to like get back on the horse.
[00:40:20] Dominic Teich: So those were like, my small action steps was go to bed early, wake up refreshed, and that started, you know, I started working out more stretching, meditation, you know, eventually prayer like, and then just having. Some intentionality throughout my week so that everything didn’t seem like a complete explosion in my face, like, so to speak, every single day.
[00:40:45] Dominic Teich: Yeah.
[00:40:46] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I think that going to bed early or at least having a kind of a standard time that you try to go to bed, you know? Yeah, of course life happens and you’re not gonna be able to hit that mark every single night. But if you have all these wild [00:41:00] fluctuations, like, you know, you gotta wake up early in the morning for work Monday through Friday.
[00:41:04] Scott DeLuzio: So, okay, we’re gonna go to bed early you know, Sunday night through you know, whatever, through the week and everything you. You’re gonna do that. But then the weekend, like you’re saying, you might be, you might wanna go out and party. You stay out till two, two o’clock in the morning or whatever it is, and you’re gonna be tired the next day.
[00:41:18] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Saturday morning you’re gonna be tired. Sunday morning you’re gonna be tired, and then come Monday, your body’s starting to get used to that. Staying up till two o’clock in the morning. You’re not gonna be able to get to bed at the time that you want to. And then Monday’s gonna suck like it does for so many people.
[00:41:34] Scott DeLuzio: They’re like, Oh, I can’t believe it’s Monday. Monday sucks, blah, blah blah. Yeah. Whatever. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yeah. If you keep a consistent schedule and try to just stick to that your Mondays will actually probably get a little bit better and Yeah. And it won’t be quite so, so bad. So, but let’s talk about your books.
[00:41:51] Scott DeLuzio: You sent me a few copies as well. You got Single Seat Wisdom single Seat Gratitude, and you sent the single. Scratch pad as well. And I got these [00:42:00] here. For anyone who’s watching on YouTube, I’m showing ’em up to the camera now. But tell us a little bit about these books that you have and you know, what they’re all about.
[00:42:09] Dominic Teich: Yep. So single seat the single seat series essentially is where single seat fighter pilot. So that’s kind of where that came from is it’s a different perspective that a lot of people don’t get to have. But we’ve essentially leveraged that into some of my business stuff the books that you’re holding onto.
[00:42:24] Dominic Teich: Our ones that we started with Single Seat Mindset, that company, but I also wrote a book for my real estate investing company called Single Seat Investors. So that started first. And like I was talking about earlier, typically stuff happens in like one step at a time. So like go to bed early, right?
[00:42:40] Dominic Teich: That’s step one. Wake up at a decent time refreshed, right? Like step number two. So that’s what I was doing after kind of getting back on my feet is I started to experience some small wins every single day. And those added up over time. And, you know, single seat investor was the first one. And then the two Scratch [00:43:00] pad and gratitude.
[00:43:00] Dominic Teich: Those are just low content books. One’s a scratch pad, it fits in a flight suit. It’s a soft cover little book you can take notes in. And I found that just writing stuff down helped me get my thoughts on paper. And then gratitude was huge too. At the end of the day. Hey, what am I grateful for?
[00:43:14] Dominic Teich: Just reminding myself of that. And that’s just a little book of quotes and some inspirational stuff. And then Single Seat Wisdom, that series of books. You know, volume one and two at this point. They’re in each one of those books, there’s 20 stories from fighter pilots. And they’re just sharing their perspective on life with a short, little like sound bite of wisdom at the end.
[00:43:37] Dominic Teich: And they’re all the chapters are written by a different author. I just compile them all and get ’em to publishing and all those authors actually contribute to the children’s cancer nonprofit as well to be a part of this project. So it’s kind of, A double whammy for them. I’m asking them to do work and give money to a cancer foundation.
[00:43:53] Dominic Teich: And so far we have 40 people that have taken the plunge on that. So we have right now 40 fighter pilots. [00:44:00] And I just had, I was talking to a retired F four fighter pilot the other day, and he actually committed to the first chapter in volume three. So the single seat wisdom series of books is just, it’s just a different perspective from fighter pilots that isn.
[00:44:15] Dominic Teich: Aviation related. Sometimes it is, but a lot of times, one of the chapters is written by a guy that had his wife die from cancer. And you know, it’s just his perspective on that, on, hey, if you’re going through stuff in life, just realize that somebody always is going through something worse.
[00:44:29] Dominic Teich: Not to compare it to them, but just realize you can get back on your feet. So I’d say right now we do have a bunch of other books that we’re in the process of writing. One of my favorite ones that I’m looking forward to is called Single Seat Mindset, which is our company name. But that’s for the, like the eight year old, the 18 year old age group.
[00:44:48] Dominic Teich: Right. And it’s kind of a, Hey, if you want to go somewhere in life and you’re an action taker like I was at that age, what are some of the things that can set you up for that? Like, if you could have a 1, 2, 3, what does that look like? So [00:45:00] we’re in the middle of writing that, but I’d say single seat wisdom.
[00:45:03] Dominic Teich: Those books are the most impactful right now, and they’re a series too, so they’re, you know, each year we’re gonna try to crank one more of those out around Veteran’s Day.
[00:45:13] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And so, this episode’s coming out a little bit after Veteran’s Day. I know we’re recording it a few weeks beforehand, but you know, so we’re, we have the single steep wisdom of volume one is out already.
[00:45:23] Scott DeLuzio: Next one should be coming out shortly. Probably by the time this episode is released should be available. Where can people go to get a copy of these books?
[00:45:31] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so we’ve consolidated everything into one [email protected]. That’s the, we’ll call it the launchpad. You can go there.
[00:45:39] Dominic Teich: We have other resources that are free. Obviously the books you know, there for sale through our links and on Amazon and stuff like that. But we give all of the proceeds to a children’s cancer nonprofit. So you get to learn from , a different perspective of fighter pilots, but then know that the money is going to.
[00:45:57] Dominic Teich: A worthwhile cause. So [00:46:00] singleseatmindset.com. And if your listeners have listened up to this point, I don’t do this on every podcast, but singleseatmindset.com/podcastgift. The first three people that go there and sign up, I’ll send them a signed copy of Single Seat Wisdom for free. There’s no strings attached.
[00:46:17] Dominic Teich: Yeah, so singleseatmindset.com/podcastgift. It’s all one word, all lowercase.
[00:46:24] Scott DeLuzio: Awesome. Yeah. And so I’ll put that link in the show notes. So, if you’ve listened to this far through the episode definitely go check it out. Free book, no strings attach. And you know, like you said the money if you do end up buying buying the book, the money goes to support children’s cancer charities.
[00:46:40] Scott DeLuzio: And that is just a. Awesome thing to be supporting anyway. So, not only will you get the wisdom from 20 plus fighter pilots, depending on how many copies of the book you end up getting. Not only you getting that wisdom, but you’re also helping out other people who are going through their own difficult times in their life.
[00:46:58] Scott DeLuzio: And so, you know, you can feel good about that as [00:47:00] well as you go about getting the copies of these books. So, thank you for sharing all of this wisdom, if you will, with me and the audience. Really happy to have you on. And anything else that you wanna add before we, we close out?
[00:47:13] Dominic Teich: No, thanks for having me on your show, Scott. I’m looking forward to finishing the copy of the book that you sent me, Surviving son. I’ll be honest, I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m, well, well, the way through it.
[00:47:24] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. No I appreciate that. And yeah looking forward to hearing more about, you know, what you have going on in the future because I know these books coming out there, there’s always.
[00:47:33] Scott DeLuzio: Awesome stories that come out, you know, with these stories and in these books and it’s it’s gonna be pretty cool. So I’m looking forward to following along and seeing what you have going on. So, so thanks again for taking the time to join us today and you know, looking forward to catching up and learn more about you in the
[00:47:47] Scott DeLuzio: future.
[00:47:48] Dominic Teich: Sounds good. Thanks Scott.
[00:47:49] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book. Go directly back into this podcast [00:48:00] and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.