Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] 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.
Scott DeLuzio: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today my guest is John Jones. John is a retired federal law enforce enforcement officer and Navy Hospital Corman. He’s also the author of the book, A Higher Calling, which offers first responders, veterans and military personnel, a biblical guide to the demanding work that they are.
Scott DeLuzio: To do. So welcome to the show, John. I’m glad to have you here.
John Jones: Thank you for having me. I
Scott DeLuzio: appreciate it. Yeah, absolutely. This conversation I think is gonna be very helpful to a lot of people. We’ve talked religion, we talked things like that a little bit on the podcast before, but I [00:01:00] think.
Scott DeLuzio: After having read your book, I think this conversation’s gonna be really impactful. It’s gonna help a lot of people. And, and as we were saying before we even started recording even if there are people out there who are not particularly religious, they’re not Christian or, or whatever, they, they still are going to get something out of this conversation and even out of, out of your book.
Scott DeLuzio: So, for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, just so the listeners have kind of an idea who we’re talking about.
John Jones: Sure. So I, I graduated high school early, went in the Navy back January of 92. So I’m an older guy.
John Jones: Was a, like you said, I was a Navy corpsman. Ended up with the Marines did a combat deployment to Somalia with the Marine Corps. Spent six and a half years in the Navy and was actually, I was med boarded out when I got med board. I, I wanted to do 20 years. That was my plan when I went in. I have several friends who, we were friends before we went in the military.
John Jones: Several of them did [00:02:00] 20 years or more. And I didn’t get that opportunity. But from there I went Local law enforcement. I started off as a corrections officer and then quickly moved into a SW because the department I worked for the corrections was not sworn. It was a civilian position. I know there’s a lot of departments out there were sworn deputies due corrections.
John Jones: Mine was not like that. But I got into the sworn law enforcement side on the civilian. Did that for five and a half years. And at the time we had six young kids six kids under 10. So, yeah. But you know, and law enforce civilian law enforcement is a tough, tough job. But I decided to try and go back into the medical.
John Jones: And I realized there is a massive difference between military medicine and civilian medicine. The things I was able to do as a corpsman were, were not even on [00:03:00] the scope of things that I would be able to do, even in like nursing some of the things. But regardless, I decided I left the sheriff’s. Tried the medical field, it didn’t work out.
John Jones: So, so I ended up going to the, the federal route. Got back into law enforcement on the federal side. I started off with the VA and then moved over got hired in as a federal air marshal, and I did that up until last month where I ended up retir. So 92 to 2013. So 30 years of military first responder experience.
John Jones: Wow.
Scott DeLuzio: That’s, that is quite the career. And going, going through all of the, the different things that you went through and that you experienced you do get a sort of unique view in the, the sense that you. And not to say that no one else has done this either, but you have both a [00:04:00] military experience and you have the the law enforcement experience and you, you have both of those worlds in, in your in your point of view, in your focus, right?
Scott DeLuzio: And, and so I think that really puts you in a good place to Be the author of the book that you wrote and and I, I do wanna talk about that book. And again, for the listeners, the, the book is titled A Higher Calling, a Biblical Guide for First Responders, military and Veterans. And so with that book first, because I know we’re talking about a lot of different categories, you know, first responders, military veterans I just want to, for the listen, I’m gonna lump those all together.
Scott DeLuzio: And if I use one of the terms, it’s, it’s interchangeable in the context of this con conversation because you know, I don’t want anyone to think that we’re excluding the veterans when we’re talking about first responders or vice versa, or whatever the, the situation is. So, so let’s talk about the book.
Scott DeLuzio: Tell us what was the spark that led you to writing this book?
John Jones: Primarily my. My wife is always, you know, she’s my, [00:05:00] she’s always been, she’s my best coach that I’ve ever had. So, I was mentoring individual people people at work who had been in combat military or obviously law enforcement. I have several family members who have been.
John Jones: Active in the global War on terror. My son is a staff sergeant in the Army. Just got back from Iraq six months ago. Before he was in the Army, he was a CB and did a SOCOM deployment as a CB to Africa. I have a nephew who was an Anglico Marine in Afghanistan. Nieces, nephews who were Navy, army one of my nieces was actually in the medical field and assigned to a special operations team in Iraq as a support element, obviously.
John Jones: Mm-hmm. . So a lot of people that I know that are close to me that I was so, I was mentoring them cuz when I, what I did, even though [00:06:00] Somalia was not a sustained. Operation, like what we’ve seen since the War on Terror. It was unusual for somebody in my time in the military to have a Combat Action Ribbon or, or a C I B for the Army.
John Jones: That was unusual, right? So to have that, they didn’t have the services set up like they do now for mental health post deployment services and stuff like that. They didn’t have that. It was just you. and your buddy’s trying to figure out how to, how to cope with what you dealt with. Right,
Scott DeLuzio: right. And when you get a bunch of guys together who are trying to figure that stuff out, who aren’t trained on what to do, what the right things are to do, you get a lot of various solutions that maybe aren’t quite the healthiest solutions either.
Scott DeLuzio: Right, right.
John Jones: And especially, you know, when I was in Somalia, I, I had just turned 20. [00:07:00] I was, I was still 20 when I left on that deployment, right? Mm-hmm. , and I had already been in the Navy for three years, right? So you’re, you don’t have the, the coping mechanisms anyway, so, and you got a bunch of other people who are 20, 21, 22.
John Jones: I mean, your staff sergeant might. 30 and he’s an old man, you know, right. . Yeah. So, but you know, this is where like the book, like, like this one, you know, a lot of people have read on combat and on Killing and, you know, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Colonel Grossman is phenomenal in. Approach and everything that he knows and has studied.
John Jones: He even has, I don’t know if you knew this, he has a book called On Spiritual Combat. Okay. So, but whereas on spiritual combat is more of like 30 days where you, [00:08:00] you take these lessons and, and apply ’em over the course of a period of time. I, my, my wife kept hearing me complain about how there wasn’t anything, Specifically for people who just ha wanted to deal with the actual topics associated with these professions.
John Jones: Mm-hmm. . So, that’s, that’s kind of where it came from, how it developed and how how each one is actually identified and, and. , you know, obviously it’s not gonna be exhaustive, but things that you experienced based off of trauma or like, you know, just training or relationships or what happens when you’re done, you know, when you retire, you know.
Scott DeLuzio: Well, and so I, so you, you provided me with a copy of the book in advance. So I, I was able to, to read through the book and, and you do cover a lot of those. Things [00:09:00] that, that everybody deals with. Doesn’t matter what the, the job is, there is training involved, whether it’s military or law enforcement or EMTs, paramedics, like firefighters.
Scott DeLuzio: So there, there’s training, you know, like you don’t just walk on the job and Just, oh yeah, I’m good to go. I, I got this. Correct. I don’t need to keep on training. There’s, there’s training involved. There’s relationships that you develop with your coworkers with you know, for law enforcement, the people who in your communities that you, you might be interacting with on a daily basis.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, just, there’s just different relationships that go on and And then there’s the dark side of, of the job where there’s going to be grief, there’s going to be death and losses and things like that. And and you cover all of these things, which I thought was tremendous for having one book that was able to consolidate all these difficult topics to, to cover all in one compact compact book to, to get all of that information across.
Scott DeLuzio: So let’s, let’s kind of start with. Some of the things that you, you covered in there. So let’s talk about like, the importance [00:10:00] of, of training. You know, you talk about how it’s not just the physical training, obviously there, there’s that component involved. There’s a firearms proficiency. The physical things like hitting the gym, martial arts or, or whatever you may do for on the physical side, but also making time for things like prayer and spiritual.
Scott DeLuzio: Wellbeing as well, and that, that sort of training. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of this overall training including the spiritual side of things?
John Jones: Yeah. Obviously like, like what you were saying and what any. Veteran or you know, first responder knows, like you said, it’s on, it’s not just the initial training, it’s the ongoing training.
John Jones: And what that does, the training provides a base for you to perform in high stress, high anxiety, chaotic situations. It’s the same for your, your spiritual training as well. Prayer. Reading the Bible, interacting with other believers that [00:11:00] provides you a basis for when you are in a high stress, chaotic environment.
John Jones: S an environment that you might start questioning why, you know these bad things are going on. You have that base to fall back on. So it, it provides you. A spiritual resilience to help mitigate the emotional and psychological factors that develop with those high stress situations. Yeah. As I was, oh, go ahead.
John Jones: Yeah. Oh, I’m sorry. I was just gonna say, is it going to necessarily not let those issues. Not necessarily, but it’ll give you that base to help you mitigate those. That’s all I was gonna say.
Scott DeLuzio: Sorry. Yeah. Yeah. So, When, when, when I was reading this part of the book, I, I like to just kind of make analogies to other things, so to, it just helps me [00:12:00] understand things and, and everything.
Scott DeLuzio: And the way I was thinking of it was very much like when you go to the gym, you lift weights right at, at first. If you’ve never lifted weights before in your life, at first you’re not gonna. Thrown on hundreds of pounds of weight to, to be able to lift. You’re just not gonna be able to do it. The body’s not gonna be capable of lifting all of that.
Scott DeLuzio: So you start low and, and you, you build up to the point where you’re able to lift the heavier weights. And a lot of this, the, on the spiritual side, it kind of resonated with me in that there’s going to be that, that time when. Open up the Bible for the very first time. Right. And, and it doesn’t have to be the Bible.
Scott DeLuzio: It, it could be whatever it is your religion is. And you know, we, we all have different beliefs and, and things like that. But let’s just use the Bible right now, the Christian Bible for the example for purposes of, of this conversation, right? You may never have opened it up before. [00:13:00] There’s a lot of questions that that will pop up when you open up that, that bible, it’s not gonna be an easy read very first time.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. But as you do, do it more and more and more, and you are searching for certain answers, you know, and we’ll, we’ll talk about some of these other things later on, I’m sure. But things like, you know, As a law enforcement officer or a, a military service member, is it okay for me to kill somebody?
Scott DeLuzio: You know, in, in the, the act of doing my job and you’re trying to find these answers. It’s not gonna be easy the very first time you open up that book, right? But, but as you read more and you learn more and you start to understand more, it, things will start to get easier just the same way. When you are consistent and you’re lifting the weights at the gym, those weights get easier so that way you can handle the heavier topics and or the heavier weights later on.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. Absolutely. And that’s, that’s how it made sense to me as I was reading what you were talking about is, you know, you. You kind of have to give yourself a little leeway here, like in, in the beginning. No, it’s not gonna be easy. Right. But, [00:14:00] but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it and the, the easier it will become and when you need it, just like with the, the weights, lifting the weights, when you need to move something heavy, you’ll be able to do that a whole lot easier with that physical training that you had.
Scott DeLuzio: And when you need to deal with those those emotional things, spiritual questions that, that are inevitably gonna come up through the course of doing these jobs, you’re gonna be able to handle those a whole lot easier too, right?
John Jones: Yeah, absolutely. And the, the spiritual aspect of it a lot of people say they don’t think that a spiritual aspect is necessarily important, but it is.
John Jones: Everybody has that kind of ingrained knowing that your spirit can be damaged, whether you believe it’s like whether you believe it’s a Christian kind of thing or a religious kind of thing, you’re, you’re psyche, right? You, let’s call it that if it’s, it’s kind of [00:15:00] similar your psyche and. Your spirit.
John Jones: Right? It’s, it’s kind of interchangeable when you think of it like that. That’s why people get damaged have psychological traumas because there is a por there’s no physical damage being done. Maybe now that we know a little bit more about brain research, yeah, there’s a little bit of damage done to the brain when these things happen, but, Your, your psyche, your, your spirit does get damaged.
John Jones: So just like you were saying with the, with the weights or martial arts, right? You’re not gonna go on your first day into a martial arts class and do, you know, a jumping, spinning back kick, you know, kind of thing. It’s just not gonna, and if you do, you’re gonna, you’re probably not gonna do it. Because you’re gonna hurt
Scott DeLuzio: yourself.
Scott DeLuzio: You’re gonna hurt yourself pretty bad. Yeah. To do that. It’s not gonna work very well.
John Jones: Right. So, it’s the same kind of thing. When I [00:16:00] first went to the academy for the Sheriff’s department, and this was back in 2000, right. You, they, they were saying even back then, if you’re religious, continue your religious.
John Jones: Activities continue going to church and things like that. Because even back then, they were seeing that, you know, officers that were going into law, and this is law enforcement specific, they were they saw the officers who fell away from those religious practices had a harder time dealing with the things that they had seen on the street and, and that kind of thing.
John Jones: The people who had never actually been to church, they had their own, they had their own hard time dealing with it. So, but I guess to, to go back to your question is whether you think there’s a spiritual aspect or not, there, there is. And the [00:17:00] elements of what the Bible says will help with mitigating those, those damaging element.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And I, I think with anybody, whether you’re an atheist or you’re a devout, you know, Christian or, or what, doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum of, of the spiritual scale here, there’s a few things I think we can all agree upon, and a lot of that is taught in the Bible as far as, you know, just being a good person, you know, helping, right, helping other people, and You know, being, being faithful and true to, to the, the people in your lives and all that.
Scott DeLuzio: All, all that kind of stuff. Like, I think those are just kind of common themes we can just agree on. Like those are good things, good qualities to have, and if we flex those muscles, if you will, and, and we emphasize that and practice that and, and learn more about that, that’s just gonna help us become better, more resilient [00:18:00] people.
Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. When the time comes, when we need that. Regardless of where you stand on religion, right? Right.
John Jones: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Scott DeLuzio: Now, you, you talk also about relationships, both the professional relationships and how you conduct yourself at, at work with the people that you interact with, coworkers or, or whatever, and, and as well as the personal relationships and how you interact with your family and.
Scott DeLuzio: There were some important points with regards to how you interact with the, the public and coworkers as well as how you, you bring home and. Your your day with your family, you know, do you correct, you, you had a terrible day as a, a, you know, let’s just say a, a firefighter or paramedic or, or whatever, and, and you saw death and devastation and all this stuff.
Scott DeLuzio: Like how much of that do you bring home and bring it to you, your family and talk about it at the dinner table? Like all that kind of stuff is you know, that. Fine line balancing act [00:19:00] like obviously you don’t wanna bottle everything up inside, but you also don’t wanna be traumatizing your six-year-old either if, if you’re, you’re talking about that kind of stuff, right.
Scott DeLuzio: So. Right. Absolutely. Can you talk about tho those relationships both on the professional side and the, the personal side and, and kind of where where to go with all of that stuff?
John Jones: So, yeah. Professional side is just that, be professional. You got into this profession with whatever it be because you had this calling to go and serve other people in some capacity.
John Jones: And ultimately that’s kind of where your heart is going. That’s what you feel like you need to do. And a lot of people get caught up in the, in the misconception that what you do is who you. Right. And you see that a lot. You saw that in the military. I’m sure you, and you do see it a lot in the, the first responder community.
John Jones: Yeah. A lot of what you do is who is the, a makeup of who you are, but it’s not who you are. You’re your, [00:20:00] your professional relationships. Are, just that they’re, they’re the people you work with. They’re the people that you serve on the, in the community. They’re the, you know, store owners that you’re dealing with who have just been robbed or, or what have you.
John Jones: And being professional in those relationships just, just means acting, acting the way that you would wanna be treated. And those, you could be empathetic, right? I. I talked about it in the book a little bit. How does it as, as a, as a law enforcement officer, let’s say, does it really diminish your ability to perform your job to, you know, take five minutes outta your day and have a chat with that disabled vet that’s sitting outside Walmart every day?
John Jones: Right. Or, you know, does it diminish your, your capacity to do your. to [00:21:00] just, you know, ask the homeless person that you might have to, even though you have to remove them from that strip mall or whatever. Again, do you have to be, you know, harsh toward them? I mean, obviously it’s situationally dependent, but, um Right.
John Jones: You know, can you, can you just say, Hey, you know, how, how you. Is there any, what can I help you with, kind of thing.
Scott DeLuzio: Right? And you even talked about language too, as, as far as you know, is the way that you conduct yourself you know, just the way you talk to people. You know, do you need the vulgar language?
Scott DeLuzio: You know, in some cases maybe, maybe it’s appropriate, but other cases, you know, maybe it’s not right. And, and that was, I, I, I thought that was interesting as
John Jones: well. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, so one of the things that’s in the book is I talked to a bunch of coworker friends both law enforcement or first responder military [00:22:00] veterans, and they were kind enough to provide stories and about different things that they’ve experienced as well.
John Jones: A good friend of mine was a C H P officer. He didn’t wanna provide a story, but he, he told me a, a story that he said, I can use for it, right? And he, he he talked about how from the time he became a C H P officer, the entire time he’s been c h p, he’s never used foul language at work and people. Make fun of him.
John Jones: Some people make fun of him, but most of the people after the course of days and weeks and months and years of working with him have come up to him and been like, Hey, you know, it’s, it’s actually kind of nice to, you know, we can joke with you. You are funny, you have a great sense of humor. You know, you can, you don’t have to be a stick in the mud to not use coarse language.
John Jones: Right, right. You know, it’s, [00:23:00] it really presents a different kind of perception of how you can be in, in this environment or in these professions, right, without having to use. Now I also, I also mentioned there are times where you may have to, cuz there are, there are certain times where that’s the only thing people are gonna react to.
John Jones: And you know, in the military it’s actually the same in the first responder. Because there’s a lot of military veterans in the first responder field, all of the first responder fields. The air marshal service is one of the highest percentage of veterans in the federal law enforcement home field.
John Jones: Mm-hmm. . And it was great because it was almost like being back in the military with the, the joking and the interactions and the tea, you know, just that ribbing. Giving each other grief all the time. Right. It was great. But you get that, that foul language, it doesn’t be, [00:24:00] it’s not offensive in foul language doesn’t become, it’s not offensive in the military, it’s just part of your everyday language and speech.
John Jones: Right. Right. So, but getting to the point where you don’t necessarily have to use it in your everyday language and speech, but still, you know, you may have to use it with suspects, with Vic e even with Vic sometimes, you know, car accidents or something like that where people are they’re, they’re not in their right minds because of the amount of stress that they’re undergoing.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. Right. Exactly. And, and it’s, I I think it’s important that you, you mentioned that and, and how, you know, it does present yourself as a different type of, of person that, that is, I don’t wanna say, I don’t wanna say elevates you on a, on a different level or whatever, but you, you stand out from the crowd, right?
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And you’re, you’re able to accomplish a job without, Just, you know, the, the low level you know, just kind of vulgar [00:25:00] Right. Language.
John Jones: The vul the vulgarity just
Scott DeLuzio: be vulgar. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And so, so it was, it was interesting. I kind of wanted to point that out because I I did like that you know how you pointed that out as well.
Scott DeLuzio: What, what about on the personal side, you know, when. Come home from work and or come home after a deployment or right. Whatever it is that you are, are coming back from. You are now in, you’re interacting with your family, whether it’s a spouse or children or, or parents or other you know, even other, you know, neighbors and, and friends and stuff like that.
Scott DeLuzio: Correct. You’re interacting with them. How do we, how do we do this in a. In a way that’s not going to you know, really traumatize everybody else in your life, but also respect the fact that you might need to talk about some of the things. Absolutely.
John Jones: Yeah. Have going on? Yeah. Now again, what I, the, the recommendations I have in the book are just recommendations, right?
John Jones: Obviously, every person’s situation is gonna be dependent on their, [00:26:00] their spouse, their family, how, but everybody can benefit from creating. A, a system. You know, you can come home from a bad day. Talk, talk to your spouse about the things that you’re willing to talk about cuz your spouse wants to know.
John Jones: That’s one of the things that I’ve experienced when I would come home and shut out my spouse, my wife, that starts to build the. The things that you are experienced in having to deal with now become a wedge between you and your spouse. And your spouse is supposed to be your strongest individual relationship on Earth.
John Jones: So if you’re in, you’re, if you’re intentionally developing a situation where a wedge is being, is being pushed into that relationship where there doesn’t have to be [00:27:00] one that’s not gonna be. Right, right. At the same time though, you don’t want to come home and just be like, oh, it was horrible. You know, four car pile up.
John Jones: Or, you know, we had a four car accident, you know, three people dead. One was decapitated, which is stuff that you can experience in, in a normal shift as a first responder, right? You don’t necessarily want to come home and scar your kids like that, right? So, You. You also don’t want to keep your kids in the dark from some of the bad things that are out there, but you wanna do it in a way, you wanna explain things to them in a way that is one age appropriate and two what?
John Jones: That you know your kid’s the best. So if you know that your kid is a little bit more mature, like our yo obvi, you know, we had six kids, our youngest. Was [00:28:00] able to mature a lot faster than some of the other kids because not only did she have us to guide her, she had her five older siblings guiding her as well.
John Jones: Right. So, she was able to mature, I think, a little bit faster than than others. Right. But at the same time, even though she’s, she’s mature, I don’t necessarily want to come home and tell her, Hey, you know, there’s, you know, a sexual predator out on the loose, you know, watch out. You know, but you wanna make sure that she’s safe and understands that there are people out there that might wanna harm her in, in an appropriate way.
John Jones: But ultimately, your spouse is your, your number one relationship on this planet. So if you, especially early on, if there are people out there who are listening that you know, military that are looking to get into law enforcement, this. This is something you can do early on in your career and hopefully mitigate, having that developed that [00:29:00] cuz after years and years and years that Ani animosity will develop.
John Jones: If you’re just coming home saying everything’s fine, everything’s not fine. You’re trying to deal with it on your own, while your spouse is wondering why they can’t help you. Animosity starts developing on both sides. Alright, so. Have, have that discussion, develop, you know, determine the parameters of what your, what your spouse is willing to hear.
John Jones: Cuz I’ve come home and said, there are there this, this is going on. And my life is like, oh, well that’s a little bit too much. I, I don’t need to know that much detail. But she wanted to know the situation that I was dealing with. Right, right. So you don’t necessarily have to give all the gory details of what’s, what’s happening.
John Jones: Your spouse does want to know, and they do want to be there to help you along the way. But same, same with family. Your parents, you know, they’re, they’re, even though you’re an adult, you’ve been through all these [00:30:00] things. Your parents are still your parents. They want, they, they still have that desire to protect you and be there for you.
John Jones: Your friends. You’re one of. Best things that I could recommend is regardless of what career field you’re in, your friends that are not in that career field. So if you have friends, you’re in the military and you have friends from childhood friends that never went military, continue to pursue those relationships because it grounds you.
John Jones: You know, we get insulated in in our profession, right? Yeah. We. We think that everything is like this all the time. When it’s, it’s actually not right there, there are those, those people who are not first responders, those people who are not military or combat vets that you have friendships with that can help ground you and, and remind you that it’s [00:31:00] not all bad.
John Jones: Life is not all bad. There are still good things in this world, so,
Scott DeLuzio: And that’s, that’s hard sometimes to keep those kind of relationships when you, you go off different directions. Like, especially, you know, thinking about the people who graduate high school. One friend goes off to college, the other person goes off to the military, they’re in two different places of their lives.
Scott DeLuzio: They make other relationships. But, but with, you know, when, when we were younger, social media wasn’t a thing. No. You know, so, so that was, it was a lot harder to keep those relationships together. Yes. And now, I mean, there is social media, there’s email, there’s, I mean, everyone’s got a phone. Correct? They, they have it with them constantly.
Scott DeLuzio: You can send ’em a text message. You can, you can keep that relationship going even if you’re on. Other sides of the country, other sides of the world even. Right? Yep. You, you can keep those relationships going and and you’re right. When you have somebody [00:32:00] who is not dealing with the doom and gloom all the time in their day-to-day lives, they’re gonna have a totally different perspective than somebody who is dealing with all of that stuff.
Scott DeLuzio: Right, right. In. Day-to-day. So, so yeah, keep, keep those relationships so that way, you know, you can see, again, it’s, it’s not all bad, you know, there is some good out there, right? Yep,
John Jones: yep. Yeah. And, and not just continue those relationships, but kind of pursue them in a way, doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but just like you said, you know, send a text.
John Jones: Yes. Send an email. Yeah, I, I remember when I, when I deployed, If we were gonna call home, we had to stand in line while the Navy set up payphones, you didn’t even get a free phone call. They set up payphones next to the ship, and you had to stand in line and wait your turn. You had to buy a calling card, prepaid calling card so you can call your family back home.
John Jones: There was no such thing [00:33:00] as internet, you know, you know wifi. I mean, that was, that was what? High speed, like spec op people were dealing with, you know? Right. Cause when I was with the, when I was with the Marines, I was on a, a sniper platoon, and I remember they were, they were experimenting with the device that would, it would strap on your forearm and it was like this big, right.
John Jones: Almost your entire forearm. And it had a keyboard. It would slip up and it would, you know, you would type your message, send and. Go by satellite to where you know, where you needed to send it to, and then you’d get a response. Basically, it was the, the first iteration of text messaging, right?
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So, I wanna move on to the next part of your book and talk about some of the darker sides of the job. You go into some of the detail of things like trauma and loss, death, grief and I know [00:34:00] there’s a lot of people out there, especially from. Christian standpoint you know, a religious standpoint.
Scott DeLuzio: They, they have a lot of questions with regards to this, and I think your, your book covered these topics fairly well. So what is your advice for kind of handling these situations while you know, on the job?
John Jones: Good question. The best advice I can give is for anybody, whether, whether you’re religious or not, but anybody to understand that these bad things are gonna happen whether you are in law enforcement, the military Or not.
John Jones: I mean, bad things happen to people. We see it all the time in the news. You know, the common question is why do good, why do bad things happen to good people? Right. Well, law enforcement, firefighters, first responders in any field military, we voluntarily put ourselves into those positions. So if you’re in these fields and.
John Jones: Think that you’re gonna have this [00:35:00] career of, you know, your nine to five day in, day out is gonna be great. You’re gonna, you know, get away Scott free without seeing death or families destroyed destruction, trauma, violence you’re probably kidding yourself. Right? So the, the biggest advice that I could give.
John Jones: Go back to the scriptures and see what it says about these things. These things are horrible events to be a part of and process, but they’re necessary for our growth. I mean, and that’s one of the reasons why bad things happen to good people is because without the bad things in our. Then the good things just become normal things, and we stop appreciating the good, we stop appreciating the, the beauty of the world around us.
John Jones: So we have, but going back to scripture and, and [00:36:00] seeing, you know, these, these this wisdom from thousands of years ago when, you know, that have helped people over the course of millennia. Whether you be, whether you believe as, as a Christian or, or just our spiritual or, or maybe a different faith, but, or, or even atheist, these things can help you.
John Jones: I’m not saying that, I’m not necessarily saying that, you know, you need to become a Christian to understand these, these things, but these things will definitely. You kind of process and understand why these things are occurring and, and just, just like working out, right? You work out, you’re, you keep your body physically fit so that not, not just to look good or not just to have a, an intimidating presence, but the ultimate reason why you work out in, in these [00:37:00] professions is so that you’re physically cap.
John Jones: Of dealing with a, a violent person or you know, somebody that’s having some kind of narcotic episode or even just a, a mental breakdown and, and not acting normally, right? That’s actually why you do it. The same thing holds true with, with these scriptures and, and it, it helps prepare your mind for when you have to deal.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and I, I remember myself looking back to my time in Afghanistan and you know, for a lot of the listeners know this, I’m, I’m not sure how much you’re familiar with my background and my story and everything, but you know, I lost my younger brother. He was in Afghanistan and, and he was killed in action.
Scott DeLuzio: And I remember just thinking to myself, why him? Like, why, why? God decided to take him. He was 25 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him. But why? Mm-hmm. to me, I just [00:38:00] couldn’t wrap my head around that. And I, I actually verbally said this out loud. I was like, why, why him? Why did you have to take him?
Scott DeLuzio: And it was a, a strange thing that happened, but I had this weird, calm feeling come over me. It was like, I may not know the answers to all of these questions that I’m, I’m asking like, why him? But I just have to be okay with that and I have to have faith in knowing that whatever the reason is, it’s a, a good reason that there’s something bigger and better out there.
Scott DeLuzio: And. The reason is a good reason that there is something positive that will come of this, as much as that pains me to even say that to this day. Right. You know? Right. Because it, it’s a terrible thing. Like I, I would do anything to have my brother back, but but knowing that there’s something bigger out there in a weird way is, is sort of calming and, [00:39:00] and reassuring and, Just knowing that, that it’s not just about me in my immediate circle, my immediate family, my immediate whatever kind of in a, in a strange way has a calming effect about it, you know?
Scott DeLuzio: And so, yeah, I, I, I think going back to. Scriptures and even like you said, you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to understand this type of stuff. And other people have written about a lot of these concepts in a non-biblical way. But going back and trying to understand that there is something bigger out there than, than just us and That might be, that might be a way to deal with this stuff, right?
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah,
John Jones: absolutely. And first of all, I, I did know your story and you know, I’m, I’m sorry for your loss and your family’s loss and at, at the same time, your family service to this country is, is amazing. And I, I appreciate it and wanted to thank you for that. I didn’t get to do that [00:40:00] before and not.
John Jones: Mitigate your story and what happened with you and your brother. But a, as a, as a Christian, as a believe, you know, professing Christian for a long time I still have experienced loss. We have two of our granddaughter, we had a granddaughter who passed away in her sleep two months before her second birthday, and a year later, my, the same, I have six kids, but the same, my same daughter.
John Jones: A year later, her four day old baby died in the hospital. So we lost two grandkids within a year. And it’s devastating. It’s absolutely devastating. And even being, you know, a professing Christian for for most of my adult life I still would shout that out. Why? Why did this happen? Why, why to.
John Jones: Especially these two young babies who had their full life ahead of them. And the same thing. I ha we, [00:41:00] you know, through scripture, through prayer, through you know, talking with people who are older than me who have, have lost people as well. And just mentors. I, I had, I did come to the real same realization.
John Jones: As bad as it was to, to go through this and it’s still bad. We still have days where like my wife will just cry. Mm-hmm. , you know, something will come up. And, and you know, as bad as that is, we, we know, we, we, with every fiber note that it was for the, for good for some reason, we still don’t know why. But some reason it was, it was for.
John Jones: But to bring it less personal. So I, I, I told you before I was, I was in small, so I was med boarded right before the War on Terror started. So my combat experience was, it was that one time, like before nine 11, if you went, if you were in [00:42:00] the military and you went to combat, it was probably the only.
John Jones: In like a 20 year career that you would do it. Very few people had more than one, right? Mm-hmm. and, and so, right. Like, like Jocko, I don’t know if you listen to Jocko, but like, it was, it was the, the one big mission, right, that you would’ve gotten into. And that was what Somali was for us. But, I guess the point I’m trying to make is even before long-term sustained combat you know, I, I was a corpsman in the first year I was in the military.
John Jones: I went to four Fen, four friends funerals, four. I mean, so. You’re going to experience death, you’re going to experience trauma, you’re going to experience bad things happening to good people, whether you’re in sustained [00:43:00] combat or not. Right? It’s so, so these
Scott DeLuzio: and these things that happen to bad things that happen to good people, like you said, they’re, they’re going to happen whether you’re there or not, so, Just realize that it’s not because you were there that this bad thing happened.
Scott DeLuzio: It, you know, if, if you’re let’s just take it back for a second. Move it away from combat. And if you’re a firefighter and you’re pulling up on a scene of a, a car crash you know, a fatal car crash that. Car crash was gonna happen whether you decided to become a firefighter or not. If you decided to go off and do something else become a, I don’t know, whatever, , you know, some other profession somebody was going to arrive at that scene and have to remove those, those bodies from that vehicle and Correct.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, so it’s not because of you there’s nothing that you do. Is, is going to prevent something like, like an accident or [00:44:00] terrorism or whatever, you, you’re not going to prevent these things from happening. They do happen. And that’s the reason why you put on that uniform and, and go to work every day, right?
John Jones: That’s right. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. You know, I, so when I, when I got into the federal side of things and stopped being a, a local sheriff’s deputy, I, I still kept in contact with several of my friends from the sheriff’s department and just like you said, there’s still accidents, there’s still shootings, there’s still assaults, there’s still robberies, there’s still theft going on.
John Jones: Just because I’m not there to take those calls or to help, you know, do what I can in that community, it’s, it’s still going on. And it’s going to go on no matter what job you have and it’s going to go on whether you are, you know, a professing Christian or not. The whole point of one, the whole point of the book was to help [00:45:00] people in these professions understand and deal with these situations.
John Jones: Yeah. And. I mean it’s, I I think it is, it’s applicable to people outside of these professions as well. But it was primarily written for military veterans, first responders. Cuz and you know, cuz there are, there are specific things that, that are mentioned and referenced in the bible, ba for the thi, these things that you deal with,
Scott DeLuzio: so, right.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, I don’t want to give too much of the book away as far as the, the nitty gritty content and the details and all that stuff. I, I do want people to go out and get it because you know, I know you know, selling the book may not be the primary reason why you wrote the book, but having a copy of the book you know, someone can listen to this podcast today and, and be like, yeah, all this stuff sounds great and everything, and you.
Scott DeLuzio: They may not need to tap [00:46:00] into the wisdom that you’re putting out there in your book for a year, two years, five years, 10 years from now. Right. But if they have a copy of this book, it’s something they can go back to. It’s something that will last longer. Ben, this one episode that they’ll have to g now go back and search and try to figure out where they, they heard it from.
Scott DeLuzio: Right, right. So, so I do, I do wanna encourage people to get a copy of the book. So I don’t wanna you know, dive into. The deepest, deepest of, of details on these topics. But you know, again, I, I do want that I do want people to get out there and get a copy of the book. But before, yeah, before we do kind of wrap up anything here I know that, you know, obviously no matter what profession you go into, any first responder field military at some point.
Scott DeLuzio: There’s an end date to your time wearing that uniform. Yes. Whatever, whatever that uniform is. And in my experience with this podcast or the people I’ve talked to whether it’s on the podcast or, or other people who’ve reached out to me there. Is a lot of times where [00:47:00] people just struggle to figure out what’s next.
Scott DeLuzio: They, they associate their identity with that uniform that they wore for so many years and. They have trouble taking the uniform off and putting the civilian uniform on. Right? Right. And so how, how can we use our experiences that we had during our careers, whatever the career may be to make our communities that we live in a better place af after the fact after we’ve retired.
John Jones: That’s, that’s so insightful. Especially in law enforcement, cuz that’s my world. Your, your occupation becomes your sole identity and self worth. A lot of times. I’ve, I see it all the time and I have friends that are still doing, doing the job, the, the air marshal job. And they’re, they’re good at it.
John Jones: They’re capable, but they were eligible to retire years ago. But they just can’t seem to, to figure [00:48:00] out that there’s life after afterwards and, and leaving and retiring is, doesn’t make you any less capable. There are so many things out there, especially now. There are so many things out there that you can get into.
John Jones: And I’m not just talking about, you can volunteer if you want, but There, there are organizations that you can get involved with you know, a lot of military personnel retire, and then we’ll get involved with V F W or you know, d a v or, or something like that, which is great. We need the, especially the ones that get in and volunteer at the local level.
John Jones: But there are people you know, the whole Epstein Island stuff and the whole you. Human trafficking situation that has really become, come to the forefront in the last year or so, two years there. There are dozens of organizations out there that would, you know, they would be ecstatic to have [00:49:00] the skills that you possess come to their organization and continue using those skills that you possess and, Shifting focus.
John Jones: And it doesn’t, you know, obviously these are just like suggestions, but ultimately the, I think though, the biggest thing that people have to understand when they’re getting close to that time to retire is it’s, it’s the season in life that that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’ve worked all these years, you’ve broken your body, you’ve, you know, Not, I’m not gonna say you’ve broken your mind or your spirit, but it, it gets bent, it gets bruised, it gets banged up for sure in these professions.
John Jones: And the goal of that is to retire and then enjoy those years you have left with the people that you care about. And I’ve known [00:50:00] people who have retired. One of my friends right now is he’s on a year. RV trip. He’s just driving around the country going from RV spot to RV spot, taking it easy. You know, he spends a couple of days at one place.
John Jones: If he likes it, he’ll extend. If he doesn’t, he’s off to the next, you know, I mean, you can do something like it’s, the point is you can do anything you want and, but that’s what’s so great about it. You’ve earned that. It’s. It’s not these guys who are taking a, a gap year in between high school and college to, to go find themselves.
John Jones: It’s, you’re not like that. You know? And you, you’ve heard people make fun of those, those people, right? For sure. Yep. Yeah. So it, the, so again, it’s, it’s mindset. It’s how you’re approaching the living, the life that you are intended to live in, the season that
Scott DeLuzio: you. And it’s being present in the current moment, right?
Scott DeLuzio: It’s not, yes. [00:51:00] Yes. It’s not reliving the past. It’s not dreaming about a better future that may or may not ever exist. You know, it’s, it’s being present and enjoying the here and now enjoying what you have. Right now, the people who are in your lives, your, your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, other friends, family, neighbors that might be around you just enjoying their company and their presence.
Scott DeLuzio: Right? And not doom scrolling through social media and, you know, just yeah, letting the doom and gloom of, of the world, you know, consume you. And that that’s. Helpful, but doing things like the things that you mentioned I think are, are incredible. The first thing that came to mind when you, you mentioned you know, the Epstein Island and the you know, the human trafficking situation is military first respo responders.
Scott DeLuzio: One thing that we all have in common is we kind of look at ourselves as as helpers, as the protectors. Things like [00:52:00] that. Right? And there are innocent people out there who are in need of protecting, they need help. Yes. And that it serves another purpose. And, and this is not like a selfish thing, but a, a lot of times when you get out of the military or, or whatever your career is, you.
Scott DeLuzio: Feel like you lost your sense of purpose. And if you’re out there and you’re out protecting and you’re helping these people who need the, the help boom. There you go. Now you found your sense of purpose all over again. You, you may not have a family even to go home to, and, you know, we’re talking about, you know, be present with your spouse or your kids.
Scott DeLuzio: You may not have those, and that’s fine. I mean, everyone has different situations, right? Right. I, I think all of us can feel some sympathy for those, those types of people who are stuck in this situation where they can’t get out. And, and if you can be absolutely the person who’s there to help them, then I mean more power to you.
Scott DeLuzio: Right, right.
John Jones: Absolutely. And that’s what a lot of these organizations, so now we’re kind of on the, the human trafficking side of stuff. Sure. A lot of the organizations doing that [00:53:00] are retired military. Federal and local law enforcement agents who retired still needed something to, to fulfill themselves.
John Jones: And, and, and what you were saying to protect saw this massive, massive hole. Because I mean, it, it, it, unfortunately a lot of local law enforcement is just woefully undertrained in how to spot and deal with and tackle that issue. But so you get these people that get into retirement, they start their own.
John Jones: Companies going and doing that, and it doesn’t have to be necessarily human trafficking. I have a, a really good friend who in his retirement, became a private investigator and, you know, some, and he did very well in it. But that [00:54:00] protector role, it doesn’t just go away when you hang up the uniform.
John Jones: But you can’t, obviously you’re not going to be able to protect in the way that you have been for the last 20, 25, 30 years or more. But what you can do is go and protect in a different way. Maybe instead of going and fighting human traffickers or you. Drug runners or whatever, maybe you go and start mentoring some neighborhood kids, you know?
John Jones: So how many stories have you heard where kids were kind of starting to go down the wrong path, but they were interested in the military and some old crusty, retired, you know, E eight that lived down the block, that really kind of marginally knew that the parents. Started mentoring those kids and kept ’em from a life of crime, [00:55:00] had gotten ready to go into the military, and then they blossomed from there, right?
John Jones: Yeah. He says, you can’t do something like that. Yeah.
Scott DeLuzio: And that would be a beautiful thing you know, if more people got out of their, their houses and interacted with their neighbors and Yeah. Actually got to know the people in their neighborhood and, and some of the, the things that were going on. I mean, yeah, they’re, they’re people who are struggling.
Scott DeLuzio: They don’t know. They, they don’t know where to find themselves, where, where, right. The next thing is. And you know, would you rather have. The drug dealer who lives on the opposite side of the street, or would you rather have the, the retired veteran or law enforcement officer Right. Be the mentor for that kid.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And, and Right. Kinda help take ’em under their wing and you know, show them you know, a life. That’s worth living and that, that is you know, something to be proud of. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I, I think that that certainly seems like a, a pretty easy thing to do. It may be easier said than done to get started, right.
Scott DeLuzio: Especially these days when you might have an older guy, you know, [00:56:00] Going in, talking to younger kids, people start looking at kinda funny, right? But, but if you can develop those relationships with the parents and then exactly like, Hey, can I help this kid out and, and show ’em the right, right path? You know, that that might be something that’s you know, a little easier to do.
Scott DeLuzio: So, right. You know, interesting perspective though. I like that. Before we wrap this up, I know your book is not yet out and I am going to help promote it once, when it does come out so that the listeners who are hearing the story now and they’re like, you know, I, I want to get a copy of this book.
Scott DeLuzio: It just doesn’t exist yet. So obviously can’t get it right now. But obviously it’s gonna be out in, in a little bit here. Do you have a estimated time when, when the book is scheduled to be. Yeah,
John Jones: late spring of, of this year, of 2023. So, I’m thinking I, I actually need to get back with the, the publisher, but I’m thinking probably may timeframe.
Scott DeLuzio: Perfect. Well, we will definitely Definitely get this book promoted once and it comes out. You know, and even I’d, I’d be happy to have you back on to you know, share a little bit more about the [00:57:00] book once and it’s out. Yeah, absolutely. You know, if, if you want. So, so we’ll do that. But John, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you and learning about your career, your, your background and the book that you’ve written.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, I I I think it’s really phenomenal and I think it’s gonna help a lot of people. So I, I really appreciate, I appreciate that
John Jones: you. Thank you, sir. The, the privilege was mine. I had a great time. All right. Thank you. Thank you.
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 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.