Episode 325 Joe Malone Overcoming Challenges and Finding Purpose Transcript

This transcript is from episode 325 with guest Joe Malone.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or 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. Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today my guest is Joseph Malone. Uh, Joseph is a recently discharged combat veteran. who battled with depression and addiction following seven deployments and 13 years in service. And he now works to teach other people the methods he used to believe in himself again and get back on a better, better path in life.

So welcome to the show. I’m really glad to have you here. Hey, thanks

Joe Malone: Scott for having me, man. I’m, I’m always pumped to be, uh, helping out other veterans and spreading some good word. You know, that’s

Scott DeLuzio: the thing that I found about the veteran community is so great is that. [00:01:00] No matter what we have going on, like if there’s a veteran out there struggling, going through some, some stuff, like we’ll drop everything to go in and help them out, you know, and it’s just such a great community.

I’ve never been a part of any other community that has had a stronger sense of selfless service than, than the veteran community. But. Um, before we get into more about all of that, um, for the listeners, maybe who aren’t familiar with you and your background, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Joe Malone: Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, Joe Malone, I was raised on the Southwest side of Chicago. And as a kid, I got involved in some pretty negatively influential people. So I started doing drugs, hard drugs at a very early age. I mean, I was like smoking crack and doing heroin by the time I was like 16, 17 years old. And, uh, my best friend at the time joined the Marines, quit everything.

Had to really reinvent myself. And then I ended up joining the Marine Corps. I did in total, I had some broken service, but in total I did 13 [00:02:00] years. I became a part of the Marine Special Operations Command, which we had never had before. So I was able to join, uh, back in 2012. And then throughout that duration, the 13 years, I’ve been seven deployments, all the major combative theaters got to work with a lot of really great units and tier one guys.

And then ultimately when I left, I wasn’t on very good terms. I was drinking a lot, using a lot of medication and ultimately, you know, almost ended up taking my own life. So I had to really reinvent myself to, to learn, uh, about life in general. Yeah,

so that’s, uh, that’s, that’s me in a nutshell, man. Um, I’m living life now on a new level, a new plane. And I don’t ever expect to go back to anything

Scott DeLuzio: like that again. Well, that’s good. I mean, glad to hear that, you know, you’re, uh, you know, you obviously went through some tough times, but you have kind of figured out what’s going on with, with all of that.

And, and there’s no looking back. Like you don’t want to go back to that, that [00:03:00] time period and that way of life. And I think there’s probably a lot of people out there who are listening to this who might be in a similar situation, uh, where. They might be, you know, abusing drugs or alcohol or whatever, and, um, you know, maybe they don’t even realize it as being abusing it.

Uh, maybe it’s just, you know, kind of a way of life that they’ve kind of fallen into. But, um, you know, at some point you start to notice and realize this isn’t the way that you need to keep going with life and you want to make a change. Um, but how do you, how do you do that? How do you go in and actually make those changes?

So, um, you know, I think with, with this conversation, I think we’ll be able to. Dive into your background a little bit more and. Talk about like, what, what were those steps? What, what did you do to kind of flip that switch and, and make that decision to make those changes for the better in your life? Um, and we’ll get a little bit more into that, uh, in just a minute here.

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Go to four patriots.com and use drive on to start your stockpile today. So Joe, um, Earlier in the intro, you talked about kind of your, your upbringing, uh, wasn’t in the best circumstances. Can you tell us about your journey from going to be going from being a, let’s call it a troubled youth to a combat veteran, uh, and, and everything that, that kind of took place and how you got to where you are now?

Joe Malone: Yeah, absolutely. So being raised where I was raised outside of Chicago, like I was saying, there’s just a really negative influential group of older people looking back at them now. I mean, it’s just a bunch of creeps and pedophiles. And it really all started with me kind of wanting to impress women and pursue girls, you know, especially in that teenage, uh, era.

And these older creeps were kind of seen as like really illustrious to these girls because they had a little bit of money. They [00:06:00] had access to the drawers. They had their own crappy shanty apartment or house, whatever it was. And so because of that, the girls would always hang out with them. And then of course they get addicted to drugs.

And then I was there shortly following pursuit, uh, right after. And it was just, dude, it was just gross. It was negative. It was not a very positive experience. We were breaking into construction sites and stealing. construction equipment for drug money and things like that. It’s just one thing after another.

Um, and then of course, you know, I lost a lot of friends to overdoses and suicide. I lost nine friends by the time I, you know, joined the Marine Corps. And so I understood that it wasn’t a good positive trajectory. And then when I watched my best friend, John, he’d never gotten hooked on the hard stuff at that age.

Uh, later on when he was discharged, you know, he had his own set of problems. But when I watched him join the Marine Corps, I went, I was living with his time. And I watched his, his graduation at bootcamp and anybody who’s ever been to a Marine Corps bootcamp graduation knows that it’s just a very emotionally evoking experience.

And [00:07:00] so when I saw my best friend and this is 2005, so the war is really starting to kick off. I just knew that I didn’t want him to go alone. And so that day I decided that I was going to quit everything I was doing and that I was going to go out and join. And you know, one year later, literally from the day that he left.

I left and then one year exactly to the day that he graduated boot camp, I graduated boot camp as well. And so that started to set me off on a more positive trajectory, but a lot of people have this misnomer with the military that if you join, you’re automatically set up for success somehow. And that’s really just not the case.

A lot of people win the military and still end up making really terrible, horrible choices. You can still be criminal, you know? So just because somebody was in the military, it doesn’t really mean much. Although it does give you kind of like a second chance, a second opportunity at life, if you choose to pursue it that way.

And that’s really what I was all about. I knew that I didn’t want to go back to the life that I had just came from. [00:08:00] And so I just tried to make the most out of it every way that I could. I volunteered for every deployment and I just gave it everything that I, you know, had within me at that time with no intent of staying in beyond four years.

I wanted to get out and then go to college and then do that whole thing. So following my first four years, I got out for a little bit, but I had some experiences over in Afghanistan specifically. Where I ran into some MARSOC teams and some, uh, conversations that I had with those guys and seeing what they were doing, because MARSOC was brand new.

The Marine Corps never had a special operations component before. And so, because of the conversations I had with those guys, um, it really kind of struck a chord with me. Because I was in Afghanistan and then three weeks later I got out of the Marine Corps. So I was basically sitting in Southern California all alone by myself thinking about these conversations I had with these dudes.

Well, then I found out one of the guys that I was talking with this one night, my last night in Afghanistan. He actually ended up dying. He died a few days after I had met him. And for some [00:09:00] weird reason, I don’t know why, it just never sat right with me. And I guess it always kind of made me feel like I could have done more.

I should have done more. And I still really believed in the war at this point, kind of like more than I definitely do now, given everything that’s gone down. Um, but. You know, it’s, uh, so I, I ended up going back in, I was going to paramedic school at the time and I ended up joining, um, the military again, strictly just to go to assessment and selection.

I got selected, went through ITC. That’s our training pipeline. And then from there, you know, things really just, uh, got crazy, man. I mean, You know, I, people ask me what I thought, well, how was my time over at Marsoc and it was just intense. It was just a nonstop, a hundred percent mile an hour, just roller coaster of insanity.

And, you know, I was still making some, some questionable life choices. Like I, the time that I was out of the military, I was living in California, surfing, going to school. Like I said, paramedic school life was great. [00:10:00] But I was kind of also in an affair with a woman who was married. And so I wasn’t making the best choices, but I was really trying to kind of keep my head on straight.

And so with her leaving her husband at that time, you know, and going through the pipeline, the training pipeline, and then, you know, she got pregnant on my first MARSOC deployment, said she got raped. It’s just all this crazy shit. And, you know, ultimately. You know, we broke up. So now we’re like off onto a really rocky start.

And then I ended up meeting another girl who ended up ghosting me after a couple of months of dating. And then it turned out that she had gotten pregnant and I didn’t know about this. And then she ended up. Um, getting an abortion without telling me. So not only am I starting to deal with the physical and the mental and the emotional kind of taxation of the deployment cycle and the training cycle, because it’s just nonstop, you know, I, as soon as I got out of the pipeline, boom, I’m to a team, boom, I’m training, boom, I’m deployed within three, four months after graduating.

And so. [00:11:00] Um, a lot of my personal life was already starting to kind of, you know, reaping what you sow, making bad choices, starting to really show itself, also the deployment cycle, the training cycle really started to add up, uh, really quickly, but I just knew that this is where I wanted to be, it’s what I wanted to do, and so I just kept putting everything that I possibly could into it, running myself as ragged emotionally, physically, and spiritually as I possibly could.

It was intense, um, but it was, um, you know, it was, I don’t want to say important, but just impactful, you know, it helped really create the person that I am, um, here today. And then, um, yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And so just kind of going back a little bit here, um, you know, I’ve talked to some other veterans who’ve grown up in similar circumstances with they, the, the friends and stuff that they had in their neighborhood.

They were, they were into bad stuff and they were, they’re, they’re doing drugs or they’re stealing. They were doing all the things that you shouldn’t be doing. Right. [00:12:00] Um, and they found themselves going in that same direction and what. Made them kind of break out of that cycle is they literally had to physically pick themselves up and move out of that environment.

Um, and, and very similar, um, there’s a report about Vietnam veterans while they were serving over in Vietnam, drugs were easily available to them. And so they found themselves doing some of these drugs for whatever reason to numb the pain, kill the demons in their head, whatever it was that they were doing.

Uh, they, they were doing those things while they’re over there and then they’d come back home to their, their hometowns where these drugs just, they didn’t exist. Or if they did, it wasn’t easy to find. And it’s like they, they just stopped. It was like that change in environment, uh, caused them to just not continue to pursue that.

And so, you know, sometimes like what you [00:13:00] were saying, sometimes you might just need that, that change of pace or change of environment. You were growing up in a. You know, not so great area and the Marines took you out of that area and put you someplace else, gave you a sense of purpose, uh, you know, a mission and, and all of that.

And, you know, maybe it wasn’t the, the cure all for that, but it. It helped move you in the right

Joe Malone: direction, right? Yeah. For anybody out there who’s dealing with some sort of substance and and addiction, and the reason why I I say so much about like the backstory and all these ups and downs and left and rights is because each and every time that I worked my way through these processes, these problems, I’m having to re transform myself, my mindset, my belief set, and I didn’t know it at the time what I was doing, but now in hindsight, you know, this is exactly what I was doing.

When you can change your physical environment into a new environment, especially if you’re dealing with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, really any sort of negative behaviors, then it’s going to have a very significant impact on your neural conditioning, meaning that you’re not going to be Triggered [00:14:00] subconsciously and the subconscious is responsible for 95% of everything that we do.

So you’re not going to get triggered subconsciously by the environment. in your daily routines and habits and activities. And on top of that, that opens up the opportunity for you to breathe a little bit lighter and to have a little bit more neurocognition to where you can begin to reprogram your mind and your belief systems and your self talk.

So changing the environment absolutely does make a huge impact. I would definitely say always start within, but the environment is probably the easiest thing that anybody could change.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, and something like, you know, picking up and moving, uh, you know, I’ve had another person on the show before.

They, Literally pick themselves up and just moved and they left everything behind all the, you know, the, the friends who are into bad stuff or the, the family members were also into the, all this bad stuff. And, and they just pick themselves up and moved and they, they found a, uh, you know, a new life someplace else and they, now a successful business person.

And, you know, they’re, they’re doing well for themselves. They’re, [00:15:00] they’re clean and all that kind of stuff. So, so definitely that environment could be, uh, you know, a big issue, but you’re right. Like you do also have to do some. inward reflection here and, and see, am, am I, is there anything that I’m doing that can, can be changed?

And, and, you know, maybe, maybe there’s a way that you can, you can work things out that way. But, um, but you know, it may be a combination of things too. And you might need to just kind of look at the whole situation that you’re in and, and try to figure out what it is that you need to do, uh, to, you know, before making that, that decision to pick up and move or, or whatever you might need to work on

Joe Malone: yourself first, right?

Yeah, no, you’re so. I also want to say this to anybody who might be listening is that it’s always you. It’s always you. And I’m only talking to people like this because this is how I’ve talked to myself and how I continue to talk to myself. Your life, your circumstances, everything within the vicinity, your output into this universe, [00:16:00] into this world is a direct result of you and your contribution.

And it always starts with your thoughts, your belief system, your habits, your actions. The way that we talk to us is so imperative and we don’t ever get taught this stuff as in school or as growing up. But the way that the brain works is that it. It wants to conserve energy and then it wants to keep us safe from harm or death.

And so conscious thought burns more calories per gram of weight than any other organ in the brain than any other organ inside the human body. So it’s a caloric burning house, right? Well, whenever we think consciously about something too many times, what’s it do? It programs into the subconscious. And so when you talk to yourself with a negative voice in that head, what happens is it happens so much that it programs into your subconscious negative belief systems.

And if you have negative belief systems, you’re going to have negative output into the world, negative energy, negative action. And when you have that negative energy and that negative action, you get negative results. You can’t [00:17:00] listen to an FM station on a radio. You can’t get positive results. while behaving and thinking negatively.

And so, it absolutely 100% is up to the individual. You, me, every human being has the ability to change that belief system, change that self talk, and then therefore change the output. But yes, absolutely, it does start with the individual, but by taking action of any kind, like changing your environment, that could be, that’s like a really huge contributing factor.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. We’re going to cut to another quick commercial break here, so stay tuned. Embrace your patriotism with the Patriot Box subscription box service. Join Patriot Box’s community of proud Americans. Visit the link in our show notes for more information. So, Joe, earlier, um, in the, the intro, I believe we were mentioning that You kind of suffered from some TBI and PTSD and other things along those lines.

Um, and those are things that, you know, a lot of times veterans unfortunately do have [00:18:00] to face. Uh, can you talk about your experience and, uh, you know, how you managed to work your way towards, you know, a better, a better path, you know, and, and kind of, uh, help yourself out, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier.

Sometimes you got to do that, that inward reflection and have that, that, uh. That ways that you’re helping yourself, but you know, what, what did you do to help yourself with those? Yeah.

Joe Malone: So I never really thought of myself as somebody having PTSD and I kind of still really don’t, I guess there’s some attributes of some experiences that I’ve had.

And then when it comes to the TBI stuff, like I never thought I had a TBI. I thought you had to step on an IED, get shot in the head. Cause keep in mind, like the dudes that I’m working with, like some of these guys literally did get shot in the fricking head and these dudes literally did step on IEDs.

And so you never think about that in terms of, Oh, I’m injured. So one day my bomb technician, my EOD tech, who literally had a piece of shrapnel one day [00:19:00] sticking out of his head this big, he was in the second push for Fallujah, Phantom Fury, you know, this dude. He looks at me and he goes, you know, you have a lot of headaches.

You should probably go get seen by a doctor. And when a guy like that tells you that you should go get seen by a doctor for headaches, it’s kind of like, all right, well, if anybody’s going to know it’s, it’s this dude. So I went and I got stopped by a doctor and they noticed that my pupils, uh, one of them’s blown out a little bit and.

I had all these symptoms that I never knew about before, being like excessive sweating and, uh, dizziness, nighttime, uh, you know, I would get, lose like my equilibrium. And so, when I went to see the doctor, I’ll never forget this. You know, he walks, the neurologist walks into the room and he goes, are you suffering from X, Y, Z, A, B, C?

And I was like, at this point in my life, I was really just like emotionally perturbed. I’d gone through a bunch of, I got in trouble and my career is basically coming to an end at this point because I just was not [00:20:00] myself anymore. And I was like, yeah, well, wait, dude, you read my medical record just like everybody else.

He goes, I haven’t looked at your medical record. He goes, I just looked at your brain scans. And I was like, what? And he goes, all I did was look at your MRI. Come here, look at this. And he showed me where, you know, he called it the thickening of the axonial nerve within the, uh, run prefrontal cortex region of my brain.

And he said, based off of these injuries, you should be suffering from all of these, uh, symptoms. And I said, well, yeah, I am. And he goes, let’s get you back. Let’s get you back to not just normal, but back to being the optimal performer that you want to be, that you are. And from that moment on, he had my attention.

Um, it wasn’t a linear process by any means. It was very up and down. I was over prescribed a lot of meds. I had a lot of different doctors I was seeing. I was dealing with a lot of issues at my command. And the behavioral effects of like a TVI from just like the repetitive [00:21:00] blast, you know, I fired like 30 some Gustav rockets in one single day.

You’re only supposed to fire like five in a 24 hour period. That’s just like one example, you know, like that doesn’t include all the motorcycle accidents in full kit. That doesn’t include all the vehicle rollovers. That doesn’t include all the bad landings on jumps. So, I learned a lot about neurology and neuroscience, and at the same time, I was learning a little bit about, like, spirituality and quantum physics, and how energy exists within this world, I mean, this universe, I mean, everything is made out of energy, you know, it’s, it’s either created or destroyed, that’s a scientific fact, and so, in this time frame, I’m really just diving down, dude, I’m drinking like crazy, and then it came down to one night, which most people, it happens, right, where, I You know, I, I had a gun in my mouth and I was just going to blow my brains out.

And I was staying in this empty apartment in downtown Wilmington, super overpriced, dumping all my money into, I didn’t care less, but anything. And the only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger this night was I was thinking about the cleanup crew and how bad I [00:22:00] felt for them because nobody was going to probably find my rotting body for, I don’t know, several days.

And, uh, while I was thinking about them, I passed out. I woke up with my finger still on the trigger and a buddy of mine who knew I was in distress, but he was like an hour away, but he still came. Thank God. Um, you know, he was, he was there and he was taking the gun out of my mouth and, you know, it was just stayed with me.

And, um, I realized when I woke up the next day, I was like, dude, this sucks. This isn’t me. This isn’t who I want to be. And I, I need to make some serious changes. And from that moment forward, I started to identify, Hey, when do I drink? When do I behave like this? Well, it’s at nighttime, you know, about 7 p. m.

is when the demons start coming out. So I was like, I gotta go to bed. Like I can’t be awake for this. So I was taking meds at the time to get myself to bed. And then I would wake up super early, like 2, 30, 3 o’clock in the morning. And I still do that to this day, done like five, six years now. And [00:23:00] when I would wake up early, I didn’t feel like I wanted to drink.

So I just sat around, I was like, well, what am I going to do? And so I literally just started doing like weird things. Like I would like look up on YouTube and I never looked on YouTube anything before, but I’ll like look up stuff on YouTube. I started getting into stock trading at the time, which ended up being a disastrous move for me later down the road.

Uh, lost everything, ended up homeless, totally broke as I left the military. Um, but, uh, learning about neuroscience and how we could change the brain was the starting point. And I knew that if I wanted to change who I was physically and emotionally and mentally and all that, That I needed to change my habits and my behaviors.

And it started with going to bed early and not drinking and getting up early and exploring that free time to expand my consciousness and to learn things. Eventually I created a nighttime routine. You hear a lot about morning routines these days, but nobody really talks about nighttime routines. And I still maintain all this stuff to this day.

where I would get back from work, you know, do some schoolwork. Electronics are off, lights are down [00:24:00] low. I’m drinking chamomile tea. If I’m listening to music, it’s cool, calm, relaxing music. And then I’m going to bed on my one mattress. It’s my only piece of furniture in the apartment at that time. Mattress on the floor.

And, um, that was it. And then I’d go to bed and I’d wake up and then I would begin to expand and learn some more. And I began that process, which built momentum in a positive trajectory. And so basically what happened is I was falling all these years, falling farther and farther away from what I call the true self is my actual self falling further away.

And eventually I started to turn that momentum around. And with these positive acts and these positive behaviors, I started to realign myself with that true self. And it definitely takes time. You have to build momentum, but that’s really where it all

Scott DeLuzio: began. Well, and those changes are, I think, similar to what we were talking about earlier, where you kind of had to look in to yourself and say, all right, well, when did these demons start popping up?

Okay. You know, around seven, seven o’clock at night or so. Well, you don’t want to be around for when the [00:25:00] demons show up. So yeah, go to sleep. And. You know, wake up super early, but sometimes at the super early time, uh, nobody else is awake. It’s like the most peaceful, relaxing time of the entire day. Um, you know, I’ve had a few, few days where I’ve, I’ve been up that early and it’s like, there’s nobody else up.

There’s no one that that’s gonna, you know, bother you with anything you have. all the time in the world just to kind of just reflect on yourself and, you know, kind of do whatever it is that you need to do, um, during that time period. And it, it’s actually kind of nice to have a couple hours to yourself without having, you know, other things coming up or whatever.

It’s, it’s really peaceful and relaxing. Um, I know people might think it’s crazy waking up at two o’clock in the morning, but sometimes like that’s actually the really more peaceful time of day. And if you’re searching for peace in your life, well, then maybe you need to be you know, doing something like that.

Yeah, kind of sucks that maybe you, you miss out on some late night things that, that might [00:26:00] be going on, but the alternative is you’re going to be, you know, drinking or doing drugs or doing all this other stuff and you’re going to be wrestling with those demons. And who wants that?

Joe Malone: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s not crazy to get up at 2 30.

Cause a lot of my friends and people do say that to me, like, oh, you’re crazy. I go, no, it’s not crazy. What’s crazy is drinking poison and putting yourself in a negative. Well, state of existence. This is the one life that you’ve got as far as we know, man. Like that’s what’s crazy is just ruining yourself, ruining your body.

I never drank a shit ton of booze and then woke up the next day going, Oh man, my life is so much greater now because of these amazing choices that I made last night. It never happened once. Instead, it was like, wow, myself, or I almost ended up in prison or almost killed somebody else. So what’s free is to not take that time and to find yourself and center yourself because you’re absolutely right to like, I, I would be, I still remember this to this day, I would be checking my phone at three 30 in the morning, like, Oh, who’s texting me?

Nobody. Oh, Facebook. Oh, nobody. [00:27:00] There’s nothing going on. And so to have no distractions whatsoever. is the most peaceful thing possible and it helps you to build focus because we’re so distracted in our lives these days. It even got to the point where it almost kind of worked against me because I would get anxiety as people would start to wake up because I didn’t want to be bothered by anybody.

And ultimately, you know, on the path, I ended up going out to, um, one of my cousin’s cabins in the middle of the woods in Michigan for a while and, you know, spent some time out there alone. You know, it’s, it just was like, I just didn’t want to talk to anybody or be bothered by anybody. And now it’s, it’s almost the exact opposite where I feel like I have a duty or moral obligation to help people out and identifying their negative belief systems, their negative habits, and then help them find peace and solace within this crazy chaotic world that we’ve created for ourselves.

You know, it’s, it’s not easy to navigate because of all the advancements in technology, unless. You have somebody to help you through it. Like we as humans are [00:28:00] social creatures. We need social interaction. We need coaching and guidance from one another. Yet we try to isolate ourselves more and more with the advancements in technology.

Cause it’s like this superficial social engagement. The reality of it is, is that if you’re feeling anxiety and depression and all this other garbage, you need to have more human interaction. Because chemically, neurochemically, it’s the only thing proven to reduce those neurochemicals, those negative, anxiety riddled

Scott DeLuzio: neurochemicals.

You know, what you were talking about before is, is basically the definition of insanity. If you’re doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, that, that’s insanity. Like, it’s crazy to think that. Staying out late, drinking, you know, doing all this other stuff that, that isn’t helpful.

Um, doing all that stuff and then expecting, gee, why isn’t my life getting any better? Well, you’re not doing anything positive to affect any kind of better change there. So, you know, exactly what you’re saying is, uh, yeah, 100% right. I think you need to [00:29:00] look at what it is that’s going on in your life and figure out, how do I change that to get to this better place?

And if, and if it means doing something, um, you know, like, you know, waking up at two o’clock in the morning or, you know, you know, going to bed early, much earlier than you usually do, maybe it takes an extreme change like that to get to the place where, where you are. Um, And like you said, it’s not crazy to do that.

Um, it’s, it’s actually very sane and logical to do that because it, it, it’s taking that, that negative, uh, experience out of the entire equation. Um, but when we get back, uh, we’re going to cut to another quick, quick commercial break here, but when we get back, I want to talk a little bit more about, you know, helping people get through these issues, uh, kind of what you were alluding to just a minute ago.

Um, and, and how we can, we can help other veterans out there, uh, who might be on the same path, uh, get to a better place. So stay tuned. Experts say that China is hoarding a massive amount of food. They will soon have over two thirds [00:30:00] of the globe’s corn reserves, over half of its rice, and over half of its wheat.

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Just go to 4patriots. com and use the code DRIVEON to get 10% off your first purchase of 4Patriots Survival Food. That’s 4patriots. com, use the code DRIVEON. So Joe, um… We’re just talking about, you know, helping people get through some of these issues that they may be going through and your story in my mind is the story of resilience and reinvention, kind of just looking at who you are, kind of peeling back some of the issues that you’re going through and And say, how do I, how do I address these?

How do I fix these and make it so they’re not a problem anymore? Um, and there’s other people out there who are going through one thing or another. It could be an addiction. It could be, uh, I don’t know, just other negativity in their lives. It could be that negative self talk that you were talking about before.

Uh, what advice would you give to veterans who might be struggling with life post military and, uh, and seeking a new [00:32:00] sense of purpose, a direction, or maybe just trying to unburden some of these negativity, uh, these things that are negatively impacting their lives.

Joe Malone: Yeah. So everything that, that I say is always coming from a place of love.

Look like when I got out, I was over prescribed meds. I was super depressed, almost killed myself. And then literally as I transitioned out the military, I lost all of my money, everything I had ever saved. And I went into debt 60, 000 doing a bunch of high risk option stock trading. I literally, as I was leaving the military that day, was looking at my phone and watched my account completely go below zero.

So, I understand when people are dealing with financial, emotional, spiritual, whatever struggles as they’re leaving the military. It’s a really disruptive thing in terms of like your pattern and your thought process and your behaviors. So, with that being The first and most important thing is that nobody cares you’re in the military.

[00:33:00] So just get over it right away. Nobody cares at all about what you did in the military, your service, your bronze star, your silver star, nobody gives a damn about what you did. So just get over it. You don’t deserve anything anyways. You chose to join. You did your thing. Cool. Awesome. That’s great. Keep rolling, dude.

It’s now up to you and you only to transform your life into this next chapter, this new phase, whether you have a family or don’t have a family, it is up to you to do that. Now, with that being said, a lot of people get out of the military and they get drawn up into this whole depressive life cycle. Look, I believe that there is a very powerful group of people out there.

You know, and I’m not saying like, you know, elite politicians or, you know, corporate greed or anything like that. But I do truly based off my life experiences and everywhere I’ve been in this, I’ve been to 40 plus countries. I’ve done contracting all over the world. Since I got out of the military, I’ve worked in very high levels of government.

So, you know, I understand the strings that are at play when it comes to [00:34:00] global influence and information and psychological and cyber operations and warfare and campaigns and things like that, things of that nature. So there is a group of people who fear veterans. They fear veterans. Why? Because we can come together.

They know that we’re capable of doing great things and they know that we’re powerful when we do unite. They purposefully want you to ride the VA disability check. They purposefully want you to think getting us a hundred thousand dollars a year salary job in a 401k is the best that you’re ever going to do.

They want you to be depressed. They want you to drink. They want you to use drugs. They want you to kill yourself. There’s a group of people who are very powerful in this world, I truly believe this, that want veterans to kill themselves. Why? Because that makes the society easy to control. Now, with that being said, veterans have taken an oath to protect the U.

S. Constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic. So, when you allow yourself to fall into that negative perpetual belief system, that negative life cycle, what you’re doing is you’re allowing [00:35:00] the enemy to win. Not just, you know, the Taliban, not just ISIS or Al Qaeda or Al Shabaab, whoever it is that you went out against, but you’re allowing the enemy, the people who are negatively influencing the world and who are taking advantage of good people, you’re allowing them to win.

So why would you ever do that? Why would you ever kill yourself and just roll over? And let the enemy win. You got to think about that whenever you’re falling into this depressed life cycle. So how do we get ourselves out of the drinking and the drugs? And you know, the, you know, the lust, all this craziness.

Well, it always starts with the self, the way that you talk to yourself, the way that you intervene against your emotions. The emotional part of our brain receives information two times faster than the conscious part of our brain. It’s just the way that it’s constructed. And. When we have an emotional response to perceived events around us, we’re given as humans, the unique ability to consciously intervene against that thought [00:36:00] process, that emotional process.

So whenever something happens and you’re like, Oh my God, that’s horrible. Then two seconds later you go, you know, it’s actually not that bad, right? Intervene against these negative emotional patterns so that you can realize objectively how bad things currently are in your life and your circumstances.

Now, things can be horrible. Again, I was homeless. I was literally living out of a tent on Oslo Beach, Camp Bourgeois, drinking myself into a stupor, right? Well, identify consciously patterns that you need to fix, the things you need to change. And this is really where I start to help people is I identify this for them.

And I give them solutions so that they can begin to change their habits. Once you begin to change your self talk in terms of, Hey, I need to stop this versus everything is so bad and overwhelming, and I’m just going to keep the same behavior. No, I need to stop this. Boom. That’s the first change. The next change is identifying when and where it needs to stop.

That’s the second change. The third change is implementing the change of [00:37:00] those. Behavioral patterns. That’s the third change. And what we’re doing here is we’re building momentum. You’re starting to build moment, like a rocket ship taking off from the earth. It needs the most thrust when it’s closest to the earth, but the further it gets away and the further it gets out into space, a little bit of thrust will send that thing in motion forever.

And so it takes effort at first and it takes time at first, but once we start to change your thought process and your belief system, and once we start to change your habits, you start to notice that there’s a direct correlation with the environment around you that begins to change. And once we can change that environment little by little, now we’re compounding on these successes.

And then before you know it, I mean, I went from being homeless to living in a 4, 000 square foot home out in the suburbs of Chicago with a beautiful wife, awesome dog, which, you know, I know it clipped out, but you know, you heard him barking a minute ago. He’s a really great dog. He’s an awesome dog. He just doesn’t stop barking.

Um, you know, life can be thrown right off. You could turn it all [00:38:00] around in a matter of an instant. And I’m not going to dive down too far into the law of vibration and you know what a lot of people call like the law of attraction, but we are all energy. We are all formed in a matter. Everything vibrates in this universe.

And if you vibrate on a high vibrational frequency, then you will be able to see and prime your brain for those positive opportunities. But if you don’t, you will Then you won’t. And the, the number one, biggest, most important thing that I would say as somebody who’s trying to change their self, they’re first making this realization.

And then they’re trying to change their self. You can’t think creatively in a negative vibrational frequency in a survival state of existence. The number one thing that you could do is work out. Physically elevate your vibration through working out. Dude, 200 burpees right now, if you’re in a bad mood and I guarantee you, you will not be in the same negative mood.

Once it’s done, it’s, you just won’t, you physically can’t. And once you’re not in that bad mood anymore, now your brain and your consciousness has opened up to where you could think creatively and you can [00:39:00] actually begin to solve your life’s problems from a higher state of elevated a consciousness. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: I’ve noticed just in myself, uh, days that I do some sort of physical exercise, some physical activity, whether it’s something as simple as going out for a walk or maybe, maybe lifting some weights at the gym or, you know, whatever it is, you know, that, that you’re doing. Um, and it could be something simple too.

You, like you said, you don’t need any, you know, gym membership or anything like that to do burpees. You, you can do pushups, you can do sit ups, you could do something physical. And I found that like the rest of the day, well, maybe I’m not, you know, a hundred percent, you know, maybe I’m still having a bad day or whatever, but.

It’s nowhere near the days that I don’t do anything and I’m just kind of sitting around. I’m on the couch. I’m not doing anything physical. Those days are like the lowest of the low on the days. And so it’s like that [00:40:00] helps it like, like you said, it starts to lift that rocket up off the ground and it starts to move you in the right direction.

And then, you know, you’re, you’re thinking a little bit more clearly, you have a little bit more energy and you can start to affect some sort of change in your life. Um, but without that. You’re, you’re stuck. You’re grounded. It’s like, you know, a rocket ship sitting on the launch pad with, you know, no fuel to lift it up off the ground.

You gotta fuel the body with something, right? You have to do something to get there.

Joe Malone: You know, I forget who said it. I think it was like Einstein or Franklin. But, uh, you know, the consciousness that created the problem cannot be the same level of consciousness that solves the problem. You need to elevate your level of consciousness, and it starts first and foremost always with the self.

Self mastery is the most difficult thing to conquer. And if you can actually discipline yourself in your habits, physical exercise, and then, now we start to talk about dietary restriction, restricted caloric [00:41:00] intake, and then monitoring something as simple as like macronutrients, your fats, proteins, and carbs, that’s it.

Stop overcomplicating things, guys and girls. Physically exhaust yourself first thing in the morning to elevate yourself. It’s like when you throw a ball over hand and then gravity pulls the ball down throughout that flight path, right? Or gravity is like negativity within your day. The higher that ball starts off, then the further it’s going to travel.

Further, you’re going to travel at a higher vibrational plane, at a higher level of creativity and positivity throughout your day, while the negativity of the experiences that you endure start to pull you down. We as humans are always negatively defaulted. Why? Because it’s survival based. Remember, the brain is two priorities.

Conserve energy, keep us safe from death and harm. And so, Death and harm is always associated with negative thought patterns, negative experiences. And so by default, that’s why we always think the worst case scenario is because our brain subconsciously is going life, life, life. We need to preserve life.

And so positive experiences are [00:42:00] never associated with death, right? It’s always a negative one. And so as we go about our day and our negative defaulted subconsciousness, Continues to take over as we’re negatively influenced by the things around us that are bothering us. If you start your day off high, then you’re gonna travel a lot further.

But if you start your day off low, like you were saying, you don’t work out, you don’t restrict your diet, you don’t master yourself in your own discipline, then you’re going to fall to the ground way sooner. And then if you hit the ground, Your day’s basically just shot at that point. You’re in that survival mode.

You’re not thinking creatively, you’re not solving problems. And if you can’t solve problems, you’re not going to get compensated financially. You’re not contributing positively to the world and the universe, the law of reciprocity, you must give. But you can only give that which you internally possess, and so you must cultivate the internal possession that you can then therefore give to the world in a positive migration, and then therefore you will receive the positive, uh, opportunities, compensation, whatever it is, back because you’re giving and contributing to the universe in a positive way.[00:43:00]

Scott DeLuzio: The other thing too, just thinking back to the previous conversation that we were having as far as Uh, you know, you waking up two o’clock in the morning or, you know, whatever the time is that you, that you get up, um, you know, a lot of people, they make excuses as far as their physical health goes and their, their exercise and all that kind of stuff.

It’s like, well, you know, I wake up at five o’clock in the morning. I gotta be, you know, getting out the door to work at six or, you know, whatever. And I just don’t have time to, to do all of that. Wake up earlier and you have all the time in the world.

Joe Malone: You’re being weak, you’re being weak, and I say that from a place of love, because I said that to myself, I still say that to myself every single day, whenever I don’t feel like going to the gym, I literally say, you’re being a bitch, like, shut the hell up, dude, like, oh, I’m listening to my body, it looks like your body’s talking smack, bro, you’re fat, you’ve got jelly rolls, you look disgusting, you feel like crap, you treat your family like garbage, like, that is not okay, But we justify [00:44:00] this behavior.

Why? Because our body wants to conserve energy. This is the primal part of our brain says, I’m safe here. I’m not burning calories that I could, I could basically make it through this, even though the conscious part of you is so dissatisfied with yourself. Now we have cognitive dissonance and that just further perpetuates your negative life cycle.

And then you start projecting that onto the people who are closest to you. And that’s why so many veterans end up in bad marital relationships is because they’re treating their spouse like garbage or their energy is garbage or the way they treat other people is garbage. And then they end up killing themselves because they’re sick and tired of feeling this way.

It starts with the body and the diet. Well, we’re really the mindset and then the body and the diet. And then it becomes habitual because again, if you couldn’t master your dive, quit heroin for Christ’s sake. And I’m telling you the dietary restriction, the most difficult thing that I consistently have to master every single day of my life because we just eat out of boredom.

We’ve developed these negative eating habits and this crap food [00:45:00] over saturated and carbs and fats and very little protein. And man, I’m telling you, it makes a world of a difference when you can actually force yourself to go work out, elevate yourself and then maintain that discipline and anybody can do it.

I see people all day long and it just drives me crazy because I know they have greatness within them, but they’re just caught up in this negative consciousness and the consciousness that’s created the problem that they’re wrestling in is not the same consciousness that could help them solve that problem.

You need to get some outside

Scott DeLuzio: help. Absolutely. And to the point of anybody can do this, I’ve seen amputees climb Mount Everest and you know, if they can do it, yeah, you can get up and go walk around your neighborhood. You can go, you know, do. Do some burpees or you can, you can find something to do if you, if they can do that, you can do it too.

So, uh, we’re going to take another quick commercial break here. So stay tuned.

Joe Malone: This message is from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans service organizations, often known as VSOs, offer many services for veterans and their [00:46:00] families. Those services include holding job fairs and finding solutions to issues such as healthcare.

And finances. VSOs also offer veterans a place to socialize with other veterans for peer support. To learn more, go to

Scott DeLuzio: va.gov. Well, Joseph, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on today and speaking with you about your experiences and everything that you’ve gone through and the mindset shift that you’ve gone through to get to where you are today is to me, I think is really inspiring.

And hopefully the listeners out there who, um, you know, Heard your message so far, uh, have, have taken that away from, from this episode as well. Um, where can people go to get in touch with you, find out more about what you do and all of that kind of stuff?

Joe Malone: Yeah, thanks. It’s been a, it’s been an interesting experience, like, uh, you know, with all the distractions going on at the house.

But, uh, Instagram is where I’m most active. Joseph underscore Malone underscore official. And then Southern Cross dot company is the website, uh, that I run out of. [00:47:00] And then Facebook, YouTube, Southern Cross Safety Academy. And the goal of all the things that I’m posting online is to really, it’s, it’s started as being aimed towards veterans and helping them transfer their skills and maintain levels of lethality or increase those levels of lethality so that they can actually improve upon the skills that they started with.

Have good diet, have good nutrition, develop good habits, and then become successful in business. Because whether it’s you work for somebody or you’re working for yourself, it’s really important to know how to transition positively into society. And the way the Taps and Tams program that the military has is garbage.

Like, it’s just the biggest joke in the face of the planet. And so if anybody wants help, assistance, guidance, You don’t have to subscribe to any of my programs, but these programs that we’re running, I’m telling you, it will change your life. Absolutely. You’ll be in great shape. You’re going to get ripped.

You’re going to feel amazing. Your energy levels, your positivity is just going to be through the roof. And then on top of it, I give all sorts of training in terms of firearms training, personal safety training, home safety, everything that [00:48:00] I’ve learned from my time as a MARSOC Marine, I’ve been applying to the private sector, doing a lot of executive coaching, teaching some of these high level executives how to keep their families safe.

So I definitely invite anybody to hit me up, Instagram, all my messages. It’s absolutely me, 100%, Facebook, whatever. Um, yeah, so anybody can reach out any point in time and I’d be more than happy to work with

Scott DeLuzio: you. Excellent. And I’ll have links to all of those in the show notes for the listeners who want to check you out.

Um, so for anyone who is out there, want, want to know a little bit more, definitely check out those show notes. So now I like to close out each episode with a little bit of humor. Um, it’s been a few episodes since I’ve done this, uh, segment, which I’ve come to start to enjoy quite a bit here. It’s called the Is It Service Connected segment.

Um, so I want to get that one going again, but for the viewers who aren’t familiar with it, Is It Service Connected is where we take a look at a video of a service member doing something stupid or otherwise getting, getting injured somehow because of some. [00:49:00] Something rather humorous, kind of think of it like a America’s Funniest Videos, uh, kind of, kind of segment.

Um, and we try to predict whether or not the injury would qualify for VA disability, service connected disability, somewhere down the line. Uh, for the podcast listeners out there who can’t see the video, I’ll do my best to describe the video or you can tune in at WTSMTV. com or I may post a video to social media as well.

So follow along at Drive On Podcast, uh, on all the socials and you might be able to check it out there as well. But, um, with that, I’m going to pull up this video here, um, and get us going here with this.

Alright, so can you see the video, Joseph? Yeah, I got it. Just a quick video here.

And it looks like, looks like a truck rolling over, going [00:50:00] down a hill, dirt road kind of thing, just rolling right off. I got to imagine someone, someone’s banging around in there pretty hard that I don’t, I don’t know, I’ve been in a couple of rollover drills, never an actual rollover like that, but I got to imagine they were banging their heads on something, so I got to imagine there were some sort of, uh, you know, head injuries, neck injuries or something going on with that.

Joe Malone: Yeah, for sure. Especially if they had rifles in the back of that shark. Oh

Scott DeLuzio: my God. Could you imagine if they had like ammo cans and shit like that, like just lined up?

Joe Malone: I’m thinking of like all the times I’ve been in trucks and there’s literally just all this gear or like in a helicopter, there’s all this, I’m just like, dude, we’re screwed if this thing flips over, man, like,

Scott DeLuzio: I mean, you do your best, like try to strap stuff down, but you know that some of that stuff isn’t going to stay strapped down no, no matter how well you think of it is.

Joe Malone: None of it is going to stay strapped down.

Scott DeLuzio: None of it, no. So, anyways, um, thank you for playing along with this little segment here. I like to have a little bit of fun with that. [00:51:00] It’s kind of, kind of funny to hear everyone’s perspectives on, on the different videos that I show with this. But, um, but with that one, yeah, rolling over, um, you know, in a truck like that, that, that’s a.

That’s not a good situation. So

Joe Malone: that’s service connected a hundred percent.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, I think so. All right. Well, thank you again for your time and sharing your story with everyone. Like I said, truly an inspirational story. So thank you again. Right on, brother. Anytime. 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.

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