Episode 345 Sarah Otto & Candace Guelzo Discussing Mental Health Support with Ohana Homefront Foundation Transcript

This transcript is from episode 345 with guests Sarah Otto & Candace Guelzo.

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.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today my guests are Sarah Otto and Candace Guelzo. Uh, they’re from Ohana Home Front Foundation, and they are here to discuss the foundation, how they help the military community with mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs.

We’ll get into that in just a minute. But first I want to welcome you both to the show, ladies. I’m really glad to have you here.

Sarah Otto: Thanks for having us.

Candace Guelzo: Thanks! We’re

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so for the listeners, maybe who aren’t familiar with, with you, um, I’d like to maybe just do quick [00:01:00] introductions for the two of you. Um, maybe Sarah, if we could start with you, um, just tell us a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your background, how you got involved with the foundation, and then we’ll go jump over to, uh, Candice.

Sarah Otto: Awesome. Awesome. Thanks, guys, for having us. Um, so, as I said, I’m Sarah Otto. I am actually the co founder and CEO, and apparently I’ve been given the title of also CKO, Chief Kindness Counselor, or Officer. Uh, that was a whole, whole discussion a couple weeks ago. Um, and, uh, My husband is retired Navy. He retired in 2018 after 21 and a half years of service.

We have three adult kids and one grandbaby, two dogs and two goats, and so it’s kind of, it’s kind of a wild thing out here. Um, and I, throughout the 21 and a half years that my husband’s active duty, you know, you see a lot of things, you hear a lot of things, and as the years progressed, [00:02:00] mental health became a big thing.

a huge stumbling block within our military community. And so in 2021, I woke up and had an idea. And here we are a little over two years later. Um, and that’s where I am with OHF is that’s kind of, I, it was my, I woke up one morning and said, I have an idea. So, and that’s why Candace is here with me today.

Cause I had an idea.

Scott DeLuzio: And, and ideas are usually, um, they go further when they’re, they’re done together with a team of people, other, other folks who, who share the, there’s a shared vision and you, you come together, um, with your strengths and other people’s strengths and they come together and that’s how you, you make the best of it.

Um, Candice, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Candace Guelzo: Yeah, of course. So as you said, my name is Candace Guelzo and I am the Chief Operating Officer on [00:03:00] the Mental Health side of the Ohana Homefront Foundation. My husband is currently active Army and is teaching at the Military Academy at West Point, which has been a really cool thing to experience. Um, if you ever have a chance, anybody ever has a chance to come up and just view West Point.

It’s amazing. We have three young children. Um, one of which who will probably burst in at some point during this podcast, um, iHomeschool. And I am currently getting my PhD in industrial organizational psychology and we’re putting all this effort into this wonderful organization that Sarah has built and she’s built a fantastic team.

And I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Sarah. So thank you, Sarah.

Sarah Otto: Welcome. Okay.

Scott DeLuzio: else that you have going on, right?

Candace Guelzo: Good. Today. It might be rough, but we’re here.

Scott DeLuzio: know, it’s funny, you mentioned, uh, you know, coming to visit West Point and it is a, a, a great area. Um, uh. I was in the Connecticut Army National [00:04:00] Guard. And so we did, uh, some training at, at West Point every once in a while.

Not, not too often, but we, we’ve gone there for some training and one, uh, one training weekend, um, over, it was over the winter. I forgot exactly which month it was in. But there was definitely, there’s snow on the ground and, uh, we were sleeping outside overnight. Um, we just had our sleeping bags. There’s no tents or anything like that formal setup.

We just found a spot on the ground and we laid down. Well, the sleeping bag that I had set up was And a little bit of a slope, uh, on hill. And I laid down, I went, went, went to sleep. Uh, you know, other people were pulling security and, you know, doing all the things that we were supposed to do. Uh, when I woke up, I was in the middle of a thorn bush and there was, there was like these pricker bush branches all around me.

And I, like, I couldn’t get out without scraping myself up. My face, my arms, everything was all scraped up. It was such, and then, then I’m slipping back in because. [00:05:00] The, you know, as I slid down the hill, I ended up, uh, you know, kind of, it kind of like iced over a little bit as I was going in and like, I just, I couldn’t, I was like punching into the snow to like get myself out.

It was, it was just such a pain in the butt. Um, but that’s my memory from West Point. So, um, so if you go, I guess maybe avoid the winter months.

Sarah Otto: And no sleeping bags on a float,

Scott DeLuzio: Yes, exactly. That, that was, that was my bad. I mean, I should have known better than to put it there, but you know, live and learn, right?


Sarah Otto: and a good story out of it.

Scott DeLuzio: um, yeah, it is. And a little bit of, you know, you guys can all laugh at my expense. It’s fine. I get it. It was, it was years ago and I can laugh at it now too. At the time I was saying some stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily want to say around my kids, but you know, that’s fine. Um, anyways, so. Thank you.

Sarah, could you take us back a little bit? Um, you talked a little bit about how you had this idea and. You just decided to [00:06:00] jump in and do it, but can you tell us what motivated you to create the foundation and, and where you got started?

Sarah Otto: So, the motivation was, I hear all, Let’s, you know, rewind to 2021. Um, you, you, you’d hear about organizations that would help veterans, that would help spouses. There was nothing out there that at least I could find that took care of the whole puzzle. So, and whenever you put together a puzzle and you’re missing a piece, the puzzle falls apart because, you know, it’s just not there, right?

So my brain child was, I want something that takes care of the whole community. I want the whole puzzle taken care of. Top to bottom, side to side. And so, and everything virtual. Everything no cost. So, and nothing reporting back to commands because that’s the number one thing. And I would say the number [00:07:00] one reason that people just don’t get help in the military is they don’t want their command to find out.

The spouses are afraid that their spouse’s command is going to find out. You know, there’s all these different factors. And so we didn’t. want anything that would report back. So when I had the idea, I woke up and I called my best friend Natalie Ely and I said, I have an idea. And she said, okay, what do you want me to do?

And I said, you’re going to co found it with me. And she said, okay, I’m in, but what’s the idea? Like she had no, no clue what the, but that’s a good friend, right? They’re like, all

Scott DeLuzio: That’s trust.

Sarah Otto: in feet first and let’s just do this. But I don’t know what the idea is, but let’s do it. You know, um, that’s. The Ohono Homefront Foundation was born at my dining room table after pushing a piece of paper back and forth, uh, like a car deal.

I’m trying to figure out a name. Um, so that’s, that’s my main reason is I want everybody to be okay. Um, and I don’t want the puzzle to fall apart. Because our, our soldiers and sailors [00:08:00] and airmen and marines, um, who’s in the military, they can’t do their job if they’re worried about those back home, and those back home holding down the home front can’t do that if they’re worried about their service member on the other side, too.

So, we need everybody okay.

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It’s such a powerful mission to, uh, take care of the whole picture and, and look at not, not just the individual service member who is, uh, you know, maybe deployed overseas or they’re at home. You know, in garrison doing their, you know, whatever training, whatever it is that they’re, they’re doing. Um, but, [00:10:00] but you’re right when there’s stuff going on at home, um, you know, I, I’ve, I said this before we even started recording, you know, people, the family first kind of mentality.

Uh, my, my mind is going to be at home and that’s where. Accidents happen, right? And, and you don’t want that. I don’t think anyone in, in the chain of command wants that type of stuff to happen. So yeah, why not, uh, look at it holistically and, and take care of the family and, and that type of stuff as well.

Um, and that’s, that’s just a great. Uh, way to look at it. Um, now you, you mentioned the mental health and, and other things. Like you, you don’t want to report those things to the chain of command. It’s a big issue in the military. Um, still carries a stigma. Uh, unfortunately, even, even with all the progress that we’ve made as far as mental health goes, uh, still carries some sort of.

Stigma. Um, and especially like, like I said, in the military culture, um, uh, maybe, [00:11:00] uh, Candice, maybe, maybe you might be able to, uh, answer this. How, how does the, uh, the foundation work to break down these stigmas and encourage the conversations about mental health challenges that, that folks may have?

Candace Guelzo: Yeah, yeah, so as you said, you know, the, even though there’s been so much progress and everybody’s working so hard to reduce this stigma, we know there’s still a stigma. That’s part of the military, you know, part of the military culture as much as we don’t want it. You know, people don’t want to lose their security clearances.

They’re afraid of losing their jobs, you know. Uh, we’ve got some personal things with that. You know, nobody wants to, you know, just here on my street, you know, we’ve got some people who are afraid of their, their security clearances, et cetera, and we are in such a situation that you have to be really careful.

So what Ohana does is we bring these people into our foundation, they come in and they receive care from quality licensed professionals who all of these notes and all of [00:12:00] these things regarding. The time spent and whatnot into secure platforms that don’t go back to anybody. And obviously we have mandatory reporting, you know, somebody’s going to do harm, you know, we need to tell somebody.

But we actively encourage people to come and just talk. We have wonderful peer mentors who will just sit and listen. Because the goal is to break down that stigma. You know, the current generation, the new generation, thinks of mental health as health. And that’s something that we have not been able to fully break down within the military yet.

And we want everybody to just, if you’re, if your mind’s not right, if you’re a little anxious or you’re a little depressed, or you’re just, something’s completely wrong, you can’t focus on everything else. And we want to, we’re actively working on trainings to kind of, you know, when, when there’s something wrong, when the chemicals are off in your brain, it’s not your fault.

If you’re depressed, it’s not your fault. It’s a [00:13:00] chemical reaction in your brain. You can’t control it. The whole, you know, change your socks, drink some water, take some ibuprofen, um, that doesn’t work for depression.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And I mean, as, as much as I’d love for it to be that easy, you know, where, where you could just, you know, uh, take some ibuprofen, change your socks, uh, drink some water, um, and, and make you feel better. It’s not that easy, like you said. And, and as far as the people with these concerns over like their security clearance or other issues that may be, um, you know, they’re worried about their job or, or other things like that. I mean. Think about it this way. If I was in the, their chain of command, if I have someone with a high level security clearance, um, I would want to make sure that their mental health was taken care of. Like if there’s an issue, everyone has issues. I don’t care who you are. You’re there’s people that they’re going to [00:14:00] have issues at one point or another in their lives are going to have something.


Sarah Otto: giving a

Scott DeLuzio: They’re depressed about, or, you know, they’re anxious about, or whatever the case may be. Maybe it’s, maybe it’s a loss of a loved one, you know, maybe their, their spouse died or their parents died, or I don’t know, something like that. Right. There’s going to be grief. There’s going to be sadness. There’s going to be stuff that maybe you need to just talk to somebody.

Figure that stuff out, right? Um, why wouldn’t you want that person to have the best care that they can get so that I don’t want to say get over it, whatever they’re going through, but so that they can go back to whatever their job is with a clear head, with, with all of those issues, um, you know, kind of resolved if you will, right?

Um, that to me seems like. The way I, I would want my, my, uh, soldiers or marines, airmen, sailors, whoever to, to be [00:15:00] performing, you know, at the top of their, their game. You’re not going to be at the top of your game if your head someplace else, if you’re, if you’re depressed or you’re anxious or you’re, you know, whatever the case may be, uh, you’re not going to be at the top of your game.

So yeah, let, let those people go get help and don’t, don’t risk losing their jobs because they don’t. They went to go talk to somebody, you know, that to me just make any sense, you know,

Candace Guelzo: And I think the way that we look at it is, you know, if somebody’s getting help, these are the people who are more in control of themselves because they have an understanding of what’s going on, you know, biologically in their bodies. They have a better understanding of, okay, maybe you’re having panic attack symptoms.

And instead of shoving those down and pretending like they’re not happening, you know what to do when you’re faced them. And then you are able to face the rest of your day better. And it creates a safer and healthier, healthier environment for everybody.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s right. Absolutely How have your experiences as [00:16:00] military spouses, uh, influenced your, your passion for supporting military families and their mental health and overall wellness? Um, you know, I got to imagine that played some, some role in the, uh, in the forming of the organization, but also in the day to day work that you do to keep you going, keep you motivated, right?

Sarah Otto: Yeah, uh, so my husband joined in 1997, so I’m sure that there’s a lot of people listening that are like, I was born that year, because we hear that a lot. Um, it’s weird, like we’re the Adam Sandler’s now, like from, was it Happy Gilmore or whichever movie it was where was, you know, and he had to go through school again.

That’s what felt like in my, as my husband’s getting ready to retire. Um, anyway, so that’s why that, um, but yeah, you just, it’s navigating our life to begin with is different. Um, it’s a whole different ball game. And those that [00:17:00] aren’t within the military community don’t understand that and they don’t understand the stressors that we go through.

They don’t understand, you know, trying to find, um, a new PCM or a new psychologist or counselor or whatever every time that you move. Um, they don’t understand that most of the time we’re dragging children with us. You know, um, my three kids. Two of them, my older two, they both went through like eight hours of study at one point just so I could figure out what was going on with them when they were younger.

Um, and, you know, and then trying to find help once you move to a whole different state or across the country or across the pond, right? You know, it’s just so hard to navigate and That was another thing. I wanted to be that place where the navigation doesn’t have to happen alone. Um, there is someone at the wheel that will help them and will say, Hey, [00:18:00] I’ve got you.

You give me the basics of what you need. We will figure this out together. Someone is here for you. Um, that’s where our peer to peer comes in a lot. It’s like battle buddies. Um, and we do have two active duty sailors. Um, that are peer to peer mentors as well. Um, so we do have active duty spouses, you know, somebody that’s been in the shoes or the boots or whatever it is.

Um, that was the biggest one. Um, so it’s just, ADHD. And so, I mean, it just really having somebody that’s been in those shoes helps a lot. Um, and so that’s, that’s where, you know, I would have loved as a young 20s. You know, in my twenties, to have somebody to say, Hey, I’ve got you, I can help you. That was not the case, even then, you know, and with little ones, that’s just a whole other thing.

Um, and then I remember we moved, [00:19:00] um, from Missouri to Florida and within two weeks, my husband deployed. Brand new location, kids were three, five, and six, like they were little. I didn’t know what to do. Like, what do you do? Um, and whole new locations, so I, I had to figure that out on my own, and it was not easy, um, so I don’t want anybody to ever have to feel like they have to do it alone.

There is always somebody there willing to help with a resource, um, and, and to guide.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, this is something that just thinking back to my own service, when I deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, uh, it was about a month and a half or so after my My first son was born, uh, that I was deployed. And just thinking about my wife back home, a new mother, brand new to, you know, babies don’t come with owner’s manuals, they, you know, they don’t have any, [00:20:00] I don’t know, you have to just kind of figure it out and you stumble into it.

And it’s a whole lot easier when you stumble into it. As a team, when you have that, that support with, uh, both the father and the mother who are there together, working it together. And I just felt so bad for, for my wife who had to tossed into the deep end by herself and had no support from me whatsoever.

Couldn’t even pick up the phone and call me because I was on the other side of the world in a place where I didn’t really have a phone that she could pick up and call anyway. So, um, Is something that I feel like she probably would have been able to benefit from the type of services that you, uh, offer because

Sarah Otto: Mhm.

Scott DeLuzio: that, that kind of support and knowing that people are there to support you is, is important as well.

So, um, so that, that’s, um, [00:21:00] you know, definitely great that, you know, you have those, those things available, like you were saying, um, Now, one of the goals of the foundation is to, uh, empower military spouses and their families to engage in mental health care and support. How do you see this, um, playing a role in supporting the service members and their, their mental wellbeing?

Maybe, maybe Candice,

Sarah Otto: I was like, I

Scott DeLuzio: I know we, we have both. I, yeah, I was going to say, maybe we can kind of do a little, uh, ping pong or, or tennis match here kind bounce between the two of you.

Candace Guelzo: Um, I’m going one because my little one is screaming right now and that’s gonna, I’m sorry.

Sarah Otto: You’re fine. You’re fine. Um, so the empowerment comes from you are in control. Um, Of what you are um, what you need to do, um, what [00:22:00] there are, um, those kind of things. So, that’s where the empowerment comes from, you know, giving them the tools, letting them know they can do this, um, they’re not alone.

Um, and that there are people here willing to say, Here. And it’s not going to be like going to kindergarten on the first day, or whenever you check into a new command, where I know that whenever my husband would check into a command, he would come home with a stack of things, right? You’re not going to read all of that, let’s just be honest.

You’re not. Um, give some bullet points. Um, so that’s, we do a lot of bullet points within OHS, um, on what we offer, because you don’t want to read a pamphlet. on what we do. You want to see, okay, they have support groups, they have counseling, they have this, this, you know, and all of these different things. Um, and to know that they’re okay.

It’s fine. We’ve all been there, done that, bought the t shirt. We’ve all had our moments where, you know, we just want to sit in bed and [00:23:00] eat that pint of ice cream. And it’s fine to be like that, but the next day get up and conquer the world. Um, and it, we’re here to help them do that. Thank

Scott DeLuzio: of papers that you get and all the, these pamphlets and brochures and all these things that you get when you, uh, go to a new place, or even as you’re transitioning out of the military, you get a lot of information. And I’ve said this before on the, on the show, but it’s like drinking from a fire hose.

It’s like, you’re not going to get it all. It’s you’re going to end up. With stuff that is completely over your head or, you know, you, you might see it and say, Oh, you know, that’s nice that they have that, but I don’t need that right now. So you kind of forget about it. And then, you know, a year or two later when you actually do need it, you’ve forgotten all about it.

And where did that pamphlet go? It’s probably in the trash by now. Um, you know, so it, it’s like, it’s too much information. Like [00:24:00] you can only process so much at the same time. And it’s, it’s a whole lot easier when you don’t have, uh, When you don’t have it all coming at you at once, um, like you said, bullet points, short, sweet.

These are the things that we cover. Um, that’s, that’s how I would consume the information. That’s how I’d, I’d prefer to consume it. I say, because if you gave me a book and said, here, read this, this is everything that we do. I’m not going to, I’m not even going to open the cover. So I’m not going to know.

Anything about what you do, if, if you’re giving me this big, thick manual or whatever you want to call it, uh, it’s, it’s just going to be too much, uh, for me. So, um, I know, uh, Candice, sorry, you, you had to step away for a second here, but we were

Candace Guelzo: I apologize.

Scott DeLuzio: about, no, no worries, no worries. Um, you know, I, I know, um, you know, especially having little ones at home and things like that, things are, uh, [00:25:00] sometimes a little bit hectic.

I’m the same way. We, we homeschool our kids and, and it, it can be hectic every once in a while. I don’t think I’d be able to do this show if it was not for, uh, you know, having the support of my wife here to, uh, be able to, to help out with the home and, and everything like that, to, to help me out with, um, you know, managing the kids and all that kind of stuff.

It, it really is a blessing, uh, to, to have here. Um. But, so we were talking about, um, kind of the empowerment of military spouses and families and, um, know, how that, how that, um, uh, how they can engage in like mental health care and support, um, and how that plays a role in the, uh, supporting the service members who are maybe overseas or they are, whatever it is that they are doing, um, you know, being able to support the families, um, but in a, um, In an indirect way, that’s also supporting the, the service members as well, right?[00:26:00]

Candace Guelzo: Yeah. So I think one of the really beautiful things about Ohana is, I mean, not only are we all volunteer, but we’re all virtual, which I know Sarah has touched on. And. We have these fantastic support groups that we are starting up again very shortly. And they’re, we have them for everybody. You know, we have active duty, veteran, you know, postpartum, parenting, you know, I could go on, you know, we have several of them and they’re all, I mean, they’re a place, they’re a safe space as much as I’m not the most fond of using that terminology.

Um. Because it can imply so many different, you know, it’s not, I digress. Um, they are a space, you know, somebody, you can come in and, you know, say you’re a new mom and somebody, your spouse just deployed, there’s going to be somebody else like you in that space. have facilitators running them who are knowledgeable to these experiences who can be like, Hey, [00:27:00] I was there.

And, you know, here’s a nice little bullet point list of things you can do this week to make yourself feel better. Or, you know, did you remember to get a specific power of attorney so you can get your ID updated when it expires? Because that happened to me and I did not enjoy going through that. Um, so I think we’re just kind of here for, to make sure everybody has that extra kind of virtual set of hands.

we can’t. We can’t come in and do something for you, but we can be there to answer your call.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely.

So for, uh, for the listeners who are out there, who are, they’re in need of some sort of support, they, they recognize that they’re, um, they’re not getting the services or the, the support that they need. Feel like they should be getting, um, uh, Candice, maybe you could, uh, talk a little bit about how people can, uh, get in [00:28:00] touch, reach out to, uh, Ohana Home Front Foundation and get the support that they need, um, for, you know, whatever the, the stuff that stuff is that they’re, they might be going through.

Candace Guelzo: Yeah. Yeah. So we’re, I’d like to say we’re very easy to get ahold of, you know, our, I’m sure that our website’s going to be linked somewhere, but it’s OhonoHomeFund. org. And there is a big button right on the homepage that says request services, and it sends you to a little form. And then that form pings straight to myself and our care coordinator.

Um, and we really pride ourselves in getting back to you within 24 hours. We also have a Facebook. Where that’s also a Juana Homefront Foundation. And I know Sarah has all these wonderful social media platforms set up. Um, but messages on that, I also see, and Sarah also sees. So we can get back to you really quickly.

And you can also find all our emails on the website. And we’re just, I mean, we’re, I’d like to think we’re [00:29:00] very personable, you know, easy to talk to, right, Sarah? You know, it’s so easy to have a conversation. Um, but we really… We want to be that way because we want people come and ask for help. And, you know, you can hop on our website and see all these awesome things that Sarah was just speaking about.

And really, I mean, there’s a form for everything. If you don’t know what you want, or, you know, maybe you’re just not sure what kind of help you need, send us an email. And we’ll gladly reach back out to you, and I know as Sarah was saying, we don’t have a counselor in every state, that’s part of, part of the issue, right?

So, if we cannot provide you with a counselor, if you don’t see one listed in your state, please reach out anyway, because we will find you that care.

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And that’s, I think, uh, uh, important part too, because when you have, uh, folks scattered throughout the country, uh, you know, different military installations, you have, you know, reserves, national guard throughout the country, uh, you have people who are stationed overseas, um, and, and being overseas, mental health is looked at in certain countries, uh, a lot differently than we look at here, uh, at, at it here, I should say.

And. They may not have those resources at all available to them, uh, when they’re overseas in some cases. And so, um, having this virtual connection where you can reach out and, um, you know, get a call back and within 24 hours, uh, I think that’s, that’s pretty amazing. Um, uh, I, I know I have a story of somebody who, uh, [00:32:00] had tried to make a mental health appointment with the VA. the summer, I forget exactly when it was, maybe June, July, somewhere around there. And they said the next appointment that they had available with this particular provider was in October. And it’s, it’s like, come on, that’s, that doesn’t even make sense at that point, you know, like why, why so long? And I know there’s a community care option.

They have those options to, to be able to Get access to care a little bit sooner, uh, through some other provider. You know, sometimes you want the, the, the care to be, you know, handled through people who are connected to the military, you know, everyone in the VA, whether they served or not, they have worked with people who have, and so maybe that’s what you would prefer, but now you have to wait.

Almost half a year in order to get it. And that, that just doesn’t make any sense to me. Um, it’s, it’s crazy. So getting that call back, at [00:33:00] least a call back, you know, maybe it’s not the, um, 100 percent into diving into the support that they need, but you get that call back within 24 hours and then you can work on, uh, you know, scheduling appointments and that type of thing from there.

I think that’s, that’s great. And, and I’m sure the turnaround time is a heck of a lot quicker than, uh, maybe what the VA might, might have to offer, right?

Sarah Otto: By a long shot

Candace Guelzo: We know that there’s a lot of issues regarding going in. Now, there’s nothing wrong with going into your community to get mental health care because care care. But when you leave that VA or that base and then you go to somebody who

maybe doesnquite know the military or isn’t familiar

You’re lacking that cultural competency.

And you wouldn’t think that it would have a huge effect on your care, but Sarah and myself and our chief of staff were talking the other day and, you know, there was somebody who. Went to see somebody out in the community, [00:34:00] and I think, what, Sarah, they spent 40 minutes out of a 55 minute, um, call, or appointment, just explaining the terminology and what was going on, and that’s, that cultural competency is something we really pride ourselves in, because we are all affiliated in one way or another.

With military, and we understand, and I don’t, Sarah knows I don’t speak Navy. We have these things all time. I don’t speak, I’m very Army. We don’t, we just don’t speak Navy. I’m constantly having to have her, you know, okay, what does it mean if you’re on that kind of ship? What’s the difference? You know, but let’s speak to a spouse who is Army, and I will, chances are, understand exactly what it is.

You know, I’ll understand where they are, or, you know, maybe a specific school their, their spouse is at. And. You know, we can work through it together.

Scott DeLuzio: it’s funny cause being army myself, uh, I remember that the first time I saw, uh, Uh, there was a television show, I forget what the show was, [00:35:00] but I remember somebody, uh, in the Navy was on the show and they were, uh, they were a lieutenant in the Navy, and they, they referred to the person as a lieutenant, and I looked at the rank on their collar, and I was like, that’s not a lieutenant, like, what, what are they, like, did they really get it that wrong?

And I was like, no, I’m an idiot. I, I screwed that up. Um,

Candace Guelzo: I have so, I, I struggle with that so much. It doesn’t make sense. I think the only answer is that they’re doing it wrong, because clearly the army is doing the right, the right way.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, obviously that’s, my, my viewpoint.

Um, so anyways, yes, we will have the links to all of your, your website and social media accounts. In the show notes for all the listeners, um, folks, if you guys are looking for support and you’re getting these months long waits from the VA or wherever else it is that you might be going to, or you have concerns about, um, going to, uh, You know, any place that might report back to your chain of command, [00:36:00] and you just don’t want that for one reason or another.

I don’t really care what the reason is. Your reason to have, not mine. Um, and you’re looking for some sort of support. Maybe it’s with your family. Maybe it’s for yourself. Um, You know, whatever the case may be, reach out to Ohana Home Front Foundation, get the support that you need. Um, that’s what they exist for.

That’s what they, they, they wake up every morning. They, they, they do this a day in and day out for the last few years. And, um, you know, I, I just really, uh, believe in the mission that you guys have. And I, I really want people to reach out and get the support so that. This crisis that we’re having with mental health is, um, you know, it, it doesn’t continue going in the wrong direction.

I saw, um, some statistics just the other day that, uh, veteran suicides, um, I think the last year that they had numbers for, I don’t know why it takes so long to Compile these numbers, but it was 2021 and, and it started [00:37:00] ticking back up again. And that, that was

very troubling for me. Like we should be doing better

have are maybe a little, little dark, a little heavy.

Um, and you know, sometimes telling a joke or watching funny video or something like, like that. Helps lighten the mood a little bit and kind of puts a little smile on people’s face. So, um, so I’ll tell a quick joke here, uh, for you. So this is how the different branches deal with a scorpion that they found in their tent.

Uh, in the Marines, they kill the scorpion. In the Army, they call their CO, report the presence of a scorpion, and then they kill it. And in the Air Force, They call the front desk and ask why there’s a tent in their room. [00:38:00] So anyways, if hopefully that for the listeners, hopefully that put a little smile on your face too, um, unless you’re in the air force and then you’re probably not getting the joke, but just ask a Marine. They’ll explain it to you. Um, or a soldier. Um, anyways, thank you both for taking the time to join us.

I know, uh, Yeah, you guys have a lot of, a lot on your plates, a lot of things that you guys have going on. Uh, and I appreciate you taking time out of your day to, to join us and share the message of what it is that you guys are doing. Uh, it’s really important stuff and I’m really glad that you came here.

So thank you again.

Sarah Otto: you for having me.

Candace Guelzo: Thank you. We really appreciate it.

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 [00:39:00] follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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