Episode 363 Jeff Circle Empowering Veterans Through Writing Transcript

This transcript is from episode 363 with guest Jeff Circle.

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.

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Scott DeLuzio : From a small Pennsylvania Bible college to the jungles of Korea and the burn pits of Iraq. My next guest, Jeff Circle, is a veteran author and award-winning journalist. His journey from serving in the army to living in the US Virgin Islands and beyond is a rollercoaster of experiences, and today [00:02:00] he’s going to join us to discuss his mission of getting more veterans into writing.

Uh, so before we get into that, but I wanna welcome to the show, Jeff. Uh, really glad to have you here.

Jeff Circle: Thanks, Scott. It’s great to be on.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, you bet. Um, so let’s take it back a bit. Um, and I kind of want to talk about your journey and how you got to where you are right now. Um, so you initially joined the Army Reserves, um. Then later transitioned into active duty.

Uh, I know a lot of people who’ve done the opposite. They, they started off active duty and, and then, you know, as time went on, they, they decided, uh, you know, I’m getting too old for this shit kind of thing, , and they decided, uh, I, I could still do it. Maybe part-time. But, um, you know, tell me about your, your time in, in getting into the Army and, uh, what prompted the change, uh, to go active duty,

Jeff Circle: Well, like you said, I I was going, uh, to Bible college in Pennsylvania and needed some extra money. it was mostly for pizza. But someone Hey, this [00:03:00] might be a cool thing. then I saw a top gun kid, you not, and was in, and I went to the recruiting station, went to the Navy first, you know, like a little jackass and I wanna do that. um, the guy looked at me and said, no way kid. Get outta here,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: And then, and so I went to the Army, and the Army dude was, yeah, you wanna, you wanna do something? Oh, army reserve. Yeah, we’ve got something for you. ’cause you know, I can’t be a pilot as a reservist, you know, I’m like 22 or something. And, uh, so the army. Got, uh, got into my reserve unit a couple months and then they shipped me off to basic training in Fort Makes Fort Dix, New Jersey in April. So I was there April, may, June, July, a terrible, and

Scott DeLuzio : Terrible

Jeff Circle: when I picked a job, my recruiter was slick. And all you recruiters out there, listen up. You got a thing, you’ve got a list of jobs.

And they’re all like, oh, you can be a truck driver or you can be a mechanic, or you can, you know, you can join the infantry or all these other [00:04:00] things. And then he picks up a clipboard and says, oh, intelligence analyst, I don’t even know what that is. I don’t even know what they do. I was like, I want that. So, uh, I, I went off to Fort Chuca in July, August, So the bottom of Arizona in the summer. It was fantastic.

Scott DeLuzio : Oh my God, that’s awful.

Jeff Circle: it not. Yeah, it was awful. When I got back, I said, I want to go back and do that again. I want more of that. So it was the dumbest thing in the world. Basic training and a IT in the Army me want full-time and my unit said, Hey, we just paid for all this training, so you’ve gotta stay here for six months.

Ended up going active duty as soon as they let me. I said, what’s the first date available? And they said, April 4th. And I was on the bus April 4th, So

Scott DeLuzio : Wow.

Jeff Circle: I went. thing, but it was the greatest thing.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. You know, and it, it’s kinda like, um, almost like that unknown situation where you go into it [00:05:00] and even the recruiter didn’t know what the hell, uh, you know, you’re getting into and you, you go into it not really knowing what it’s all about. Um,

Jeff Circle: I had no plan. I had

Scott DeLuzio : yeah.

Jeff Circle: I had, because all, all I knew is I wanna be a Top Gun pilot. And they said, yeah, forget that.

Scott DeLuzio : Right.

Jeff Circle: when he said Intel analyst, and then I kid you not Scott, this is his exact words. I don’t know what they do. That’s some James Bond shit.

Scott DeLuzio : Oh, nice.

Jeff Circle: was like,

Scott DeLuzio : Oh, that, that’s, that’s a secret sauce right there. Like that’s gonna get any

Jeff Circle: in.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, yeah. You, you went, you went from going from Top Gun to James Bond and I don’t know. I mean, they’re pretty, both of ’em are pretty cool, you know, so I, I don’t, I don’t know that the, it’s like you got second best in that, you know what I mean?


Jeff Circle: I listened to Jack Stewart. I, I see him on, on interviews and I’ve met him a few times. This super guy and his stories are great

Scott DeLuzio : yeah.

Jeff Circle: stories aren’t as fun.[00:06:00]

Scott DeLuzio : well, it’s starting off that way. It’s starting off pretty fun. Um. Yeah. No shit. There I was. Yeah. . Um, so anyways, so you, you make the switch to active duty and you served, uh, during the Gulf War time period. Um, what was that experience like? Anything notable there that you, you could, uh, share?

Jeff Circle: Did you know so many things Scott in life are better when you look back on them.

Scott DeLuzio : Sure.

Jeff Circle: so, you know, active duty. I signed up, I decided, well let’s do something weird. I don’t wanna go to Fort Bliss or Fort Polk. So I went to Korea for my first year and that was eye-opening and I loved it and I wanted more. Ended up like normal, you get do your year and go back to the states. Ended up at Fort Hood and within a year, um, yeah Iraq invaded Kuwait and they said, you’re going. I’m like, what? And I was, I was in an armor unit. I was in I General Patton’s second division, hell on wheels, armor division. [00:07:00] And uh, we’re in the first Tiger Brigade and. didn’t send the whole division, they just sent the Tiger Brigade. And so there it was, you’re sitting in Saudi Arabia digging foxholes. And, uh, was amazing. And so I’m digging foxholes and, and working out of a, a, a tactical operation center, which is four armored vehicles. They back up together and roll out tents and you’re walking on plywood floors and hope that you don’t get, you know, stung by scorpions and all this stuff.

And every night I was, I was the, I was the NCO in charge at night. So I worked from, uh, midnight to noon and I’d look up, there were the pilots, if you remember, if you know your history at this point, ’cause I’m old, you gotta consider it. History. Uh, they, they just bombed the hell out of Iraq for, for months before, you know, they said, okay, tiger Brigade, go.

Scott DeLuzio : right.

Jeff Circle: there I was looking up at my top gun pilots digging

Scott DeLuzio : All the guys, all the guys that you [00:08:00] wanted it to be, and then you’re, you’re digging the foxhole, so maybe you did get second best in that, that deal.

Jeff Circle: my tuxedo and my martini? Where’s this

Scott DeLuzio : know.

Jeff Circle: Bond?

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. James Bond did not have a e-tool digging a sh shovel or a digging a, a foxhole, you know.

Jeff Circle: no. So, you know, we rolled and, uh, it was, it was amazing. Um, and I finally embraced it because at first we were, we, we were, we were prepping back at Fort Hood with all the Intel guys, and they’re like, Iraq is a serious army. They’ve been at war. They’re experienced, they’re battle hardened. They’ve been at it with Iran for eight years.

These guys are used to it. And we’re like, you know, we, we sit in a skiff, you know. So, um, we, at first we were a little concerned, but then after we kind of broke it all down, And Schwartzkoff, you know, kind of put together a super plan. It was, yeah, let’s roll. And so, you know, we ended up going over the border and that was, that was a fun 72, 9, 6 hours. We, uh, we cleared some foxholes, uh, as, as we [00:09:00] found out they were guys on the other side digging foxholes too. But their foxholes were so much cooler than ours. There’s like little caves. They had so long to, to, to, to build these. It was, we went down into this, this complex and I remember this one foxhole.

We went into this guy. He was, it was Iraqi, uh, got called up probably at the last minute and said, you’re going on the front line, son. And, uh, walked in, you know, we we’re clearing it all out. And he had a shelf built into the foxhole and there was, uh, there, there was a little sterno thing going. I mean, he had a tea.

It was still hot. there, there were some books. And, and there there was a small book. It was, it was a calendar every year. A calendar. And I’m flipping through this thing ’cause we’re looking, actually, we’re looking for any kind of intel we can get to at that point. And I remember there was a picture, uh, of four people, two men, two women. men were military aged. And I could see in the background there was a, a sign that said Bank of Saudi Arabia in the back. [00:10:00] And, uh, I just thought about those people. Like, you know what? They got called up, they were probably on vacation they took this with them to war. And, you know, what happened happened, but, uh, they were people too. And I walked away from that with actually a really good experience. It’s served me well since I’ve left.

Scott DeLuzio : You know, and that, that’s an interesting perspective to have too, because a lot of times when we go to war, and this is generations back, this is not just a, you know, a more recent phenomenon. Uh, we tend to dehumanize the enemy that we’re fighting against, right? We, we come up with, with, uh, derogatory names for them, and we, we think of them as less than human maybe, but really they’re, you know, they’re soldiers just like we were.

Um, they, they had families. They had, uh, you know, hopes and dreams that didn’t include, uh, you know, a, a rifle and , you know, all that other stuff, right? They, they had, they had all of that just like we do. And, and so we. [00:11:00] We kind of forget about some of that stuff. But on the intel side, I gotta imagine you see the more human side of things, uh, a little bit more than maybe the infantry guys who are like, like I was, who just are looking at, you know, this, this little silhouette on at the end of your rifle, you know?

Jeff Circle: Right. Yeah. And, and the, the, the humanity of it really hit home even more to where I can still visualize it today.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: it’s a long time the Moler Ridge. It’s this gap in between Kuwait City, the really the only main road out uh, you know, a 10, you know, warthog pilots and all this Top Gun guys, you know, they, they, they, they blew that place to hell. And, uh, we were tasked to go through that afterwards you know, find survivors or, you know, there was, there was, there was the, you know, dead body detail and that just really, you know, kid from Pennsylvania or, or from Ohio, but you know, a kid from college and then all of a sudden thrown [00:12:00] into that, um, saw, you know, things that stick with you. One of the things that I remember the most was how the materials that we were going through Kuwaiti property. Um, civilian cars loaded down with stuff that all these soldiers stole,

Scott DeLuzio : Mm.

Jeff Circle: they, they took over when they went to Kuwait City, and I mean, household goods in p in personally owned vehicles that belong to people in Kuwait, civilians all these Iraqi soldiers were trying to take it all out.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: And, you know, that they got bombed at the beginning, at the top of the, the, the gap. And so everything else was a pot shot. that humanity has stuck with me too. And you’re right, it’s Scott. You’re right on. I mean, they’re, they’re people too.

Scott DeLuzio : Sure.

Jeff Circle: and just like, just like all of us and Russia and China, know. None of us really hate the Chinese or the Russians or the Venezuelans. [00:13:00] It’s their governments. It’s, it’s the people who are in power, who are exercising policies that, you know, are inhumane to, to, to a lot of things. So, you know, we don’t, we don’t hate people and we don’t wanna have to, you know, do what we do. But, you know, politics are that what they are, you know, people at this level say, down here, go do this.

Scott DeLuzio : exactly.

Jeff Circle: supposed to do.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. And, and like a good soldier, you’re gonna go fo follow orders and, um, you know, it’s, it, it’s just kind of the, the nature of the beast. And unfortunately, and, and, uh, we. We have it here. They have it there. Um, you know, it’s, it’s just interesting, uh, as you were talking about the, um, the vehicles, the personally owned vehicles from Kuwait being in I Iraq and, uh, you know, voted down with all the personal information and stuff, or, uh, personal household goods, um, reminded me of a time when, so when I was in Afghanistan, um, we would see a lot of vehicles driving around with American license [00:14:00] plates on them.

And I mean, there is no road. I’ve looked on maps. I’ve tried to find it. There’s no road that gets you from the United States to Afghanistan, so it’s not like Americans are just driving around, Hey, let’s check out what you know, our buddies are doing over here while they go off to war. You know, so.

Jeff Circle: Something’s up with my Trip advisor. I.

Scott DeLuzio : I know, right? Geez. It’s, it is crazy. So we en, what we ended up doing, we ended up stopping any of the vehicles that we saw with American plates on ’em, and we took off the license plates and we, we kept them, we had a whole wall on our FOB that had all these license plates. We must have had a hundred of them.

Um, all, all different states. A lot from California, but all, I mean, all across, uh, even some Canadian ones, we, we were like, screw it. We’ll take those too. They don’t know the difference. Um, . So, so we took them and I ended up tabulating all of them and, and put ’em in a spreadsheet. And I contacted, uh, the California State Police and I, I sent them a list of all [00:15:00] the, the license plates and said, Hey, the vehicles that were once associated with these, I gotta imagine they’re probably stolen at some point.

You can close out a ton of stolen vehicle cases just by looking at the spreadsheet. Um.

Jeff Circle: Wow.

Scott DeLuzio : And what I, the response I got back is, yeah, probably 90 plus percent of those, those vehicles were reported stolen. And uh, what happens is they, the cars will get stolen in the us they get driven down to Mexico, they get put on a boat, shipped over to Pakistan, and then they, they’d sell the cars as is.

License plates and everything. But one of those vehicles, I opened up the glove box. Glove box, and it had receipts. It had, uh, the, like the registration, it had all these things. I, I was able to look and I, like, I could see this, this person they lived in, you know, somewhere in California, they had their address, their name, all the phone number, all these things.

I was able to look at it and it was like, talk about humanity. Like this is like tying [00:16:00] directly to a specific person. Um, you know, and, and it was just a, a strange way to think of it because it, before it was just like, oh, we’re collecting license plates. It’s kind of funny, you know, but, but now it’s like, actually this was some, some dude’s car that got stolen and he’s probably pissed about it.

Um, you know, but, and here’s, here’s all this information. I probably could call him and be like, Hey, by the way, your car’s in Afghanistan right now, , but

Jeff Circle: it probably ended up on a container in the port of la like within hours,

Scott DeLuzio : I know. Yeah, exactly. And. I mean, they, they drove those things and they, they got pissed at us for taking the license plates. ’cause they, it was kind of like a, um, almost like a fashion accessory. Like they, they thought like, this makes our car look cool, like by having this license plate, you know?

Jeff Circle: well, here’s the other thing too with that is if it gives you, as a shooter, just a half second hesitation, you know?

Scott DeLuzio : Oh yeah, that’s true. Yeah. And

Jeff Circle: Wow.

Scott DeLuzio : you know, [00:17:00] that,

Jeff Circle: Wow.

Scott DeLuzio : that could be, that could be a good or a bad thing, um, depending on the situation, you know? Um, yeah, yeah, definitely.

Jeff Circle: great story. Yeah. I couldn’t believe what over in Afghanistan. You just look across. We, we were at this one fob and climbed the mountain behind it. Uh, got up on the tower. We were looking down with, with optics. Couldn’t believe all the, all the Toyota pickups,

Scott DeLuzio : Oh God, yeah.

Jeff Circle: highlights.

Scott DeLuzio : Yep. Yep. So many of those. And it’s like we, we’d get sometimes, not no offense, but we get these intel reports and like, yeah, they’re driving a white Toyota like, no shit. So is everybody else , you know

Jeff Circle: Yeah. Tan Corolla. Oh yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : that, that’ll narrow it down. It’s like, like finding the, you know, hot blonde in la like

Jeff Circle: Everywhere you turn,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. Right. So, uh, so you transitioned, transitioned out of the military. Um, what was that experience like for you? Uh, and, you know, getting out and.[00:18:00]

Jeff Circle: After Desert Storm and after I was disillusioned with the whole James Bond experience, first year in Korea, in an armored, uh, in an infantry division, uh, then an armor division for another couple years. Then, then, you know, Iraq and Kuwait, um, I, I’m like, Hey, I’ve gotta do something different because

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: thing isn’t working out.

So I, I was, uh, they cut orders for me to go to the Fort Hood CID office. They said We’re gonna make a special investigator. And, you know, after this six months OJT program that we’re setting up to bring in new agents, we’ll send you off to the school and you can be a CID agent. Like, okay, that sounds great.

That’s fun. I grew up watching COP shows. I always wanted to be a police officer, so I’m gonna do that. it worked out really cool, because all of a sudden now I’m wearing civilian clothes, gotta shed that uniform and kind of drive around. It wasn’t doing ptt. It’s, you know, five 30 in the morning with the, with the guys uh. I get, I get tied up with, uh, this, this unit, uh, [00:19:00] at CID and the guy that they put me with was a great dude, loved him. We got along great. Uh, the whole time he couldn’t wait to get out.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: like, oh, I can’t wait. I wait to get, wait to get out. I’m gonna go be a real cop. I’m gonna go, you know, join the FBI or do something tonight.

So, you know, still being young and dumb and just like, you know, trying to soak up as much as I could. I’m like, okay, great. I’m gonna go do that. so the end of the, the, the period I had, I had, uh, I had letters for OCS, I had letters for CID I could have and done I want. It could go another direction. And I decided to get out and I thought, well, you know, I’m combat vet. No, who, who, who here has been Kuwait? No, nobody. Me. I’ve got all this experience. Oh, I’m gonna go be a cop. And so what every good soldier does outta Fort Hood, Texas is they drive about an hour south down ice 35 and end up in Austin. And, uh, Austin is, it’s like, uh, back then it was the live music [00:20:00] capital of the world.

It was still weird, it wasn’t crowded, it was fantastic. So I went down there and I’m like, Hey, I’m gonna be an awesome police officer. So I went through the whole process and, uh, polygraph psychological exam. Uh, all kinds of just assessments and, uh, everything. Get down to the very end. recruiter says, Jeff, your packet is, is the best we’ve ever seen. Top secret security clearance, top physical shape. You understand, you know, weapons and you understand people. You understand the psychology of all this. With your intel background, you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be great. I get in there, I’m like, okay, great. This sounds great. I walk into a panel interview I hadn’t had a panel interview Korea. Uh, when I, when I, when I went to the board to be an E five and, uh, down and I was feeling pretty good about myself and I was feeling too good about myself, they said, you’re not the kind of person we need. So that was, that was the moment right [00:21:00] there where that transition hit me in the face because I. For the last four or five years, I had always had a Green Army ID card. Took that everywhere, used it for everything. I didn’t have that anymore. I didn’t live on base, but everyone around me was military. You know, you live on a, on a, on a, on a post little town, you know, coppers Cove or Killeen or Fayetteville, whatever, everyone around you, you have things in common.


Scott DeLuzio : Hmm.

Jeff Circle: a group, you’re a team. You can trust everybody. You, you have a connection to everybody. And now I’m in a town where I don’t know anybody and I don’t have any connection. I don’t have that support system. There was no internet, so it wasn’t like, Hey, I can just, or there wasn’t cell phones. I couldn’t just text a buddy. couldn’t, you know, read a blog and you know, what other people were going through,

Scott DeLuzio : Right.

Jeff Circle: It was just all on my own. that was a really tough period transition. Like, what do I do now?

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. And so what, [00:22:00] what got you, so what got you through that? Like what, you know, there, there wasn’t any of those things that you just mentioned? Uh,

Jeff Circle: Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio : the. Technology that we take for granted today. Uh, you know, you can just, you know, you, you, you just jump on Google and, and find your answer in, you know, less than five minutes.

You got an answer right now. Uh, back then, I think people forget back then, um, that was not the case. We, we didn’t have that option.

Jeff Circle: no, uh, well, I needed a job. I, I had this thing, it was hunger. It was, I needed food. so, uh, I’m driving in my car and I pass a sign, like a, like a yard sign on the, on the, on, just on the road. Come to work for MCI. MCI used to be a phone company,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: that was like really big with competing with at t back in the day, I know I keep going back in the day, but, um, people used to call you at home and say, are you happy with your long distance service?

Scott DeLuzio : Yep.[00:23:00]

Jeff Circle: And so, uh, MCI was, uh, a lifeline for me because it was, it was a team environment. It was, we are all in this together and it was enthusiastic and it was, okay, we’re gonna train you and then this is your mission and this is what you have to do.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: I was used to that, structure. And, uh, it, it was clear sit there. And the first job I had was inbound, taking phone calls from customers who needed help or, or, you know, they would call the number they saw on their tv and it’s like, oh yeah, I can get a free month of long distance if I switch to this company.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: Working there was so much fun and I loved it. And so I had a team back and it was great. And I did that for five years. Um, got off the phones after a year and I, I got promoted. I was a supervisor, so I had 16 people working for me who made phone calls, and that was fantastic. I was, I was back to being the, the, the, the squad leader or you know, I

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm?

Jeff Circle: E five[00:24:00]

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: my, I had on my whole, you know, platoon of privates here and they were, they were knocking it out and everyone was making money and the money was, they used to call it MCI was money coming in because, uh, it was, it was lucrative and it was, it was, it was relatively easy, but you, you needed a high energy level.

So I had to pump everybody up. So I did that for a few years and then got promoted again. And then I ended up in the more the management level of things. said that, oh, you got potential son? I’m like, yeah, okay, great. So I want more money. uh, got promoted. I moved to a wholly different section. It was program management, and it was that team that cohesion, that, that trust your brother element gone.

Scott DeLuzio : Oh.

Jeff Circle: And we were just starting to have remote working back then. So my boss lived in Maryland. One of my teammates worked next to me in a cube. We had a cube farm of like 50 [00:25:00] cubes, just like you could, you know, it

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: golfers everywhere. Uh, one person lived in Arizona, so we were all over the place and we would travel a lot and that was fun. That taught me a lot about being corporate. But what it came down to, Scott, which really drove me away from it, was I couldn’t count on my buddy. I couldn’t count on my teammates because they were all only worried about their own projects and the programs that they were working on.

And they wanted to look good and they weren’t gonna help me. I was a new guy, I’d never done anything like it for, and got no help, got no support and. I realized it was doggy dog.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: And that’s not the environment I came from in the military. It was, Hey, you know, we’re all in this together. And so after five years I got out, I cashed out right before went bankrupt. So lot of my friends and my, my, my bosses got really screwed. Um, because the stock price went from like 77 to [00:26:00] 7 cents.

Scott DeLuzio : Wow.

Jeff Circle: And I, I, I peaked out, uh, and, and I haven’t said I had to thank for this one. That, and two, I won a couple contests and programs and they sent me to, um, Puerto Rico. And it was an island off the coast of Puerto Rico. It’s private resort. Elcon Stoor is this named something else now. But we had a private island. We had jet skis and everything. It was like a week of congratulations. You did really good. You made a lot of money. have some fun. And so they’re like, people that they send to this thing from all over the world. Uh, I think, um, uh, they would have Dara Torres, who was an Olympic swimmer, came one year. They have all these, you know, celebrities come and do motivational speeches for you and everything. So it was kind of a big deal. Had to get a tox and everything and all this awards and stuff, and Quentin’s stuff.

And I, I come back and I’m still working for MCI and I realize that [00:27:00] there’s my answer. I don’t want this MCI thing anymore. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t deal with these people. They, they don’t, they don’t have ethics when it comes to being a team. I went back to the Virgin Islands and that’s, that’s when I quit and, uh, went to the Virgin Islands, just checked out

Scott DeLuzio : So you just picked up and moved. I mean, it, it was just a, and, and honestly if they didn’t have that, that, uh, that banquet in Puerto Rico, you probably wouldn’t have made that connection in your head that that’s where you wanted to be. Right?

Jeff Circle: I wouldn’t have known what to do.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: on the beach with my buddy, uh, JD Callahan, and we’re just trying to sober up. And this dude comes walking down the beach with a spray bottle, a trigger and a fan. And then he walks up to us and he’s like, would you like a spritz? I’m like, no, but I’d like your job. he said, well, that’s interesting you say that because I represent a company that just developed an eco-friendly sunscreen so it doesn’t [00:28:00] wash off and hurt the coral. So we’re looking for sales reps all throughout the Virgin Islands. And I’m like, oh, you gotta be kidding me, And he’s like, no, I’m serious. Here’s my card. And I took his card, and I remember this, his name was Peter Karate. It was a white card and it had like this blue palm tree on it and everything. And I took that back to my desk and I looked at it for weeks and I finally called him and I’m like, I’m ready. And that’s the, I got down there and we had made friends, some of my buddies who went down there, made friends with, uh, the locals.

So the, the, the, the bag, the little bag people who, when you go there and they take your luggage, they were, we were like, Hey, show us where to go hang out. So we ended up hanging out with them when we were down there. So I had that connection. So I would still call back to Puerto Rico, and because I worked for a phone company, I would connect my friend down there to his mom up in Boston.

I’m like, oh, hey man, I’ll put you through. I put him through. and so we just maintained that connection. So he said, so you, you ever coming down here? And I’m like, yeah, I’m coming down. So [00:29:00] he hooked me up. He’s like, come on down to El Conquistador. You can have a job doing what I’m doing. And so I’m thinking, Hey, yeah, 10 bucks an hour on the beach. these, you know, people in Bikini. I’m like, I’m in. And I get down there. And I’m waiting for him to bring his boss out. And I’m just kind of sitting in my car in the parking lot and waiting. And then I see like six of these little people run out of the hotel lobby, stand up and line up on the curb and they’re all wearing this like, you know, tropical shirt, short tan pants and they all match. And I think, oh, that would be my job. ’cause there was a bus coming, they were gonna unload the bus. like, I can do that. then Scott, I looked and it freaked me out because it reminded me of military uniforms standing in formation. And I’m like, no, I’m getting that. That’s, I got away from that. So I the car in drive and left right there.

I didn’t even say goodbye. went right back to the airport uh, called [00:30:00] a friend of mine and said, Hey, I’m down in the Virgin Islands and what do I do now? And someone said, go to St. John’s. So I ended up gonna St. John and worked on a dive vote. But here’s something good about transitions and the military. I go to this place and it’s a job board, and I look and there’s a job for a dive manager. like, Hey, I’ve got management experience and I’ve always wanted to dive. James Bond was a big diver. I love that stuff. So I’m totally qualified. Had never even dove my life. So I walk in this dude, his name is Bob Carney. Bob goes so, uh, you know, you’re in the, he looks at my resume. Oh, so you’re in the army, huh? Like, yeah, oh, you in a desert storm, huh? Yeah. Well I was Navy

Scott DeLuzio : Oh, instantly right there.

Jeff Circle: Yeah. And I see the Navy flagging behind you. And even though there’s a whole army, Navy rivalry

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: you know, different jobs and stuff, had that instant connection. [00:31:00] He could trust me.

Scott DeLuzio : Sure.

Jeff Circle: believed in, in, in bringing me on. And so he did. He brought me on. week later, I’m on a die vote in the Virgin Islands thinking, alright, uh, cash, I’ve got, I’ve got my military connection back and I’m loving life.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: transition there, it paid off after all those years.

Scott DeLuzio : Uh, that, yeah, it’s interesting how that kind of came around and, um, you know, fortunate timing, I guess with, uh, the MCI, I mean, not for everybody else, but for you to, you know, just hap happen to line up with, you know, the being able to cash out and, um, you know, come out ahead on all of that and not lose everything.

Right. Um,

Jeff Circle: I got lucky

Scott DeLuzio : yeah. Yeah, that’s, I mean, that’s a, a great way to, uh, kind of, uh, kind of cash out and. Kind of wash your hands of that and not have to look back and have any gr regrets at it either, you know? Um, so [00:32:00] you did that for a little while, um, and you ended up coming back working for the military again. Is that right?

You, you ended up going back doing counter

Jeff Circle: I did.

Scott DeLuzio : support?

Jeff Circle: I,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: yeah, I ended up coming back. Um, my dad, uh, had some, had an illness and I needed to be back in the States, and that was just kind of a, that was kind of clean my mind trip. And, uh, so I did that for a while, loved it. But I came back nine 11 happened. Uh,

Scott DeLuzio : Hmm.

Jeff Circle: so we’re talking about at that point, and I really, I was just kind of living the beach life still. and nine 11 happened and I, it hit me. I’m like, I’m not doing the right thing with my life.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: gotta get back involved in something. And I considered again, I had a packet, had a complete packet to join a reserve unit. I was living in Kentucky at the time, at in Lexington Super place. um. They were gonna bring me in, and [00:33:00] it was either that or become a cop. And again, that still came around. So I ended up becoming a cop, and that was, that was super for me. Um, but right before, during that transition period is when I got into writing because nine 11 happened and I found myself needing something to do,

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: positive to contribute. And the only thing I could think of right then was to write a book about all of these service members who were signing up into the military. And they were going off to Afghanistan to go get Osama line back then. And I wanted to write something to help explain to everyone else still back in the States, what these kids went through to get to where they’re going.

So basic training. And I thought instead of doing just like a, like a Chronological, this is what basic training is like. And I’ll list it that way. I thought that would be boring. And the, the writer, uh, David Sedaris was really popular at the time. And so I thought, well, let’s do something funny. Let’s do it.

Let’s [00:34:00] make it satirical so that people will find it interesting and wanna read it because of that. And at the same time, they’ll still learn something and understand and appreciate what all of these 18 to 22-year-old kids are doing right now by signing up. ’cause recruiting was off the charts after nine 11

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah,

Jeff Circle: and I wanted, that was my contribution.

So I wrote a book called Yes Drill Sergeant, went on some radio shows back then where you actually had to go to the station and sit down and talk to people. And I was, I was writing other military members and other retirees and, and people like that just to get some momentum for the book and get some blurbs. Got some great blurbs from people like Jamie Farr who was Clinger on Mash. Bill Murray from Stripes wrote me a letter back, said, oh yeah, basic training. He thought that was funny, huh. Um, and one of the guys got a letter back from, uh, was a graphic artist. And so I asked him to do my cover for me. So he started working on the cover and he said, you know what, this book should go to my cousin, uh, who’s in Germany. his cousin [00:35:00] ended up being an Air Force retiree from, uh, special police for, for, for Air Force. And he worked for Army Europe headquarters at that point. And he was the anti-terrorism policy guy. So I sent him my book and said, here my guy says, you know, thought it’d be great. And I had my former commander from Desert Storm write forward for me, which is another great thing ’cause I just asked him for a blurb and he wrote a, like a six page

Scott DeLuzio : Oh wow.

Jeff Circle: I’m like, he was three star general and I’m like, I can’t believe he had time to do that. And, but he did. General John Sylvester, super guy, love him to death, wrote me this forward. And that was in the book that I sent to Germany. It went to this guy named Phil. Phil read the book and he is like, oh, this is great.

General Sylvester wrote the forward. So he took the book, into general Sylvester’s office, who was the chief of staff of Ucomm at the time, United States European command. And he is like, Hey, you know this guy Jeff Circle. [00:36:00] It’s just so crazy that, and once you have that military connection, on to it

Scott DeLuzio : Oh yeah.

Jeff Circle: there’s an advantage to it.

So, you know, six degrees of separation, know, general ster goes Yeah, he was, yeah, I wrote the forward. He was, he was one of my guys in, in Desert Storm and so this guy Phil, who’s a, he’s an American contractor, worked in anti-terrorism, ended up offering me a job.

Scott DeLuzio : Okay.

Jeff Circle: So that’s how I ended up. And I started off going to Italy.

He said, Hey, I’ve got, well, one position open in Italy. Uh, it’s for mid-level, uh, uh, uh, analyst You can go work for us. You work at US Army Europe headquarters in, uh, or US Army Africa headquarters in Vicenza. did that for a year. Loved it. Italy was fantastic. then, uh, a higher position came open the next year for the next contract year in Heidelberg. So I did the same thing in, in Heidelberg,

Scott DeLuzio : Okay.

Jeff Circle: uh, for US Army Europe. So just the six [00:37:00] degrees were amazing. If

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: don’t give up and still reach out and make those contacts, they’ll pay off.

Scott DeLuzio : And, and it’s interesting how you just started writing for, you know, looking for some positivity, right? And then that led to this unexpected career change for you, right? You, you weren’t expecting to wind up in Italy or, you know, anywhere over there. Like, it just wound up working out that way. Um, and so I, I want to talk about the, the writers, uh, dossier, uh, that, that you’ve been, uh, you know, working with for a little while now.

You, you have, uh, a couple authors that are on there that, um, are former guests on this show, which is kind of cool. Um,

Jeff Circle: Lemme see. Have you had Steve, who have you had, have you had on Steve Stratton or

Scott DeLuzio : Stratton. Yep. Steve Stratton. Um, I think, um, I think there is, uh, Jeff Clark I think is another one on there. Is [00:38:00] that,

Jeff Circle: That’s a great dude. We’re, yeah,

Scott DeLuzio : yeah.

Jeff Circle: tied in together.

Scott DeLuzio : Um, I wanna say there’s one or two others, and I can’t remember off the top of my head. I don’t have the list in front of me right now of everybody who is on there, but, um, but regardless, um, it’s pretty cool, uh, you know, make again, there’s, here’s another connection.

We’re, we’re coming, uh, kind of full circle here with all of this. So tell us a little bit about it and what it is and, and, uh, you know, what, what the idea was behind it when you, you set it up and what it is now.

Jeff Circle: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I retired from contracting. Then my last gig was, uh, uh, the counterintelligence mission in Afghanistan. Ran that for a few years. Fantastic. After Kabul fell, got out, um, and had to make another transition. So, naturally drive on. We’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re gonna get into military writing. Uh, I always been a writer. I always loved it. I always had these connections going all the way back to, you know, desert Storm. Uh, I was the writer. Um, and so [00:39:00] Cobble Falls, I. I had been writing a book I wanted to finish it, so I did. And then what do you do? I’ve got a book, I gotta try to sell it, and I’ve gotta find an agent and find a publisher and all this stuff.

Well, in the meantime, wrote another book. Well, the first one was being edited, and then I got that done, and I’m like, well, what next? So now I find myself in a pool of other writers who have finished books, who have either gone a self-publishing route and are selling their books and trying to get, you know, traction and, and, and, and attention that way. Uh, or I’m just in a holding pattern and I’m waiting, you know, I, and, and that’s miserable.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: query process, the submission process, the weight, the never hearing back, uh, there’s stories behind that, lots of them. in the meantime, I thought, again, want to give back. I wanna do something to help all these other writers who I’ve, I’ve kind of started following, and I’ve, I’ve met, you know, mostly [00:40:00] virtually at that point. and one day it just hit me my Intel background. wanna create dossier and help use my platform on media to promote these other writers who I’ve met in the process, who have helped me with my writing. And so I, I, I downloaded a graphic that’s, that’s the dossier graphic. Um, it’s just like a file folder

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: and I put top secret on it and I put their picture, and it may, I make it look like a real intelligence, you know, piece of intelligence, like a, a dossier file and some information about them. And I collect the information from an interview that I do with them. And so, I got, I, I got the, have this graphic and then I’ll shoot ’em some questions. But again, instead of those traditional Boring questions of, tell me about your writing process. Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you? Where do

Scott DeLuzio : Okay.

Jeff Circle: those things? Those are all the same questions. went completely different direction and I decided to make it funny [00:41:00] and satirical and be a little off the wall with the questions. But they’re each based on what I know of the person, what I’ve learned to, uh, from them over the time being together and, and their, and, and their topic of what they’re writing.

And, and so it’s usually five questions, uh, that are totally customized to them. And they tell, they send me the answers and I put it on my website, the writers dossier.com, I push that out on social media and I just promote, promote, promote, promote them. It pays off for me because from them and I develop a relationship with them.

And again, it goes back to that, those military connections that, that, that help feed you

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: give you and ground you to a purpose. And we’re, again, now I’m in an environment where we’re all in this together. The Steve Stratton’s, all these other people who are, are working hard to, to, to send a message through, [00:42:00] through their books. And so dossier, yeah,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: I started it in August of last year. I launched that and then I went to Boutcher Khan, which is a big writer’s conference every year. This year it was in San Diego. And I walk in Scott, it was the weirdest thing because as a, as a Intel guy, counter Intel guy, I’m not, I’m not on the headlines.

You know, this whole social media thing was new for the first year of, Hey, you’re putting all your personal information out there.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: And in and I’ve got a name tag and I see somebody I, it, it was, it was Steve Stratton was standing next to Jack Stewart, um, Michael Carlson uh, another couple other people. I just held up the name tag. Said Jeff Circle and Steve came over, there’s Jeff Circle. He’s what? The dossier. And so now all these people, they, they, they know me from, from X and Facebook and Instagram, and that was so wonderful to kind of have a [00:43:00] group of people back again.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: And it’s, it’s exploded since then.

Um, uh, I think we’ve done 60 dossiers. Uh, we just, we, we, we celebrate our 50th with Tori Eldridge who writes these ninja books. and I keep it to military thrillers or thrillers in general, but I’ve expanded it out to crime, mystery, suspense. There are some great writers out there, and a lot of ’em, a lot of ’em have, have the military background like, like I was talking about, like, like you had Steve on, he’s got the Shadow series, uh, wards, deepfake, uh, ward Larsson, air Force Guy, DCR, uh, so many, so many people I, I’ve run into who are doing exactly what I’m doing. Uh, with trying to get book, get a book published, but in the meantime I’m like, Hey, let’s, let’s help you out. Let’s, let’s, let’s promote you. That’s what the dossier does.

Scott DeLuzio : and it’s taking it back to the military, you know, that’s that one team [00:44:00] mentality. Everyone’s in it, you know, we’re all trying to achieve the same thing. Um, you know, if one writer sells a copy of their book, it’s not taking away from another writer, because at some point, whoever bought that book.

They’re gonna finish it and they’re gonna be looking for another book to, to, to read. Right? And so when all of y’all, you, you people come together and you’re, you’re helping each other out, because I gotta imagine, um, you help out one writer and that other writer’s gonna start seeing, you know, the benefits of, of that in their own, uh, you know, book sales and things like that.

And they’re gonna start helping other people. And they’re gonna, they’re gonna be able to, uh, you know, kind of cross promote different things, especially within very similar genres of, of books.

Jeff Circle: Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio : Um, you know, you, you finish reading one author’s books, uh, you’re gonna be looking for something else. Well, hey, guess what?

There’s this other author here who writes something in, you know, the similar space here. So, um, you know, [00:45:00] help, help each other out, right? I think that’s, that’s a great way to go about it, right?

Jeff Circle: yeah, this group is, is incredible when it comes to, collaboration with each other. here’s a little inside baseball for you, Scott. The other genres not like it. What I mean is like the thriller crimes mystery and suspense people. Um, I can text everyone. I, I, I’ve, I’ve done dossiers with, we’ll get, we’ll, we’ll get something going back and forth. That’s the, that genre, the military genre’s even tighter. The

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: they hate each other. you know, it’s like, I hear, I hear this at conferences. Um, this is the only genre, the thriller genre, Mr. Crime and Suspense, um, where, yeah, the writers are actually friends. They get together. They actually get together.

They, they do this thing called noir the bar, and they will go and they’ll read their work and there’ll be like six [00:46:00] or seven of ’em together. They’ll all help each other. And even people who don’t have. Military connections. but they still write good stuff. I’ve done dossey on them and, you know, we’ve had lots of conversations since then.

And you know, the nice thing is they’ve actually helped me a little bit and I’m like, Hey, I’ve got a chapter. What I send it to you? You know, will you gimme your feedback? And I’ve never gotten a no.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: and you know, and, and they’ll, they’ll contact me and they’ll say, Hey, hey, I’ve got my, my book’s going into paperback.

Can you shoot out it? You know, can you update the dossier? Or you have a new author photo? You know? So we we’re constantly in contact and it’s really cool to see everyone’s career just kind of come and go and where they are and, and how we all work together. It is so fulfilling.

Scott DeLuzio : That’s cool. Yeah. And, and, and just seeing that progression, right? And even, you know, again, taking it back to the military as an NCO, you see, you know, the, the junior [00:47:00] enlisted who are just coming in, they’re, they’re fresh and, you know, maybe they, they, uh, they’re not quite a hundred percent there and, and you see their career start progressing, you know, as you’re moving up the ranks.

They’re moving up the ranks and, and it’s, it’s cool to see, you know, that at some point they become the leaders and

Jeff Circle: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : they, they have their own squad or whatever that they’re, they’re running. And you get to see that in, in those people. But, um, you know, it’s very similar probably with, with these books is you, you may get a, a, you know, relatively new author who.

Is getting, getting their stuff out there and, and then they start, they write that second book and the third book, and they, they, they

Jeff Circle: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : progress in their career and it’s cool to see them progress and see how, uh, you know, you’ve, you’ve played a, a, you know, at least a small part in what it is that they are accomplishing, right?

Jeff Circle: And being proud for them for their accomplishments.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Uh, yeah, absolutely. Um, that, uh, you know, it, like [00:48:00] I said before, their accomplishments don’t take anything away from you and your colleagues and, and the other folks who are, are writing. You know, now you, you kind of explained your journey, how you got into writing, um,

Jeff Circle: Mm-Hmm.

Scott DeLuzio : that was very fortunate, I think that you had the, the ability to make those connections.

You kept some of those military connections and, and all that kind of stuff. Um, for other folks out there, other veterans who. I wanna jump into writing, um, you know, in any genre, uh, of, of book. Um, do you have any advice for them? What, what can you do to encourage folks to get involved in, in that?

Jeff Circle: Yeah. See, I’ve had so many people, uh. Say, oh, I wanna be a writer, or, I’ve got a book in my head. many people, and, and that’s why it’s so hard to break into because there are a lot of people who wanna break in.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: So I, I’m [00:49:00] not really good at writer’s advice, I don’t think, because my, my perspective is who am I?

Scott DeLuzio : Okay.

Jeff Circle: from what I’ve learned, got some good things to tell you. First thing is you’ve gotta write. many people say, I have a book I’ve been thinking about. And that’s as far as it’s gotten.

Scott DeLuzio : Yep.

Jeff Circle: that’s, I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that. The motivation has to come in from you and, you know, with the military background and, and, and the, the, the, the drive on the spirit, uh, you’ve gotta just do it.

You’ve gotta put pen to paper, fingers to keyboards, whatever it is you have to write. the other thing is, lot of people will think that, you know, Hey, I can start, I can write a book. And they haven’t really read much.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: it takes time and, and there’s a lot going on in our lives. Most of your first time writers, your debut authors have been at it for 20 years. They started reading [00:50:00] Tom Clancy when we were in, in the military, and they loved it. And they fell in love with books and reading. always had books around me my whole life. I, I would collect them just because I liked them when I was a kid, and I, again, didn’t read it. They weren’t all, you know, 9-year-old appropriate.

But, um, you, you’ve gotta love books and you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta embrace the, the, the process. And the process is understand how a book is written. Um, you know, there’s, there’s a, the beginning, middle, and end. you have an idea, but then you’ve gotta build that out. Uh, you’ve gotta actually do it. And then you’re, you’ve gotta read you and, and not to get ideas to copy, but to understand how a story in a book works. That’s, that’s some of the challenge. So what I, what I’d recommend, it’s, it’s, it’s really popular advice start off with Stephen King’s on writing, because a lot of people think they can write. I thought I could write when I sat down after Desert Storm and, oh, I’m gonna do [00:51:00] this, you know, this funny basic training book. but it was a whole lot different than the writing that I had done in the corporate world.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: Uh, so start to write, but get some instructions to, because think that you can do what everyone else who’s really good at it can do without some kind of practice and without some type of education. you’ll get that if you, if you, you know, look at on writing and there are other books out there too. Don’t get stuck studying the whole time. You’ve gotta write too. And that’s where people get bogged down. Then it starts to become, oh, I really can’t do this because there is a lot to it. I, my advice is this. To top it off, write

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: 15 minutes a day or a paragraph a day, or a page a day, set a goal. And I’ve heard people do the math. If you write 2000 words a day, you know, your, your book will be done in four months. That [00:52:00] kind of thing.

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm?

Jeff Circle: so you have to start somewhere

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: get, wanna get, get into it. That’s, that’s the first thing I say. You’ve gotta start, you’ve gotta write, you’ve gotta learn about writing, and you’ve gotta keep writing. Then you’ll learn and then, then you’re gonna throw that first book away. Probably most people do or totally rewrite it

Scott DeLuzio : Sure.

Jeff Circle: what we have in our head doesn’t work out. But out people like, like me, uh, other people who you can make contacts with, like, especially if you have a military background.

There are a lot of militaries writers out there,

Scott DeLuzio : Mm-Hmm.

Jeff Circle: I heard Matthew Cork, my Matthew Cork wrote The Night Agent. Um, he wrote, uh, inside Threat. He, he said once and, and I met him in San Diego. He said, most of us writers are, are, are quiet people sitting on our keyboard by ourselves, solitary, doing a work. We’re just happy to hear that someone wants to talk to us, So reach out to, you know, if there’s a genre you’re interested in, if there’s a particular writer or a topic who, a writer that writes in a topic, [00:53:00] contact them, DMM ’em on, on, on, you know, acts or, or Instagram or whatever. Most everyone will respond.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: if you throw that line out, you, if you send five messages out, you’ll get back four.

Scott DeLuzio : Right. Yeah. And I guess the, the worst case scenario is they, they don’t get back to you or they say, no, not interested, whatever. Okay, cool. Move on, find somebody else, you know? And

Jeff Circle: good people out there who will respond and, and they wanna help

Scott DeLuzio : Exactly. Yeah. EE, exactly. So, um, you know, but your, your advice I think is, is really great because it, you know, think about, um, you know, doing something like learning how to play golf. You can watch. Tiger woods, play golf all you want. Um, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna be shooting 300 yard drives, , you know, with, with, uh, you know, just by watching, uh, how it’s done.

You’re gonna have to get out there and actually do it. And, and it’s like a muscle that has to get practiced and it, you know, yeah, watching the videos are great because it gives you [00:54:00] an idea, like this is the ballpark of where you need to be kind of shooting for. But going out and then translating into that to actually doing it, um, is a different thing.

So that’s kinda like reading the books and getting idea of, okay, how, how are these characters developed? How is the story, you know, you know, developed and all these things that, that go from the beginning, the middle, the end of the book.

Jeff Circle: do you, how do you start a chapter? How do you end a chapter,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. And, and how do you wrap up the book? Like where, where you can’t just be, just put a big, the end at the end of the book and be like, that’s it.

You know, like, you, you kind of have to conclude things too and, and, uh, wrap it up unless you’re, unless you’re leaving a cliffhanger for the second, uh, second, uh, book that might be coming out. But, um. You know, but still, that takes some planning and, and writing will help to, uh, kind of develop that muscle that you need to develop as you’re, you’re going along.

So, um, you know, I, I do like to [00:55:00] encourage people though, who might feel like they have a story in them of any genre that it doesn’t matter. Um, you know, you’re talking about thriller, mystery, crime, suspense, uh, novels. Um, you know, it could be anything, uh, that, that you have in you, um, you know, tell the story.

Um, e even, even, uh, nonfiction, uh, writers, um, you know, and, and maybe in, even in some cases, especially nonfiction writers, because you may have a story that you took part in. This is a story of something that you, uh, happened to you, and it may be just a way for you to share that with the world where otherwise those stories get lost to history.

Right. And, um, yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Jeff Circle: Clark. Jeff Clark did a nonfiction book on leadership that he learned from all his years in the military.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Circle: we’ve got stuff to share. Let’s share it.

Scott DeLuzio : Exactly. Yeah. Put ’em out there. Um, because, um, and, and even if you [00:56:00] write it in, in a, you know, a story, a personal story that happened to you in a, uh, you know, a fictional way, you know, like you just kind of relate those, uh, those lessons learned or the experiences that you had and stuff like that.

But you don’t want to say, Hey, this is me and this is what happened to me. Whatever, who caress, like, get it out there and share that story so that other people can experience those, those things as well. Um, good, bad, indifferent, doesn’t matter. Uh, I think those things. Help us, uh, like we were saying at the beginning of the episode, helps us to understand, uh, other humans and other understand what those people are going through, what they’ve experienced in their lives.

And, um, you know, a lot of times, um, you know, even in suffering, we still have something that we can learn. And, and, uh, you know, you shared some of those stories, uh, you know, at the beginning of this episode. And, and I think that’s, uh, just a great way to, uh, get that out there, uh, in a, in a, uh, format that will stand the test of time.

It’ll, it’ll survive, [00:57:00] uh, even long past, past us. So, you know, that I think it’s a great way to do it.

Jeff Circle: You are right.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. Yeah,

Jeff Circle: Cool.

Scott DeLuzio : Um,

Jeff Circle: stuff.

Scott DeLuzio : so for the folks who are interested in learning more about the the writer Dossier, um, and what. You what you do, and maybe finding out more about some of the authors who we talked about today.

Uh, where can people go to find out more about that and, and get that information?

Jeff Circle: Yeah. Um, uh, my website is jeff circle.com, but I’ve got a special link. The writers dossier.com goes to the list of, uh, everyone who I’ve interviewed. So it’s on the web. Um, uh, I’m bigger on x, than I am Instagram because I can, I can do more with it by promoting more, more things out

Scott DeLuzio : Yep.

Jeff Circle: links and things like that.

But I’m on Instagram. X [00:58:00] threads, uh, um, LinkedIn. I’m, I’m, I’m everywhere. Um, anywhere I can get the message out, uh, about these writers, I, I send things out. So follow me there. You’ll see one I I’ve been doing about two a week. Uh, I did a big, uh, holiday blast where I sent out, uh, one every day, like the ad of Christmas almost. Um, and so I, I’ve done something else too with people who haven’t gotten books out. There’s a page, uh, called the the Dossier watch list. So, uh, someone who’s struggling, a struggling writer who isn’t quite there yet, or maybe they have an agent and they’re just waiting, or they, wherever they are, if they’re not published. I do a thing called the Dossier Watch List, and it’s a little different. The graphic is a different color and it’s a little less information. It’s not a full interview of a dossier, but it’s just to get someone’s name out there just to get their image out there, their, their book title and where they are and their process and help get traction followers for them too. [00:59:00] They’re not quite there yet, but they’re getting there and I see real promise in some of these, uh, people on the watch list. So the writers dossier.com or jeff circle.com.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, that’s perfect. And, and for those folks who are in that, that situation that you just described, where they, they haven’t gotten that traction yet, uh, this is a great way to get that traction, um, even before that first book comes out. Um,

Jeff Circle: Oh

Scott DeLuzio : get,

Jeff Circle: gotta be rolling. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : you gotta hit, hit the ground running with that, you know, you, you have to have, uh, you know, let people know who, who is this person even, why do I care that this person has a book out?

What, what are they, what types of things do they write about? What types of things are, are they, uh, you know, gonna bring to the table when I pick up this book? So, uh, so that’s a interesting way to go about getting these people, uh, you know, up and running Right, right off the bat. So, so pretty cool.

Jeff Circle: Some exposure. Because a lot of people wanna write a book and they think that’s it, but there’s so much more to it.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: sell it. You’ve gotta sell yourself, you’ve gotta market yourself. You’ve gotta have a network of people who [01:00:00] are gonna help you. And yeah, the exposure is so important. Um,

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: of people have really hit a wall after they got their first. Now what? No, you’re just starting at that point.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, I, I, I said in, in with the book that I wrote, um, writing the book was the easiest part. It was the promoting the book afterwards that was,

Jeff Circle: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : difficult. Um,

Jeff Circle: That’s what the is for. We, we

Scott DeLuzio : yeah,

Jeff Circle: and.

Scott DeLuzio : yeah,

Jeff Circle: I do it just for fun,

Scott DeLuzio : just getting, getting the word out there and letting people know about it, just you underestimate how much, uh, time and effort and energy and, uh, you know, all this stuff that goes into it.

Uh, it, it’s, it’s a lot. So this is definitely an awesome, uh, way to go. Um, you know, especially for those writers who are, you know, just dipping their toe in the water and, uh, you know, getting, you know, wanting to get a little bit more exposure, um, you’re, you’re probably underestimating the amount of work that it takes.

And, and this is, this is a great service that you’re, you’re providing to, to those folks. So, um, so [01:01:00] thank you for that. Um.

Jeff Circle: You’re welcome.

Scott DeLuzio : And I, and I, I think it’s, uh, you know, just a, a really cool thing and, and keeps that community in that, that comradery, uh, like you might have, uh, been, been missing from getting out, uh, when, when you’re getting out from the, uh, military, right?

Jeff Circle: Yeah.

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Scott DeLuzio : So, um, well, at this point in the show, I like to end the shows with a little bit of humor. Um, based on this conversation, I have a feeling this is not gonna be lost on you, so

This segment is, is something I call, is it service connected? Um, and it’s a funny way to look at some, some videos of service members doing something stupid, getting injured, you know, [01:03:00] doing, doing things that not, not too seriously injured, that you’re not falling out of a helicopter or anything like that.

But you know, it’s just doing something that, um, you know, generally, uh, we can laugh at. And, uh, we can take a laugh and, and then we can also take a look at it and say, you know, would this person qualify for some sort of service connected disability somewhere down the line? Um, and it’s, it’s always a, uh, I, I always do this when there’s another veteran on, uh, on the show on the other end here, and, ooh.

I can’t think of a single time where the other, the other veteran wasn’t laughing. So I’ve already looked at some of these videos and I’ve already laughed. So, um, might as well share the laughter for the folks who are listening to the audio podcast. Sorry, you’re not, be able to watch it unless you go check us out on YouTube or X and, uh, check out the videos there, where, where you post them.

Um, but if you’ve gotten this far, uh, you’re, you’re already committed on the audio, but, but you can definitely check it out on, on those platforms anyway. So lemme pull up this video for you to, [01:04:00] uh, take a look at. Um, share it on, on your end. And this video right now, I’ll try to describe it for the audio listeners.

Uh, looks like there’s a, there’s a woman, maybe an instructor of some sort standing behind a soldier who, I dunno, appears to be down on his knees. So let’s, I, I, I don’t know. Let’s see what, what’s gonna happen here? Yeah, I mean, there’s, there’s not really not much else to describe on this. I mean, there’s, yeah, a little background stuff, but it’s kind of irrelevant.

So, so let’s go, go ahead and take a, take a look at, uh, what’s going on with this video. All right. Okay. So she got her, she’s choking ’em out. Looks like, like she’s doing an instructions, um, you know, on how to put the crook of her arm under his neck. Her other hand behind his head. And she’s, he seems okay right now.

I mean, she’s not really putting much pressure on him. He’s okay now. There’s a little pressure. And let’s see, he’s, he’s, oh my God, he’s [01:05:00] limp now. Uh, yep. And good night. And good night. He is out and they’re trying to, they’re trying to wake him back up. Um. Yeah. Yeah. He, I don’t think he was expecting that. Um, I don’t think anyone like, hey, volunteer to be like the, the, the test dummy on this.

I don’t think anyone’s like, oh yeah, I’ll, I’m gonna get choked out by this, by this, uh, you know, person who’s, who’s demonstrating and I’m gonna be, you know, lights out.

Jeff Circle: it. She was, she had, she was under the chin, but she, she, she wasn’t catching both carotids. I think she finally got it in, locked it in enough and

Scott DeLuzio : She finally, she put the pressure, the, the, I think where she had it was like the pressure on the back of the head, you know, and then pushed down into it. And that’s, that’s what got him on, on both sides there. And, uh,

Jeff Circle: There’s, there’s nothing like that feeling right before you pass out.

Scott DeLuzio : oh my gosh. So I was in basic training, um, uh, at Fort Benning, uh, and we finished our, [01:06:00] the, the. The, uh, final ruck march that we did. Um, it was like 12 miles, or I forget how long it was. It was so something crazy stupid like that, right? And so, um, we get to the end and we’re all standing in formation, and I, I don’t know if my knees were locked.

I don’t know what it was, but I just started seeing the world start to close in.

Jeff Circle: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio : And then I, you know, you’re standing in formation in basic training. You’re not supposed to say a damn thing anyways, right? Uh, I, I remember just turning to the guy next to me and go, I’m going down and the next thing I know, I wake up, I’m at the back of the formation sitting on the, on the ground.

Someone had, you know, grabbed me and dragged me back. I just, I went flat on my face. I just went

Jeff Circle: Oh.

Scott DeLuzio : timber right down. The, it’s, it’s, the feeling of, of that is just . Uh, if you haven’t experienced it, I don’t recommend it.

Jeff Circle: it’s, it’s, it’s the time. You don’t one, when [01:07:00] you come out of it, you don’t know what, how much, how much time’s passed. It’s the weirdest feeling when you come out of it too. And I think every basic training unit has that. We had people pass out. It

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah.

Jeff Circle: know, that do

Scott DeLuzio : Well, and, and the thing was, I was, I was not the only one who was sitting behind the formation. Uh, when I, when I came to there, there was like, I think there’s like two or three of us who were sitting behind the formation and, and this is a group of like 50 guys. So it’s, it’s like, you know, we’re at like 5% of the, the platoon was, was passing out because

Jeff Circle: definitely service related. You’re doing the right thing.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah. I think, uh, you know, that, that could have been a service connected, uh, type of thing. Um.

Jeff Circle: Okay.

Scott DeLuzio : One thing I I say, where all these people, thank God they have it on video, so if they need evidence, they have it on, they have video evidence, they could submit that, uh, for their claim. So, um, anyways, Jeff, thank you for taking the time to join me and sharing [01:08:00] what you are doing now with, uh, uh, all these writers, sharing their, their stuff and getting it out there to, uh, to the masses.

I really do appreciate you sharing that and sharing your background and, and everything that you’ve, uh, you’ve done along the way. Uh, so thank you for taking the time,

Jeff Circle: You are welcome, Scott, and thank you for what you do with the Drive, On, Podcast promoting military experiences, making connections. Uh, I know it’s a labor of love. Uh, my, my work is too, but hey, I look at it now. I know I can text you in a heartbeat and, and we can get something going on. So

Scott DeLuzio : you know?

Jeff Circle: for you and, uh, I look forward to being on next time.

Scott DeLuzio : Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Jeff Circle: Cool.

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, [01:09:00] Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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