Episode 380 Josh Thompson Resilience, Perseverance, and Inner Strength Transcript

This transcript is from episode 380 with guest Josh Thompson.

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 guest is Josh Thompson. Uh, he’s a former, uh, Army Air Defense Artillery Captain whose journey is a powerful testament to resilience, perseverance, and the transformative power of inner strength. Uh, his story is one of overcoming adversity, navigating through dark times and emerging stronger on the other side from battling toxic works, work environments and chronic health issues to finding healing and personal breakthroughs.

Josh’s journey is both inspiring and [00:01:00] uplifting, and we’ll get into his experiences, the challenges that he faced and the lessons learned, uh, in just a minute. But first I want to welcome you to the show, Josh. I’m really glad to have you here.

Josh Thompson: Thanks for having me, Scott. It’s great to be here.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And, uh, you know, we were talking before, uh, we started recording here a little bit. Um, uh, you know, just, uh, you know, about a little bit about each other and, and, and things like that. But, um, I’d love to, um, have you in your own words, uh, maybe start by telling us about some of the struggles that you experienced.

I kind of mentioned a little bit in the intro. Um, you know, some of the struggles that you experienced during your time in the army and, uh, maybe some of the impact that they had on, You know, your mental, uh, emotional and even physical well being.

Josh Thompson: Sure. I’ll just, uh, I’ll start by walking through the beginning of sort of that sequence of struggles, uh, for context, and, uh, I’ll lead off by saying that, uh, the Air Defense Artillery, or ADA, has been [00:02:00] the most deployed and The four deployed branch of the army for the better part of a decade now, which covers most of my time in the service.

But my sequence of struggles goes well beyond dealing with a crazy op tempo. I did maintain, or was forced to maintain, a rather unhealthy level of stress for a number of years, especially in the latter part of my service. Um, kind of started when I had just left, um, the fast paced environment of the 82nd Airborne Division where I had just barely finished standing up a Stinger missile program, uh, transferred to a Patriot Air Defense unit, uh, that had just received a no notice deployment order.

Um, and I went to that unit to take command, which is already stressful enough. Um, but I, I deployed with that unit, uh, we got on ground in the desert and I started my inventories as soon as the equipment had begun coming off the ship. Um, not a standard change of command inventory. Um, [00:03:00] I took, I took command of the most stressful unit, the battalion, the HHB, uh, but I was up for it.

What I was not up for, um, was the toxicity that ensued among the leadership of the battalion and higher echelons, um, that I had to deal with throughout my command. And so we kind of, during that deployment, we kind of went to war for a couple of weeks. Um, it was, it was, uh, during the period when, uh, we unalived General Soleimani in Iraq and, uh, there were heightened tensions, uh, that eventually led to the Iranian missile strikes that impacted Erbil and Al Assad.

Um, well, for the entire deployment up to then, we didn’t have an end date for that deployment because, um, you know, it wasn’t a patch chart deployment, it was a no notice deployment. Um, so we finally had a unit come relieve us, um, after some time and we did a left seat, right seat with them. They took the, they took the driver’s seat and we had about 90 percent of our equipment at the port ready to ship back to the States when that unit, [00:04:00] the unit that replaced us, uh, or so we thought, was ordered to go to Iraq to the locations that the Armenian missiles strikes impacted.

Um, and we were ordered to reassume our mission. Um, the, the mission that we had just handed over, so morale and mental health was absolutely crushed when we had to drive all of our equipment back from the port to continue the mission we had already handed over and, uh, shortly after that COVID hit, and then that’s when things really got ridiculous, uh, all the amenities on the installation shutdown and the collective mental health and morale just started spiraling downhill even more, uh, you. Including mine and COVID prevented a lot of moving into and out of theater, uh, which only added to the fog and the question of when are we going to be going home? Um, well, we eventually did a few months later, um, even though the, the unit that came in to replace us then we, we didn’t fully trust them. Are you really going to be taking over until, you [00:05:00] know, we, we didn’t believe until we were on the plane, um, at that point, but,

Scott DeLuzio: Fool me once, uh, shame on me kind of thing, you know, that kind of situation, right? Yeah.

Josh Thompson: but they did. So, um. But anyway, we, we so redeployed and we still had COVID to deal with and I still had the most toxic chain of command I had ever experienced in my career to deal with. Um, so, so just, you can just see the stretchers, you know, starting to add up here.

Um, and this is really, really where we start getting into the mental health part of it. Um, that toxic work environment was, it was so bad that toward the end, I had to walk out of a battalion meeting and I, I drove straight to the behavioral health clinic. Um, and my battalion commander found out later, uh, that day where I went and in my next closed door conversation with him, uh, he actually made fun of me for having to go to behavioral health.

Um, and I was absolutely [00:06:00] flabbergasted at that. Um, and. Hey, I thought it over. I confided in some people and just, you know, just that was a first for me. So after giving it a lot of thought, I, I ended up filing an IG complaint. Um, and then, uh, at that point it was like 18 months into my command and I hadn’t had enough.

Um, and although I don’t believe that the onset of my physical conditions, um, That we’ll be talking about were caused by the stress, uh, from dealing with all the above. It certainly didn’t help, um, it only added to that sort of, you know, fight or flight reflex of, you know, just anxiety and stress, um, that I experienced once my symptoms started, you know, popping up.

But basically I PCS from that unit and I settled into my new unit at, uh, uh, JBLM. Uh, I really enjoyed it for about a month, uh, because that’s whenever my physical symptoms started appearing, um, that eventually left my med board. [00:07:00] I started getting new symptoms every week and I found myself in so much unexplained pain and discomfort that I frequented the emergency room.

I was going sometimes multiple times a week, uh, cause I, I literally thought I was going to die. Um, I was, I was getting heart palpitations. I thought I was having heart attacks. I had a, uh, a panic attack that I confused for a heart attack. Um, and, uh, so I, I started going to the doctor just as often as I’ll go to work.

Um, and for months I had no diagnosis. Um, and the first diagnosis I did receive was actually a misdiagnosis, and I didn’t know that until later on. Um, you know, whenever the medication was making things worse instead of better. Um, so Yeah, so basically on top of the stress that I had experienced from the previous unit, I had developed anxiety from my unexplained symptoms that were causing me so much pain, discomfort, and unexplained changes to my body, [00:08:00] um, and diet.

Um, for a few years I experienced, you know, just stressor on top of stressor, and as soon as I thought I was moving past, past it all toward relief, boom, medical problems. You know, I ended up enduring those for over a year and a half before I I got what I consider to be my main diagnosis and then treatment after that. Um,

Scott DeLuzio: So, so yeah, so I want to, I want to take a step back a little bit here. So you were, you were talking about how your unit was, you know, basically told, Hey, you guys are going home. You got your replacement unit here. Right. And then. Basically pull all the stuff off the ships and bring it right back because you’re not going anywhere.

Um, and then, like you said, COVID struck and then you’re really not going anywhere cause nobody was going anywhere at that point. Um, and then all the, um, uh, facilities on the base, they, they all shut down. [00:09:00] Um, talk about. A complete mind game with, uh, the, the folks that are, uh, involved in this. Like, I, I, I know I’ve been in situ, I think most people who’ve been in the military have been in a situation where plans have changed, let’s just call it that, right, where, where, Hey.

You’re told you’re, you’re doing X and you end up doing Y and you’re all planned and ready to go for X and Y happens. And, and then you got to totally shift gears. Um, so I think we can understand that, but it’s a totally different game when it’s, Hey, you’re going to get to go home and you’re going to get to go see your families and you’re going to get to go, you know.

Celebrate birthdays and, you know, uh, anniversaries and all those things that you might’ve missed while you were away. You’re going to get to go do those things. Oh, but Hey, Hey, guess what? No, you’re actually not. And you’re going to stay here for an undetermined amount of time. Um, continuing to do the job that you had been [00:10:00] doing that messes with you.

Right. That messes with your mind. Um, and, uh, and then having toxic toxic leadership on top of it, who maybe doesn’t even recognize. The, the effects that that might have on some of the soldiers who are involved in that, that’s got to make, just amplify things. Tenfold, right? That where, where you’re now dealing with people who maybe they don’t even care.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I wasn’t there, but maybe they just don’t even care that it’s affecting people. It’s just, just like, Hey, this is your job. Just go do it. Um, you know, whereas someone with maybe better leadership would be like, okay, let’s figure out how to at least soften the blow here. You know, let’s try to make this better in some way.

Um, you know, but. It doesn’t seem like that was a case in your, your situation. Right. And so, um, so that I got to [00:11:00] imagine not only you, but, you know, a lot of the soldiers that you were with were probably experiencing similar stress and anxiety. And, uh, you know, all, all, all of the above, right? Like they, they were probably.

Not doing too good either. Right. And so, so you being, you know, kind of in charge of these guys, now you, you got a, a whole bag full of people who are not really doing all that great. And you’re not doing all that great. How does this, how do you make that work? Like that, that, that’s gotta be a challenge, right?

Josh Thompson: Yeah. And I’ll, I’ll kind of be talking about how that, how me trying to make that work affected me even more. Um, uh, I’ll, I’ll tell you, like, it certainly did affect the, the mental health of that, of that unit. As a matter of fact, um, In that time, um, about a year span, we had two suicides in that one battalion, uh, to put it in [00:12:00] context, the year prior to that deployment, 2018, the entire 82nd Airborne Division, uh, which is about 36 battalions, had four suicides, which is still four too many, uh, you know, but, I mean, 30, across 36 battalions, four had suicide.

The next year, with the battalion that I was at, that we The one I deployed with, two suicides just in one battalion, and that kind of tells you all you need to know right

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And like you said, four is too many, one is too many. It doesn’t matter that the number any is too many, but when you’re, you’re boiling it down to a smaller group, you know, one, one 36th of, of the division, um, Yeah, two, two in a year, that’s, that’s a lot, um, and that’s, that’s not a good thing. And, and that stress and the struggles, uh, that everybody was dealing with, um, that, that had to have, uh, been at least a contributing factor.

I can’t say, I don’t [00:13:00] know these people. I don’t know their, their. Personal situations that could have been way other family issues that could have been other mitigating or other factors dealing with these situations. But I got to imagine the stresses that they went through that you went through, uh, also played a part, uh, to some extent.

Right. Um,

Josh Thompson: Absolutely.

Scott DeLuzio: so, so you talked about the toxic, uh, work environment and leadership, um. And eventually getting medically, uh, you know, separated from the, the army. Um, how did you personally deal with these challenges in addition to, you know, having to lead all of these, uh, these troops, uh, with your own, uh, issues going on, um, but then eventually getting medically retired, um, what were some of the things that you did to kind of cope with this and, um, Get through the, these difficult times.[00:14:00]

Josh Thompson: Well, uh, like I mentioned, um, I kind of, and I kind of realized it’s too late, but I, I realized I needed help. Like, I needed to talk to someone about the stress that I was, uh, experiencing. And, uh, I, like I said, I, I kind of. I, I had enough of the BS during one meeting, and I finished briefing what I had to brief, and I walked out, went straight to my car, drove straight to mental health, uh, or behavioral health on post.

Um, so that was, I guess, the first thing that, um, that I did to sort of, You know, rectify the issue, um, with my, with my own self. Um, but the lowest, darkest time of my life was when, uh, it was the time between the onset of my symptoms, uh, to the time that I received my main diagnosis and began getting treatment for it, um, And that was the lowest, darkest period for me, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, you name it.

Um, and uh, it’s, it’s as if I had entered a, you know, a pitch black tunnel and [00:15:00] had no idea how far I had to go into the tunnel before I would see the light and reemerge on the other side. Um, but I kept faith that everything I was going through was for a reason. Um, and even though that reason wasn’t apparent to me yet, uh, but I, I had, I had to have faith that I would eventually see a light at the end of the tunnel, and that I would eventually, uh, emerge, uh, you know, from that tunnel and into the light.

Uh, so although I probably didn’t, you know, always show it, I kept my faith. Uh, in my spirit, as I navigated that period, period, and, uh, and I, I already spoke to you briefly on how I navigated the toxic work environment. You know, first I endured it, uh, and then I fought it and then I, finally I left it. Um, but for the chronic health issues, uh, the most difficult part was just getting an accurate diagnosis.

Uh, once I had an accurate diagnosis, I knew I could start being treated for the condition, but, [00:16:00] um, you know, if there was no diagnosis, there was no treatment. Uh, or mistreatment, you know, and that, that did happen, um, it actually made it a little worse.

Scott DeLuzio: and, you know, even, even a misdiagnosis, uh, is. In some cases, I can’t say all cases, but in some cases it could actually be better than no diagnosis because at least you can try something and realize, Hey, that didn’t work. You know, like this, this might actually be making things worse.

Okay. So don’t do that. Now let’s go figure out what else it is. You know, and I’m not saying a misdiagnosis, like, Hey, go, go out there and try to get a misdiagnosis. Like, that’s a good thing. It’s not a good thing. Right. But it’s, um, you know, it’s, It’s trying something and trying to get in the right direction.

Right. Um, I, I had a, a situation where I was having, uh, like breathing issues and I went, I went to the doctor and they’re like, Oh, you’re having anxiety. The only thing I’m anxious about is the fact that [00:17:00] I can’t breathe right now. And like that, that’s, that’s the, uh, the issue I’m having turned out it was a symptom of heartburn that I was having, or like acid reflux or that type of thing.

I needed like an antacid, not, uh, you know, anti anxiety medication, which is what I was prescribed actually. So I realized like. That ain’t it, you know, so like, but you know, in similar situation, um, you, you find out like, okay, no, that’s not the, the, the right diagnosis. Let’s, let’s go figure something else out, you know?

Josh Thompson: Yeah. And that actually kind of makes sense. I mean, I’m no doctor, but you know, going through everything I went through, I understand that, you know, the gut is highly related to anxiety. So if you experienced one, it could be the other and vice versa. So, um, But yeah, you’re right. It’s just the, if you get a misdiagnosis and you try something and it doesn’t work, well, so you have, you have an answer like that’s, that’s not it.

But it depends on the medication. You know, some medications can do more damage to others if they put you on, you know, one of those medications. But, [00:18:00] um, once I, so basically I had to start self advocating for myself and I did so for, for months and months and just kept on pushing, uh, and I could tell when a doctor was BSing me.

Um, You know, I would just go back until they finally took me serious. Um, or I, when that didn’t work, I would just go see another doctor. And I actually ended up seeing about, uh, a dozen different primaries, uh, throughout the whole process and about just as many specialty doctors, if not more. And, you know, as you know, in the military health system, that’s actually a challenge to do. Um,

Scott DeLuzio: is. That, that, that number seemed,

Josh Thompson: PA.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, that number seemed abnormally high to me, trying to switch any doctor. It was like, You know, pulling teeth. So,

Josh Thompson: Yeah, that’s just how, you know, like determined I was. I mean, you really, um, you really, no one’s going to look out for you like you look out for you. [00:19:00] So you really have to push. Um, and I just, I was not satisfied not having an answer because it was just out of the blue. And, you know, it’s just, I got very annoyed whenever I’d, know, be sitting down with the doctor who was just dismissive, you know, like, no, I need you to care about this.

And what I learned was, you know, you can have the smartest, most highly qualified and educated doctor. Uh, I really don’t care. Like, I just need, for the primaries, like, I’d rather a newly graduated nurse practitioner, you know, uh, who really cares over the smartest doctor in the world, uh, because those primers are the gateways to, you know, the, the specialty clinics and that’s really where you’re going to get your diagnosis is the specialty clinics.


Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, for sure. And, and being your own advocate is super important too, because like you said, sometimes these doctors or, or, you know, nurse practitioners or whoever, [00:20:00] uh, you happen to have as a primary, um, they have loads of patients and. Sometimes they have 10, 15 minutes with you that they, they see. And that, that’s all they, they see.

And, um, you know, if you’re not, uh, you know, out there advocating for yourself and saying, Hey, I need X, Y, and Z, this is what I, you know, I need. They may miss something. You know, and I think it’s just an issue with the medical system that we have, you know, where we should have, you know, more time with the doctors and everything, but, you know, realistically we don’t, you know, so, so you kind of have to do your own research and, you know, um, you know, I joke around with my wife.

It’s like, we got to kind of play Dr. Google sometimes and like. Look up your symptoms and figure it out. And, and then you can have a intelligent conversation with the doctor, uh, you know about what’s going on and say, Hey, I think it could be X, Y, and Z because I have, uh, these symptoms and, and this is what I’m, I’m experiencing.

Uh, but if [00:21:00] you just go in there and say, this hurts, or, you know, I can’t do this because whatever, um, they’re, they don’t know. Uh, you, you gotta give them a little more information, I guess. Right.

Josh Thompson: Right. Exactly. Um, and as far as coping mechanisms on the, the mental health side, um, I, I enrolled in, so I was, I went to Baver Health as a walk in, you know, like I mentioned it at Bragg when I was still in command, but after a PCS and I started dealing with all the, uh, the anxiety from, you know, not knowing what’s wrong with me physically, uh, I enrolled again in Baver Health at JBLM.

Um, and I actually had a really great Baver Health, uh, social worker who, um, Saw me for nearly two years, um, almost right up to my med board, um, where I guess the finalization of my med board and, uh, As a result of all the, you know, the stress that I experienced over the previous two years, um, uh, he ended up diagnosing me with generalized anxiety [00:22:00] disorder, or GAD.

And, uh, you know, at which point he offered me two options. Um, he could speak to my primary doctor about prescribing me some You know, medication for it, or I could try doing, uh, cognitive behavioral therapy. And I, I was already on too many meds in my mind. So I opted for the cognitive behavioral therapy, um, which actually really helped me.

It helped me become more mindful. And, uh, I started being able to catch my anxious or negative thoughts, uh, whenever I would, I would have them. And, uh, and, you know, it’s like, once you, once you have that level of awareness, you can. That’s when you can really start to control your thoughts much better. Um, you can prevent the anxiety from happening or catch it as it’s happening and mitigate the effect of it. So on the mental health side, I’ll say like just practicing mindfulness. Um, also breathing techniques, uh, really help with the anxiety. Uh, as a matter of fact, um, uh, my social worker I was seeing, you know, he [00:23:00] did a test. He put an, uh, an oximeter on my, on my finger and we did a, like a 10 minute. Breathing exercise, and he watched, we did it together, but he watched the oximeter, and, um, and, uh, basically, my, my heart rate dropped by 10 beats per minute by the time we were done with the exercise.

So, breathing techniques really help, you can actually see the effects of it, um, you know, uh, quantitatively.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and I, I think that that’s actually really good that they did that for you, because I think one of the things that a lot of guys, uh, especially guys, I’m, I’m using this word as the guys, like the men who are out there who are like, ah, this is, it’s not going to work for me or whatever they need to see that the hard.

Evidence like, how does this work? How does this help? And when you see the numbers on the screen of this, this thing, you know, showing the changes that [00:24:00] are occurring as you’re doing it in kind of real time, um, you you’re getting that feedback and it’s like, okay, well, all right, well, maybe this does work.

Um, but without that, you may just be like. I tried it. It doesn’t work, you know, but it might’ve actually been working. You just didn’t realize it. Um, and you maybe just need to give it a little more time in order for it to, you know, actually kick in. Cause it’s not like, it’s not like you, uh, you know, pop an Advil or something like that.

And it’s starts working right away and you start, you know, your headache goes away or, you know, whatever it is. Um, it’s, uh, it’s something that you kind of have to build up over time. Right.

Josh Thompson: Absolutely, exactly.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s, it’s important I think for, for providers, especially if you guys are listening to this, um, let it be known, like let people know how it’s working and, and show them, you know, using tools like what you just men mentioned and [00:25:00] um, you know, use, use those things to, to just show, Hey, this does work.

Um, but I think another important piece of it though is something that you mentioned earlier is, is just having the right attitude going into it. Um, because you. You were saying like you were going through pretty much the darkest time, uh, you, you, you were, uh, going through, um, but you recognize that everything happens for a reason.

Uh, and you had faith that you’ll come out on the other side of this, um, you know, in, in, uh, you know, a better place and. That, I think, is really important, um, even if you, you can’t understand why is this happening now? Why is this happening to me? You know, why the whole, why does bad things happen to good people kind of, kind of mentality, um, you know, just knowing that it happens for a reason and being okay with that being the reason and not, not necessarily knowing what.

It [00:26:00] is that’s, that’s causing it. You just know there is a reason and be okay with that being it for the reason. Um, and I, I, it’s a hard, hard thing to do sometimes, but I think that, um, you know, could be a good first step for people who are in that, that similar situation, right? I

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. Yes. 100%.

Scott DeLuzio: mean, probably makes going into, uh, you know, any sort of therapy that you might. Be considering a little bit easier, uh, because you’re, you have that good attitude going into it.

Josh Thompson: Yep. That’ll, I mean, you know, I’m going to, I plan on talking about mindset. Um, and, uh, you know, mindset really can make a big difference. Mindset drives your, uh, you know, your thoughts, which drive your Feelings, which drives your, uh, you know, your, your actions, your habits. And so it really can change your life, you know, just by, uh, having, [00:27:00] you know, a good attitude and mindset.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s, I think a good, you know, kind of segue right there is, um, you know, talking about the mindset and how it interacts with all of the things. Like you said, your, your, your thoughts, your feelings, your, your behaviors, your, your habits, all of those things are all interconnected, uh, you know, in one way or another, and.

With a, with a poor mindset, you’re going to end up having poor, you know, attitude, poor behaviors, poor, uh, you know, habits and, and everything else, uh, along the way. So, um, yeah, I’d, I’d love to, you know, kind of chat a little bit about the, you know, the mindset piece of things, uh, if you don’t mind.

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. Um, so it was, uh, so I had. was post surgery, so basically after I, I received my, um, you know, my, my diagnosis and I, I had a surgery done that, um, [00:28:00] basically alleviated a lot of the symptoms, uh, that I was experiencing, uh, or, or lessened them, I would say, um, I, you know, that was, so after that, I pretty much, you know, I kind of was starting to see things differently because, uh, once I recovered from that surgery, I, I started to see, you know, the effects that like, Oh, I don’t notice these symptoms as much anymore.

And I started to have a much more positive outlook, like, Oh, you know what, I, I can get through this. And I started to see that light at the end of the tunnel, like, you know, I started to see it and, um, that really changed my. My outlook, like I started to become a lot more positive and towards it was actually, um, while I was in terminal leave.

So, so there’s that. And then like, I, I landed a, this job that I have now, fantastic. I’m, I’m getting paid well to, to live in Europe with my family and, and, and work here. It’s amazing. So, you know, I started to really get a positive [00:29:00] outlook. Um. And it was while I was on terminal leave after I started this job, but before I moved to, uh, over here to Europe permanently, um, uh, I, I just, I kind of, I had what I would say is both a breakthrough and a spiritual awakening, um, and that really, uh, helped shift my mindset.

Like I hear the term paradigm shift, mindset shift, uh, you know, basically. Just, um, and it’s more than the mind, it’s like, it’s like the soul, like, you know, it, I, I believe that life is really just a, a journey and a cycle of just discovering yourself and rediscovering yourself all over again, every time you enter a new phase of life, and with me getting, like, Post surgery me, like, you know, starting to get over these symptoms and then landing this job and just, you know, uh, [00:30:00] getting the medical retirement and transitioning out of the army.

And, uh, it was just a, it was more than a transition. It was a transformation. Um, but it was, it was on a deep, uh, I’d say spiritual level, uh, very, very deep personal spiritual level. Um, and I, I hear of, of other. You know, transitioning or transitioned service members, veterans that have had a very similar experience, uh, including people you’ve had on your show. Um, it seems to be a common, a common theme for, you know, around that time when you transition out, um, you know, it’s like be ready for it. If you’re, if you’re still in, like you’re going to, you’re going to have not just a transition, you’re going to have a whole transformation and I’m sure it looks different for everyone, but, uh, for me, it kind of, it came pretty rapidly.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and you’re right. There’s a lot of people have had similar experiences. Um, and, and so for folks who are listening to this and you’re, you’re still in, um, at some point you’re not going to be in, [00:31:00] you’re going to be getting out and, uh, you know, just be prepared for that because that, that soldier or sailor or Marine or airman, or, you know, whatever your, your title is, that whatever you are, uh, the military right now, you’re not going to be that forever.

Uh, at some point you’re getting out and I know, okay, fine. Maybe the Marines are an exception. Cause once a Marine, always a Marine, blah, blah, blah, whatever. I get it. But, um, you know, you’re going to get out and you’re not going to be wearing that uniform every day. You’re not going to be going to work doing that military job.

You’re going to have something else and that’s going to be your identity. Get ready for that. Be prepared so that when that day comes, when you take that uniform off for the last time you get handed your DD 214, you’re not like, wait a minute. Now, what am I, who, who, who is this person that I’m looking at in the mirror?

Uh, you know, w where is my identity? Your identity is you. It’s [00:32:00] not the uniform that you put on. It’s not the title that you have or the job or the, you know, any of that kind of stuff. It’s, it’s you. That’s your identity. And yeah, sure. The military is a big part of it. Um, especially if you’re in right now and, and even if you’ve been out, uh, for, for a few years, you know, military is probably a big chunk of your life and that, that’s, you know, not taking anything away from that, but, um, that, that’s just one experience that you’ve had, uh, throughout your lifetime.

Uh, there’s, there’s a lot of other experiences that you’ve had and those are part of who you are too. Uh, and so. So kind of getting that mindset right, uh, before getting out, uh, probably helps, uh, right. And, and, and, uh, you know, making, uh, that transition or transformation in your case, what you, what you called it, uh, makes it making that a little bit easier.

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. And, and what you, what you mentioned about like, you know, like finding yourself like that’s, that’s how it [00:33:00] was for me. It’s like, I kind of lost a part of myself. Um, you know, not completely, but I, it’s like, I felt like a lost part of myself and I was having to rediscover parts of myself that used to be a lot more positive and used to be a lot more, I don’t know, fulfilled, you know, you know.

Or either earlier in my army career or before my army career that I just kind of, you know, um, in some cases, like I, I’ll use the analogy. It’s like, I started pouring from an empty cup or I tried to pour from an empty cup and, and I think that’s part of, I think that’s all part of it. Like you have to pour into yourself and, uh, that’s how you lose parts of yourself is if you’re not pouring into those parts of yourself.

Um, yeah, so,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, yeah. And, and, and, and it sounded like, you know, when you’re, uh, when you had that surgery and, and those, those physical symptoms started to get, uh, started to get better and that started to help the, the mental side of [00:34:00] things. And you had a couple of those, I, I don’t wanna say small wins, you had a couple wins, uh, where now things are starting to look up for you and you.

You can kind of see the light at the end of that, that dark tunnel that you were going through. Um, it’s like, okay, there is some good stuff here. I’m already starting to see some of that good stuff. Um, you know, with, with the physical symptoms starting to, uh, be become a little bit better. And, um, you know, that, that, that helps the mental side of things.

So you mentioned, uh, the anxiety over the, the, some of the, the physical things that you were having, uh, going on. Um, you know, if you don’t have the physical things and then that anxiety gets a little bit better. And, you know, so it all kind of plays together and, you know, everyone’s situation obviously is going to be a little bit different, but if you can take that idea, that concept of, you know, focus on.

One win, you know, try to, try to just improve that one area of your life. Maybe it’s a physical problem that you’re having. [00:35:00] Get that, get that physical condition, uh, you know, checked out and get it, uh, under control. Um, boom, now you got to win. And that, that’s going to help you, okay, let’s find that next win.

And that’s, what’s that next thing I can, I can improve and focus on. Maybe it’s, maybe it’s, uh, you know, health related, maybe it’s career related, maybe it’s education, maybe it’s, uh, you know, whatever it is, um, you look for that little win that, that can help show you that there is a light out there. And once, when you start getting those wins, that light starts getting brighter and brighter and brighter until eventually you’re through that tunnel.

And you, you get to that other side and you start seeing a whole lot more light.

Josh Thompson: absolutely, yeah, there were, there were wins, and I, I call them answer prayers, uh, I mean, you know, just to, for everything to sort of fall into place, I mean, after such a long struggle, for everything just to sort of fall into place, just one after [00:36:00] another, it was like, you know, surgery, and then like, oh, symptoms are starting to go away, and then like, uh, oh, Now it’s, you know, medical retirement that’s awarded and then like the job, um, you know, it’s like, um, and then even like on a personal level, like just the people in my life, you know, just throughout that whole transition because I’ve transformed the people in my life.

You know, uh, are transforming, um, and that goes back into the, you know, can’t pour from an empty cup, you know, because now my cup is a lot more full and now I can actually help others and pour into others and, uh, and make their lives better. Um, you know, while maintaining my own cup.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And a lot of times when you use the analogy of pouring into other people’s cups, a lot of times when you’re pouring into somebody else’s cup, uh, it has a strange side effect of also. Uh, you know, filling up your cup a little bit as well, um, because you’re, you’re helping other people [00:37:00] and that just, just has a way of helping you too.

And it, and it’s not a selfish thing. Like, Oh, I’m going to go help some other people so I can get better myself. Right. It’s it’s you’re helping somebody else. They they’re getting that benefit. And maybe that’s the small win that they needed is just to see that somebody else gives a damn about them. And, and they, they get that.

Um, but you get the benefit too, because helping people just in general, it makes you feel good. I mean, think about just the slightest, smallest interaction you might have with somebody. Um, somebody, you know, drops their change at the store and you help them pick it up or something like that. Um, You know, it’s just a small little thing and you help them out.

And you kind of feel a little bit good about that. Like you were able to help that person out or, or, you know, you hold the door for somebody or, you know, who’s carrying like a bunch of boxes or something like that, you know, it just, in a way, it just [00:38:00] makes you feel a little bit good that you’re able to help somebody.

Um, now think about if you were to do something, you know, on a significant level where it’s. It’s transformative maybe for them or, you know, life changing in some way where you’re able to help them in a, in a significant way. Maybe you’re, you’re providing them with career counseling or, or you’re, you’re getting them to get the help that they need, you know, mental health wise or, or whatever, like that’s gotta make you feel pretty damn good too.

Right. And so, um, so you’re helping that person, but you’re also helping yourself a little bit too, right?

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that maybe something I could have done a little bit better because you’re, you’re absolutely right. Like you get something out of helping others. Um. And whenever you’re in survival mode, it’s, it’s hard to focus on helping others. Like, you know, ideally you get out of survival mode, get past that and then help, but, you know, I’m thinking like I was in survival mode for a long time.

You know, I was just trying to [00:39:00] survive, you know, concentrate on myself mainly. And, you know, had I, had I maybe been a little bit more helpful to others, like maybe that would have, I don’t know, at least at a minimum, been a good distraction, you know, from the, from the pain and discomfort I was experiencing.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s a good point too. That being a bit of a distraction, because when you have, um, somebody else who maybe is relying on you for whatever it is that you’re helping them out with, um, you know, you don’t want to let that person down. You. You want that person to succeed and, uh, and thrive and do good, uh, you know, in whatever the situation is.

So, um, you kind of like, all right, well, the hell with these issues that I’m dealing with. They’re nothing compared to what these people are going through. I’m going to, I’m going to focus on this instead. Um, and, and those other issues, you know, a lot of times they’re not, um, I don’t want to minimize these issues, [00:40:00] right.

But I don’t want to say that they’re insignificant or, or whatever. Um, I won’t, I won’t. A lot of times we focus on things that really we don’t need to focus on, um, you know, and, and we can, uh, we can be okay. With these things that are going on, um, and, and they’re not as big as we make them out to be, but sometimes in our head, we, we, we blow things up into these huge things and it becomes a big thing where we’re, you know, now having physical or mental, you know, health conditions, uh, due to all of this.

But if we’re focused on helping somebody else, some of those things kind of start to. Get a little bit smaller in our, in our heads and, and

Josh Thompson: give it less energy.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, exactly. Yeah. The more energy you give it, it’s like feeding, uh, feeding the beast. And that beast just gets bigger and bigger. Right.

Josh Thompson: Yep. They say whatever you give energy to grows. So, you know, if you give it less energy or no energy at all, then it’ll, it’ll [00:41:00] naturally shrink and go away.

Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. Yeah. And it, it’s not, so it sounds like. You know, faith and, you know, uh, uh, that, that had some, uh, some bearing on your, uh, your journey and how you kind of proceeded through everything is that, um, that kind of accurate, like that you, uh, kind of leaned on that a bit to, to help get through where you’re going through.

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. Um, yeah, I’ve, I’ve always been, you know, faithful, um, but it’s, I’ve definitely entered a, a whole new level of faith, uh, spirituality and consciousness, you know, emerging from that tunnel, uh, and back into the light, um, is, is how I would describe it. Um, yeah. You know, just because, you know, just like, you know, like I was describing with the, uh, or like you were saying with, you know, us guys, like we need to see proof that it’s working.

Well, like [00:42:00] a lot of proof, like all at once that my prayers are being answered, like it works. So, um, you know, and that only just opened up the door to become more faithful, more spiritual, you know, more conscious.

Scott DeLuzio: sure. Yeah. And you know, there’s a, there’s a song and I, I’m, I’m gonna butcher the lyrics, so I’m not even gonna bother. Kind of the gist of it is, you know, like you, if you only pray when you need something, like when you, when you need to ask a favor, it, you know, are, are you really? Are you really that faithful?

You know, you know, if you should, you should kind of have that in your life. Um, you know, that, that faith, knowing that there is, uh, there’s something, there’s a reason for, uh, everything that happens. Um, and knowing that. Your prayers will be answered if, if, if you, if you’re praying, right? But, um, but it’s, it’s an important piece, [00:43:00] uh, to, to know that, um, you’re not going through this alone.

Um, you know, even if, even if you don’t have a friend in the world, uh, you’re not going through this all alone. Right. There, there’s, somebody’s got your back. Right.

Josh Thompson: Absolutely. 100%.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, um, you know, for the, the folks who maybe don’t really, you know, uh, subscribe to any particular religion or, uh, whatever, uh, you know, honestly, that’s probably okay.

Um, you can still have faith knowing that there’s something bigger out there. Um, that. will help you, you know, get through whatever it is that you’re going through. Um, so long as you have that faith, right?

Josh Thompson: Yeah. I mean, I could tell you 100 percent there’s something bigger out there. Uh, I, I call, I call them God. Some people call it the universe. Um, [00:44:00] but you know, there’s definitely a, a larger entity out there that, you know, is, is moving things, doing work that we cannot see, um, in a different realm, different dimension.

Uh, I’ve, I’ve experienced, you know, I’ve experienced it myself. Like I said, you know, just like I, after going through all the struggle, you know, and I, and I knew like, there’s a reason for it. Like, and that’s kind of like, I already had that faith. Like I know, like there’s got, there’s a reason for this, uh, you know, and ultimately it was to make me, uh, and I’m, I’m still trying to, you know, kind of figuring it out, but I’m a hundred percent, a better person.

Now, then, before I went through that struggle, and it has only gotten me closer to God, closer to my faith. You know, it’s raised my level of consciousness. And so there’s, it was definitely for a purpose. And then, I mean, I’m, I am much more happy now than, um, [00:45:00] than I think I ever was for, in the army, so, uh, you know, on the outside, so I mean, there’s that.


Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, well,

Josh Thompson: I’d still be, I’d still be in Noggin Away.

Scott DeLuzio: right, exactly. And, you know, I, I think, you know, a lot of people do, do, uh, find. A little bit more happiness once when they’re out of the military, um, you know, cause their, uh, their, their time is up and, and, uh, they, they maybe had some toxic issues and they just wanted, wanted to get out. And in your case, you know, that, that was, uh, very, very much the case where, where the toxicity, uh, was not.

Contributing, uh, in a positive way to your, your mental health. So, um, you know, getting out, obviously you’re going to probably find a little bit more happiness when you don’t have to deal with that. Um, you know, but you know, you, you could have also found yourself in a, uh, civilian job with similar toxic behaviors, you know, going on, uh, you know, in, in the leadership there [00:46:00] and you, you would have, um, you know.

Been probably equally as, as miserable in that position. However, uh, unlike in the army, uh, you had the option of, uh, you know, getting out and finding another job, uh, where the army it’s like, well, Hey, this is where you’re assigned, this is where you, this is where you gotta be. And, and you don’t really have too much choice in, in all of that matters.

So, um, yeah, so that’s, um. That, that’s a bit of a difference. So at least you had that, uh, you know, possibility of an out, but, you know, fortunately you found a good job where, where you don’t have those issues. But, um, you know, going back to the faith, um, uh, topic just for, for a minute here, um, you know, if I could share a little bit of a personal story, uh, on my side, so my brother, uh, was killed in action in Afghanistan.

I was also in Afghanistan at the same time. Uh, we weren’t stationed together, but we were both in the, in the. Country at the same time. Um, and I found out he was killed and [00:47:00] I was taken back to the rear. Um, and I was in the shower cause I was, I was, I was on a mission. I was covered in mud and sweat and everything.

I was filthy. So I, I, I was taking a shower and I remember standing there, I’m all alone in this, this, uh, latrine in the showers. Um, and I remember just yelling out why, why him, why him? And it wasn’t like. Expecting an answer. I was just yelling out. Um, but I, in a way I was kind of talking to God and I, at one point after, after just yelling out like that, uh, I had this strange sense of calm come over me.

And this was just a matter of maybe a couple hours after finding out that he was killed. So having a sense of calm come over you at that point in time is kind of rare. And I just got a sense that everything happens for a reason. [00:48:00] And you don’t have to know what that reason is. You just have to be okay with that.

Uh, just be okay with everything happens for a reason. And, and God’s plan is good. Whatever, whatever that plan happens to be, it is good. Um, you may not like it right now. It’ll work out in the end and it’ll, it will be good. Uh, you know, in the long run and. It was, it was the strangest sense of calm that I’ve ever felt.

Um, and I really do believe that it was God answering my, my question. Like, why, why him? Um, and, and that, that to me, you said, just kind of enhance my faith knowing that, that, that there are answers out there. Um, you just have to know like what, what questions to ask and, um, you know, be able to, uh, you know, put those prayers out there.

You know, out there to God into the universe, if, if, if you will, if you’re not a, you know, religious type person, but, um, you know, put those questions out there and they’ll be [00:49:00] answered. So, um, so yeah, so, you know, I want to kind of just take it back a bit here and. Talk to, to you about maybe some of the, some of the advice that you might offer to other folks who might be going through similar situations, might be having similar struggles. Um, what would you say to them as far as, uh, maybe the number one thing to get started getting through whatever it is that they may be going through? Um, what would, what would you say is like this, you got to have this, so all the other pieces can kind of fall into place.

Josh Thompson: Well, you know, when it comes to getting through, getting through stuff, uh, there’s one thing that comes to mind is the Winston Churchill quote, um, [00:50:00] if you’re going through hell, keep going.

Scott DeLuzio: I like

Josh Thompson: don’t stop in hell, go through hell so you can get beyond it.

Scott DeLuzio: It’s like, why the hell would you stop there?

Josh Thompson: you know, if you find, if you find yourself in a, in a pitch black tunnel of misery, stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, the best thing you can do is just keep going.

Eventually you will emerge, and when you do, you’ll be A better version of yourself.

Scott DeLuzio: And I, I think with that mindset, uh, you know, just apply it to the military, right? If you’re, you’re in a crappy situation, you’re, you’re, you’re pinned down, you’re, you know, enemies taking fire at, at, or, or shooting at you and you’re, you’re taking fire and, um, you know, you’re in hell at that point, like that, that’s a terrible place to be.

You don’t want to stay there. You want to stay there where the enemy’s got the high ground and they’re, they’re shooting at you and everything. You want to, you want to maneuver, you want to get yourself out of that situation and, and, and, uh, you know, [00:51:00] flank their position, whatever you got to do to get yourself out of, uh, that situation, uh, you do it and you move and you continue to, uh, do something to push through so that.

You’re not stuck in that position. You don’t want to stay in hell. You want to get through, uh, to get to the other side. Hell is a terrible place to be. So keep going. Um, you know, keep, keep moving until you get yourself out of there. Um, and, and that’s, you know, again, you’re going to, you’re going to try a bunch of things.

Uh, you know, like you said, you, you tried, uh, CBT, um, and that worked for you. And that’s great, may not work for some other people, may not be the right thing for them. Maybe they’re not in the right place, you know, mentally. They don’t have that, that mindset that you had going into it. Um, but when they, they go into it, um, they, they may try it.

That may not work. Um, maybe medication is the right thing for them. Uh, because, you know, in some [00:52:00] cases you might need something to kind of maybe take that edge off so you can go through some of the therapies that are offered. There’s a bunch of others, um, you know, other, uh, types of therapies that may be more appropriate for a certain person, um, depending on whatever it was that they’re going through, you know, no matter what it is that you’re going through.

Try something, do something, because just sitting there waiting for it to go away on its own. It’s not going to, uh, do something so you can, you can get yourself through that. Um, I think that’s the takeaway from, from what you’re saying, right?

Josh Thompson: Uh, and it’s, it’s very easy to, you know, just blame everything and not take responsibility and not, and, you know, it’s like, you can’t, I, I had nothing I could have done or not done would have probably prevented these symptoms from occurring that I experienced, but they’re, they were there. I had to learn to accept it.

And then. I had [00:53:00] to drive on, um, you know, with the, uh, you know, with reality. So, um, you know, it definitely like, you gotta do something, you gotta do something for yourself and, uh, you know, it’s. It’s not selfish, like, there’s, this is the thing, there is a healthy level of selfishness that, in my opinion, you should maintain, uh, and I don’t know if you are familiar with Scott Adams, the Dilbert comic guy, but he has a, he has a book called, um, uh, what’s it called, um, How To Win It, or How To Fail At Almost Everything But Still Win Big, and in there, um, he has, he talks about, um, there’s three types of people in the world, they’re, you’re either selfish, Or you’re stupid, or you’re a burden on others.

Um And you know, and you’re one of those three. Well, you don’t want to be stupid, so you’re, you’re stupid if you don’t prioritize yourself, you don’t take your health seriously, you don’t take your finances seriously, and then eventually, if you’re [00:54:00] stupid, you’re going to fall into the category of becoming a burden on others, you know, whether it be using other people’s tax dollars because you failed to plan for your retirement or whatever, or, uh, you know, or, uh, you didn’t maintain your health, you didn’t take care of your health, so like, uh, you know, other people have to, Caretakers have to take care of you, something like that.

So. You know, there’s a healthy and he says in this chapter where he mentions this in that book that I mentioned is a, uh, you know, he’s not talking about like the, the narcissistic type of selfishness. It’s not the unhealthy type of selfishness. It’s just the selfishness of prioritizing yourself, prioritizing your health, prioritizing your, um, you know, filling your cup so that you can pour into others.

Um, and you know, like you were saying, like you have to do something. No one else is going to own it except for you. Um, you know, no one is going to, uh, care as much as you about yourself. So, um, you really have to own it. Don’t play a victim. Um, you have to, like, [00:55:00] just accept it. Drive on. And, and, uh, and, you know, it, that, just maintain that healthy level of selfishness.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And it’s the, uh, put your, your mask on, on the, on the airplane, put your mask on first before helping others. Uh, it’s that, that kind of mindset, right? Where, where if you, um, if you don’t put your mask on first and you’re helping somebody else, you’re going to end up passing out and then you’re not going to be any good to that other person.

Um, so put your mask on for, I actually had to explain this to my daughter, uh, just the other day, uh, when she was, we were on a flight, um, and, and she, she said, yeah, Well, that’s, that seems awfully selfish when, when they were talking about that. And I said, well, is it really? And I, I, I kind of challenged her on that.

And I said, you know, think about it. If I, if I don’t put my mask on first and I’m helping you and you’re panicking, you’re struggling and I ended up passing out, how much good am I going to be to you? And she goes, well, you’re not going to be any good to me. And I go, and you’re still going to be panicking.

You’re [00:56:00] still gonna be struggling with the thing. And. You’re going to end up passing out too. So now we’ve got two people who are passed out and we’re, we’re both, both not going to be any good to each other now. So I said, but if I put my mask on first, even if you were panicking and struggling and you ended up passing out, at least that’d be easier for me to put your mask on for you.

So I can. Prop you back up, right? You might be a ragdoll at that point, but you know, at least I can, I can help you at that point and eventually you come back to, but, um, you know, I, I, I had to kind of explain that to her, but that’s, that’s kind of what we’re talking about here is you, you do have to prioritize yourself, your, your physical health, your, your mental health, your, your, your, your career, your finances, you know, all those things you kind of have to.

Do some, some, uh, um, prioritization with that. Um, not, not saying that you need to let these things control every aspect of your life and forget everybody else. Um, but, but take a look at that and say, Hey. Um, maybe I’m starting to get a [00:57:00] little out of shape and, and, uh, you know, maybe I need to do something to get back into shape so I can be healthy.

So I don’t become a burden on other people. Um, you know, where I require a caretaker and I require, you know, all these, this, uh, you know, advanced, uh, medical procedures and all these other things where I don’t need all of that stuff because I’ve taken care of myself, um, you know, and, and that I think is.

Just kind of a smart way to look at life. Um, you know, and they even train that in the military. If, if you’re in a combat situation and somebody gets, gets hit, you don’t rush out to go help that person as much as you might want to. Um, and it may seem selfish to not do that, but you. You take care of the enemy, uh, first you, you go and neutralize, uh, the threat first before you go rush out and go help that person, because otherwise you’re going to become a casualty too.

And that’s, that’s not a good [00:58:00] situation for, for either

Josh Thompson: working on others for other people to go,

Scott DeLuzio: There it is. Yeah. So.

Josh Thompson: take care of you.

Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. So you don’t, you don’t want any of that to happen. So, um, so great message there. I think that’s, that’s a, a great takeaway is, um, you know, yeah, definitely prioritize your own mental health, your own physical health, your own wellbeing.

Um, because. Nobody else is going to do it for you until you get to that point where you become a burden. They kind of have to, right?

Josh Thompson: Mm hmm.

Scott DeLuzio: So yeah, I think, I think that that’s, to me, the takeaway for, for folks here who might be in that situation where they are, uh, they’re struggling. Maybe it’s a physical, maybe it’s a mental, uh, health situation. Um, Oh, I’ll be fine, guys. We do this all the time. I’ll be fine. I can suck it up. I can deal with it.

Um, [00:59:00] I, I don’t, I don’t need to go talk to him. I don’t need no doctors. I don’t need any of this kind of stuff. Right. That kind of attitude, um, only makes things worse in the long run. Um, yeah, sure. Maybe today you can. Get by without going to see the doctor. Maybe tomorrow, maybe even next week, you’ll be fine, uh, without seeing the doctor.

Got it. Um, but where are you going to be a year from now or two years or five years from now, if you don’t go and get these, whatever the condition is, you don’t get that checked out. Where are you going to be? Um, because you can only be fine for so long. Uh, before that starts, uh, eating away at you and getting worse and worse and worse.

Um, or, or maybe you’re using other parts of your body to compensate for whatever is going on on another part of your body. And that those parts of your body start getting worse. And now you got two problems instead of just the one. Um, and, and that just makes things so much [01:00:00] worse. So, um, so yes, absolutely.

Um, I think, I think that’s a. Uh, great message, uh, that, that you, uh, kind of offer there, uh, for folks. Um, so before we wrap this episode up, um, uh, first off, I want to thank you for taking the time to join us and sharing your story, um, and. If you have any other thoughts or, you know, uh, words of wisdom or anything that you’d like to share, please, uh, by all means, don’t, uh, I don’t want to cut it off before you, you have a chance to, to sharing any of those.

But, um, but I, I, I’d love to, uh, uh, you know, first off, thank you for taking the time to join us and give you that opportunity to, to share any other thoughts that you might have, uh, here before, uh, before we wrap up.

Josh Thompson: Yeah. And it’s been an absolute pleasure. Uh, the only thing that I want to add is, um, so like I said, you know, if you’re going through hell, keep [01:01:00] going, uh, get that, get to that light at the end of the tunnel, immersion of the side. And, you know, I just want to say, we all go through trials, uh, to make us better people.

And when we are better people, um, that’s when we can help others become better people.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And like we were saying before, when you help other people, that also helps you, and so, you know, these things all go hand in hand, and they help everybody come together, and everybody get better, um, you know, it’s no use in bringing other people down. Uh, just because you’re down, you know, that, that doesn’t, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

So, uh, being able to help people, um, brings you up, brings them up. Um, and, and hopefully that will give them a platform that they can then help other people and bring those people up and, and make everybody better in, in, in your lives. Right. So, [01:02:00] um, great, great message there. Um. Again, before we wrap up, I want to, uh, kind of end the show with a little bit of humor.

Um, we sometimes get a little dark in, in some of these episodes and, um, ending, having something to look forward to a little bit of humor at the end, I think is always a good thing. So whenever I have another veteran on the show, I love doing this segment. I call it, Is It Service Connected? Um, and it’s kind of a.

A twist on America’s Funniest Home Videos, uh, kind of thing. It’s a military edition. We watch, uh, service members, uh, doing something stupid, uh, and, you know, crashing and burning and, you know, all the, the, the fun things, but we can laugh at it because they don’t get. Too seriously injured, usually, uh, in these things.

So, um, I think we, one thing, if one thing we can do, um, as service members, as veterans, is we can laugh at each other pretty well. It’s usually a good time. So, um, so I’m going to get this video pulled up here [01:03:00] so you can, uh, share in the, the humor and the laughter here so you can see it. Um, but right now, uh, for the audio listeners, I’ll try to describe what’s going on.

Uh, it looks like we got a soldier standing. Uh, looks like maybe on a second floor kind of platform, got a little bit of railing situation, bunch of I don’t know what’s on the floor, mattresses maybe or bags or something on the floor, uh, below, uh, down on the ground level, um, it looks like a huge pile of them.

And, uh, we’re going to see,

Josh Thompson: looks like,

Scott DeLuzio: this looks like a bad, I, the, the, the good idea fairy came around and was like, Hey, this’ll work out just fine. Uh, but it’s no, this actually looks like a terrible idea. Uh, whatever it is, whatever’s about to happen. I don’t, I don’t even know, but it’s, it looks like a terrible idea.

So, let me, uh, hit play here real quick, and we’ll take a look at, uh, what the good idea fairy has brought for us today. Alright, so we got a soldier, he’s backing up. Oh, [01:04:00] hold my, hold my cover. Right? That’s,

Josh Thompson: jeez, hold my beer,

Scott DeLuzio: and, yeah, he does a backflip over the balcony into what looks like a bunch of mattresses and like pillows maybe or foam or whatever.

And he stands

Josh Thompson: they gotta be paratroopers. Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: afterwards, um, like, like he, he just won the Olympics or got a gold medal or something, I don’t know man, that, that was, he did a, uh, so, second floor balcony thing, he did a backflip over the railing, uh, landed It looked like he landed on his back, uh, in this pile of, you know, mattresses or whatever.

Um, he looked to be fine. When he stood up, he looked just fine. Um, he had his arms up. He was, he’s ready to go. Maybe that was just the adrenaline. Uh, didn’t look like he was too injured. So I’m going to, I’m going to go with, there’s no service connection there.

Josh Thompson: yeah, no service connection, he was fine.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, [01:05:00] first off, I think he was fine.

And second off, um, uh, I think that was his own. Dumbass fault for doing that. If you

Josh Thompson: that many mattresses or whatever those were, I mean, that was, uh, um, 100 percent intentional and, uh, Yeah. I mean, that’s a, that actually, that actually did kind of look fun, but no, I’m, I’m past that.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, I’m, I’m too old for that at this point. I think, uh, that, that, that soldier looked a hell of a lot younger than I am and, uh, much better physical condition. So, uh, he had, he had no problem doing it. I don’t think I’ve ever done a backflip like that in my life. So I don’t care how old I was. So I don’t, I don’t think I’d be, I would be doing that ever.

I’d probably, I probably would have gone over the railing. And started the backflip, but ended up doing, like You know, headfirst, like an Olympic diver, uh, into the mattress, broken my neck or something stupid like that. So, uh, yeah, definitely. I was like,

Josh Thompson: my ankle on the rail.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s true. If I [01:06:00] even got over the rail, that’s, that’s being generous, I guess.

So, um, anyways, uh, Josh, thank you again for taking the time to join us. I do appreciate, uh, you know, your words of wisdom, um, and you sharing your story and, and, uh, you know, the journey that you went through, um, and. Hopefully there’s some folks out there who have heard your message, know that, guess what?

You’re not alone. There are other people out there who’ve been through what you’ve gone through. Um, there are people out there who can help you, uh, with the right mindset. You can get that help too. And, and I think, I think you’ll, you’ll turn out better out in the end, uh, just like Josh did here. Um, and, and.

And have a, you know, a happy ending to the story. Um, so, so, uh, thank you again, Josh.

Josh Thompson: Yeah. Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

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 [01:07:00] from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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