Episode 381 Mark Kershaw Veteran Mental Health, Military Experiences, and Film ‘Tribal’ Transcript

This transcript is from episode 381 with guest Mark Kershaw.

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 Mark Kershaw. Uh, he’s a passionate advocate for veterans mental health and the creator of the powerful documentary, Tribal. Uh, Mark’s journey as an Afghanistan veteran and Army infantryman has led him to a mission driven endeavor aimed at destigmatizing mental health struggles and addressing the alarming rise in suicide rates among service members.

Uh, through his documentary, Mark seeks to spark meaningful conversations and foster a sense of community and understanding among veterans and their loved ones. And with [00:01:00] that, I want to welcome you to the show, Mark. I’m really glad to have you here.

Mark Kershaw: Hey, thanks for having me, Scott. Glad to be here.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so talked about the documentary, uh, Tribal.

I had an opportunity to watch that a few days ago. A really great documentary, really well done. Uh, definitely. I want to encourage people to go out and take a, uh, take that in and watch. Watch the documentary. Um, uh, before we get into the documentary and what it’s all about and everything, uh, I want to kind of talk about you and your, your personal experiences.

Uh, can you share your experiences, uh, as, as a, you know, soldier, uh, who fought in Afghanistan? What, what was your experience like?

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, uh, I joined in 2006, so I joined right as the Iraq surge was happening. I was a surge baby. Took me five years to get out of high school, so they liked me so much they invited me back for another year. Um, wasn’t a great student, so I needed something. I think I was failing every single class.

[00:02:00] Like up to December and we’re supposed to graduate in June. I was like, oh man, I’m gonna be a loser, right? So then I got on my high horse I’ve talked to a recruiter and then I found kind of like a purpose in that moment of like, yeah I want to be airborne. I want to be Ranger. I want to be air all this stuff, right?

So they said hey, you can go in and join on this debt program at the time was the debt program you can join and With a promise area of like hey, you’re gonna swear in now But you have to graduate and you swear in again, right? So if you don’t graduate, it like breaks the contract. So that was like kind of my North star.

I had like a purpose. And then from that point on, I got on my high horse and just aced everything and graduate like the skin of my teeth. It was like a 2. 05 or something like that. I was pretty happy. So went out there, uh, graduated in June, shipped off the basic in August and went through a basic infantry and airborne training, didn’t get a ranger contract.

They didn’t give that to me, but I got airborne. So went through the basic training, went through airborne and then funny enough, Um I got a mechanized contract, which was because I went needs of the [00:03:00] army, so everyone that was kind of shipping off to Iraq at that time, you were just kind of, in 2006, you were going to everything the first thing, smoking.

So I did my tour in Iraq first in 2008 to 2009. It was supposed to be 15 months, but it ended up being 12 months, and I reenlisted there, got my stripes over there as a sergeant, reenlisted for the 82nd Airborne, because that’s where I wanted to be. So I was like, this is the only way I’m going to get to go there.

Iraq’s kind of dying down at the time. I want to go to Afghanistan. I want to be back in the fight. Right. Um, so went there, went to the 82nd airborne. As soon as we get there, we get put on something called the GRF. So if you don’t know what the GRF is, it’s called the Global Response Force. So it’s basically like, in case stuff happens, the like where the in case stuff happens, people, right.

Scott DeLuzio: like, it’s like the QRF, but like for the world and

Mark Kershaw: for the world. That’s, that’s the, that’s the 80 seconds, like, real mission. Not to deploy Iraq and Afghanistan all these times that everyone else on a regular pack chart. It’s in case something happens, like Libya or something like that. In case something happens, we’re [00:04:00] supposed to, you know, put a brigade of paratroopers out there.

So as soon as I got there, I’m like, yeah, we’re gonna go to Afghanistan. I can’t wait, man. I’m gonna get back in this fight. You know, I saw all these documentaries, and as soon as I get there, they’re like, you’re going 3rd Brigade, GRF, and I’m like, what’s that? They’re like, good luck. Like, what’s up? No, seriously, why is everybody, like, laughing at me?

Um, so I get there and they’re like, yeah, we’re not deploying for, like, a year and a half. Oh my god. So it’s just, like, nothing but training. The former, um, JSOC commander in Ranger Regiment was our battalion commander, um, Major General Evans, or he might have gotten promoted even more now, but he took over Ranger Regiment.

He was our battalion commander and we were just in the field. Non stop, just like, in the field, in the field, every week, every week, just training, rucking. I didn’t even know what trans was. We didn’t drive anywhere. So did that for about a year and a half. Everyone’s like, we’re never deploying, we’re never deploying.

Then we got the call. We were out the door in like three weeks. So we did something called, it was like the operational ready force or something like that, where they put us in a really bad [00:05:00] area, which was the Ghazni province to support one of our sister brigades, uh, 1st Brigade. Um, they had already taken like a hundred casualties within like seven months or something like that.

And what they wanted us to do was deploy with, um, one of the OD groups, right? O-D-O-D-A one one. It was outta Okinawa, and basically occupy the enemy’s movement in like little Taliban hotbeds, right? So it was a direct action mission. So we would deploy them just a battalion size element, three infantry companies and, and some support companies.

And then basically go to areas where they saw where Taliban hotbeds in that AO and then just start trouble basically, right? So we did that. Um, as soon as we got there, uh, you know, my platoon took casualties the first seven days. Um, it’s in the documentary. Um, Omar and Brashard, uh, we did, we didn’t even get to the actual mission.

It was a, uh, left seat, right seat ride with, um, 1st Brigade. One of the guys, um, Sergeant Marlowe, still love that guy to this day from 1st Brigade. And, [00:06:00] uh, I remember we were doing like this first mission and, uh, he was like, Hey, we’re going to go down this road cause our, our mission is movement to contact.

He was like the last three out of five times we’ve done this road was taking contact. And a lot of, most of my platoon had never saw combat before, because they were, you know, specialists and below that have been in the Army for two and a half years, and they’ve been on GRF this whole damn time. So, we go down there, we do, you know, bounding overwatch, um, the weapon squad goes up, and then my squad is starting to move out with the element, and the weapon squad starts getting pelted, and whatnot.

And then that whole engagement, I’m not gonna spoil it for everyone, but whole engagement goes off, and that’s where we took our first couple casualties. And then we spent about a hundred days, it was a hundred day deployment in Afghanistan, it was a pretty Pretty decent deployment, it was pretty cool to not just like drive around to AO and do things like, you know, it wasn’t Iraq at the time, but it was like direct action, you know, going over to Paktia, Paktika province, um, Logar, I mean, we were all over RCE, so that was my last, um, deployment before I got out, but it was a pretty kinetic one.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:07:00] what year was that again?

Mark Kershaw: I was 2011, 2012, yeah, Gaza province, yeah, so that was kind of like this, I hit both surges, you can say, I hit the surge of Iraq and I hit the surge of Afghanistan, so that was like my two deployments.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So timeline wise, I, I’m just trying to like piece things together and everything. Uh, so like when you got in, it was maybe like a month or two, uh, after I, I finished basic training, that’s when you. Started, um, you know, so I’m, I’m piecing all the, all this stuff together. And when you were just talking, what you were just talking about 2011 timeframe.

Um, that was right after I got out of Afghanistan. Um, and yeah, so I, I was in 2010. Um, and so, so, so we’re like, almost like at the same, like we just miss each other probably by just a little bit, like on, on all of these things. It’s

Mark Kershaw: that’s funny.

Scott DeLuzio: Pretty funny. Um, so let’s talk about the documentary. So, um, for, for the folks who.

I [00:08:00] haven’t seen it, aren’t familiar with the documentary Tribal, um, so it, it talks about some, uh, pretty heavy topics, uh, some pretty, pretty serious topics, um, um, sometimes the taboo topics, right? Suicide and PTSD and other things like that, challenges of reintegration, right? Um, and That’s the kind of stuff that we talk about on the show too, because, um, we got to start talking about these, these things and having conversations about it because we’re, we’re losing people.

People are thinking to themselves that they’re all alone in this struggle and nobody else understands them. It’s like, well, that’s a bunch of crap. Like there are people out there. We understand it. Um, and we, a lot of times we’ve been through it and, and we want to help. Um, and so, um, so. Tell us, like, what inspired you to, uh, make this, this film, and, uh, what, what did you hope to achieve, what were your goals, what did you hope to achieve with it?

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, well, I just, it’s pretty simple. The [00:09:00] mission statement is I don’t want any veteran to ever feel alone. I want them to know it’s okay not to be okay and talk to somebody, right? That’s the first step. And then for a lot of the allies or the civilian community, a lot of them Or just like three degrees of separation from a veteran, or maybe they’re very close to a veteran.

They don’t understand, because we don’t talk. So it kind of peels back the covers a little bit, or the curtain, so to speak, and lets them know really what’s going on, and it really opens their eyes. Like the ally community has been one of our biggest supporters. The veteran community supports, heavily, but there’s more, like, DMs, right?

Like, behind the scenes, like, hey, man, this, this really hit me, but the allies are the ones that are just, they’re just shocked that, like, their friends are going through this, or brothers or sisters or whatever, so, um, that’s a big thing. It’s raising awareness, and it’s, it’s taking it beyond just PTSD.

There’s bigger problems than PTSD, in my opinion. I think every time something happens, They always like peg it to PTSD and [00:10:00] I wanted to broaden the conversation that it’s not just PTSD I believe when you walk out of those gates for the last time it may not hit you like day one Day 10, 365, or five years from now.

It’s gonna hit you one day You’re going to have a lost sense of purpose, community, and identity, right? I’m no longer fighting a war, right? I’m no longer Sergeant Kershaw, and I’m not with my brothers to the left and right of me that can understand what I’m going through just by a look. And that’s, that’s ripped from you as soon as you get out, but you don’t realize it because you’re, you’re still thinking about I’m going to wake up at 8 a.

m. and hit the gym and never run five miles again. That’s what your mindset is, right? And, um, you know, I’m never going to stand a parade rest for another grown man. Like, those are the things you’re thinking of when you’re getting out. And You’re just not thinking about the right things or maybe the effects of not just war but being in a brotherhood like that and being incubated from what society is today and your own little, like, false reality.

So, I think that’s what we’re trying to raise awareness on because it’s not always [00:11:00] the guys that saw heavy combat that are committing suicide.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, and. And PTSD has, uh, you know, many different, uh, uh, forms, I guess, uh,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, exactly.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, a lot of people, um, you know, get it and it may come from maybe not even a combat related thing. It could be, uh, you know, something like a car accident or something along those lines.

Right. Um, but it, it doesn’t always lead to, um, The, you know, that, that, that terrible, uh, you know, situation where, where people are taking their lives, right? Um, not, not to say that it never does, it, it certainly does, but, but you’re right. There are those issues, um, that lost sense of identity, sense of purpose, sense of belonging to a community of, of people.

And, and knowing that you fit in, uh, in a group and, and you get out and you lose all that stuff. Like you said, it gets ripped away from you. Um, Now what? Now? Like now, now who are you now? [00:12:00] How do you find that new sense of purpose and sense of belonging and meaning, and, and where does that come from? And, and, um, you know, uh, you know, we, we’ve all gone through that.

We’ve all had situations where we’re like, holy crap, I’m never, I’m never gonna be that badass guy again. , you know, for, for those of us who, who relate with, uh, being a badass, you know, I,

Mark Kershaw: yeah, right? Yeah, I’m filling out a, uh, an Excel spreadsheet now,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, exactly. Like, where’s, where’s the, the, the sense of purpose and meaning in that? Like who, who gives a damn about, you know, whether this Excel spreadsheet looks pretty enough or, you know, whatever, you know, that, and God forbid you’re, you’re doing PowerPoint presentations or something, right?

Mark Kershaw: Oh yeah, and you misspell someone’s name or just like, yeah. Sales numbers are off. Yeah. I deal with it all, man. I’m in, I’m in sales today. And, um, you just, it’s a different mindset man, and it takes a long time, or for not everyone, some people, it takes a long [00:13:00] time

Scott DeLuzio: Sure.

Mark Kershaw: readjust what the new norm is for you.


Scott DeLuzio: And, you know, honestly, so I, I was, uh, I was in the national guard and so I, I had a civilian job. Uh, when I got out and so for me, the, the transition was a little bit easier probably than for some of the active duty folks, right? Because I, it was just now I had an extra weekend that was free, you know,

Mark Kershaw: yeah. Exactly.

Scott DeLuzio: um, you know, but there was still that, that. Uh, sense of purpose and belonging in that community that the guys that I served with, um, you know, they were going off and they were continuing to serve and they didn’t have their weekends free, but they were going off and spending it together, doing their, their training and everything, whatever they were doing, I wasn’t doing anymore.

And, and so, you know, there was that community that I lost. So, um. You know, even, even for the, the, you know, the Reserves, National Guards, they have that same, [00:14:00] uh, same issue sometimes too, where, where they’re losing that. I mean, it’s a little bit different than, than active duty, but they’re still having some of those same types of issues.

So, um, so yeah, so getting back to the documentary, you know, you’re talking about these, these, Types of, uh, uh, topics to raise awareness, uh, you know, not only amongst the veterans and the military community, but, but also the, the allies, the supporters of the military who, um, maybe they didn’t serve, but they want to help those who did serve and if they don’t know.

The issues that we’re going through, cause we don’t talk about them cause we’re stubborn and, you know, bullhead or whatever, we just, we just don’t do it. Um, you know, how are they, how are they going to help? How are they going to know what it is that they, they can do to help? And so, so you talk to. Like a bunch of different veterans, uh, firsthand accounts from them.

Um, tell, tell us about the process of collaborating with these guys and, um, how their stories contributed to the, [00:15:00] the, the film and, um, you know, what, what the, the mission was.

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. So, uh, when I came up with this idea, um, I was very, very direct on, I wanted three separate people that didn’t know each other. Um, I felt like some of these documentaries, when you come back from it, you identify them with that unit. That’s my opinion. Like, oh, they, um, you know, they came back and they had that hard deployment and, you know, that’s why they are.

So you get one perspective of it, right? One unit. And you identify them as that unit. So I wanted three separate guys. They didn’t know each other. The only common denominator was me, so I could validate that they weren’t telling BS, right? I didn’t want any, you know, false stuff going on. So I knew them. I knew them personally, either in the military or professionally.

Um, so I brought them together. So I wanted them to be good storytellers. I wanted them to be authentic and just good people. And then also Wanted to be around the mission, right? They weren’t doing it to get clout. They weren’t doing it for any other reason, but to help. I know these guys. So I picked, you [00:16:00] know, Omar, who was my platoon sergeant, which I thought just, I knew his stories were crazy.

And I knew some of the stuff he was going through and just was a good dude. He’s a warrior, right? Breaking case of war. He needs to be behind a glass, right? Like he’s just a warrior. And just like good heart, great heart. One of the best human beings I’ve ever met. A guy I really respect and love. He’s like a brother to me and he’s just a warrior, man.

I remember the first time we took contact in Afghanistan before that mission. Right. Um, we were kind of sitting in a dirt burn and, uh, like, like first grade stuck us in like a dirt burn, like, thanks. So it’s like, like a half mound thing. And we were running out of water doing, uh, our, our operations out of this thing for a couple of days, hot as hell.

And, um, second tune goes out, so we went in order. First tune went out, second tune went out, third tune went out, and every tune got engaged that day or got some sort of engagement. And then second tune walks out. As soon as they walk out the little wire, some, some guys, some, you know, guy with an AK started popping off at them.

So this is like the first time we’ve heard it since we’ve been [00:17:00] there, right? Like direct at us. So there’s like a couple guys like freaking out trying to get on, like, you know, they’re trying to get up this cookie crust up. They’re falling. Like, I remember one of my guys was a little out of shape. He like falls and like, he dragged it down.

And I, it’s like really kind of funny to watch everyone that hadn’t experienced combat before. Like their first, like, Oh, you know, the adrenaline pumping. And, um, I look over and Hernandez doesn’t have a kid on. Like doesn’t have anything on cuz I think he was shaving or like washing his body or something.

He’s like, there’s like no shirt Just like scanning. He’s like where the MF is at cuz Just like just like completely exposed like I’m like and this is going on. I’m watching I was like this guy is just a warrior man. Like It’s great to see like no fear. No fear putting himself out there for somebody else and it was uh, That was great, man.

And then you got Wade. He’s just A character himself with the long hair, um, he was in Fallujah, Ramadi, and the Invasion. I mean, [00:18:00] three of the, three of the worst you can think of when you think about Iraq, right? And, um, and a great unit, he’s a Marine to the core. Uh, just, just a great human, very articulate, and a very good storyteller.

And he’s authentic and he went through his own stuff. And then Michael, who’s kind of like in the middle. You know, very direct, straight at you, but he has a crazy story himself and he has a different way of telling it. So when people watch it, they’re all such three different personalities and they’re different perspectives that you might hit a different person that identifies with Michael Moore, Wade Moore, Omar Moore.

So I wanted that differentiation between the three and collaborating with them was awesome. They were so easy to work with and my brothers. Yeah, yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And the, the stories as I was watching it, kind of, they, they came through, um, you could tell these guys have, have been there. This was no BS. Uh, you know, they, they [00:19:00] were not bullshit enough. They, they, it was like, they, they were there, they experienced this. This was deeply personal to them. And, uh, they.

They realize there are other people who, yeah, they weren’t in that same exact firefight that they were in, or that same exact situation that they were in, but they’ve been in some situations and. They’re there to share their stories. Not, like you said, not for any clout or, you know, to, you know, get recognized on the street or any of that kind of, that’s not what they were there for.

Um, they, they were there to share their stories and be like, hey man, you are not alone. We’ve been there. You know, we, we understand this. Um, and, and so you, you guys talk about the, this, um, You know, the, the loss of community getting out and, um, you know, the, the loss of people, uh, while you, while you’re in [00:20:00] even, um, you know, and, uh, the, the loss of, you know, the purpose and community, um, and tell us about the approach.

Like what, what was the thought process behind, um, you know, sharing these stories and, and how, how you were trying to get it to resonate with the viewers.

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, so what I wanted to do was, I didn’t want to approach a movie about suicide because I didn’t think anyone was going to watch it. If that’s what it looked like on the thing, if that’s what you opened up the scene with, I think we would lose people. What I wanted to do was build up these heroes, in which they are.

And I’m not, you know, bullshitting, like, they are heroes, right? And I wanted to build up and show how strong they were, how proud they were, how confident they were, talking about that, and then take a shift of the transition. And almost, like, I thought about it, like, if anyone watches a lot of films, Christopher Nolan, you don’t know what he’s doing until he does it, like, in some of his flips, like, Inception and stuff.

If anyone watches Tribal, you [00:21:00] notice there’s a, there’s a direct turn at one point. It almost, it almost does a 180. And that was very intentional. You know, that was very intentional, the way we did it. And that was my vision, was I want to build it up, and it almost looked like just a regular cool documentary of watching these heroes, and then like, oh, now we’re out. A quick turn. And that’s, you know, my directors, uh, Lewis and Brandon Borrego, were amazing at that. I mean, those guys did, it was their first film. You know, they, they, they were so good and we got, you know, seven hours of film and they, they pieced it all together and they were really good and, you know, we went back and forth and collaborate on all this stuff, but, um, they did a really good job storytelling and meeting the vision that I wanted and also like telling me when I was wrong, like, no, Mark, this doesn’t work.

This, this will work. This will work because some of the ideas they brought to the table. Um, I wasn’t 100% Four. Like if you watch the film, there’s like smoke, blue and red smoke, and they were telling me about it. I was like, what? [00:22:00] Red smoke? Like, what is that? Cause we didn’t, I didn’t have a million dollars, right?

I, you know, I had a good amount of money, but I didn’t have enough to make it, you know, this, you know, Transformers or whatever. Um, and they told me about it, like, no, trust us. It’s going to be like a dream state, and it’s like a memory. Trust us. I was like, alright, man. And I think it came out pretty good, so.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And when I was watching it at first, I was like, I mean, the smoke doesn’t look that way, you know, but, but then I was like, oh, wait, this is like, kind of like, like a. Like you’re dreaming almost like, like you’re

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, it’s a dream state. Yep.

Scott DeLuzio: was like, okay, this, now, now I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m bored with this. Like, this makes sense, uh, how it, how, how it’s all laid out.

And, you know, even like some of like the, the, the flashes of, uh, you know, like when there’s, uh, I forget if it was gunshots or an explosion or something like, you just have, You just need a red light and it just goes, you know, you know, and you can tell, I’m going, that’s what, that’s what’s going on in this, this, uh, particular situation.

So like, it, it totally made a ton of sense, um, you know, how, how that was done. [00:23:00] Um, but it’s, yeah, it is, it’s, it’s almost like you’re, you know, you’re kind of dreaming about like what’s going on, uh, you know, in, in the, the story, um,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. Like it’s a memory. You’re looking in their head. Yeah. You’re looking in their head.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

Yeah, um, you know, and so these, these guys, they, they came on, they, they basically, you know, opened up about some of the darkest moments in their, their lives and their history, um, you know, very intimate stories that they had to share, um, you know, about Um, about what they went through, but also some of the struggles after serving.

Um, you know, they, they talked about their, you know, battles of anger and resentment and, you know, all the, all these different things that they, they were going through. Um, this was all done with the goal of, you know, basically sparking a conversation about these things and connection amongst the veterans and the allies and supporters of the military community.

Um, you know, so. Like [00:24:00] this was all intentional, right? Like you wanted, this is what you want. You want these conversations to happen, right?

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. That, I mean, that’s the goal, right? I mean, people I think come out of here when we talk, sometimes we’ll do viewings and we’ll have panels and they kind of wants to have an answer how to solve it. That’s not, we’re not solving it, right? What we’re doing is trying to start the conversation. Yeah. With everyone around it and then also the conversation starts when veterans speak up, you know You have to talk about it.

You have to you have to speak up So that’s what we’re trying to do trying to break that stigma of it’s okay Not to be okay and talk to somebody right and that’s the big thing with them and then raise awareness around It’s a little bit bigger than what you think. It’s a little bit more than this and that right?

That that’s really what we’re trying to do that conversation is so key because then somebody smarter than me is gonna figure it out right

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Right. Yeah. And you know, I, I think a lot of folks take this kind of approach and this is kind of a military sort of approach as well, [00:25:00] where, um, you’re, you’re sort of leading from the front where, uh, you’re. You’re, you’re going to the people who are experiencing the situations and dealing with these, these problems and be like, Hey, what’s your thoughts on this and, and what’s that next guy’s thoughts and, and the next person and the next person, the next person.

And we’re, we’re, what are your thoughts on, on, on how is this affecting you? What can we do better to help you and, and reintegrate you and, and get you. Off on the right foot. And if you ask just one person, you’re going to get one person’s perspective and, um, it may be okay, you know, of an idea, but when you ask, you know, hundreds of thousands, you talk to a lot of people and you get all their ideas together and you start piecing them together, you’re going to find some common themes where it’s like, Hey.[00:26:00]

I’m hearing this a lot. This is, this is the thing that, that maybe I need to start paying a little bit more attention to. Um, you know, like, like you said earlier, uh, PTSD is like one of those things where everyone’s like, Oh, well, you know, a veteran took their life and their life. And, and, and, uh, You know, it must have been PTSD, you know, that, that’s just a thing that they throw at it, right?

Until they, they have their eyes open up to the fact that, um, you know, maybe they felt that loss of community or, uh, sense of purpose and belonging and, and all of that. They don’t even, doesn’t even occur to them that that could be the thing. That’s the problem for them, you know? And so, um, so with that, um, you, you have this documentary, it’s now opening people’s eyes up to this possibility that, Hey man, there’s something else out there.

Um, and. And what do we do about it? Let’s, let’s start talking about it. And [00:27:00] so having these, uh, these screenings with the panels and everything that you, you just talked about, I think is, um, you know, maybe even more important than the documentary itself, uh, is because now you’re, you’re sparking these conversations, um.

You know, cause you can get someone like me who, who watches it once and it’s like, you know, that was, that was a good documentary, um, you know, trigger some ideas in my head. Um, you know, that, that’s cool. Um, and, and that, that it’s a good thing. I’m not, not taking away from that, but, um, but when you get a bunch of people together and you watch it and then it’s like, okay, um.

Let’s talk about it and, um, you know, we’re, we’re not here to give the solution, um, but we’re, we’re here to, um, help facilitate that conversation that may lead to a solution. Um, and, and, um, you know, maybe that’s a, hopefully not too simplistic view of, of what you’re going to do, but, um, you know, that, that’s kind of, uh, the way I see it is, is like, this is a really [00:28:00] good thing.

Is, is getting these conversations to start happening.

Mark Kershaw: yeah, and it raises questions, right? And especially the allies, they have the most questions. The veterans usually, when they’re there, they usually speak up and relate to something, say, this touched me for this way. You know what I mean? Or maybe there were some veterans that are still in, that haven’t gone to combat.

They will be the ones to ask questions, but the allies are the ones that really, or the civilians, are the ones asked the most. And having that panel, Like me, Wade, Michael, and I’ll bring on some other guests like Herb Thompson, Jetta DeLoria, Jackie Lofton, guys that were involved in the process with me, guys I know really well that are authentic.

Having those, that panel up there is huge. It’s, it’s, a lot of the times when we did like surveys for feedback of how we can do better, that was one of the things, like the movie was amazing, but that panel was like the icing on the cake, right? So it’s very big. And even though it’s out, um, it’s out on streaming right now, we, we still are doing.

Those panels and we’re still doing those viewings and bringing people [00:29:00] together um, to do those things. So we’re still trying to keep the mission going in that aspect.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And, and I think, I think rightfully so, I think you should continue doing those types of panels because, uh, like you said, that that’s the icing on the, on the cake, that’s maybe the, the secret sauce that makes this, um, you, you said this, um, uh, earlier, um, I don’t think as we were recording, but I, I, at some point you had said this, maybe it was in the description, but you, you referred to the film as a force multiplier.

Mark Kershaw: Force multiplier. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, um, for, for addressing the, these issues that, uh, that folks are having. Um, because it’s, it’s out there, people can watch it, um, you know, whether it’s in a group setting, like what you’re talking about, or it’s in a, um, you know, in the privacy of their home or they can, you know, wherever they’re watching it, um, they, they can, they can watch this, this thing.

And, um, it’s not just one person, a one on one conversation the way you and I are talking right now. It’s [00:30:00] now it’s out there for. The whole world to see, uh, if they choose to. And, um, now we can start having these conversations because people are getting a little bit more educated. Um, now that’s the beauty of, of the internet, um, is, is we can get educated on topics, uh, if we choose to.

Um, the, the downside of the internet is we can also get really stupid on topics

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, yeah, you can go down rabbit holes quick.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, exactly. Um, you know, but, but in, in the case like, like this, um, you know, if someone sitting there, like Man, why are so many veterans taking their lives? Well, watch this, watch the documentary.

You’ll, you’ll find out a whole lot of information about what people are going through, what they went through, uh, in, in combat, um, but also what they’re going through when they get back. And that I think is, is the important piece that we miss because conceptually,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: I think a lot of people can. Maybe grasp a general [00:31:00] idea of combat.

You know, they, they’ve watched the Saving Private Ryan, or, you know, they, they, they have a general idea. They don’t, they can’t get that gut wrenching feel that, you know, when the first bullet starts cracking over your head, um, they don’t get those feels, those feelings and, um, you know, the, the scared to death kind of emotions that, that, um, you know, anyone who’s been in combat could, could relate to, um, they don’t get that, but.

As a general concept, they can understand that. Um, but understanding like that, that sense of belonging and community. And,

Mark Kershaw: Mm

Scott DeLuzio: and I’m not saying they can’t understand that. It’s just not the first thing that pops in mind when, when you have these conversations and, and that’s the thing that I think we need to do a better job at and, and your documentaries does a great job at talking

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, and I think they always relate combat to trauma, right? I think what they don’t realize what we’re never going to experience [00:32:00] again is that high of adrenaline that only combat can give you. That is a drug. And we chased it as, as gunfighters, right? Like, that is, it was so much fun until something bad happens.

You know, you try to compartmentalize the bad times, but nine, nine times out of ten, the bad things didn’t happen. Nine times out of ten, you got after the enemy. We are a better fighting force than they are. And it’s fun. It’s what you, it’s, that’s what you practice to go to. Imagine, you know, guys are not, are joining during the time of not war and are, if you’re on a football team, you practice never got to play under the lights, right?

We got to play under the lights. And it’s, and when you come back, nothing, and I’ve told everyone this, nothing, you got to come to terms with, and you got, that’s why you have to, it’s so important to find something else you’re passionate about, because if you don’t, the rest of your life is going to be in first gear, and that’s when it starts going, and because that combat, and then, I mean, some of the crazy stuff you see in the barracks where nothing’s off limits, like that, like [00:33:00] any point in time when you, when you’re walking to 82nd Airborne, there’s some drunk paratroopers PLFing off the third floor, and that’s completely normal.

For You know what I mean? Or random brawls happen, like, it’s a, it’s a normal environment of adrenaline, and, and you, you get into society and it’s not that. So it’s, I think a lot of us chase that dragon, you know, going to, like, contracting like Wade did or something like that, and then that doesn’t face it because contractors aren’t gunfighters, right?

They’re, they’re, they’re security, essentially. So, it’s That’s the other piece, right? It’s not always trauma. Trauma is a piece of it. But it’s that chase and that dragon that I think gets a lot of us, right?

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that adrenaline is, uh, I, I don’t want to, uh, understate that. Like, like that adrenaline is such a huge piece, um, that you get back and it’s just like, it gets sucked away from you. And you’re right. It’s a drug. Um, you know, imagine Imagine an addict, you know, who’s addicted to, you know, whatever [00:34:00] picture drug, um, and then all of a sudden the world’s supply of that drug is just disappears and they’re like, what the hell, man, like, I can’t get that anymore.

Like, that’s like when, when the global war on terror, you know, like when, when that was, you know. We pulled out of Afghanistan. And I’m not saying that we don’t still have troops overseas and they’re still getting after it. You know, the supply, the supply of war had significantly dropped. Um, and, and, you know, so, so now it’s like, okay, well, I’m probably not going to get a chance to go war unless something else pops off.

Right. I’m not going to get too many more chances to, to go over there. Where do I find this, this adrenaline rush? Um, and I don’t know that we. Understand it as adrenaline or do we, do we think of it more of, this is just how shit’s supposed to be. Like this is the way life’s supposed to be. [00:35:00] Um, is that the way we get kind of transitioned, uh, uh, reconditioned or, or is it, um, or do we understand it as adrenaline and do we, do we seek that?

Uh, I’m, I’m not sure. I’m not sure.

Mark Kershaw: I don’t know. I know it’s, uh, it’s fun and it’s hard to read. Paintball, whatever, you know, I was a paratrooper jumping out of airplanes. That’s cool. But it’s, it’s in the community, right? You’re in like the world’s biggest fraternity. Around guys that you’ll, you would never, you know, you ever, you remember going to formations when guys would be in their civilian clothes? You got like gothic, you know, rappers, country boys. You’re like, what? You wear that? And you get to know people as a person, so you’re not judging them because you all look the same, right? As far as like, you know, their haircuts and, you know, their uniform and stuff like that, right? You don’t judge them by race or anything like that.

You judge them by like, oh, Kershaw’s a good dude. He’s funny. He’s a private, you know, go do private things, right? You know, [00:36:00] and society is not that way, unfortunately, and, um, it’s a lot more simplistic and more simple, right? You’re not worrying about bills. You’re not worrying about, you know, HOA calling something on you.

You’re not worrying about anything but the mission. And it’s really just takes you outside, um, of reality and you, you spend a year there. It’s not like a weekend, right? Or a week. It’s been a year there that becomes normal and um, it’s hard, it’s hard to, you know, come back to society when society is way different,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think you, you hit a good point. There is, uh, it’s, it’s a totally different reality than what you, what you experience in normal day to day civilian life. You, you’re right. You don’t have to worry about bills when you’re over there. You’re, you’re not worried about, um, you know, whether the.

Paint color that you chose for your house is the right color that is the HOA going to come

Mark Kershaw: yeah, yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: door and be like, [00:37:00] Oh no, this is like a shade off. You got to repaint the whole damn house. It’s like, you don’t have to worry about, you know, is your trash can out at the right time, uh, you know, you know, for, uh, you know, trash pickup or whatever, you know, you don’t have to worry about any of those things.

It’s. You wake up, you go do your job and you either come back or you don’t, and then you go back to sleep and you rinse and repeat and you go do it again.

Mark Kershaw: yeah, and everywhere you had, you know, if you had, if you had weights, if you were lucky enough to have weights there, you work out, it’s literally like a warrior’s paradise, right?

Scott DeLuzio: For sure. Yeah.

Mark Kershaw: It’s fun. So

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. You, eat, you, you, and downtime, you, you kind of, you know, smoke and joke with the guys and you do those, those kinds of things. Um, but you don’t have to worry about. Uh, you know, oh, you know, Suzie’s got a dentist appointment and I gotta go take her to the, you know, you don’t have to worry about any of that stuff, like, that, um, unfortunately that lands on the families, that, that, that’s the stuff that they still have to worry about, you know,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. [00:38:00] And they deploy with you in their own way. Right. And that’s something else you come back to is, um, that reintegration and the military does a pretty good job of, of telling you this and trying to prepare you for that, of like, life is going on without you there. And then you come and you disrupt it a little bit because you’re so used to doing things a certain way. Now you’re trying to get back used to what life is. And then a lot of people, typically after you deploy. Unless you go career, you’re probably getting out shortly after that at some point. I mean, from a year, a year in, or 18 months in, and you’re still trying to reintegrate in your mind, and now you’re getting thrusted, not only And the, the military, you know, CONUS, like back where it’s safe and you’re reintegrating and, you know, you know, shaving every day and, you know, showing up and, you know, hurry up and wait and then all of a sudden you got to do something at 5 p.

m. when you’ve been doing nothing all day. And, and then, uh, and then you’re out in real society. So it’s just like, [00:39:00] it happens quicker than what people think. And that, that’s, I think that’s an issue.

Scott DeLuzio: And even folks like you, you said, you, you, you come back and you don’t know your place really in, even in your own home, uh, you may not re recognize, uh, you know, where you fit in anymore. Um, you know, before I deployed, uh, to Afghanistan, I was, uh, my, my, uh, first time father, my wife gave birth about a month before I deployed.

Um, and I was off training most of that time. Uh, so I.

Mark Kershaw: hmm.

Scott DeLuzio: Sun for about 10 days. I had like got like 10 days to leave, uh, where I got to be home with them. And, um, fortunately I was able to be there for the birth, but, um, but then. Like, I wasn’t really dead because I was still like, my mindset was, I’m going to war.

Like that’s where my mind needs to be. Right. Um, and I come back home, my wife had been mom, you know, essentially acting as a single mom for, you know, the. [00:40:00] Nine months or so before I got back. Um, and now how do I fit in? How do I, how do I fit in as a dad in this house? Like, what do I do? Like,

Mark Kershaw: yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: it was just a strange change in dynamic because before, before I left, it was just me and her and we had our routines and we had our everything, but now we had a baby and it totally like disrupted all of that.

Um, and. And that’s another thing that people just don’t think about when you get back. It’s like, who am I even in my own home? Uh, not, not just like in the world and society or whatever. It’s like in my own home, who am I? Where do I fit in? What do I do? What, what’s expected of me? Um, what’s not expected of me?

Like, what, what am I expected to not have to worry about? Or, uh, you know, whatever the case may be, you, you have this change that, that goes on and. That takes its [00:41:00] toll too on folks, um, you know, and, and, you know, there’s a lot of these, these conversations that need to have, um, you know, some airtime, I guess, if you will, for lack of better terms, uh, to, to get that, that information out there to folks so that they understand that it’s important.

It’s more complex than just PTSD, uh, the things that, that, uh, the, the, the veterans are going through. It’s, it’s more than just that there’s a lot of things going on and we need to be aware of that. So that way, um, when, when these issues pop up, we, we can help people and we, we can, we can do, uh, what’s necessary so that they get the support that they need.

Mark Kershaw: yeah. You know, you know, it’s funny, um, Brandon, one half of the Borrego brothers, uh, he’s genius, like very smart, but he’s, he’s like me. We’re both kind of like bullheaded, right? And I remember we were going through like what we want Tribal [00:42:00] to be, and I’m like, it has to only speak to veterans. He’s like, no, it’s bigger than that, Mark.

I’m like, no, I don’t care what anybody thinks. I was like, I care about the veteran. And we’re like going back and forth for like two hours. And then he said something to me that. He’s like, Mark, this is not a veteran issue. This is a societal issue. And then I stopped and I was like, he’s right. This is bigger.

This is a societal issue, right? Um, just how, in my opinion, society is just different than what it was 50 years ago. And, um, you know, it’s, it’s a lot of arguing, a lot of infighting. A place that, where we all came together for a common cause. Regardless of race, gender, uh, feeling, or how you acted, or whatever it was, we, we came together and we would protect each other with our own life, and then you come back to society and it’s not like that, and I feel like we feel like a square peg in a round hole.

I think [00:43:00] that’s what he was getting at, it’s a societal issue, Mark, it’s not a veteran, it’s a societal issue, it’s just, we just happen to be one of the few people that get ripped from society for a long period of time, and then that’s our reality. And I think he’s right. I mean, I’m not an expert on it, but at face value, it makes sense to me, right?

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, it totally makes sense. Uh, I think. The, uh, society as a whole, if you compare society, like civilian society to military culture society, call it its own separate society,

Mark Kershaw: yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: um, compare the two, they’re, they’re separate. There’s, there’s no comparison, really. I mean, they’re, like you said, in the military, I don’t, I don’t care what color your skin is or what your religion is or where, where you came from, uh,

Mark Kershaw: much money you make.

Scott DeLuzio: much money you, yeah, exactly.

Like, I don’t care if your parents are rich or poor, you know, I don’t, I don’t [00:44:00] care about any of that stuff. I care, do you have my back? That, that I care about, you know, and, and, and you should know

Mark Kershaw: your job?

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, do you do your job? Do you, um, you know, uh, all that kind of stuff, like that’s the stuff that, that actually matters.

That’s the stuff that the, the answer to those questions are determine whether or not people are coming home in body bags. And I mean, that’s a pretty significant, uh, thing, thing to think about. So. When you get out into civilian society and, um, you know, you got people who are, you know, bitching because their Starbucks order is wrong or something, you know, like who cares about that?

You know, like, but to those people, that’s important to them. That’s, that is their, that’s their world and that’s important to them. Um, but we look at it like that stuff. Who cares? Like, give me the wrong thing. I don’t, [00:45:00] I don’t really care. Just. I’ll, I’ll take it and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll deal with it. It’s not that big of a deal.

Um, and so we find that clash, uh, in society and we, and we, you know, maybe rightfully so we, we think these people just don’t understand us. And in a lot of cases they don’t, but documentaries like yours, um, you know, like tribal, uh, and, and other, um, you know, ways of sharing stories like this really, uh, help.

To shed some light on what’s going on in the military culture to help people understand, um, you know, that it’s not just PTSD, that there’s, there’s other issues out there. Um, and we are still losing people and, and that’s, that’s a problem. We need to, uh, do better as society, uh, to help people who need the help and let them know.

It’s okay to speak up and say, Hey, I need help. There’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, I’ve [00:46:00] done it. I’m sure, you know, many, many people out there, they’ve done it. Um, just go get the help. Um, you know, like you said, we’re, we’re in a different place now than we were 50 years ago, 60 years ago, whatever. Um.

You know, where back then it was like, Oh, you’re, you’re going to talk to a psychologist. You, you must belong in the nut house or, you know, that, that was the, the mindset back then. Um, it’s not the case these days and, and we’ve gotten better. Um, but we still got some work to do. Um, you know, we, we, we still need to change that stigma.


Mark Kershaw: Yeah. And I think, and I don’t know what it’s, I’ve been out since 2013. Um, but the more I thought about this, I was like, why are we like this? It starts when you join the military. If I would have spoke up as an infantryman and said I had suicidal tendencies or issues, or I have, I just want to talk to somebody, they take my weapon, they take my shoelaces, they take my belt, put a road guard vest on me in some areas, and basically I know they did.[00:47:00]

And then you’d have, like, 24 hour guard all the time, so now you’re looked at like a leopard, everyone’s making fun of you, I can’t do my job, I’m not a warrior just for asking for help. I don’t know if it’s still like that anymore, I haven’t talked to anybody that’s still In and ask them that, but if that’s still like that, even half of that, it’s never going to, we’re going to be fighting the same problems over and over and over again, because you’re taking these guys that you have completely stripped what they are as a civilian, made them a warrior, turn them into a warrior, then you tell them warriors don’t speak up, and you’re going to be reprimanded, even though the chaplain’s telling you to speak up, but nope, sergeant’s telling you, you know, your platoon daddy’s like, you better not, or you’re a pussy or whatever, right?

Of course you’re not going to speak up, and that’s going to, you’re still identifying as that veteran when you come out, and of course that’s going to be ingrained in you as a warrior, and you’re trying to hold on to what shred of a warrior you are, of course you’re not going to speak up, so like, it’s got to change within the ranks, and it’s got to be more acceptable, and I [00:48:00] understand that’s a That’s a line that’s hard to cross because you’re taking guys to war, and there’s a certain mindset you have to have when you’re going to war, and I understand that, but there’s gotta be a better way, and, um, because we’re losing, I should not be losing more people home to suicide than in Afghanistan or Arcee’s province, or, you know, Anbar province, Iraq, or whatever it was, right?

I should not be losing more people at home, in my opinion. We’re not at war here. Like, I don’t

Scott DeLuzio: I feel the same way. I mean, we, we for sure, uh, lost more people here. Um, you know, and that personally, I’ve lost more people here than I did overseas and. As a military, as a whole, just look at the numbers. I mean, I, I think it’s seven, 8, 000, something like that. I forget the exact number, um, you know, that we’re lost, you know, over there.

Um, and we come back and it’s 22 a day. You just do the math over the [00:49:00] course of 20 years. Um. That, that just doesn’t compute, you know, like we’re, we’re losing a lot of people at home, uh, to this stuff and, um, you’re right, you get those mixed messages, you know, the chaplain telling you go, go talk to someone and then, you know, the, the, the drill sergeant, you know, no, don’t talk to anybody cause you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re weak if you do.

And, you know, blah, blah, blah. Right. Um, yeah, I can understand some of the stuff like, like if someone says, Hey, next time we go to the range, I’m going to, I’m going to shoot myself. Okay. Yeah. You probably don’t want to bring that guy to the range.

Mark Kershaw: yeah, that makes sense,

Scott DeLuzio: that makes sense. You know,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: get that guy some help,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, take him off the line until he’s better, and if it’s not for him, it’s not for him. But, it was a statement of, don’t say anything, right? You don’t talk about it. And, uh, you know, there are some that are like, oh, I’m gonna do this, or I’m gonna do whatever.

Yeah, you gotta take that seriously. You gotta, you [00:50:00] gotta separate them. That’s the few cases, but

Scott DeLuzio: You know,

Mark Kershaw: all of us not to speak, yeah, I don’t know.

Scott DeLuzio: you know, I was listening to the Jocko podcast the other day, um, and, um, he, he said something that, that really made sense about this, this topic, um, about the concept that, you know, we, we all have, you know, consider it like a cup, um, that, that We can, we can fill so much into that cup and everyone’s cup is a different size.

You know, some people have a shot glass and some people have, you know, a coffee mug and some people have, um, some people have a five gallon bucket and we can put, you know, only so much into those cups before they start to overflow. Um, and, and you’re right, there’s, there’s some people that you got a shot glass and you’re going into the military, you’re probably not going to make it.

Um, you know, and that’s, it’s not going to be the right thing for you, but you got a bigger cup. Um, and, and. You got someone with a bigger cup, they’re going to be okay. Um, until that, that cup starts getting a little too full. And at that point, [00:51:00] um, you know, maybe, maybe take them off of that, that job, whatever it is that

Mark Kershaw: yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: high tempo job that the, you know, kicking in doors and, you know, all that, that kind of stuff, take them off of that for a little bit.

Um, you know, you’re gonna, you need people to train people. So go, go have them go do that for a little bit, uh, until that, that cup comes down, that level comes down just a bit. And, and then, you know, in the meantime, Hey. Guess what? You got a little bit more downtime. Uh, go talk to mental health, go, you know, go get yourself, you know, situated, whatever the situation is, go get that, that taken care of.

Um, and then, then you, you might be able to get back into that job. It’s not saying, uh, you know, take your shoelaces away, you know, have a, uh, road guard vest on all the time and, and have, uh, you know, suicide watch 24, seven and, and all the, you know, most people don’t, I’m not saying nobody needs that, but, um, you know.

Most people don’t need that. Most people just need to take a break from, from all of that. Um, you know, cause we’re not [00:52:00] as humans, we’re not built to, uh, we’re not built for war, like that’s not, we, we, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t be thrust into that for long extended periods. We’re, um, you know, we’re, we’re built for, you know, the short hunts of, you know, we’re let’s go, you know, kill that tiger or, you know, whatever.

And now, now. We have meat for, you know, a week or more. We don’t have to worry about that again for, for a little bit. You’re like, we’re not built for, for that, uh, extended amount of intense adrenaline rush, uh, you know, that, that combat gives, right?

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. And I, again, maybe it’s, um, and I don’t know what the numbers of guys in service that do it, as opposed to veterans. I haven’t gotten down to the data at that point, but maybe it’s just getting more and capturing more when they get out. Um, Wade says something in the, uh, in the documentary that to me, it’s the best line of the documentary says the military does a great job turning civilians into warriors [00:53:00] or killers, but doesn’t do a great job attorney.

Warriors in the quote unquote normal. They think teaching you how to write a resume is proper reintegration training, right? Okay, so maybe there just needs to be like, you know, when guys are, you know, A capping, right? Six months. They’re not six months out. That’s you’re done with your job six months out Unless you’re reenlisting you’re done with your job like regardless of what it is Now it’s six months of reintegration

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah.

Mark Kershaw: And maybe that’s it, right?

Because remember, when you’re in the actual like, um, active duty, when you’re ACAP and you’re still going to the range, you’re still doing stuff, that’s just, Hey, I got an appointment here, I got an appointment here, I got an appointment. Not to like the last month, maybe, they’re leaving you alone, depending on what unit you’re at, right?

You know, if you’re an NCO, it’s a little bit harder because they put you on staff duty and all this stuff. But, um, maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s a mandate of like, you [00:54:00] don’t touch these guys six months. Out and you put them with a bunch of guys like them that maybe there’s a program built around. I don’t know.

Maybe that’s a dumb idea, but something needs to be different. And that reintegration process, you know what I mean?

Scott DeLuzio: I don’t think that’s a dumb idea at all. I think that that’s, that’s definitely something that, that should be considered. Um, you know, that, that we. We take that and, and, you know, a timeframe, you know, there’s people smarter than me who could figure out, you know, is it six months? Is it three months? Is it, you know,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, whatever it

Scott DeLuzio: whatever the timeframe is to me, that doesn’t matter, but putting something in place where we can, we can see, uh, that we actually give a damn about this transition and this reintegration and all that kind of stuff.

Like that, that we’re not going to, uh, Just push you out the door and here’s your DD two 14. Uh, you know, give us back our shit and get outta here. You know, get on your way. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re gonna, we’re we [00:55:00] actually give a damn about, you know, you as a person and, and what you’re gonna be. Um, maybe, maybe it’s something kinda like, uh, you know, like aa, where you get a sponsor and, and you, you have like a, you know, maybe a, a veteran sponsor.

You know, someone who’s, who’s been through that. Like, yeah, cut. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe, maybe sponsors, maybe the

Mark Kershaw: Same, same thing. I know what you’re talking about though. Yeah, same thing.

Scott DeLuzio: Um, but, but it’s like, you know, we, we’ve been there before. Like I, I’ve been through, through that, through the getting out and, um, you know, happy to help. Where I can, you know, and, uh, you know, if I can’t help because it’s outside of my, my skill set or whatever, um, I can at least help point you in the right direction and say, Hey, you know, those people over there, they’re the ones who are able to help, um, you know, with X, Y, Z, whatever issues you might be having.

Maybe it’s financial issues or, um, you know, career transition, you know, that type of thing. Um, you know, not, not, not knocking the military for what they do, you know, obviously [00:56:00] learning how to write a resume. It’s an important thing to know. And, and when you’ve got people who’ve been in the military for 20 years, and that’s the, like, the only job that they’ve ever had is in the military, uh, you know, from the time they were 18 till, you know, the time that they got out, they’ve never written a resume.

They never had to.

Mark Kershaw: they don’t know what to wear to an interview.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, exactly. Cause they’ve never been to one. They never needed to go to an interview. Um, you know, so, so you got a 38 year old guy who doesn’t know how to write a resume or, or what to wear to an interview, uh, or how to even act in an interview. Like what, what are you supposed to do when you get there?

Um, yeah, all that stuff’s important. But there’s, there’s other stuff that’s important too, I think is the point. And, and having somebody there, um, to, to help you out because the, the, the classes that they give you and everything, it’s like drinking from a fire hose. You’re not going to remember all that stuff, but having a mentor or sponsor, whatever you want to call it, somebody who you can call up and just [00:57:00] ask them questions when.

You have, when those questions come up, um, you know, because they’re not going to come up while you’re sitting in a classroom, they’re going to come up six months down the road or a year down the road, or, you know, two years down the road where it’s like, Hey, now I’m having this question, who do I talk to?

There’s the military doesn’t give you a phone number of people to call, uh, you know, two years later that you can call and be like, Hey, I need help with, you know, whatever the issue is. Um, but having, having a mentor, I think that would be. That would actually be a pretty good idea and,

Mark Kershaw: that makes sense. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: with that, that like, you know, six months out where you get to.

You get to kind of introduce yourself to that person and, uh, you know, maybe combined with what you’re talking about, I, I think that, that would, that would help out, uh, tremendously. Um,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. I mean, you have someone guiding them.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah, you know,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. It’s something needs to change. Because it’s all about, [00:58:00] like, they do a little bit, do you need help, talk about it, blah, blah, blah, but it’s some lady that’s never, or, or, or, man, or whatever, typically was not relating to you, telling you to go talk, right? So, they need, like, develop something of guys that have done it that want to help.

Because, also, what that does, if you get dudes or gals that were in combat that are struggling and you put them in that mentorship because What I mean by struggling they could be successful professionally and still be struggling and um now you’re giving them a break It’s it’s it’s a spiral effect You’re you’re giving them up just like tribal right when people watch it they feel like they’re a part of the tribe and it gives them a purpose and Maybe that helps because you’re giving Veterans that want to help, they don’t really know how to or they don’t believe in all this stuff.

You’re giving the ones that did struggle, um, a purpose to help others. Um, so it’s like a spiral effect. You’re helping those people too. That’s why veterans help. Makes us feel good, right? And it gives us a purpose. [00:59:00] We want to help because it’s naturally in us.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, and I was talking to somebody else, um, a little while ago and, uh, that we were talking about how, you know, the helping other people, um, not only does it help that person. Uh, who is struggling with whatever they’re going through. It helps you too, because you feel good when you are helping other people.

And there there’s. That we shouldn’t underestimate like how, how powerful that is. Um, you know, that, that feel good, um, you know, thing about that, um, makes you have that sense of purpose. Again, um, you’re, you’re now, uh, you’re now doing this for somebody else. You’re, you’re doing this to, uh, make sure that that person succeeds.

You don’t want that. You don’t want, you don’t want to let that person down and. You know, you talk about like reducing, uh, the, the suicide rate, um, [01:00:00] you know, when you have a purpose and a mission and that person is depending on me to be there for him to show up,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, I’m gonna be there.

Scott DeLuzio: I’m going to show up, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m there.

Um, you know, and that’s, that, that’s maybe one of the, the, the pieces that we’re missing. I don’t

Mark Kershaw: Maybe. It’s gotta be better than what they’re doing now,

Scott DeLuzio: But,

Mark Kershaw: opinion.

Scott DeLuzio: but here, here’s the thing with all of this. We’re having that conversation right now. And

Mark Kershaw: Yeah, it’s true. We’re talking about

Scott DeLuzio: right now it’s just two guys having a conversation, um, two guys who’ve, who’ve seen combat, who’ve, who’ve had people who in their lives who’ve, who’ve struggled. And unfortunately, you know, we’ve lost some people along the way and we’re having a conversation, uh, about this, um, somebody else who might be listening.

This might spark an idea in their head and they’re like, Hey. I got a great idea based on what I just listened to from this conversation. I’m going to go [01:01:00] do this thing, or I’m going to go talk to other people about this thing. And, and it’s going to spark something, um, you know, in the more conversations we have like this and like the conversations that you had in the documentary and tribal, um, the more conversations we have, the more good ideas will come from it.

Yeah. And guess what? We’re going to get some bad ideas coming from it too. Um, but guess what? Those bad ideas we’ll figure out real quick. They’re back. ideas, which is not going to do them right, but, but we’ll, we’re going to find, we’re going to get better ideas, the more conversations we have. So we got to keep talking about that.

And, and that’s, I think, you know, the point of, of Tribal and, uh, and, and I’m, I’m really appreciative of you and, and everybody who was involved in it, uh, for putting it together and getting it out there so that we can have these conversations and it’s, you know, sparks the conversations anyways. Right.

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. No, that’s what it’s about. What we just went through, um, in this conversation. That’s why we did it. Right. And, um, [01:02:00] I hope many more come out of it.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. Um, so before we wrap up, uh, I, I want to, I want to, uh, give you a chance to let people know where they can go check out Tribal. I know you said it was streaming. Um, where can they find it? And, and, uh, you know, uh, you know, what, what, uh, you know, any other piece of information you might want to share, uh, either about it or, or anything about what we talked about today.

Mark Kershaw: Yeah. Absolutely. Real quick. You can stream it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu, or if you have like Verizon or Comcast, it’s on video and on demand today too. Um, and anyone that’s just looking to, you know, Watch an authentic documentary that doesn’t pull any punches, that tells you what I believe and others is the real issue of what’s going on and how we actually feel.

Um, it’s not political, it’s not left or right, it is the truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God, right? And then for the veterans, [01:03:00] hopefully it gives you a sense that you’re not alone in this fight. We’re all, we’re all here with you. We’ve all gone through it, regardless of rank or whatever it is or whatever unit you’re in, we’ve all gone through it.

And then for the civilians, it gives you a little bit of an idea, a glimpse into that life so you can understand and give a sense of clarity of maybe how to approach or how to identify it. So, um, anyone that wants to watch it, um, you know, I welcome you to.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. And, uh, that’s, that’s what I got, uh, from it when I watched it. Um, you know, it just, it, it, it’s raw. It’s, it’s real. It, it tells people that the story of, of these, these folks who, uh, who were, were featured in the documentary and, um, you know, it, it did a great job telling their stories. Um, and, and I think, um, you know, prompting these conversations, uh, to, to help, You know, spark, uh, you know, some, some sort of, um, you know, maybe we’ll find a [01:04:00] solution.

Maybe we won’t, but maybe we’ll, we’ll get that, that conversation going, uh, to lead us. To something that resembles a solution anyways, you

Mark Kershaw: Exactly.

Scott DeLuzio: um, so before we wrap this episode up, um, I know a lot of times these conversations that we have, they can be a little, uh, a little dark, a little heavy. And, um, you know, sometimes, uh, we need a little humor at the end of the day to, to make us laugh a little bit.

Um, I like to do a segment, especially when I have another veteran on the show, uh, called is it, is it service connected? Um, and it’s, uh, we just take a, take a view at a. Funny video, uh, of some service member doing something stupid or falling or, you know, kind of think of it like America’s Funniest Home Videos, where, uh, you know, people are People do, do stupid things and we get to laugh at it.

And, uh, I don’t think there’s anyone better to laugh at other military, uh, folks than other military folks. So, so when we, when we watch these things, we like to laugh at each other and it’s all good natured. It’s all in [01:05:00] fun. Um, so I’m going to, I’m going to pull this video up here so you can take a look.

Um, and usually they’re just real quick, short videos. And, uh, you know, so for the audio listeners here, I’ll try to. Share what’s going on. Uh, looks like there’s a soldier, um, On some sort of obstacle course, like a bar, he’s about to jump over. Um, let’s take a look and see what happens. He’s about to jump and he hits

Mark Kershaw: There it is! Ah!

Scott DeLuzio: Yep. Nails it right. He hits his gut right on the bar and falls right into the water. The muddy, murky water down below.

Mark Kershaw: Oh, man. That looked like, um, that looked like ranger school, man. It’s terrible.

Scott DeLuzio: that, that looked like, um, yeah, it looked like he was all like, uh, you know, got the face paint on, he was ready to go, he was,

Mark Kershaw: uh, he was, he was ready to roll. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: ready to tackle that thing until it

Mark Kershaw: you ever tried that, that, that obstacle? You ever tried that

Scott DeLuzio: That’s not easy.

Mark Kershaw: [01:06:00] That’s not easy, man. I’m that guy. I’m that guy that hits it straight chest and I fall and then I just try to like, weasel my way around it, move on, maybe they’ll give me a pass.

Yeah, that’s not an easy obstacle. You gotta actually be an athlete, which most of us aren’t.

Scott DeLuzio: No, no. And that’s the thing. I don’t think many people realize this, like when you talk about military, you’re thinking like the elite, like they’re thinking Navy SEAL, you know, like they’re thinking like the elite of the elite, like the top, you know, physical condition. served with some guys who are not that.

Mark Kershaw: no, and

Scott DeLuzio: I wasn’t that, I wasn’t that either. I’m not, I’m not saying I was some super soldier or anything either, but my gosh, like there are some people. There, there are not that, so that

Mark Kershaw: even the top of the top, like, they’re, they’re mentally tough and they can run and rock forever, but get, get an infantry company playing organized basketball and you’ll see some just, I got the ball, I got the ball, I got the ball, you know, just like running down the thing, [01:07:00] like, and these guys, you know, can run.

10 2 miles and ruck forever and do whatever. But like you get them playing a, like a coordination sport. It ain’t there.

Scott DeLuzio: no, it’s not. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Um, so, so yeah, that one there, uh, I mean, it looks like he got a, uh, probably the wind knocked out of him as he hit

Mark Kershaw: Oh, that was bad.

Scott DeLuzio: but you know, I don’t think any, any service connection there unless he, you know, landed on his, uh, you know, head wrong or something like that in the, in the water, but he’s probably okay, so I think he’ll

Mark Kershaw: Egos hurt. That’s about it.

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, yeah, definitely, well, especially if it’s caught on video, um,

Mark Kershaw: Oh yeah, and

Scott DeLuzio: that’s getting replayed.

Mark Kershaw: too, so that’s been like

Scott DeLuzio: That’s old school.

Mark Kershaw: 30 years, so, uh, yeah, that sucks.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah. Basically sucks for that guy. It’s,

Mark Kershaw: Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: caught on video. Um, but you know what? He’ll be okay. I think, I think at the end of the day, everything’s all

Mark Kershaw: drink water, you’ll be fine. Builds character, right?

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Change your socks. They’re

Mark Kershaw: your socks, you’ll be alright.[01:08:00]

Scott DeLuzio: All right. Well, thank you again, Mark, for, uh, not only for taking the time to come on the show and share your story, but, um, uh, but for putting out that documentary tribal again, uh, I’ll have a link to it, uh, for the folks who want to check it out, uh, check it out on Amazon prime and.

Uh, Apple TV and all, all the other places that Mark mentioned earlier. Uh, I’ll have links to that in the show notes for folks to check out the show. Um, definitely, definitely check it out. I highly encourage it. So thank you again for everything that you do.

Mark Kershaw: Thanks for having me, it was great. Have a good one.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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