Episode 398 Perla Tapia Irreverent Warriors – Silkies, Service, and Camaraderie Transcript

This transcript is from episode 398 with guest Perla Tapia.

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 everyone, welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and today my guest is Perla Tapia. Perla is in the Air Force and she’s taken her passion for service and camaraderie to Irreverent Warriors where she works as the lead coordinator here in Phoenix for the hikes and Irreverent Warriors, for anyone who’s not familiar with them, is known for its approach to veteran support, primarily through their signature silkies hikes, which brings veterans together in a meaningful and impactful way.

I’m sure we’ll talk about that in a little [00:01:00] bit, but today we’re going to talk a little bit about Perla’s military journey, her role in the Irreverent Warriors and, and how they’re making a difference in the lives of veterans. So first off, welcome to the show Perla, I’m really glad to have you here.

Perla Tapia: Thank you, thank you for inviting me, and I’m super excited to share all the great things that we’re doing with Irreverent Warriors here in Phoenix, Arizona.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, before we get into that, tell us a little bit about yourself, uh, how you got in the air force and, uh, you know, what, what you do and all that kind of stuff.

Perla Tapia: Yeah, so I joined the Air Force in 2010. I originally joined the military so I can get my citizenship. I was a permanent resident, and um, it would have taken me five years to become a citizen, so through the military I was able to, to, uh, Fast track that and get it done in a year. And once I got my citizenship, I just felt that I wasn’t done serving [00:02:00] and I re enlisted again.

And then the, this, then I finished re enlistment. And then I feel like I still have so much to give, so I’m currently in my third re enlistment, and I, I enjoy it. I love it. I’m actually transitioning over. I’m a reservist, um, and I’m recently transitioning over to Germany, so I’m excited about that. I’ll be over there in July.

And then, um, the reason why I got involved with the Reverend Warrior. So my, I just finished my sixth year assignment as a first sergeant, and I dealt a lot with mental health issues that our airmen were having, um, family issues, just really anything that had to do with taking care of the airmen, the individual.

And I saw that there was. A big gap. I think our veterans, our service members know everything that is out there, but there’s a connection that they’re missing. And I found [00:03:00] through Reverend Warriors that that connection that’s missing is the relationships, talking to people, um, learning about their lives, what their struggles are, and sharing what we have in common.

And when I went through to my first hike in Tucson in 2021, as soon as I finished, I went to the coordinators and I said, how do I make this happen in Phoenix? So, um, in February of 2022 is when we started it here in Phoenix. Then, you know, this would be our third hike this year. So I’m super, super excited.

And, um, and I love it. You know, we started with 80 people. Now we have over, over a hundred. And, um, I, I know this year we’re going to have a lot more than that.

Scott DeLuzio: Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah. And you’re right. There, there is a lot of, uh, stuff going on in the military as far as, uh, resources and support that is available. Um, but sometimes that connection, that camaraderie is, is something that, that [00:04:00] people. Especially maybe as they’re transitioning out of the military and maybe even for reservists where you’re not meeting with your, uh, your, your people every day, you know, like, uh, on active duty, you might be doing that.

Right. So, um, you know, so having, A group like this is, is kind of cool. Tell us a little bit more about Irreverent Warriors itself and you know, what’s the mission, what, what’s the goal of, of the organization and, and, and how does it help veterans

Perla Tapia: Yes.

Scott DeLuzio: and service members too?

Perla Tapia: Yeah, so Irreverent Warriors is only for veterans. We do have civilians that help volunteer, but the hike, the events itself, it’s only for veterans. Um, and the mission is to bring veterans together to prevent veteran suicide, and we do that through all the events that we do. Um, I know some people do cornhole tournaments, uh, to raise funds, but the, like you mentioned earlier, our [00:05:00] event is the annual Silkies hike.

And all the Air Force, uh, Airmen don’t know what Silkies are. That’s the, and I said, Hey, I’m having a Silkies hike. And their next question is like, what are Silkies? And I’m like, well, you know, you’ve seen the Marines with those short shorts, that those are the Silkies. Um, so it just makes it so fun. And really, Irreverent Warriors, for me, has been I mean, I’ve met people from all different parts of the world, different generations.

They’ve served in different capacities and we all, you know, just the jokes and the relationships, the friendships. Um, we often have dinners together. We get together. I just met with the group for a farewell cause we have one of our leadership members, he’s active duty and he’s PCSing. And, you know, we just, I mean, someone is as young as 27 and the oldest is like 55, you know, and, and we all get [00:06:00] along and we have different things to share.

And that’s what Reverend Warriors brings, just different generations, veterans having a great time. Crying, you, it’s normal to see people cry and you’ve never seen this person ever and you’re hugging them and crying to them and just sobbing to get all that stuff that, that we’ve been keeping inside. And I’m a very happy person, but sometimes, you know, dealing with, Suicide attempts and all these other crazy things, my own family issues.

It’s heavy at times and my family wouldn’t quite understand what I’m dealing with in the military. So I found that my friends and the friendships that I built through Reverend Wors has helped me just. Yeah,

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And having a group of, of people like that, like minded individuals, they’ve, they’ve kind of walked the same path that you have and gone through maybe some similar experiences. [00:07:00] It’s helpful knowing that those people are there, that they are available to laugh with, to cry with, to just hang out with and be around versus what a lot of times folks are doing is they’re just Isolating and staying away from anybody.

And then they start telling themselves that, Oh, I’m the only one like this. I’m the only one going through this and all that type of stuff. And, um, then it, then it kind of spirals and that’s when mental health problems start getting worse. And so having. A group of people, um, like this, um, it’s very much a, a, a, similar to what I imagined, like, back in the, the early days of the American legions and VFWs.

What they’re trying to probably do is just bringing people together and, and getting them to do something together. Um, and, And here you are doing something, not [00:08:00] only bringing people together, but, you know, getting them outside, going for these hikes and, and doing something that’s actually physical. Um, but then those relationships sort of last too after that.

It’s not just a one and done thing, right?

Perla Tapia: and you know, uh, I would also share when we talk about our mission in the community, and we talk to businesses, and I only have to say it once to some organizations, some businesses, and they’re like, what can I do to help? And then you have some other businesses that, You know, won’t return an email, won’t return a call, even though our mission is to prevent veterans suicide, which kind of makes me a little sad, but you know, I look at everyone else that’s coming together, everything that we do is important.

Almost free, you know, um, the food, the drinks, the, all the donations that we get. We have business owners that say, what can I do to help? And, [00:09:00] and that’s just makes me, you know, like the emails and the thank yous that I get at the end of the events. I mean, it, it, it, it helps. says, you saved my life. And that to me, if I save one person’s life, then we accomplish our mission through Rev.

Warrior. So that, that’s why we continue the hard work and everything that we do is through volunteers. You know, nobody’s getting paid for this. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And what you just said there, I think is spot on when, when you’re talking about just saving even one person’s life, um, it’s all, to me, it’s all worth it. Um, and that’s sort of the mentality that I had when I first started this podcast was, um, I started it because I realized just how big of an issue we were having in the military and the veteran community with, uh, with these suicides where, you know, it’s, Whatever the numbers are, they fluctuate, but the 22 a day that they commonly throw around, um, I, I thought to myself, [00:10:00] like, how do I reach all these people and help even just one of them?

Um, and then if I can help that one, maybe there’s another one. And then maybe there’s another one after that. And then, you know, we can snowball this and get it into something bigger. Um, and so my hope is that It’s more than one person that’s helping, but you know, it, my, my actual hope is I would love to never have to do this show because I would love to have a world where we don’t have any veteran suicides or any of these issues and, and we, we figure it out somehow, you know, um, and we, we get it.

Under control so that we don’t need this kind of stuff. Um, in the meantime, I’m here to share the message of organizations like Irreverent Warriors and, um, just share, you know, what it is that they, they do and what they have to offer because people do need this type [00:11:00] of community and the, the camaraderie, uh, that goes along with it.

Um, And, and it helps to prevent that isolation, uh, that, that we were just talking about. Right.

Perla Tapia: And another thing too, they, once you do your first event, they’re super addicting. So we have people go to Puerto Rico, go to Hawaii, go to Germany. We have 155 chapters. All over and, uh, I’m actually going to San Diego next. I mean, you Google or search irreverentwarriors. com and then you’re going to find all of them.

The whole map is full of red dots of all the hikes and events that we have. So it’s very beautiful to see how much is growing. This organization started in 2015 in San Diego, California. And now, I mean, you look at it, Oh, there’s a hike there. There’s a hike there every weekend. There’s a hike somewhere.

And we had people travel from Florida, Wisconsin, New [00:12:00] Mexico, Texas. And. Not just for the walk, but really just to meet people and get out.

Scott DeLuzio: As you were talking about that, I was thinking to myself, like, how cool would that be if you want to get out and you want to go visit some place, just pick a place, you know, around the country, around the world. You said there’s some in. You know, Europe as well. And, uh, you know, other places I’m sure, but, um, there’s a place that you want to go visit.

Um, but maybe you’re that type of person who’s just not, not ready to get out in the general public or, you know, whatever you, you prefer being around other service members or veterans and, and folks like that, um, what better way to get out and see a city or see a, you know, area than to go, you know, For a hike with folks who are very much like minded like you, they, they’ve been through similar experiences and, [00:13:00] and you’re going to make that, that connection pretty quickly, uh, with them, I think.

Um, a lot of times, uh, when I’m doing this show, the folks that I have as guests, yourself included, I, I’ve had maybe limited interaction, sometimes no interaction with them, uh, personally before the show. Getting on the show, but by the end of the half hour, 45 minutes, hour, whatever it is that we spend talking, it’s almost like we’ve known each other for a few years.

You know, like we, we kind of just connect, you know, it’s a strange thing in the, the military and the veteran community where you’re, you’re able to do that through those shared connections that you have through the service that you had. Um, and so yeah, like plan a trip to. I don’t know, wherever it is that you want to go to and be like, Hey, even if it’s just a weekend trip, right?

You said that some of these hikes are on the weekend. Um, you know, go do it [00:14:00] and meet up with a bunch of veterans and, um, they’ll, they’ll show you around the city as you’re walking around and, and then maybe you can, you know, meet up for dinner or something with them, uh, you know, some other time. And, um, You know, then head home, you know, it’s, it’s, I think it’s kind of a cool way to, to check out a place, right?

Perla Tapia: I mean, there’s just so many things that come out of it. You know, I’ve heard people that they Met through the, the Silkies hike, and then they got a job, they got hired somewhere, or I’ve heard stories, uh, where they find that they deployed together, but didn’t know each other. And they kind of share that story.

So it’s just, and when you see them going to each other’s weddings, or this is my best friend, You know, when I know I’ve seen pictures at the Vegas hike and they’re pretending to, to get married at the chapel to be funny. Cause we, the whole point of this is to make people laugh, you know? So it’s just. It’s an awesome experience. It’s kind of hard to explain it in [00:15:00] words, but you know, I know at my hike, I do tell people, take your headphones out and you’re going to meet somebody today. Like today, you’re going to find your best friend. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl. I mean, you’re just like, wow, like I found a friend.

And I can call that person when I’m struggling, when that time comes that I need to just get that nastiness out of my body. And then you’re like, you know what? That’s my friend. And that person has my back and everybody has my number. They can reach out to me, um, anytime. So, you know, we always have each other’s back and that’s what we, we do.

Scott DeLuzio: You know, before the show, I, I asked you and I asked all the guests, like, if they have any photos or, you know, anything that I can use in the, the video version of this, this episode, and one of the, uh, photos that you sent had a bunch of, uh, folks in, uh, Kind of just posing for a picture, but I kind of scrolled in.

I wanted to just, I like to read the people’s shirts and just see what they, [00:16:00] they say, because sometimes they’re funny and, and everything. But there’s this one lady in the center of the photo or shirt says free hugs. uh, you know, so you were talking before about how, you know, sometimes people are laughing, they’re crying or whatever, and it’s like, if you’re, if you’re having that emotional response and you see somebody wearing a shirt that says free hugs, like.

Go get yourself a hug and, and, you know, kind of, kind of have that connection and inform that, that bond. And obviously that person is looking to connect with people. Uh, even if it’s just literally for a hug, um, there’s, there’s some sort of connection that’s going to take place there. So, um, you know, but other things too, like you said, uh, folks are finding jobs, they’re finding, you know, new friends and, and things like that.

And so, um, Honestly, guys, for, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, I’m, I’m just struggling. I’m sitting here by myself. I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. I can’t get out anywhere. Go for a freaking hike. You’ve done it [00:17:00] before. If you’ve been in the military for any length of time, you’ve gone on, on some sort of hike.

And this is not, I got to imagine, I haven’t personally been, been to one of the hikes, but I got to imagine it’s not one of these death marches, that you do in, in training, you know.

Perla Tapia: No, and just so it is called a Silkies hike, but it’s a very slow paced walk We have people that are missing a leg. We have people that are on wheelchairs and it’s it We we stayed together and we go the the walk itself It could be from five to seven miles here in Phoenix It’ll be around six normally, but it’s it’s Not, uh, an athletic event at all.

It’s just more like, Hey, you can have a conversation and then we stop every mile and you take a break and then we go to the next stop and, and, you know, I really encourage everyone to come out and try it at least once. And, uh, I [00:18:00] promise you, you’re going to love it.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s awesome, yeah. Um, for the, for the hikes, you mentioned there’s people with disabilities, people in wheelchairs, people with, uh, missing limbs and, and things along those lines. Um, and they’re, they’re able to complete these, uh, these hikes as well, right?

Perla Tapia: Yes, they can. And, you know, if you get to the point where you’re just, you know, you’ve been out of the military for 15, 20 years and you’re like, ah, I’m out of shape. I’m tired. I don’t want to do this. We do have emergency vehicles that follow us throughout and they can get you back to where we started.

But, um, we start at Margaret Tehan’s Park and our whole loop is, even though we stop a mile, it’s, it’s. It’s pretty easy to get back to so we do have people that help us, our volunteers, that’s where the civilians come in handy and help us take the individuals back. And this is our third year and I haven’t seen anybody not finish.

[00:19:00] Um, But, you know, if you feel like, yeah, I’m done, we’ll make sure to get you back where we started.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s good to know that there’s, uh, peace of mind knowing that there’s, uh, there’s somebody trailing, uh, you know, in the vehicle who, who can pick you up and, and take you back if need be. But, um, You know, when, a lot of times when you’re, you’re doing these hikes, I’m just thinking back to my time in the army, um, and, and you’re doing, you know, the military version of these hikes, right?

When, when you got the rucksack on that’s loaded with 50 pounds of crap and you’re, you’re walking through the woods and, and everything, and you gotta be quiet. You’re not allowed to talk to other people trying to practice doing it the way you would do it in combat. Right. Um, and that, that sucks because you’re just in your own head and it’s like, man, every little ache and pain and everything really starts to get to you.

But when you got [00:20:00] a bunch of people around and like you said, you tell them take the headphones off, take, you know, find a buddy, talk with somebody, whatever. And, and you’re talking, that’s, A little bit of a distraction from the suck, maybe, if you, if you are out of shape and, and you’re kind of, you know, maybe not in the best, best shape that you, you could be, um, a little bit of a distraction and it, and it probably would help you push through because you’re like, Hey, I kind of am enjoying this conversation with this person, um, but, you know, You know, let’s ignore that little, that little backache or knees or, you know, whatever you might have going on.

And let’s just push through, uh, so I can keep talking to this person. Right,

Perla Tapia: Yeah, and then we, so we walk, um, every 30 minutes, we stop normally, we take a break, and then we continue. So every mile, mile and a half is where we have a break. But the time goes by so fast that when it finishes, everybody, [00:21:00] I wish this was longer, you know? And I’ve done some really long walks and I’m like, wow, like.

I’m super exhausted. I’m carrying 25, 30 pounds and I’m tired, but like you said, you know, talking to this person the entire day, I’m like, dang, I want to continue to do this and I can do it longer because you’re not thinking about the pain. You’re just thinking about, oh, I’m enjoying this conversation and this person is super cool and we have a lot of things in common, so it’s, it definitely takes that out of your, your head and you wish it was longer and you wish, like, Okay, when is the next one?

You know, that’s the mentality that a lot of our hikers have after the event.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. That’s cool. And, and there’s something about doing something physical to, uh, you know, getting out and hiking and walking around that, um, it, it releases, I don’t know, Dr. you know, psychologist or anything like that. But, but you know, it releases those, those [00:22:00] happy chemicals, I guess in your brain and, and it, it kind of makes things, uh, you know, a little bit better because you’re, you’re starting to feel good, um, when you’re releasing some of that, that energy, um, that is of the brain.

Would just be getting stored up if you’re sitting on the couch watching TV or whatever, not doing anything productive with it. You get outside, you get some fresh air, you’re breathing in the nice clean air and you’re, you’re walking around releasing that energy. It feels good to do it and it, and it feels even better probably when you’re having a good conversation and you’re getting to know somebody and you’re, you’re making a friend.

And. You know, at the end of that, uh, especially for those, those folks, like I was saying before, who are isolating themselves, they don’t know how to get off the couch and get out and meet people, um, you’ve accomplished something too, at the end of the day, right?

Perla Tapia: Right, yeah, and not only do you get to exercise by [00:23:00] walking, but I mean, you get to laugh, you get to Talk to your neighbor and if you don’t want to talk somebody will talk and if I find you then I will Introduce you to a friend because all our first time Hikers I give them a red wristband. So that way we know this is their first time and if they have nobody We can say hey you and you come over here and let’s talk and So it’s, it’s cool to just be out there and, uh, you know, you’re laughing, you’re exercising, you’re crying, you’re, I mean, everything, you know, and then we have a great meal.

We eat tacos. And I know when our people come to Phoenix, Arizona, there’s the battle. Well, who has the best tacos? California, Arizona, but well, we have the best tacos. Um, so nobody can say no to tacos. So if anything, come for the tacos.

Scott DeLuzio: There you go. Um, and, and you mentioned you’re going to San Diego in a little bit, and, uh, I’m sure they’re [00:24:00] gonna probably have something to say about that with, uh, with the tacos and, um, you know, who, who’s better than, than that.

Perla Tapia: Oh yeah. So, uh, Irreverent Warriors started in San Diego and San Diego gets about 300 veterans. I mean, it’s massive. Um, and that when I go there, I’m like, I, there’s just so many people. The, the lines are so long, but it’s just so beautiful to see people laughing and having a great time and just connecting, you know, and it’s, uh, we just continue to grow and imagine 300 times 155, whatever that number is, it’s just that many more veterans being helped.


Scott DeLuzio: You know, this is a little bit off of the irreverent warriors and what you guys are doing, but I remember a few years ago, so I had a business and I was working from home. I was working for myself. I didn’t, I didn’t have [00:25:00] Employees. So it was really, it was just me and my customers and I was working with them.

A lot of it, like virtual, kind of like what we’re doing now, uh, Zoom type calls and, and that type of stuff. Um, so I had very limited interactions with other people in my day to day job. And it was, it was getting to a point where it was like, my God, I’m just like. Sitting here in this prison almost, you know, it was, it was tough.

And I finally found a conference that was related to the industry I was in. And I went to it and I didn’t know anybody there. So I kind of felt like, you know, how do I, how do I meet people? You know, how do I start talking and interacting with these people? It was like the first day of school at a new school when you’re a kid.

And, and it’s like, I just felt like awkward and everything. There’s this one guy. Came up to me, introduced himself, and, you know, I, I told him a little bit about myself and he’s like, Oh, well, you should meet this person and you should meet that person. These people would be great people to talk to. And [00:26:00] then I started to talk to those people and they were like, Oh yeah, and you should get to know this person and that person.

And. I guess my point with all of this is that you might feel awkward at first when you first walk up to a group of strangers, a hundred people, a hundred plus people who you don’t know, um, you might feel a little awkward, a little strange, but just go up and talk to somebody. And find somebody who you can chat with.

And, and maybe you, maybe you don’t click with that person right away. Okay, cool. Find somebody else. You know, there’s a hundred options at this, at this thing, right? Like there’s people there you can find. If you can’t find someone to talk to there, I’m not sure what to tell you, but, um, like there’s, there’s plenty of options, right?

Yeah. Find you, find, find Perla. She will definitely be, uh, someone who, who you can talk to. So, um, You know, just go, go find somebody, right? And just get out there. Get up, get off your, your butt and go out and do [00:27:00] something. Um, and I think, I think that’s what I learned through going to this, this conference.

It was tough for me. I’m, I’m a super big introvert. Like I’m not real outgoing and, and everything like that. But I, I realized afterwards, I kind of needed it. I needed that kick in the butt to get myself out there. And, and, you know, maybe that’s what other folks need to, you know,

Perla Tapia: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. You know, it’s, uh, we want to bring as many people as we can and, you know, the, the community in Phoenix, Arizona and the state is very supportive. Everything that we do, we work with the City of Phoenix to get the permits with the Phoenix Police Department and whatever we need, they’re like, just tell us, we’ll give it to you.

So, and. Free of cost, you know, and, um, and because it is volunteer and we have to fundraise and do other things. You know, we don’t have extra money to, to do a lot of extra things [00:28:00] that we would love to do, but I’m not big on all like the gifts and raffles and all that stuff. For me, it’s people coming out, having a conversation, meeting other people, networking, and you know, just being there when, when you’re in need.

Um, that’s what’s important to me. So I am very grateful for everyone, you know, for you talking to you. I know we, we met at a VSO social that they had and that’s what we do, you know. Um, I know the Senator invited us to talk next month. So we’re going to talk about Reverend Warrior Hsu and, It’s, I’m glad to, to see that our name is getting out there in a positive spotlight and, uh, and doing stuff like this, being on podcasts, sharing stories.

I’m sure, you know, you have your viewers that, that listen and, and I hope that it helps somebody.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. Um, for the listeners who are in the Phoenix area, when is your next hike coming up? Uh, and I know this, this episode is coming out in July, but [00:29:00] when’s the next one? I think you said it was in October sometime.

Perla Tapia: Yes. So our, our main event is going to be out October 26 at 9 a. m. We’re going to be at Margaret T. Hens Park. Um, they can follow the website. They can register through there because I know some people don’t have social media. Yeah. Um, but we post all of our events through the, um, irreverentwarriors. com website, and then we have it on social media as well.

But October 26th, um, be ready to have fun. So we’re, that’s what we’re looking forward to.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I’ll have a link to the irreverent warriors, the main, uh, website where they can, they can check that out. Um, and, uh, uh, sign up for the hike there. Um, I’ll also have the, uh, The social media, so they can, if they’re on social media, that you can check it out there. I’ll have that in, in the, um, in the show notes, but also put the local, the Phoenix, uh, area stuff in [00:30:00] there as well so that, that folks can, uh, who are in the Phoenix area who want to check that out, they can do that.

But, uh, Irreverent Warriors is not local to Phoenix. Like you said, it started in San Diego. Um, they’re all over the place. So, um, if you’re listening to this and you’re not in the Phoenix area, don’t worry about it. There are probably Going to be a hike somewhere around you at some point. I don’t know exactly when I don’t have the schedule off the top of my head, but irreverentwarriors.

com does have the schedule there. So check that out. Um, and, and check it out for, uh, places in your area or. In places that you may want to travel to and go check people out and um, uh, you know, check out the, the community over in whatever area that you happen to be in. So, um, so all those links will be there for you in the, in the show notes.

Um, before we wrap this episode up though, uh, could you tell us like, as far as like the, uh, volunteer. Need, and any financial [00:31:00] need and other donations and things like that, um, that you guys might need. Where can people go to, uh, sign up as a volunteer or, uh, make a donation, that type of thing?

Perla Tapia: Yeah, so the best way to make a donation or find volunteers is through our contact, uh, send us an email. Um, I know that you can make donations through irreverentwarriors. com, but you have to specify which hike you wanted to go to, because that goes to all of them. So if you want to make a donation, especially for us, we’ll be very grateful.

Um, and we use everything, a hundred percent of the funds that we use, we give it back to the veterans, whatever it is, you know, that, uh, where it could be food, the snacks, um, we want to, my dream is to get, T shirts one day so they don’t have to pay for them. Um, and then we get swag. So a lot of our events, um, people love hike tags.

So they say it’s a tag and it [00:32:00] tells you I’ve been to Phoenix. I’ve been to Tucson. I’ve been to, so this would be the first year that we’re going to be getting the hike tags. I’m not a big fan of them cause they’re not very pretty, but we’re going to make it pretty for us here. Um, so. You know, the funds that I do want to raise is to buy swag to give to people.

We have an awesome patch that we give for free if you attend our hike. You know, eventually I like to get coins and all the cool military swag that we’re used to. Um, so you can go to reverendwarriors. com to make a donation and for volunteers, um, you can sign up. Once you sign up to register, it gives you an option to be a volunteer and volunteers really help us with Check in, check out.

So not our veterans are not involved in the actual setup and tear down and everything. So, um, they help us with the emergency vehicles. They help us give, uh, drinks and snacks and just really be there throughout the walk to help us not in the actual element that we’re walking, [00:33:00] but on the outside, kind of just like, Hey, does anybody need a Band Aid?

Uh, having trash bags, because we do. We do want to respect the city, um, we haven’t had any issues, knock on wood, um, but we want to make sure that we, we keep that relationship. With all of our businesses, everybody that that’s supportive. And, um, and we’re, we’re very grateful with everything that we’re doing here at Phoenix, Arizona.

Scott DeLuzio: Excellent. Excellent. So again, those links will be in the show notes for anyone who wants to volunteer, make a donation or sign up for a hike, uh, go to irreverentwarriors. com. Uh, again, that link will be in the show notes as well. Um, before we wrap this episode up, I know one of the big things about, uh, Irreverent Warriors is getting people together, getting them to laugh.

And I always like to end each episode with a little bit of humor. And especially whenever I have another veteran or a service member on the show. Um, I like to do a segment that I call, Is It Service Connected? [00:34:00] Um, and it’s kind of like a America’s Funniest Home Videos type segment. Uh, type thing where we just watch a video of service members doing something kind of stupid.

And then we, we get to laugh because they probably got some sort of disability out of it. And, uh, you know, it’s, it’s one of those types of things. So I’m just going to share my screen with you so you can check this video out as well. And we can hopefully have a good laugh at their expense. Um, hopefully they don’t get,

Perla Tapia: We do see a lot of

Scott DeLuzio: what’s that?

Perla Tapia: things. Oh, uh, when we do see a lot of silly things, I’m like, you’re trying to get your VA rating up.

Scott DeLuzio: There it is. Yeah. So right now, uh, for the audio only listeners, I’ll try to describe it as best as I can. However, you’re probably your, your best bet is probably to go to YouTube or Twitter, uh, to check this video out, uh, for yourself right now. Uh, can’t really tell too much. You’ve got the back of a vehicle.

It looks like it’s open stairs. It’s got a soldier’s kind of crouched [00:35:00] down. It looks like a video

Perla Tapia: can tell they’re ARMY. I can tell they’re

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, it looks army. Yeah, it looks, looks army. Um, and it’s probably going to be something stupid too, uh, being army. I can, I can say that. Um, so let’s see what they got going on.

And it looks like, oh, okay. Now they got the green lasers and they’re using them as if they’re lightsabers. Um, and they are having a sword fight. Two, two guys. Swinging them around all over the place. Um, it looks really dusty. Like, uh, they’re probably out in the desert somewhere. So I’m guessing that those lasers are probably the more, uh, high intensity, high powered, uh, lasers that probably could burn someone’s eye out.

So there definitely could have been a service connected injury in there somewhere.

Perla Tapia: I mean, the movement that they were doing, you know, I mean, [00:36:00] you, when you hit, I know for me, I’m 35 and now I just wake up and something hurts, something aches, one wrong twist and they were moving pretty, pretty quick. So I’m like, I know they got some wrist and back and lower back with all those moves that they were doing.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. They, they were definitely younger than, Than me, probably definitely younger than you as well. Um, so they, they probably have a little more flexibility, but when they get to our age, they will feel the pain of whatever it was that they were doing in that video. Um, hopefully they’ll still be able to see because their eyes haven’t gotten burned out, but, um, we’ll see.

We’ll see. Time will tell. Um, but like I always say with these videos, at least I got it on video. So if they ever do have a service connected injury, they have some proof of just, you know, How stupid they were, and I don’t know if that works in their favor or not, but you know, we’ll see. So anyways, thank you again for taking the time to join us and sharing, uh, everything that [00:37:00] Irreverent Warriors has to offer and, uh, just sharing how great these, these hikes are and the, the community and the camaraderie that, that gets, uh, built around these events.

So thank you.

Perla Tapia: Thank you. Thank you for inviting us. And you know, I’m very grateful to be here and share what we do. And I really hope to see you, Scott, October 26. And the rest of the viewers that come out and say hi. And you know, tell us what what you think. And we welcome feedback. There’s always room for improvement.

So I hope to see everyone out there and bring a friend. If not, I’ll find one for you.

Scott DeLuzio: Excellent. Well, thank you again.

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 [00:38:00] podcasts.

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