In 2007, Lieutenant Joshua Mantz was on a dismounted patrol just outside of Sadr City in Iraq. As he was standing in front of Staff Sergeant Marlon Harper, a sniper fired a large caliber round from a nearby building. That round passed through Staff Sergeant Harper's chest, killing him instantly. That same round hit Mantz in the leg, severing his femoral artery. Though wounded, Mantz attempted to assist Harper before noticing that he was also gravely wounded.
Mantz began fighting for his life until he flatlined. Mantz was dead for 15 minutes before a determined US Army medical team was able to revive him. Miraculously, Mantz did not suffer brain damage and he was able to return to his deployed unit in Iraq 5 months later. He continued to serve in the Army, reaching the rank of Major, until he was discharged due to severe Crohns Disease.
But though Mantz had healed from his physical wounds, he was not healed. Throughout the rest of his military career and into his civilian life, Mantz struggled with darkness, depression, guilt, and shame regarding his recovery in the shadow of the loss of his soldier. As a high profile spokesman for the military's behavioral therapy program, Josh was able to hide his pain behind the shield of his story. It was not until he was able to integrate this darkness into his life that he truly began to heal. His book, The Beauty of a Darker Soul chronicles his journey and he's made it his mission in life to help others recover from their own invisible wounds.
Shawn Baker is a former professional rugby player, a US Air Force veteran, and an orthopedic surgeon. He is also a leading spokesman for one of the most controversial diets out there: the carnivore diet. Shawn is over 50 years old, he's big, lean, strong, has records in weightlifting and concept 2 rowing, and he can still dunk a basketball. He says he's in the best shape of his life since he switched to consuming nothing but red meat.
Nick Santonastasso was born with a rare genetic condition called Harthan Syndrome. At the time, he was one of only 12 babies that had been born with this condition. Nick has no legs, one arm, and only one finger.
But Nick never let that stop him from following his dreams. Nick has competed on the varsity level in high school wrestling, competed in bodybuilding, and developed a massive social media following for his light hearted and inspirational videos. If you check out his Instagram account, you'll find videos of him lifting weights, playing football, and hanging out with celebrities like the Rock.
We got to sit down with Nick and discuss his life, his future, and his message to anyone out there who thinks that they have limits.
For the video version of this interview, click HERE.
Amputations are an unfortunate product of our modern wars. Luckily, with better medical technology, we are lucky to keep more wounded warriors alive and living productive lives. As we see with some, like Rob Jones, they can even go on to do extraordinary things that even people with all their limbs cannot do. The problem is that these warriors go through so many challenges when it comes to phantom limb pain.
Amira Idris is looking to give her revolutionary pain relieving device away to 80 veterans who are willing to provide information on how well the device works. If you are interested you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok, picture this. It's 3pm. You have 30 things to do on your to do list and not one of them is checked off. You've been playing cleanup - dealing with phone calls and texts all day long. Your wife wants to spend time with you tonight, but it's gonna be rough. Working out? That's a laugh. You don't have time to breathe.
In this episode we talk about setting up your schedule so that you can win the day. This involves finding time in your day to do the things that are important to move you forward, and compartmentalizing the firefighting activities you have to do i.e. solving everyone else's problems into a space that doesn't interrupt the things you need to do to move forward and succeed.
Rob Jones served as a US Marine Corps Combat Engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan. While clearing IED's during a deployment to the Sangin District in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, Rob stepped on a mine. His injuries resulted in him losing both of his legs above the knee.
During his recovery, Rob became interested in competing in sports. He began training in rowing, and eventually competed for the US Paralympic Team at the 2012 Paralympic Games winning Bronze with his partner Oksana. Seeking more challenges, Rob undertook a solo supported bike ride from Bar Harbor, Maine to Camp Pendleton, California in 2013. Recently, Rob completed 31 marathons in 31 days and raised thousands of dollars for charities including the Semper Fi Fund.
Rob continues to raise money and awareness on veterans issues and speaks at events around the country.