Hi this is your host, Pete Blum. Welcome to American Heroes Network! Our core mission is Serving the Brave Men and Women who have Sacrificed to Ensure our Freedom. You will hear true stories from those that have served, learn about Veteran organizations and resources, and gain hope for your future knowing American Heroes Network, your community, and other Veterans are here and at the ready to serve and help you and your family. We will talk about the hard topics like PTSD/TBI. You will also hear military history, inspirational stories, learn about networking with the community, and more. So come join us and be part of our family.
Today’s guest is the Resources & Project Development Coordinator for American Heroes Network, an Army Veteran, and a combat photographer. These days he is well known for “helping people find their Smile” I would like to welcome Michael Davis, Call sign: Mad Dog 20/20.
You can follow Michael here
Tumblr Blog: thedailychalkboard.tumblr.com
Michael, thank you for serving and how are you doing today?
Well starting off I would like to say thank you for being part of the team. I know you are actively working hard to make American Heroes Network a great success. I would like everyone to get to know you so Michael, tell us where you grew up.
Did you have any military family members or relatives that influenced you?
My Uncle was a Navy Aviator during WWII & my father was briefly in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
My father served as well, in the Marines. Did your uncle or father tell you any stories when you were younger?
Why are those that have sworn to protect and defend important to the USA as you see it Michael?
From the founding of our Nation, to this very day, the minority of men and women who have sworn to give their all to defend and protect our way of life, as laid out in the Constitution of the United States, are an important element in the ability of all citizens of this country to enjoy unparalleled and unprecedented freedom of thought and opportunity. To me nothing outside of family is more important or has a stronger bond in life. Once you have committed to being a member of this noble military minority the bond formed is stronger and more resilient, than any superficial differences which may exist. This to me is what makes a family what it is. We adapt, improvise and overcome in the military family and I’m proud to be a part of this special family. While others watch, we go. While others talk, we do. While others rest, we remain alert and ready.
That is a really strong statement and I could not agree more. It is what makes us strong and keeps us free. I think it would be a great thing if all young adults had to serve at least a year. Then they would understand our values, our faithfulness, and how important it is to stand as a united family to serve and protect our country.
Michael I know you served in the military in your earlier years? Tell me about that.
Yes. I served on active duty from 1975 to 1981, if you count the mandatory full 6 years that all soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines commit to when they raise their right hand and agree to protect and defend the United States from enemies foreign or domestic.
What did you do in the military and where did you do it?
My designation was 84 Bravo 2 Tango or In civilian parlance, a combat photographer.
I completed my basic training in 1975 at Fort Leonardwood, MO. , Then went on to Advanced training at Lowry AFB, near Denver, CO, spent some time being educated at the West Point Preparatory School in Fort Monmouth, NJ and then was assigned to an Army Security Agency Aerial unit at K6, better known as Camp Humphreys, in South Korea.
So what did you do when assigned to an Army Security Agency Aerial unit, or is it classified?
When I was in Korea I got a couple of those cool mink blankets. Did you ever get a chance to go off base, mingle with the locals, or buy anything unique?
Tell me about your call sign!
Michael how did serving our Nation change or influence your life?
It taught me the importance of teamwork and reinforced my own personal beliefs and practice in the art and discipline of focused mind, body and spirit. I made use of my opportunity while a member of the armed forces to better myself and savor the experiences that might not otherwise have been available to a young man in a small town from the United States.
Serving does teach us some very valuable things! Like you mentioned teamwork and discipline, also leadership, determination, even compassion… serving in different parts of the world teaches us how good we have it at home. We know more than anyone that we are blessed to live in America.
Why did you join the AHN team as a board member?
For the same reason I joined and served in the military. A sense of duty and an understanding that no soldier should be left behind.
Ah, great point! Those getting out of the service often feel alone and disconnected. We need to let them know they still have a family. American Heroes network cares, and we will help them connect with their community and find resources for themselves and their families.
Why is AHN important to you Michael?
Because it serves an important need. As I said previously. No soldier should or deserves to be or to feel that they have been left behind.
What will you contribute to AHN?
I am committed to giving the most precious thing that any of us walking this earth has to give anyone, and that is time. We often think and are even taught to think of our value in life as being what we get and not so much what we give. So many of my brothers and sisters in uniform gave every bit of time they had left to defend this great nation of ours. They gave their most precious gift so the rest of us could have more of that precious time.
Many are no longer in uniform, but sadly they live the memories and consequences and continue to carry the physical and emotional scars of their selfless promise and oath to protect and defend this country of ours. I feel compelled to both help them tell their stories so others may understand what it truly means to serve and to keep them from becoming a tragic statistic born of despair, depression and a lack of care from those who have the power and position to help ease their pain and help them move, as swiftly as possible, along the road to recovery.
The old saying, “out of sight-out of mind” is true when it comes to our veterans who need a hand up. I see my opportunity in AHN to bring the plight of the veteran and the memories of what they have done into clear sight for as many as I can.
Outstanding! I couldn’t agree more! That was motivating!
I have a bonus question for you Michael. What if any significant military history fact or event would you like to share with us?
What is the best way to contact you if people want to reach out?
You can find out more about Michael by visiting americanheroesnetwork.com and clicking “About Us” and then “Advisory Board” on the menu bar.
I hope you have enjoyed this episode! Be sure to keep coming back for more great episodes. If you want to talk to us about something you learned today, if you have questions, or you would like to be a guest on our podcast go to americanheroesnetwork.com and click on contact us.
Thank you for listening!