It seems a day doesn’t go by where we don’t hear about some of the difficult issues facing our veterans of the recent wars in the Middle East — PTSD, suicide, drug abuse, problems at the VA. The list goes on. While it’s important to highlight these problems so that we can remedy them, an unintended consequence of all this focus on the negative is that we ignore the stories of veterans who continue to dedicate their lives to affecting positive change and serving their country as civilians.
In Charlie Mike, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein tells the dramatic and inspiring stories of two such veterans and the organizations they’ve founded: Team Rubicon — which organizes and deploys teams of vets to perform natural disaster relief around the world, and The Mission Continues — which funds domestic volunteer work done by former members of the military.
Today on the podcast, Joe and I discuss the men behind these groups, the work they do, and how giving veterans a chance to continue the service they began in the military has helped them revive their sense of purpose, overcome the demons of war, and restore some of the camaraderie they greatly miss.
This podcast is definitely not just for veterans; civilians will also find a lot of takeaways about the importance of service and having a mission.
- What Charlie Mike means in military lingo
- How the vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are different from vets of previous wars
- How a small group of former combat vets started the largest disaster hospital during the 2010 Haiti earthquakes
- How that experience led to the formation of Team Rubicon
- How former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens’ background in the classics influenced his approach to war
- How Greitens is trying to revive the ancient idea of civic virtue with The Mission Continues
- The mental and emotional benefits that come with serving others
- How civilians can get involved in these organizations
- And much more!
If you enjoyed my podcast with Eric Greitens on his book Resilience, you’re going to enjoy Charlie Mike. You’ll see how the principles Greitens talks about in his book are embodied by the veterans Klein interviews, and how they apply to civilians as well. Because sometimes when you’re feeling down in life, the best cure is to forget yourself and get to work for the sake of others.
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)