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20 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Army Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale On Conquering the Adversities Life Throws At You
"After serving 14 years in both the Navy as a chef to the Commander of the US 6th Fleet and then transitioning on to becoming an Army team leader in one of the military’s most dangerous jobs, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale was blinded by an IED. Not letting his injuries hold him back, Aaron became an EOD instructor, motivational speaker, mountain climber, white water kayaker, and marathon runner. Four years later tragedy struck again when Aaron contracted bacterial meningitis which robbed him of his hearing leaving him not just 100% blind but completely deaf as well. Never willing to give up, and with the help of a cochlear implant Aaron regained his hearing and again… hit the ground running." People like Aaron exist to remind us how amazing the gift of life is, and how no matter what adversity we face victory is always around the corner. Aaron joins the podcast today.
19 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Wreaths Across America Co-Founder On the Importance of Remembering and Honoring the Fallen
Proud Americans make this country and the people around them better with their actions and dedicated service. Karen Worcester is the co-founder and Executive Director of Wreaths Across America, a national nonprofit dedicated to remembering our fallen, honoring those who serve and teaching the next generation about value of freedom. Karen and her husband Morrill have taken a quiet idea for a solemn purpose and inspired millions of Americans to honor those who have given their lives with their beautiful wreaths. She joins the podcast today. National Wreaths Across America Day is December 18, 2021. If you’d like to learn more about the organization, donate, or see how you can become a volunteer go to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org!
28 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Army Helicopter Pilot Amber Smith Shares Experience Flying During Combat Missions in Iraq
Most people aspire to do one exceptional thing that inspires others and makes a difference. For some that means charity work, for others public service or military service, and for many of us its simply having a family and raising kids. For Army veteran Amber Smith, she has excelled in all the above as one of the few female pilots to fly the KIOWA armed reconnaissance helicopter on combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, a TV analyst and trusted voice for national security, and most recently she served in multiple positions with the Department of Defense for the Trump Administration. She joins the podcast today.
25 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Country Music Star Granger Smith Opens Up About Hilarious Alter-Ego "Earl Dibbles Jr."
Who doesn't love good music that tells good stories? For many, that’s country music. But music is more than the background noise to a good time. It inspires us to dream about tomorrow and reminisce of yesterday. It connects us on a shared emotion or lifestyle, the music we love doesn’t just tell a story - it tells our story. Granger Smith is a country music star, but he's also so much more. His Yee-Yee brand and its leading persona Earl Dibbles Jr. reaches our most recent generation of adult Americans with a positive message through humor and shared hardships. Granger joins the podcast today.
14 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
From the Battlefield to the Newsroom: Pete Hegseth On Being a Voice for Veterans in Television
From the battlefield to the newsroom, veterans in mainstream media are rare and important. Proud Americans believe in freedom, fight to protect it and exercise their own rights with respect and courage. Pete Hegseth is arguably one of the largest veterans voices in television news, and a necessary perspective when it comes to questioning decisions made that affect our military and their families.
28 minutes | May 25, 2021
Lt. Col. Mark Zinno's Unique Podcast Is An Outlet For War Heroes To Share Their Stories
Proud Americans like you and I come from all walks of life, and our guests are no different. From regular folks doing extraordinary things, to celebrities who’ve put time into making this country a better place for all of us, Proud Americans are worth celebrating. And today’s guest is no different. Mark Zinno is the host of the Hazard Ground Podcast where war heroes share their stories of combat and survival, as well as a sports talk radio host and a Lt. Col. in the United States Army National Guard with two tours to Iraq.
22 minutes | May 18, 2021
"The Honor Project" Ensures Our Nation's Fallen Heroes Are Not Forgotten
Last year we introduced you to a Proud American named Emily Domenech, who used her smartphone and patriotic spirit to bring the headstones of our heroes to their friends and family on Memorial Day, when COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from visiting Arlington National Cemetery in person. This year, Emily has teamed up with Ryan Manion of the Travis Manion Foundation for a collaboration called "The Honor Project." Emily and Ryan join the podcast to share more information about this special project, including how you can get involved.
25 minutes | May 11, 2021
CreatiVets Program Helps Heal Veterans Through Artistic Expression
From Homer’s Odysseus to Wilfred Owen, the idea of a warrior poet has captured our attention for generations. For a man or woman to go from the brutality of combat to the vulnerable expression of creating art may seem odd or unnatural, but for many of us, whether it be making something with our hands or writing how we feel in words, self expression and vulnerability are a necessary part of healing our minds after war and injury. Richard Casper is a Marine Corps veteran, Proud American, and founder of CreatiVets, a Nashville based program that brings veterans opportunities to find healing through artistic exercises such as sculpting, painting and even songwriting with some of music’s biggest names.
32 minutes | May 4, 2021
Gotham Chopra On Why Sports Bring Us Together as Americans
Politics has become perhaps the most intense team sport in our country today. Differing political views often divide people, but in the case of today’s podcast guest, having conversations about politics has brought an important friendship into my life with documentary film maker, Gotham Chopra. Growing up in Boston he became an avid sports fan, and after starting his career with Channel One News covering the war in the Middle East, he became one of the most highly regarded sports documentary film makers in the country. With films focusing on stars like the late great Kobe Bryant, and his close friend Tom Brady, Gotham has made a career out of reminding Americans that sports truly are a way to celebrate this country and the incredible stories behind the athletes we love to cheer on.
17 minutes | May 1, 2021
Big Brother's Christmas Abbott on Working Alongside Our Military Heroes
Often in life we meet people who just don’t stop. They don’t stop at the first sign of adversity, they don’t stop achieving goals, they don’t stop trying new things, and perhaps most importantly they don’t stop inspiring others. These people aren’t as rare as you think, but those who use this passion for life to become elite are. Christmas Abbott is one of those people. If you’re a fan of the CrossFit games, NASCAR, reality TV or fitness and nutrition, you’ve probably heard of her. But before even all of that she was working alongside our military heroes in Baghdad, Iraq and then with veteran nonprofits. Christmas truly embodies the Proud American spirit.
24 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
Twin Sisters and Co-CEO's Share How Their Family Holiday Tradition Inspired the Creation of "Elf on the Shelf"
This time of year is a special time for many all over the world. Parents, guardians, grandparents, loved ones, etc. work tirelessly to make the holiday season feel special for children, and presents are only one part of that. Good food, time with family, traditions old and new, and the opportunity to appreciate the life we have really makes this season come to life. In this episode of the Proud American podcast, Marine Corps Veteran and host Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to twin sisters, owners & co-CEO's of "Elf on the Shelf," Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, who have used their creativity to bring a little extra Christmas spirit to families all over the country with the help of their friend Scout. In a year like the one we've had, it's important to take a moment to be thankful for the good things in our lives, and the passion and love for Christmas shared by Chanda and Christa helps make this season extra special!
20 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
Independence Fund CEO Uses Personal Experience As Motivation for Improving Assistance Offered To Veterans and Their Families
It’s rare that we get the opportunity to talk with someone who’s life has taken the full arc of going from a family in need, to leading the very non-profit dedicated to helping those families. In this episode of the Proud American podcast, Marine Corps Veteran and host Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to the CEO of the Independence Fund, Sarah Verardo. After seeing the gaps in care and assistance offered to her husband, a severely wounded soldier, Sarah began as a volunteer for Independence Fund and was eventually selected as its first CEO. Now she works with wounded veterans, caregivers, corporations, communities and Congress to ensure our heroes and their families get the support they need.
18 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
"Bad Joke Thursdays" Bring Joy and Giggles to Many
There's a popular phrase, “in a world full of dark, be a light.” As simple as that sounds, it can be difficult to find those moments or people that bring light into the darkness many of us feel from time to time. In this episode of the Proud American podcast, Marine Corps Veteran and host Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to Jake and Sean, two friends and healthcare workers whose “Bad Joke Thursday” videos bring joy and giggles to so many.
21 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Conservationist Chris Dorsey on the Importance of Preserving Our Outdoors
In this episode of the Proud American podcast, Marine Corps Veteran and host Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to the CEO and President of Dorsey Pictures, Chris Dorsey. He's an avid sportsman, entrepreneur, conservationist and Proud American who truly loves the world God created for us, and has dedicated his time to the work it takes to preserve and enjoy the outdoors. He also produces Joey's Fox Nation show, Fox Nation Outdoors, which allows him to take Proud Americans, both celebrities and sportsmen, on excursions all over the country hunting, fishing and exploring America’s many unique game, habitat, hunting techniques, and tools.
30 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Boot Shoot Fundraiser Provides Positive Experiences for Veterans Returning and Recovering From War
In this episode of the Proud American podcast, Marine Corps Veteran and host Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to Stewart Hunter, a founding and managing partner of Benchmark Mortgage and organizer of the annual Boot Shoot fundraiser, and Chad Fleming, a career Army Ranger who went on to deploy five times after losing a leg in combat. Stewart and Chad now work together at Benchmark, organize the annual Boot Shoot designed to raise money and provide a positive experience for veterans returning and recovering from war, and through Chad's Third Option Foundation reach veterans wherever they are and bring them into the fold. Stewart and Chad know investing in and expecting from veterans is one way Proud Americans continue our legacy of patriotism and freedom.
51 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
The Famous Robertson Family On Faith, Family, and Of Course, Duck Hunting
On this special crossover edition of the Proud American podcast, host Johnny Joey Jones teams up with the famous Robertson family for a special Unashamed X Proud American podcast. Here's what Joey had to say about it: After eight years in the Marine Corps and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the things I enjoy most now is getting into the outdoors to hunt or fish. These experiences are always best when you can do it with good friends and good people. Today's guests are just that. My friends, the Robertson family, are the Proud Americans who won over the country in their hit reality TV show "Duck Dynasty." And if you watch just one episode, you know duck hunting, faith and family is what they believe in. I joined Phil, Si, Jase and Al in West Monroe, Louisiana, for an early season hunt. Afterwards, we sat down for fellowship, and let's just say an entertaining conversation.
23 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
CEO of 22Kill Organization on the Importance of Empowering Veterans and Their Families
Being a "Proud American" is paying an enormous sacrifice while serving our country, but coming out stronger and using your experience to help others dealing with not only physical, but mental and emotional wounds. Knowing how many service members go to war just to come home and fight another war within themselves is hard to fathom. In this episode, Marine Corps Veteran and Proud American Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to Jacob Schick, CEO of 22Kill, a veteran’s nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans who are struggling with thoughts of suicide as well as those families who have suffered veteran’s suicide.
19 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
Actor J.W. Cortes On Serving His Country and Community
Being a "Proud American" is vowing to protect your country in any way you can, big or small. Few professions demand as much from us as serving in the military, and few others are as thankless as police officers keeping us safe here at home. In this episode, Marine Corps Veteran and Proud American Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to someone you may know as Detective Alvarez on the hit TV show Gotham, but on top of being a successful actor and singer, he's also a United States Marine, New York State Police Officer and all around Proud American, J.W. Cortes, who has made a difference in this country and his community several times over.
26 minutes | Sep 7, 2020
Tunnel 2 Towers CEO Honors Brother and All Who Perished on 9/11
Being a "Proud American" is taking a personal tragedy and turning it into a truly life-changing blessing. September 11th, 2001 changed the lives of every American. For many, it simply changed what everyday life is like in this country. For others, that day changed the entire trajectory of their lives. We went to war and our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters paid that price. In this episode, Marine Corps Veteran and Proud American Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to Stephen Siller Foundation Founder and CEO Frank Siller. Frank's brother Stephen was a NYC fireman who literally ran into the World Trade Center to save lives and sacrificed his own in doing so. Frank honors his brother, veterans and all who perished on 9/11 through his Tunnel 2 Towers foundation which supports our nation's heroes and their families in so many ways.
15 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
A Patriotic Spirit Helps Bring Families of Fallen Soldiers Peace on Memorial Day
Being a "Proud American" means honoring the men and women who have given their lives in order to protect the lives of complete strangers. At this point in time, the coronavirus has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, but many people were surprised when national cemeteries were restricted to only immediate family members on Memorial Day. In this episode, Marine Corps Veteran and Proud American Johnny Joey Jones introduces us to Emily Domenech of Alexandria, VA, who used her smart phone and patriotic spirit to bring the headstones of our heroes to their friends and family when the threat of COVID-19 made it impossible to visit them personally.
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