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The MisFitNation

The MisFitNation

By Richard LaMonica
Welcome to The MisFitNation Podcast! We started out in 2010 as a band of MisFit Soldiers on a desert plain. In the years since our bond has stayed and we have grown. With this platform, we will share stories of courage, mindset, resilience, and battling those enemies within. We will also highlight the work of Veteran entrepreneurs, Small Business owners, Authors, Musicians, and other Podcasters. While we highlight Veterans we are for everyone. We hope you will be engaged by our work and continue to support us through your listening.
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Currently playing episode

Andrene Low- Author

The MisFitNation

Andrene Low- Author

The MisFitNation

Cathy Jean-Francois - Author, Blogger, Recovering Depressive and Teacher
Cathy is a high school English teacher, but her first love and passion is writing.  She created a blog called "The True Confessions of a Reluctant Bachelorette" ( a few years ago. Since that time she has gotten married and created a new blog website titled "Tighed the Knot: A Newlywed's Thoughts on Navigating the Married Life" ( where she shared fun and compelling stories of her married life. Hopefully, some people out there can find in these posts some relevance to their own lives! But most recently and much more importantly,  she started a new blogging platform where she discusses ideas that have resonated with her, helping her to keep a positive perspective on life despite her depression. It’s all about her desire to keep a positive mindset to achieve her own form of happiness. It is her belief that this will help many depressives who struggle alone.
September 21, 2021
Barbara Allen - Host American Snippets
Barb Allen is head writer, commentator, and Co-Founder of American Snippets. Barb is the widow of Lt Louis Allen, who was murdered by a fellow soldier while deployed to Iraq. The tragic loss made her keenly aware of the cost of our freedom. She struggled for years to find her footing and raise her four boys. It was in those years that extraordinary people stepped forward to inspire, encourage, mentor, and support her and her kids. Barb has conducted over 150 interviews, has been featured on Fox News, The Today Show, Army Times, and in Taya Kyle’s book American Spirit. She is an award-winning author, with her third book set to release in June. Barb is a powerful and poignant Speaker on adversity and patriotism. She has shared the stage with Nick Vujicic and others.
September 14, 2021
Christina Stanton - Out of the Shadow of 9/11
Christina Ray Stanton is an award-winning author and licensed NYC tour guide, and has been featured in print and TV many times in her 25-year career. For a decade she worked as Redeemer Presbyterian's short-term missions director, and she is the founder of the nonprofit organization Loving All Nations ( She and her husband, Brian, still live within blocks of the World Trade Center.
September 7, 2021
Corie Weathers - Lifegiver
Corie Weathers is a military spouse who has fully embraced the service culture.  She has devoted her mental health career to serve military and first responder families which resulted in being awarded the 2015 Military Spouse of the Year- representing all six branches and 1.1 million military spouses. 2015 was the beginning of an amazing journey that opened up her opportunity to reach far more families than she ever thought possible beyond her counseling office. She is an Author. A Speaker & Emcee, Journalist, Podcast Host, Licensed Counselor, Leadership Consultant, Curriculum Writer. Service Organization Clinical Consultant, Subject Matter Expert on Military Culture, and Military Family Advocate. If she could sum it all up, though… She is a Military & First Responder Clinical Consultant and she is looking forward to working with you
August 31, 2021
Sam Thiara
Through his tireless work, Sam continues to be committed to the betterment of communities as a speaker, educator, and storyteller. In 2016, Sam received the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Volunteer Medal as a past recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. Also, in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Rick Hansen Difference Maker medallion. Over the last 20 years, he has helped and supported 45+ not-for-profit organizations from establishing a strategic vision to engaging stakeholders to rolling up his sleeves and doing whatever work is needed. As a community activator, his passion is to inspire and motivate others in their personal and professional development through his many adventures and reflections on life’s journey. It is about helping people establish and build their personal autobiography through storytelling. As a writer and blogger, Sam published his book, Personal Storytelling: Discover the Extraordinary in the Ordinary to help others share their stories. His reflections on life help others vision and build their stories. Sam has mentored and coached hundreds of individuals in life and career. He is also an accomplished speaker and in 2011, spoke at TEDxSFU where he created the signature phrase, ‘Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’. Sam has delivered countless keynote speeches, workshop facilitation, and panel discussions over the years. Since 2004, Sam has found his calling at the Beedie School of Business and Fraser International College at Simon Fraser University. His purpose is to help individuals in life and career and as a result, Co-founded GradusOne which recently merged with the League of Innovators.
August 24, 2021
Brittany Wagner - Next Chance You!
Brittany Wagner is a nationally respected athletic academic counselor and motivational speaker best known for her role as the breakout star of the hit Netflix documentary series, Last Chance U. Recognized for her compassion, encouragement, and no-nonsense attitude, Brittany guided many young men to academic and professional success despite run-ins with the law, extreme poverty, abandonment, and often a complete lack of academic preparedness. She has helped over 200 football players academically qualify for nationally respected NCAA Division I schools, and all of the students Brittany advised who are currently playing in the NFL, also hold college degrees. Brittany’s inadvertent stardom led to feature interviews with ABC’s Nightline, The Dan Patrick Show, GQ, The New York Times, The LA Times, and Sports Illustrated — to name a few. For the past four years, Brittany has traveled all over the country as a motivational speaker. In the fall of 2017, she launched her own company, Ten Thousand Pencils (10KP). Through 10KP, she is able to aid at-risk youth by working individually with high school and college-level administrators, counselors, and teachers to help them build relationships with these students and better support their emotional, social, and academic needs. Brittany’s first book: Next Chance You: Tools, Tips, and Tough Love for Bringing Your A-Game to Life is available for pre-order now and will be published on September 7th of this year. A new, scripted television series based on Brittany’s personal and professional life is in the making! Actress Courteney Cox will be portraying Ms. Wagner in this series. Michael Strahan is also an executive producer on the project. Lastly, she is an adjunct professor in the College of Business at The University of Montevallo and is a boxing coach at Battle Republic. Brittany earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Sports Communication and Administration from Mississippi State University and currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama with her daughter, Kennedy.
August 17, 2021
Julissa Martis - Legacy HRC
Julissa is passionate about helping to support and create workplaces and corporate culture teams feel supported and inclusive. She helps mission-driven organizations attract and retain their top talent by providing progressive HR Strategy and People Operations Strategy & Support. She is on a mission to change workplaces for the better, where your strategic goals are met and your team is driving the mission. Veteran Podcast Awards
August 10, 2021
Tyler Jefcoat the Seller Accountant
Tyler Jefcoat is the Founder & CEO of Seller Accountant where he exercises his passion for helping sellers maximize their businesses. Tyler provides financial coaching for sellers totaling more than $100 million per year in e-commerce sales. Tyler also leads the Sellers Roundtable, an exclusive mastermind group for seven- and eight-figure sellers. Before founding Seller Accountant, Tyler was the Co-Founder and Managing Partner for Care to Continue, a home health care company that grew from zero to 100 employees in four years.
August 3, 2021
Claire Chandler
Claire Chandler helps ambitious, mission-forward companies scale with fewer growing pains and bottlenecks. She founded Talent Boost because she was tired of finding employees curled up under their desks, crying and disillusioned. She cures workplace misery by fixing the biggest impact on a company's culture: the behavior of its leaders. Claire uses a proprietary blend of humor and insights to pull leaders out of their silos and extract the fundamental DNA that makes their business unique. She turns siloed bosses into magnetic leaders who attract the right talent--and repel the wrong people--to accomplish the company’s mission. She's married to a Marine Corps veteran and has a talking chinchilla with his own YouTube leadership series. Claire only works with C-level executives who are: Ambitious: They want their company to be the market-dominating, profitable organization that attracts the right employees and customers. Self-Aware: They know they don’t have all the right people, processes, and/or strategies to reach their desired future. Open: They are not easily offended by a woman telling them they're wrong and are willing to do things differently to achieve the amazing results they want. Claire has worked within and alongside small and large organizations across a broad swath of industries, from mining and manufacturing to pharma and biotech, to turn growing companies into consistent magnets for talent. If joining a swath of magnetic leaders and companies appeals to you, schedule a call ASAP. You'd be surprised how many other leaders have already signed up for her unique brand of tough love.
July 27, 2021
The Therapy Twins
Joan and Jane are the Therapy Twins. Identical twin sisters licensed caregivers and lifelong seekers who use their own brand of humor and vulnerability to tell revealing stories about their childhood, family, marriages, divorces, dating, and motherhood…and how they uncovered and overcame all their trauma. Their mission is to help people love more and fear less. We all know trauma. It comes in big packages – abuse, addiction, illness, death – and small ones – wrecked relationships, self-doubt, insecurity, miscommunication. Joan and Jane help people understand and heal trauma and get out ahead of the devastating impact it can have on relationships, families, and communities. Using the connection of their unique relationship, shared history, love of irreverence, and sense of humor, Joan and Jane find out the WHY behind trauma and look for the root emotions that surround the scenario.
July 20, 2021
Hermie Castillo - Navy Veteran to Actor
Hermie Castillo is a Navy Veteran who has put his boots down and is now pursuing his career in the Entertainment industry.  With shows to his credit such as NCIS, Brooklyn 99, Mom, and others only time will tell how far he will go. He wanted to serve his country and was excited to start that journey with the US Navy. Then things changed as the Navy did away with his career field.  He took this as a calling to do something greater and pursued his current career in the entertainment industry. Check out his credits below and follow his career as he moves forward.  Check out his credits
July 13, 2021
Brett D'Alessandro - Backpacks for Life
Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro returned home from a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan to what he thought was the end of a long road. He learned very quickly that an even longer road filled with struggle and confusion lay ahead.  After a challenging deployment, Brett and those whom he returned home, were now facing the hardest part of the process; reintegrating into their civilian lives while battling with the hidden wounds of war. Following a face-to-face encounter with a homeless veteran on the streets of Rhode Island in the winter, something resonated with Brett. It wasn’t just him or those he was deployed with or this man on the side of the road…it was MANY veterans, nationwide, who had to deal with the trauma of coming home and not knowing where to turn. Brett took this moment as a sign to do more and be more for his fellow servicemen and women. That day, Brett distributed a backpack to this veteran filled with socks, t-shirts, and warming layers. From this simple act…Backpacks For Life was born. Since 2014, BFL has devoted its life to make sure that no Veteran has to suffer by providing him/her with the correct tools to recover. These tools include coaching services,  communal meals, making the veterans feel human, and letting each Veteran know that he or she isn’t alone. The recovery process is aided by countless hours of personal interaction and the physical distribution of backpacks. Backpacks represent the first line of defense, a symbol of hope, and so much more to the team at Backpacks For Life.
July 6, 2021
Dustin Gruss - Greatness Facilitator
I am Cleveland born and Cleveland bred, raised in the suburb called Berea, home of the Cleveland Browns. For many years people would be embarrassed by that last fact, but I am proud of it. I'm not demonstrating a poor taste in football teams, but instead, my support of the befuddled Browns franchise should tell you something else about me- my loyalty and appreciation for the underdog. Just as the Browns have had their proverbial carousels of general managers, coaches, and quarterbacks over the last 20 years, I have had my share of carousels as well that have led me to where I am now. Allow me to explain. I have over 20 years of experience in various customer service vocations- retail management, restaurant management, even a 7-year stint as a mail carrier in Central Florida. The consistent between all these vocations was my desire to meet and exceed the expectations of my customers, which I'd say I was pretty good at. The other consistent across all these jobs was the lack of sense of fulfillment I had despite how good I was doing at each. None of them made me feel like I was fulfilling my purpose. I enjoyed making my customers happy, but the gratification in those types of jobs leaves as quickly as it comes and it's on to the next sale. Deep down I knew there was something more.
June 29, 2021
Gloria Grace Rand - Live, Love, Engage
Gloria Grace Rand is the author of the Amazon #1 international best-seller, “Live. Love. Engage. - How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Start Being Yourself,” which details my journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening that began when my sister was diagnosed with stage four cancer. The idea for the book came about during my regular morning meditation, two months before my sister transitioned. The “divine download” contained four principles based on the word love, which helped me heal my old emotional wounds, and finally live fully, love deeply, and engage authentically.
June 22, 2021
John Davis - Corporate Action Hero
John is a dynamic speaker, accomplished leader, and expert in managing people to peak performances during change or adversity. He has over 20 years of experience speaking for Fortune 500 clients and a broad swath of industries including healthcare, financial, insurance, retail, and the military, at hundreds of conferences, seminars, and retreats. At 22 years old John Davis' spine broke in half dashing his dreams of being a Stuntman, Fight Director, and Martial Artist. Doctors told him he may never walk again, and if he did he could never have a physical career. Using what he now calls the "Five Fs," John Overcame the limiting beliefs of others and brought himself back. He went on to perform over four thousand live comedy sword fighting stunt shows all over the world including performing more than one hundred shows on the most remote bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan on six USO tours. Free Gift for Audience: Social Links
June 15, 2021
Allen Simmons - Walk in Purpose - On Purpose
Allen Simmons is a United States Marine Corps veteran who has deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, and Marjah, Afghanistan. He is also the Founder of Live N Love Incorporate, Shop Persist, Brunch and Ties, Brunch and Heels, and AllenLeviSpeaks. Throughout his time Honorably separated from the Marines, Allen battled PTSD, addiction, and suicide. He overcame after years of struggles and victories, he decided to take action in his community. He understood that there are many people who struggle with their darkest battles one could go through. War was not just on the battlefield, it is in the minds of men, women, and children. Allen became more passionate about networking after coming out of his depression. He believed that networking would give him the opportunity to speak hope into someone else’s life. He wanted to give someone else hope so that they could also give another person hope. In order to do this, Allen has combined several life principles that will drive his listeners forward with power and faith.
June 8, 2021
Andrene Low- Author
In this episode, we have Andrene Low, or Andie as her cozy mystery readers know her, she has a love of writing instilled in her by her mother. Although, if her mum was still alive, she'd be smacking Andrene across the back of the head given the direction some of her writing has taken. Irreverent, cutting and reflecting her background as a stand-up comic, it's edgy with humor that can be very dark in places. She also enjoys a good bit of snark. Andrene lives in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand with Mia a tabby so keen on the local birdlife, she's going the right way to end up decked out in enough bells to be mistaken for a furry little Morris Dancer.
June 1, 2021
Cara Achterberg- Author and Dog Rescue Advocate
Cara is an irrepressible writer, a curious cook, a lazy gardener, a loyal friend, a dog trainer in training, and an occasional cowgirl. She is also a compulsive blogger, a creative writing teacher, an almost famous novelist, and a rescue dog advocate. She will talk your ear off about processed food, growing tomatoes, Virginia wine, shelter dogs, or the puppies she is currently fostering. If you ask about herkids, I may brag a bit, as they are certainly worth bragging about.
May 25, 2021
Kirsten McKenzie Best Selling Author
In this episode, we have author Kirsten McKenzie from New Zealand on to discuss her story. A full-time author, she is a former customs officer and antique dealer, who has also dabbled in film and television. Her historical time-slip series - The Old Curiosity Shop Series (which includes Fifteen Postcards, The Last Letter, and Telegram Home), has been described as 'Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions', and 'Antiques Roadshow gone viral'. The series was acquired by Podium Audio in 2020 and is now available as audiobooks. Kirsten lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, two rescue cats, and can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter.
May 18, 2021
Pup Camp with Dave Shade
After serving a tour overseas fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan, he found himself alone and separated from the brotherhood forged in battle with my unit in the 82nd Airborne. When he became a civilian again, like most veterans he was lost trying to find his way in a world coping with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress. When all seemed lost, he found solace in the most unexpected of places: A boxer puppy named Lulu. Undoubtedly, Lulu had saved his life as she taught him how to live, love, and feel again. She healed the wounds of war (the ones you don’t see on the outside). This amazing animal had instilled in him a love for the species that made him want to help their kind. Many families and dogs lack great training, and he found I was born for this - to train dogs, create happy families and happy homes. Then, he spent 5 years training thousands of dogs. From this, he started an online training venture that has launched recently. You can visit it a the link below.
May 12, 2021
Army Veteran to Entrepeneur
In life, we all have encounters with multiple amazing people. In mine, I have had tons of them, especially through my uniform career. One such encounter was with a young man in Korea. He was very mature for a young guy, especially in uniform. He was always pushing for greatness. He was the Battalion Commander's driver then moved on to the Brigade. He also went from a young soldier to an NCO while in Korea. Well, he continued to hustle for the rest of his time, then transitioned out and has become a successful independent over-the-road trucker. He is an inspiration to all young people transitioning into the unknown.  Have a plan and keep pushing forward.  Charles Davis Jr is a hard worker who has never stopped hustling since I met him, he has remained humble and is still hungry!
May 7, 2021
Coaching and Mentoring the Youth
In this episode, we are visiting with two men who have dedicated their lives to service. They both started out serving via the military. One was a leatherneck a Hollywood Marine who saw combat in Iraq, wound up being medically retired in 2010 from the Corps. He then on a request from his oldest son became a football coach for his team. A year later he was coaching in High School.  Then life happened and he had to take that resilient mindset to a new level. He continued to serve with Team Rubicon, Team Red White, and Blue became a Fellow with the Mission Continues and a Shepherd with the Save a Warrior foundation.  All of this led him back to coaching, the true life of service.  Our second guest was the son of a Navy family, He grew up in Virginia, had some speedbumps while in school, and wound up not graduating with his class. He joined the Army as an Engineer. Here he found his path with true mentors all around him, great leaders, and advice. He earned the coveted Sapper tab as a young Sergeant (not many achieve this). He left service and started a path he never thought possible, he is becoming a teacher. He is also a coach of all sports.  He loves to coach, teach and mentor and he is a student of each game he is involved in. Please welcome Terrance Gant and Tim King - Veterans, Coaches, Mentors, Leaders
April 29, 2021
Andrew Jones of AJImpacts
Welcome Back to the MisFitNation In this episode, we are speaking to one of my Brothers and of course a MisFit, Andrew Jones.  Andrew Jones is a Marine Corps Combat Veteran who stood on the Yellow Footprints of MCRD San Diego in July of 1999 at the young age of 17 and deployed to Iraq in 2003 with the 1st Marine Division as an Anti-Tank Assaultman. During the Battle of Baghdad on April 8th, Andrew suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) when his position was impacted by an enemy rocket. When Andrew returned home, he was diagnosed with severe Combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder, resulting in substance abuse, broken relationships, homelessness, jail time, and battles with suicide. To reach him fill out the contact form on his page.
April 23, 2021
Moments Matter
In this episode, we have the honor of speaking to Dave Sanderson.  Dave Sanderson is the President of his firm, Dave Sanderson Speaks International based out of Charlotte, NC. On January 15, 2009, Dave was one of the last passengers off the plane that crashed into the Hudson River, best known as The Miracle on the Hudson, considered to be the most successful ditching in aviation history. he has built a career as a motivational speaker, mentor, and author. Recently named one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in, Dave averages over 80 speeches a year for major corporations across the world. To reach out to Dave you can visit his website or email him directly The best place to interact with Dave is on his LinkedIn account
April 12, 2021
Zero Moment of Truth with Paul Mackiewicz
This Episode brings Paul Mackiewicz to the show.  Paul has served as an executive in the digital marketing industry at an INC 5000 Fastest Growing Company on two occasions. He is a motivator and wants businesses to succeed and will help them achieve their best self.
April 7, 2021
Living a Positive life
In this episode, we welcome a woman of the world Jenny Gracia.  She tells us about the things she is doing to help others find their best self and make life-changing choices for the better along the way.   Here is how to reach out to Jenny: Our second Guest is Reden Dionisio an Active Duty Navy Hospital Corpsman.  He started an online business and turned it into a way to help families of the fallen with remembrance coins.
April 2, 2021
Dear Calvin Project and The Price of Freedom Foundation
Welcome back to the MisFitNation In this episode we are talking to a couple of Veterans who recognized a need and have started two ventures to help families in remembering their fallen heroes. The first interview is with Charlie Jones of the Dear Calvin Project.  This is a great idea and we look forward to the products he produces for the families and most importantly the history they receive of their hero in video form. Our second guest is Dennis Shroader and he started the Price of Freedom Foundation in order to produce well written biographies of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  He will produce in a book form both hard copy and digital along with video media as well.
March 29, 2021
Freedom and Prosperity / Love Your Launch
In This episode we have the honor of speaking with two Veteran Entrepreneurs.  One Dr. Luke McClees, has started a venture called Freedom and Prosperity which educates veterans and educates about veterans. We guide military-connected people to achieve their definition of success with a whole-person approach. Freedom and Prosperity also focuses on educating the non-military connected population to move past their stereotypes of veterans and have a truly inclusive view of the veteran community. Website IG @freedom_prosperity Our second guest is Britney Thornton-Homco and she started Love Your Launch Academy.  She is a Social Media Monster and her mission is to inspire and guide high performing women who want to defy traditional models of success and happiness so they can lead their lives with heart and confidence.  Website FB/ britneythorntonhomco
March 24, 2021
Made4uTX and Southern, Sweet and Sassy LLC
This week we are pivoting to one of the many ways veterans and their spouses can transition out of the military and into a successful second career. Our first guests are Joseph and Amanda Garcia of Killeen Texas. They are passionate about community and veterans. They took a leap in September 2020 to start a business right at the height of a pandemic. You can check them out at on Face book @made4utx Our second guest is Missy Green a Navy Veteran and Spouse and owner of Southern, Sweet, and Sassy LLC.  Welcome to Southern, Sweet & Sassy! A service-connected disabled veteran and woman-owned small business. We are a premium quality coffee supplier. What a great person and businesswoman.  She is doing great things and you should check her out. FB @southernsweetandsassyllc IG @southernsweetandsassyllc
March 19, 2021
Faithsmagnet - Mental TAP
In this episode, we will speak with Gerard Nguedi. who saw a need based on his own experiences and started a company that is in line with his passion and his vision The company is called Faithsmagnet The Mission Statement is as follows OUR MISSION IS TO EMPOWER POST 9/11 VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO HELP THEM END INNER-MIND STRUGGLES AND FIND BALANCE AS WELL AS THEIR NEW MISSION, PASSIONS, CONFIDENCE, PURPOSE, HAPPINESS, SUCCESS, AND FULFILLMENT IN THEIR NEW LIFE AND CAREER IN THE CIVILIAN WORLD.
March 16, 2021
The Family Part 2
This is the continuation of our last episode. This time my better half joined me to tell some of her journeys from being an 18-year-old getting married into the Military and the bumpy road we went on from there to now. She will give good advice to the young spouses out there now. We will also talk about the mindset needed to make it through all of this. We hope you enjoy it. The MisFitNation
March 12, 2021
The family and it's importance to the Military Part I
In this episode, we will discuss the family. Not just a normal family, the one which is attached to the military. How do they handle life with the stress attached? What tricks did they have for coping with life and how did they get through the good and bad times. 
February 24, 2021
A Strong Mind equals a Strong Body
This episode takes you on a journey of a strong woman who has faced many challenges and has stood up every time to fight. She teaches us about resilience and of course our introduction to Zumba.  Our second guest takes us from the green side navy to a transition which was a difficult decision. He then will show us how there is hope, how having a purpose has helped him.  
February 10, 2021
What is the MisFitnation
This First Episode is dedicated to introducing you to us. We are a happy band of people who work hard, play hard reset, and start again. The Nation had its official start in 2010 but had been brewing forever. Some of us have known each other for over ten years others for 40-50.  During this Episode, you will meet two of the MisFits who are truly part of if not the heart and soul of the Nation.  We hope you enjoy it and follow us on Spotify or any of your favorite podcast locations. 
February 4, 2021
The MisFitNation a Pilot
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
This is our  Quick Introduction to our upcoming episodes of the MisFitNation
January 30, 2021