Ep. 10 A 2021 Recap and Thank You
It has been an incredible year for the Pipe Hitter Foundation. We've been able to support some amazing service members, first responders and their families, raise and then distribute millions of dollars in grants, and advocate for important causes. This is all thanks to our supporters. This episode is a recap of just a few of the accomplishments of 2021, and a preview of things to come next year.
December 21, 2021
Ep 9: NYPD Police Officer Rob O'Donnell on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and the State of Police in America
Today I speak with Rob O’Donnell, a PipeHitter Board member who has decades of experience as a police officer in the New York Police Department, beginning in 1991 as a NYC Transit Police Officer before merging into the NYPD in 1995. He was promoted to Police Officer Special Assignment in 97, and then to Detective in 2000 before retiring out of one of the department’s Homicide task forces in 2004. On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, Rob shares his experience running in to the city after the planes hit and recounts the days and weeks that followed, and what this upcoming anniversary means for him and his family. We also have the opportunity to talk about the state of policing in the America and what is missing from the current conversation about the police and those who serve.
September 10, 2021
Ep 8: Navy SEAL Dan Luna on Afghanistan, Accountability, Trauma, and Where We Go From Here
Today I speak with Dan Luna, a retired Navy SEAL Chief who served at SEAL Team One, and Naval Special Warfare Development Group sometimes referred to as SEAL team 6. In addition to his decades of experience in combat and leadership in the SEAL teams, Dan has a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from University of Charleston, a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Georgetown University and is currently working on a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership at the University of Southern California – much of which we discuss during our conversation. But the main reason for this episode is that in the wake of the debacle that was our exit from Afghanistan, I think it’s more important than ever to hear from veterans of the Afghan war and those who served in the military like Dan about their experiences, their perspective, their criticisms and critiques of leadership, and the lessons they want their country and the countrymen to learn.
September 07, 2021
Ep 7: Timothy Parlatore on Navy Corruption - "Am I taking crazy pills?!"
Timothy Parlatore is a former Naval Surface Warfare Officer who represented Eddie Gallagher in his 2019 war crimes trial and remains the Gallagher family lawyer and friend today. We discuss breaking news in the lawsuit Eddie and Andrea have against the Navy for all their wrongdoing, where the Navy admitted all parties involved in the investigation of Ed, who are subsequently now being criminally investigated, have illegally deleted their phones and hard drives. It is one of the clearest showcases of corruption by the Navy, prompting me to ask Tim if I’m taking crazy pills for how blatant it is. But this is the reason this podcast and the Pipe Hitter Foundation exist, to try and shine a light on many of the injustices like this, and to fight back.
August 11, 2021
Ep 6: Caitlin Julian, Mother of Stephen Johnson on Veteran Suicide
Caitlin Julian is an Army veteran who specializes in mental health who lost her son Stephen, a combat medic, to suicide. June is suicide awareness month, and this is our second episode dedicated to this tough but very real issue. As Caitlin discusses, suicide is a complex topic deserving of a more thorough analysis and discussion than the often simplistic dialogue we frequently see and hear. Caitlin lists a number of resources available for anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, which are listed below. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, AFSP American Association for Suicidology, AAS Operation Restored Warrior Stop Soldier Suicide The Trevor Project Speak of Stand Up Save a Life Under the Shield Foundation
June 21, 2021
Ep 5: Andrina Shields, Mother of Robbie Graves on Veteran Suicide
In this episode Andrea Gallagher speaks with Adrina Shields, mother of Robbie Graves, an Air Force veteran who tragically took his own life on Memorial Day of 2017. June is suicide awareness month, and for the next two episodes we’ll be hearing from the mothers of two service members who committed suicide. It is a heavy topic, but as you’ll hear discussed it is one that needs to be talked about more – to remove the shame, the stigma, and to be open about all aspects of this harrowing phenomenon. Andrina discusses her experience, what she’s learned, how she copes, and the steps we all can take to bring an end to this crisis like supporting the work of folks at Camp Hope, TAPS, Project Refit, and Operation Restored Warrior.
June 15, 2021
Ep 4: Christina Dages, Wife of Police Officer Matthew Dages
Christina Dages is the wife of La Mesa Police Officer Matthew Dages, who was thrust into the media spotlight last year after a video went viral of an arrest at a trolley station in San Diego. The very night of the incident, before any investigation took place - one that would eventually clear Matthew of his use of force - the Dages family had been doxed and protesters showed up at their house. It would spark a firestorm that has yet to be put out. Christina and I talk about the incident, her husband, what’s happened to them over the past year, what they’re fighting for, and why they continue to fight so hard.
May 25, 2021
Ep 3: Congressman Duncan Hunter and Tommy Marquez on Reforming the UCMJ & VA
In this episode I talk with former Congressman Duncan Hunter and his staff Tommy Marquez, now a board member of the Pipe Hitter Foundation. Both veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Duncan and Tommy were dogged supporters of the military while in congress and have years of experience helping veterans and advocating for reforms to the UCMJ, VA, and other government institutions. We discuss issues facing the military community, and what changes congress and our military needs to make to better serve our men and women in uniform.
April 30, 2021
Ep 2: Navy SEAL Aaron Howard
Aaron Howard, a Navy SEAL with 16 years of service including many years in the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU / SEAL Team Six), joins me to discuss his service and his fight for justice. Accused of misconduct which he strongly denies, Aaron was put through the gauntlet of the military justice system, where during the nearly 3 years it took for his case to reach trial the elite operator was shamed by his command, relinquished to mowing lawns and cleaning toilets, and forced to spend his life savings to prove his innocence. His fight is not over as he is appealing the results of his trial and filing suit against the Navy over their handling of his case including unlawful command influence. The Pipe Hitter Foundation and The Navy SEALs Fund-Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield® have joined as a team to bring awareness to this hidden crisis and to fight for Aaron and his family. If you would like to donate to the Howard family you can do so at pipehitterfoundation.org
April 19, 2021
Ep 1: Dr. Christopher Frueh, Professor of Psychology
Dr. Christopher Frueh is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Frueh's research focuses on the comprehensive health program for combat veterans and he is an expert on PTSD and TBI, having mentored dozens of special operations veterans and their families. He has over 200 professional publications, and in this episode we dive in to his recent publication “Operator syndrome”: A unique constellation of medical and behavioral health-care needs of military special operation forces." We discuss the toll SPEC Ops endure on their mind and body, and the therapies and support this community needs to maintain a healthy life and lifestyle. You can find his paper here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0091217420906659
March 30, 2021