Veteran’s PATH

Veteran’s PATH

By Jon Macaskill
Veteran’s PATH - helping veterans find Peace, Acceptance, Transformation and Honor through practical tools like meditation and mindfulness, physical and outdoor experiences, and a community of camaraderie. I’m Jon Macaskill, a Navy SEAL Commander turned Mindfulness Teacher. Here on the Veteran’s PATH podcast, I interview veterans, athletes, corporate leaders and many others who’ve overcome obstacles or adversity and found peace through the practices of meditation and mindfulness - breaking down the stigma of pursuing mental health and making it a priority - improving and saving lives!
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Army Retiree and Military Sexual Assault Survivor Monica Meeks

Veteran’s PATH

Sponsor: Anchor

Veteran’s PATH

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South African Psychiatric Occupational Therapist and Mindfulness Teacher Catherine Divaris
Catherine is a psychiatric occupational therapist with 10 years of experience in mental health and wellness. She has post-graduate training in vocational rehabilitation and return to work after stress burnout. She had a practice in South Africa where she consulted with corporate insurance companies to asses and treat clients who had been off work due to mental health challenges and burnout. Catherine specializes in workplace wellness and company culture as well as emotional wellness. ****That said, Catherine is leading a workshop here in Virginia Beach in March on Sensory Intelligence, which we will cover during the show... listeners of this podcast get a special discount using the promo code VVPodcast. Here’s the link to her workshop: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/access-your-minds-potential-make-sense-of-your-world-tickets-89664393615?aff=VPPodcast And here’s her LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/catherine-divaris-09a1b8190
48:47
February 17, 2020
Rhodesian Combat Medic Barry Zworestine
Barry is a psychologist in Australia working with transitioning military members. He’s also a former ultra runner, an author, and now an avid mindfulness practitioner and teacher. In this episode we speak about his time in the Bush War, how he came to live in so many parts of the world, his long time meditation practice, his being a vegetarian, and his endurance running. Find Barry here on LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/barryzworestine
1:11:35
February 13, 2020
Army MP Veteran turned Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Melissa Leger
Melissa Leger is an Army MP veteran who initially joined the Army to beef up her resume for a career in the FBI... but plans changed and the universe guided her onto another path... now she’s a yoga and mindfulness instructor with the Road Home program. Check her out at https://www.igniteyourbliss.com
36:29
February 10, 2020
Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief, endurance cyclist, and avid mindfulness practitioner Bob Newman
Wow. This episode is SO full of awesomeness I almost split it into two episodes but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Bob Newman is a great friend - a fellow Navy SEAL - a devoted father - an avid cyclist - a nonprofit founder - and a committed mindfulness practitioner. In this episode we discuss his time in the Teams, his cycling and a life changing accident, his struggle to find balance and harmony but finally finding it after his daughter helping him to “awake” and through mindfulness, his work with The Honor Foundation (https://www.honor.org), Nostos and Outward Bound and the USO Outdoor Adventure Team (https://hrcv.uso.org/programs/outdoor-adventure-team). Check out Bob’s article on LinkedIn regarding Mindset - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mindset-matters-bob-newman
1:32:39
February 6, 2020
Noelle Morra - Former Air Force Captain and Veteran’s PATH Retreat Attendee
My guest today is Noelle Morra. Noelle is the Clinical Training Coordinator for over 400 students at JFK University in Pleasant Hill, CA and also the VALOR Center coordinator for 80 military service members getting their masters and doctoral degrees in the fields of Pyschology and Law. Noelle is a former Air Force Logistics Officer who completed her service in 2006. She is a Veteran’s PATH retreat attendee and is now an advocate for mental health. Noelle joined the military to escape abuse from her family only to be forced out of the military due to downsizing. In this episode we discuss her family military history, her abusive family environment and how that shaped who she is now, how she feels men and women deal with trauma differently, and finally her journey to mindfulness.
1:05:08
February 3, 2020
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel turned Yogi and Mindfulness Teacher Benefsheh Verell
Benefsheh (Benef for short) is a retired Army LTC, a military spouse, a mindfulness and mental health advocate and the author or Military and Mindful, Eight Essential Elements to Manage Your Military Career and Motherhood. In this episode we discuss self doubt and the imposter syndrome, overcoming the anxiety of transition and life after the military, and ... well, yeah, we talk about the Army Navy game :) Go Navy! (Got nothing but love for my Army brothers and sisters!)
48:24
January 30, 2020
Veteran’s PATH Veteran Leader Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman is a contract attorney working with the California Fire Lawyers joint venture. Matt is a U.S. Army veteran and Vet Leader in our nonprofit, Veteran’s PATH (VP). VP provides community and support to American military men and women in their efforts to reintegrate into their families and civilian life. In this episode, Matt and I discuss his childhood, his battles with drugs, his being in and out of jail, what finally pointed him in the direction of the lifesaving practices of mindfulness and meditation, and why he considers his “dark black past” his most valued possession.
1:16:23
January 27, 2020
Trails of Purpose Founder and President, Kayla Arestivo
Kayla was 8 years old when she lost her father in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. Since then she’s had a deep sense of justice and serving those who fight. She founded Trails of Purpose (https://trailsofpurpose.com), a PATH intl certified equine therapy veteran service organization... and Veteran’s PATH is partnering with Trails of Purpose for both fundraising and offering retreats. On this episode Kayla talks about how the loss of her father affected her, how she and her husband Kyle came to found Trails of Purpose, how equine therapy works and how it’s affected our veterans, and finally how Trails of Purpose and Veteran’s PATH are partnering together. Here’s the information regarding the fundraising events sponsored by Texas De Brazil (https://texasdebrazil.com), Percolator coworking in Norfolk (https://percolatorspace.com), and Jay Redman (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Redman). Donation on receipt: https://texasdebrazil.com/specials/trails-of-purpose-veterans-path-virginia/ Dinner: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fundraising-dinner-with-combat-wounded-navy-seal-jay-redman-tickets-86883443719?ref=eios Talk and Book signing: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fundraising-talk-book-signing-by-combat-wounded-navy-seal-jay-redman-tickets-86884244113?ref=eios
53:46
January 23, 2020
Abigail Manning - founder of Create Awareness Change Lives
Abigail is the Founder of Create Awareness, Change Lives. She combines her academic education in Cognitive, Social and Behavioral studies with her first-hand, life-experiences of childhood abuse, domestic violence and PTS. With empathy, kindness and tough love, she authentically connects with others and inspires them to deepen their self-awareness, self-ownership and self-care. As a proud mother of a US Marine daughter and son, she has a heart-felt passion for the people she serves. On this episode Abigail and I discuss her life as a child enduring abuse, her life as an adult experiencing domestic violence, her raising two great children as a single mother, destructive limiting beliefs, “purple threads” and Abigail even got me to admit something I’ve never shared openly before!
55:52
January 20, 2020
Former Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Tech turned Entrepreneur Josh Duntz
My guest today is good friend of mine - former Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician turned entrepreneur Josh Duntz. Josh is the co-founder of Stasis - a human performance company that focuses on bringing cold water exposure training and immersion therapy to the masses. He is also a lifelong athlete and CrossFit coach who now uses yoga, breath work and that cold water exposure training as part of a daily routine to optimize his own performance.
39:37
January 16, 2020
Police Officer, Law Enforcement Attorney, and Nonprofit Founder Jorey Herrscher
Jorey Herrscher is a Police Officer and LawEnforcement Attorney who transitioned his career as Trauma Recovery Coach. Jorey teaches recovery skills to those who have experienced emotional trauma. He earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas and his bachelors degree in Criminal Law with a Minor in Spanish from Weber (Wee-ber) State University in Ogden Utah. Jorey is the CEO of Herrscher Consulting, LLC, where he provides corporate training in Leadership Development, Mental Health, Law Enforcement, and others. Jorey is an International Speaker, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, PTSD Recovery and Suicide Prevention Advocate, and soon to be author. He also serves as the Executive Director for The Unbroken Project, a nonprofit organization that works to help Veterans and First Responders find healing and recovery from emotional trauma such as PTSD. Jorey’s wife Stephanie is an amazing mother to their four amazing children and is currently earning her Nursing Degree. They Herrscher family currently resides in Conroe, Texas.
38:53
January 13, 2020
Social Worker and Citizen Soldier, Army Master Sergeant Jessica Ridenour
My guest on Today’s episode is Army Master Sergeant and Social Worker Jessica Ridenour. Jessica has served in the US Army for 17 years. On the episode, Jessica and I discuss alternative mental health modalities, the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene, nonprofits she works with and being a citizen soldier.
34:33
January 9, 2020
Army Veteran w/ PTSD who endured homelessness as a single mother June Moss
My guest today is 12 year Army Veteran June Moss. June says she not only fought in Iraq, but she also fought back here at home battling with PTSD. She’s also struggled with the effects of divorce and homelessness and was featured in Time Magazine’s article “How We’re Failing Our Female Veterans” and in a CNN report on Women and Mother Vets with PTSD - but she found mindfulness and has worked to improve her mental and medical health since and is now working for the Chaplain Service in the Veteran’s Affairs office in Palo Alto.
46:53
January 6, 2020
Marine Corps Veteran, Business Owner, and Master of Her Own Mental Health - Dr. Theresa Larson
Dr. Theresa Larson is a Marine Corps Veteran turned physical therapist and business owner. In this episode we discuss her childhood and the loss of her mother at a young age, her Marine Corps service and deployments, her book - Warrior, her professional softball career, and how she overcame her battles with bulimia and perfectionism.
1:22:04
January 2, 2020
Olympic Gold Medalist Breeja Larson
My guest on this episode is Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Breeja Larson. In this episode Breeja and I discuss her childhood plans to be a gymnast and how those plans morphed; her Olympic mistakes and victories; her dealing with social media bullies; difficulties in being defined by your profession when you’re so much more; her use of meditation to prepare for life in and out of the pool; and the similarities of swimming, dancing, and being mindful!
43:33
December 30, 2019
Dr. Kate Tumelty Felice, former major crimes and narcotics detective turned educator
Kate Tumelty Felice started her career as a major crimes and narcotics detective. While she loved her job and helping others in that way, life continued to drive her toward teaching, and eventually she decided on a path that is more proactive than reactive. She has taught at various levels before settling into higher education and teacher preparation. She believes that learning is a reciprocal process and should be fun, engaging, and inclusive no matter the age or level. On the episode, Kate and I talk about her former career and how that affected her, her father being shot in the line of duty and the effects of that on her family, and her work and initiatives to promote an integrative and holistic approach to prioritizing well-being in all facets of schools, organizations, and advocacy.
43:25
December 23, 2019
Doctor of Psychology, Veteran, Alaska State Trooper, LCSW and Mindfulness Teacher Vanessa Meade
Vanessa Meade is one of our fantastic Veteran’s PATH mindfulness facilitators! She’s a PsyD, LCSW, an assistant professor and licensed psychologist in the School of Social Work at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a U.S. Army/Gulf War veteran, sexual assault survivor, former Alaska State Trooper, and licensed clinical social worker. The focus of her doctoral studies in psychology was mindfulness-based practices with women veterans. She facilitates mindfulness-based retreats and programs and is a qualified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and a certified mindfulness teacher through the Engaged Mindfulness Institute. On the episode we discuss living in Alaska, sexual assault, MBSR, and her life of service in the Army, as a counselor, as a State Trooper and now, as a psychologist and nonprofit volunteer!
50:33
December 18, 2019
Army Retiree and Military Sexual Assault Survivor Monica Meeks
Monica is a Veteran’s PATH retreat alum. She spent 20 years in the United States Army before she retired in Fort Campbell, KY in 2012. During her 20 years she deployed to Haiti, Iraq and Kuwait. Now she’s working for the State of Tennessee as a Financial Services Investigator. She’s married to a retiree and they have a 14 year-old son and a dog. Monica is a survivor of military sexual trauma and receives counseling through the VET Center. On the episode we talk about that and her overcoming this through sisterhood, mindfulness, yoga and sharing her story. In a showing of the play The Vagina Monologues, Monica performed an original monologue calling for attention to sexual assault survivors who have served in the military. She attended her first Veteran’s PATH retreat in Beckwith almost three years ago and recently attended a second retreat in October in California.
45:06
December 11, 2019
US Paralympic Snowboarding Champion & Cancer Survivor Nicole Roundy
On the show, Nicole speaks about her new focus, her views on and practices of mindfulness, what caused her trouble in getting started, and finally what’s next for her! As a child, Nicole was ambitious, energetic and outgoing. Then at 8 years old, she was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Later that year she lost her right leg above-the-knee. As any individual touched by cancer, Nicole's life took a dramatic turn. Following the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games, Nicole stepped onto a ski slope for the first time. The beauty, adrenaline and excitement of three-track skiing captivated her, but something was missing. Deemed "impossible"" due to a lack of prosthetic knee technology, Nicole found her passion in snowboarding. In 2006 she became the first above-knee amputee, male or female, to compete in adaptive snowboarding. Her accomplishments spearheaded global demand for prosthetic knee technology and played a fundamental role in the introduction of snowboarding to the Paralympic roster. Nicole represented the United States in the 2014 & 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and is an 24X World Cup Medalist. She is an aspiring author, a rescue dog parent, and a keynote speaker.
46:50
December 5, 2019
US Olympic Skier Laurenne Ross
Laurenne Ross is a World Cup Alpine Ski Racer. She’s been in 5 world championships and raced in the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Games. She has two World Cup podiums, many top-ten results, and is ranked one of the top-ten best speed skiers in the world. But, she says, a successful Olympic athlete is not all that she aspires to be... she’s a photographer, a musician, a mountain climber and mountain biker - and she’s also an avid practitioner of mindfulness and meditation. Laurenne talks about her training, her coming back physically and mentally from incredible skiing crashes, and about how meditation and mindfulness have been critical in her career and her life.
36:18
November 30, 2019
Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine
Navy SEAL Commander and mindfulness expert Mark Divine shares his background in zen, martial arts, corporate America, the military, mindfulness and strong mindset. He’s done it all and we can ALL learn something from him!
1:08:35
November 21, 2019
Veteran’s PATH Podcast Trailer
On the Veteran’s PATH Podcast, US Navy SEAL Commander turned mindfulness coach interviews veterans, athletes, corporate leaders and many others who’ve found peace through the practices of mindfulness and meditation, working to break down the stigma of seeking mental health and making it a priority - improving and saving lives!
00:30
November 20, 2019