This year I am partnering with Legacies Alive, an organization focused on supporting our Nation’s Gold Star Families, by undertaking the 2023 Legacies Alive Challenge. On September 24, 2023, the 12th anniversary of Tyler’s death, I will begin a 425-mile, four week hike from Tyler’s hometown of Dana Point, CA and finish in Ricardo’s hometown of Salinas, CA. My mission is to honor, celebrate, and pay tribute to not just Tyler and Ricardo, but to all who have died in service to the United States of America. The money raised will go towards building permanent memorials, for both Tyler and Ricardo, in each of their hometowns respectively.
An Army Ranger who was wounded in the line of duty, David Reid recalls the mission that cost him his left leg—and nearly his life. This is David, in his own words, on what the experience taught him about his own strength—and that of the human spirit.
Welcome to 'Stories of Honor', a collection of stories that seeks to explore the depths of human experience through the lives of those who have served our country in the US military, our communities as first responders, or abroad in federal agencies. We’re dedicated to sharing their challenges. We'll be delving into the trials and triumphs of these men and women, who have devoted their lives to serving and protecting our country and communities.
Interestingly, instead of this experience completely isolating me and causing me to distrust everyone, it’s incentivized me to be more open and more vulnerable to other people. It’s in trying to avoid pain – in constantly trying to please others, or protect yourself – that pain will find and break us apart. I choose to open myself to the judgment of others because their reactions will tell me if there is a place in my life for them or not.
The greatest obstacle that I’ve overcome was my fear of doing physically demanding tasks that I typically wouldn’t do as a woman. Like traveling to new places in the wilderness, going on backcountry hunts with my husband, camping for days on end, and packing out what seemed like the heaviest pack of my life on my own back. Just going through what I did in the hospital pushed me mentally. Every step that I took on those mountains pushed me with that same mindset, I never want to go back to where I was. I trained for several months, increasing my strength and endurance. I feel like everyone at least once should experience the true beauty of what hunting really is. It’s not just going and killing an animal, it’s the hard work and effort that you put into it. It’s memories with your friends or family rucking it when you’re completely exhausted. It’s those mornings and evenings with the most beautiful views that you don’t get to see on a daily basis in complete solitude. It’s even better packing out an animal that you harvested that you trained so hard for.
In a world often dominated by instant gratification and mediocrity, Blain stands as a testament to the enduring values of hard work and discipline. His philosophy calls upon others to embrace the pursuit of greatness, not merely for personal glory, but as a means to cultivate character, inspire others, and contribute to the betterment of humanity. In his unwavering commitment to relentless effort, he illuminates the path to a life lived with purpose, integrity, and moral fortitude.
I think the biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome is starting my own business at a later age in the game. There’s other work with my career, my family, etc., and it takes some sacrifice and buy-in from everyone around you. You take a LOT of losses in the beginning as far as being turned down, told you’re not good, not getting clients, time away from home and family etc etc. It’s a huge learning curve. No one likes to be told no, or you aren’t good enough. Being in the fire service, it’s taught me to just keep moving forward. Try, fail, learn, try again, complete, repeat. I guess if you believe in what you’re doing enough, and keep consistent with that practice, the end result will always be better than the initial.
Justin Follmer's remarkable journey embodies the essence of unwavering determination and respect… respect for oneself, for others, and for the values that define us as a society. From the battlefields of Iraq to the forefront of small business advocacy, he has exemplified the principles of service and growth. Recognizing the power of collaboration and the wisdom of shared experiences, Justin forged connections within a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. In forging relationships within this community, he discovered a reservoir of support, guidance, and empathy that fortified his journey.
Nicholas Rogers, embodies the essence of resilience and triumph over adversity. Through his profound experiences, he reveals the indomitable human spirit and offers profound insights into the human condition. From his harrowing encounters as a combat engineer to his involvement in an officer-involved shooting, Nicholas's unwavering commitment to duty and his resolute courage attest to the profound depths of his character.
The sea is a powerful and mysterious entity, with the ability to both heal and challenge us. For veterans and first responders living with post-traumatic stress, it can offer a unique form of therapy known as adventure therapy. Skeleton Crew Adventures, a nonprofit dedicated to providing veterans and first responders with opportunities to heal and grow through the sea, recently took the Terra Arma team on a sailing trip in Galveston, Texas to better understand the impact of adventure therapy on those living with PTSD.
The Human Performance Project is a groundbreaking research initiative aimed at unlocking the full potential of the human body and mind, with a focus on combat veterans, first responders, and individuals dealing with trauma. Led by former Navy SEAL sniper Ryan Parrott and a team of medical professionals, the project launches with its first mission, the 7X TOUR. This journey takes participants on a challenging 7-day trip around the world, across 7 continents, with 7 physically demanding tasks.
With this blog we launch our Respect Campaign, where we will highlight the stories of individuals who have faced hardship, overcome challenges, and achieved greatness through their hard work and determination. These individuals serve as inspiration for us all, and demonstrate the transformative power of respect in action.