Tag Archives: Family


Service and Baseball with Luke Gillingham

Minor League Baseball player and Surface Warfare Officer Luke Gillingham shares his memories of playing baseball at the United States Naval Academy for Coach Paul Kostacopoulos, his recollection of being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, and the options the Navy presented to him as he fulfilled his commitment to serving his country through the Navy Reserve while having the opportunity to play professional baseball. Gillingham also shares his thoughts on playing professional baseball and baseball during the global health crisis of COVID-19.

American Valor Podcast

Changing the World One Person at a Time with Judge Michael Allen

Judge Michael Allen speaks about his path to serving as one of nine judges on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the youngest federal court, created in 1988. Appeals of all benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs are heard by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Judge Allen speaks about the family members and teachers who mentored him and made a difference in his life. Hear his special stories of visiting the White House to interview for the seat on the bench before being confirmed by the Senate in August of 2017, when Chief Justice John Roberts swore him in and the unique impact a lawyer had in his parents’ lives. Judge Allen explains that the goal of a judge is much like that of a baseball umpire: to get it right.

American Valor Podcast

 

The Power of Positive Leadership with Retired Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning

Retired Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning speaks about the opportunities presented by the military for individuals to improve themselves while serving one’s country and receiving an education. It is vital to our country that the military is on the leading edge of technology and human capital development. Chief Benning speaks about the sacrifices people make in life and the meaning of a purpose driven life, including setting goals and overcoming setbacks. The more one puts into something, the more one receives from their efforts. You get in life what you give in life. Scott speaks about learning from our mistakes and passing that information on to the future generation. His book Power of Positive Leadership “challenges you to focus on your personal attitude, focus, and the importance of growing yourself so you can grow others to strengthen your team and grow a positive attitude” (pop-leadership.com). ICE leadership includes three steps: inspire, challenge, and empower.

American Valor Podcast

 

Air Force and Entrepreneurship with Ms. Charlynda Scales

Air Force Veteran, TEDx Speaker, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Seasoned Brand Ambassador, Girl Scout Gold Award Winner Charlynda Scales on her time in acquisition in the Air Force and lessons learned from entrepreneurship.

Ms. Charlynda Scales speaks of her time as an acquisitions officer in the United States Air Force, the bond she shared with her grandfather Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell, Jr., who encouraged Charlynda to pursue a career in the military and left her with his recipe. Today, Charlynda leads Mutt’s Sauce, with “every bottle of Mutt’s Sauce made with love and determination to continue his legacy.” Hear about the difficulty and excitement of being the first active-duty service member to appear on Shark Tank and how Charlynda has managed business success as someone from modest beginnings.

“In 1956, Mutt got the idea to make a sauce he could use for every meal. Mutt’s sauce was a multi-purpose specialty sauce, infusing sweet, tangy and a little bit of heat into each spoonful. When Mutt deployed with the U.S. Air Force in support of Vietnam and the Korean War, he packed up his wife, kids and of course the sauce, and headed over to Japan. While in Japan, Mutt would host parties and his sauce was always the highlight. The laughter, food, and friendship was always successful at breaking down any cultural or language barriers. What started as one man’s quest to make a multi-purpose sauce quickly became a symbol of unity and brotherhood wherever he went.” (Muttssauce.com/pages/about).

American Valor Podcast

Learn about and purchase Mutt’s Sauce

Learn about and book Charlynda

Powershift: Transform Any Situation, Close Any Deal, and Achieve Any Outcome by Daniel Paisner and Daymond John

Combining Forces to Honor the Fallen with Kevin Hertell and Chad Lennon

Over 20 veterans take their lives each day, evidence of a suicide epidemic within our country, a problem specifically prevalent within the veteran community. The Suicide Awareness and Prevention flag is a symbolic combination of the Prisoner of War (POW) and Gold Star flags. The Gold Star is displayed on a service flag to indicate that a relative of the family was killed while serving in the armed forces during wartime. This is a conversation about warrior culture, removing stigma, expressing feelings, mental wellness, and what we can do to improve the situation together.

American Valor Podcast

Podcast: Your Service Matters: Rear Admiral Frank Thorp on Service and Finding the Good in People

Rear Admiral Frank Thorp speaks about his family’s longstanding service, within and outside of the military. He speaks about the principle of America’s service men and women serving and defending our Constitution, representing freedom and people’s desire to fight for it and give up what they have, as embodied by Bob Feller. Rear Admiral Thorp speaks about being in the Pentagon on 9/11 and reminds listeners that valor is not a word to be taken lightly.

“In his final active duty assignment in the Navy, Rear Adm. (ret) Frank Thorp, IV was the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Information (CHINFO), serving as principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and providing strategic communication counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. He led the Navy’s Public Affairs community of more than 2,500 active and reserve officer, enlisted, and civilian communication professionals.

Prior to this assignment, Thorp served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense (joint communication) where he was responsible for overseeing Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to shape department-wide communication doctrine, organization, and training for the joint force. As director of the strategic communication integration group (SCIG) secretariat, Thorp also led DoD efforts for strategic communication auspices of the deputy secretary of defense, DoD strategic communication plans.

He served as the special assistant for public affairs to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2003 until 2005. In 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Thorp was deployed to Qatar as the chief of media for U.S. Central Command (forward).

From 2000 to 2003, he served as special assistant for public affairs to the Chief of Naval Operations. His other assignments have included serving as the public affairs officer for the Bureau of Naval Personnel; Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Joint Task Force Middle East; Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). He has also served as director of public affairs and congressional notification at the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs.

Thorp has also had several previous assignments at the Navy’s Office of Information. As a commander, he served as assistant chief of information for media operations. Other assignments include executive assistant to the chief of information, national news desk action officer, and aide to the chief of information.

Prior to specializing in public affairs, Thorp served as a surface warfare officer forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan.

In 1999, Thorp completed a fellowship at Hill & Knowlton Worldwide Public Affairs in Washington D.C. He has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism and public affairs from American University and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Thorp is a 1986 graduate of the Defense Information School and a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in operations analysis.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), and the Navy Commendation Medal (3)” (United States Navy website).

http://actofvaloraward.project-url.com/american-valor-podcast/

Podcast: Mr. Buster Olney on National Baseball HOFer, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Coleman

Mr. Buster Olney shares his upbringing around the game of baseball, his career as a sports columnist covering the game, Hall of Fame voting and personal memories and stories from baseball legends Tony Gwynn and Jerry Coleman, including Gwynn’s gregarious personality and Coleman’s humility towards his service and respect for his comrades who did not return home from war.

Jerry Coleman: Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Coleman is the only Major League Baseball player to serve in combat in two wars, flying 57 combat missions in the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber during World War II and 63 close air support and interdiction strike missions earning six more Air Medals during the Korean War. Lieutenant Colonel Coleman was selected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the Ford C. Frick Award recipient as an announcer in 2005 (Bob Feller Foundation).

Buster Olney: “Robert “Buster” Olney is a senior writer for ESPN.com and reporter for ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball telecasts. He joined ESPN in June 2003 to cover baseball for all ESPN entities, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS and SportsCenter. He writes a daily column for ESPN.com and hosts the popular Baseball Tonight podcast as well as appearing on ESPN’s baseball studio show by the same name.

Olney’s two favorite events he has covered for ESPN are the 2014 and 2016 postseasons. “Particularly,” he said, “the historic performances of Madison Bumgarner.”

Olney began covering baseball in 1989 as the Nashville Banner’s beat reporter for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He later covered the San Diego Padres for the San Diego Union-Tribune (1993 – 1994) and the Baltimore Orioles (Baltimore Sun, 1995 – 1996). He arrived at ESPN after six years at the New York Times covering the Mets (1997) and the Yankees (1998 – 2001)” (ESPN Press Room).

American Valor Podcast

Podcast: Dr. Himesh Lakhlani: Family, Education, and Support of Country

Dr. Himesh Lakhlani speaks about lessons learned from the difficult situations his parents lived through. His parents taught him hard work, commitment, humility, and the value of family. Himesh is passionate about providing awareness to individuals who do not have a family history of pursuing higher education. Himesh defines valor as standing up for others who don’t have the ability to stand up on their own. Dr. Lakhlani emphasizes the importance of spending time with family. Dr. Lakhlani currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation.

“Dr. Himesh Lakhani was born in a suburb of Mumbai, India and at the age of three immigrated with his parents and younger brother to Rochester, New York. While obtaining his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, he studied Political Science with a focus on Immigration Law. His passion and commitment to helping those that share similar backgrounds began in young adulthood. After graduating college, he went on to attend Medical School abroad and received a Doctor of Medicine in 2007 with a core focus of Infectious Disease, Healthcare Administration and Emergency Medicine. He was the first in his family to graduate High School, graduate College and graduate from Medical School. He became involved in higher education after graduation from medical school and has now spent over a decade in both health care and education. He was elected President and Chief Executive Officer for Jacksonville Management & Staffing in 2014, which operated as a Clinical and Administrative healthcare management firm. Since his relocation to Houston in 2017, he has served as Campus President of The College of Health Care Professions. He has been an advocate of access to health care and education to economically disadvantaged communities and has worked with affiliates of Mayor Turner’s office and the Harris County of Department of Public Health. Himesh was recently recognized as the “2019 Beacon of Light” by the University of Houston’s Immigration Law Center for his work with the immigration population in Houston, Texas” (Actofvaloraward.org).

American Valor Podcast

American Valor Podcast: MLB Veteran Doug Flynn on Baseball, Big Red Machine, Community Service

Mr. Doug Flynn is the latest person to join the American Valor Podcast!

Doug Flynn grew up playing several sports in Lexington, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky and Somerset Community College before playing 11 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Mr. Flynn was a member of the 1975 Big Red Machine team that won the World Series. He is currently a broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds and actively supports service men and women through multiple non-profit organizations, including Hope for the Warriors (supporting injured veterans and their families) at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, USACares (supporting family members of military personnel) and Save the Warriors (supporting veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD).

Mr. Flynn speaks about his blessed childhood growing up in Kentucky and the impact of playing several sports including basketball and baseball at the University of Kentucky. He shares stories of trying out for the Cincinnati Reds and his tribulations rising through the team’s minor league system before playing with the Big Red Machine and National Baseball Hall of Fame managers Sparky Anderson and Joe Torre in his Major League career. Doug shares lessons learned from some of the greatest coaches and players of his generation.

Doug preaches playing for the team name on the front of the jersey rather than the name on the back and speaks to the importance of community involvement, sharing stories of his support for service men and women, often with his good friend National Baseball Hall of Famer and Bob Feller Award recipient Mr. Johnny Bench. Hear Mr. Flynn’s thoughts on the current state of the game of baseball and his experience of going on tour with the Oak Ridge Boys during the 1981 Major League Baseball players’ strike.

American Valor Podcast

Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly: Submarines, Service to Others and Valor

Vice Admiral Donnelly speaks about what it means to be part of a three generation Naval family and the values he developed at the Naval Academy: integrity, honor and service above one’s self. Learn about life on a submarine and the rationale behind the decisions to allow women to serve in the submarine force and the elimination of smoking on submarines.

Vice Admiral Donnelly encourages young people to start their career in the military because it prepares one for success in life. Military service is an opportunity to develop self-discipline, teamwork and the other skills critical for success in any field: communication, leadership, integrity, doing things right and doing hard things well.

For Vice Admiral Donnelly, valor is the application of sacrifice and service to others in a time of great peril. To live with valor means to act with valor.

Donnelly lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife of 39 years. They have three married children who each became naval officers following college. They are happily accumulating grandchildren.

American Valor Podcast