S1E3. We speak with Karl Monger, a veteran Army officer and Ranger, as he shares with us about finding your purpose and staying functionally fit in all areas of your life.

Karl’s book, Common Sense Transition: A Call to Action and a Blueprint for Change.

The Simon Sinek video he referred to, VetXpo 2019 – Simon Sinek. 

More information about Karl Monger.


Aaron Spatz  00:05

You’re listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers that detail their personal and professional journeys in business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show, we’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continual self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, hit the subscribe button. You’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. Well, Carl, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to be on the show.

Karl Monger  01:05

Aaron, I appreciate it. It’s

Aaron Spatz  01:07

great to be here. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So we would, we would certainly love to hear more of your story. Tell us a bit about your background. What compelled you to join the military and give us a little bit of an idea of what of what you did?

Karl Monger  01:21

Oh, I was tricked into joining the military. I had no idea what I wanted to do. And I was going to college and I was studying engineering, but I was focusing more on beer and women than I was on engineering. I saw a poster on the wall for a marksmanship class during enrollment for the next semester. And it turns out that that was a ROTC class in disguise. So I got signed up for the marksmanship class because I thought it would be an easy A, and hit it off with some of the guys that were there. And they had a weekend trip planned to go to Fall River, Kansas, where there are some great little cuts where you can do some climbing and the professor military science was Greenbrae range tab, Vietnam veteran Colonel that looked like he just stepped out of the John Wayne movie. And he had, he taught us classes on how to make a solar still and how to make little snares. And so just basically got me hooked. And then he stroked my ego a couple months later by telling me that I should apply for a scholarship. So I did and I got my last three years of college paid for by the army. And interestingly enough that disqualified me from any GI Bill benefits, even though it was only three years and not a full for a while. But but they paid for school. And that was a fair deal. I understood going in and came out of that with a commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant. After Desert Storm. We had helicopter crash that killed 12 out of 13 on board. And I knew all of them and I was very close with a couple of them, and let reordered my priorities. And the following year. This was now July of 1993. I had two young daughters, I was married and decided to leave the army and go back to Wichita, Kansas and try and figure out how to transition. And so a lot of the things that I do now, with veteran transition come from my own experiences and lessons learned sometimes easy, sometimes hard along the way. Gallup view is a nonprofit that grew from a very loosely connected group of volunteers through mostly LinkedIn. They were Army Rangers that were well I organized this after 911 mile boss, the guy whose office I walked into and told him I was quitting the army was a guy named jovoto. That time there’s a major and when 911 happened, he was the colonel commanding the Ranger Regiment. And he just retired about five or six months ago as the CENTCOM commander is a four star. But I had, I’d stayed in touch with him through between the time that I had left active duty 93 until a one I didn’t have any contact with him, but I was still in the Army Reserve System. So I had access to email. So after he jumped into Afghanistan, in October of 2001, I sent him an email, congratulating him telling him I was proud and jealous, and he ended up inviting me to come back to Fort Benning, for his Change command in 2003. So now, it’d been 10 years since I’d left. And I, as I saw some of the men that I’d served with, I knew what they were hiding. Because when it comes to physical injuries and other things, you don’t report that stuff in the Ranger Battalion because you’ll get sent to a different unit. And so they were hiding this stuff, and I could tell and some of it was pretty significant. Some By the alcohol to try to cover up things that they might be trying to deal with physical injuries that they don’t want to talk about back sore necks or, or knees. And, and I knew that when they left the military that none of that stuff would be documented in their military records. Because I’m, I’m in that boat, I have an artificial hip that the VA says is not connected to the 10 years I served as an infantry officer. So which is ridiculous, because I had symptoms back then. But I never reported it. So I never got my medical records, starting to put a network together of other rangers across the country that could, by virtue of their, I guess you could call it emotional authority, because they’ve been there and done that. They can have conversations with Rangers that are leaving the military to help them better transition. And that grew from Oh, three to 2009. It grew to be 1000 Rangers, and then in 2010, we turned it into a nonprofit and immediately opened it up to any branch any better any era, not just Rangers. And we’ve been at it for 10 years now.

Aaron Spatz  06:06

I’d like to take a minute and just go back, if you don’t mind, just real quickly and cover what that was like for you. When you you made mention about that. helicopter accident? And how it caused you to reprioritize your life? Would you mind give us a little bit more insight into that?

Karl Monger  06:26

Well, you know, when when you suffer a loss like that, it’s something that never leaves you. I was in the last time I went into the VA for a checkup. The little nurse gal was asking me questions through her checklist. And she said, Do you did you experience anything traumatic on active duty? Yes. Involve loss of your friends? Yes. How often you think about it every day. And then when she asked me the piece of paper back, she had checked the PTSD blog. Now I don’t consider myself to have PTSD. But that’s, it’s interesting that she went there, right, because it just becomes a part of who you are. But that process is I went through, I’d spent years not being home with my with my kids. And now I was looking at the potential of more time away from them. And because circumstances had changed at the unit, I was probably looking at a 12 month trip over to Korea before I went on to Command General Staff College. And I didn’t want to do that to my family. I did the future was a little uncertain. And and so I made a couple of errors. Career wise, because I didn’t reach out to some of the mentors that had put me in the Ranger Battalion who were now general officers, I should have reached out and said, Hey, what do you think I should do here? But I didn’t do it. I was too proud. And you know, if I had, if I had done that maybe I would have stayed in I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. But you can’t go back. And second guess everything that you did you have to you have to collect all that up as information that’s put you where you are and use it to move forward. Most of the men and women that I talked to, did not plan on doing three or four years getting college benefits came out. They planned on staying in for 20 years in retirement. And then somebody died who was named. they misbehave, maybe get a DUI, they got ahead of toxic chain of command. Something happened that caused them to say Screw this, I’m not going to reenlist. And as they leave with that little shadow hanging over them, sometimes it’s a pretty heavy cloud, then that starts to color, their attitude as they go forward. And if they like in my case, I was I’d made this decision to get out I was I was not wanting to talk to people about why I wanted to get out. I didn’t want to talk about the 12 guys that had died. And but people would say why don’t you Well, what you were in a Ranger Battalion? Well, why’d you get out? I don’t want to talk about that. Well, why not? You know, so it puts you in a difficult situation. And if, if you’re doing that at a bar, then that might cause you to go right to the bottom of that bottle of whiskey. So one of the things that happens, and I hear it from a lot of veterans, when they either go to school or go to work in my case, I didn’t go to school because I already had a college degree. But I’m looking for I’m looking for meaningful employment I want it’s funny because I asked retiring Lieutenant Colonel the other day what he wanted to do, and he gave the exact same answer that I gave almost 30 years ago. And that was I want to make a difference. I don’t want to work in a cubicle and I want to be in control my own schedule. And well, then you probably better start your own business because otherwise you know, you’re gonna not have all of those, you’re gonna work in a cubicle, you’re not going to have control your schedule. And, you know, so anyway, that was kind of funny that, that that attitude hasn’t changed, right. But so this company that I applied for the Back in told me, their human resource manager told me that they valued Initiative and the ability to think outside the box. And they didn’t want soldiers because all we knew how to do was March information and follow orders. And it was, it was probably the most insulting thing anybody’s ever told me professionally. Because I could tell that gal, get out of your chair, I’ll come do your job. And I will do it better than you. I don’t even know what all it entails. And I will still do it better than you. And maybe that attitude was coming across as too arrogant, but so I didn’t get the job. And, and now I’m a little bit in panic mode, because I like said I had two young kids, my wife at the time didn’t have a college degree. And so I was I was the one that was going to find a job that had health insurance, because we didn’t have any kind of other thing to fall back on. And like a lot of veterans, I took the first job that was offered. To me, that was decent. It wasn’t the same amount of pay that I had, when I was in the military, it certainly was not the same level of authority and respect. And it was a very frustrating situation. And after a couple of years, I was had to either quit or get fired. Because I was putting my head against the owners of the company. And fortunately for me, I had a veteran that reached out that took me under his wing and hired me to come work for him. And drugged me kicking and screaming from the other company because it was moving into a field that I knew nothing about. And a profession that I didn’t particularly have the highest regard for. And it was doing sales, right. So construction equipment, specifically, I didn’t know anything about it, I’d never driven a tractor, I’d never, I’d never run a backhoe. And now he wants me to go out and represent this equipment in front of people that have done their whole lives. And, and he said, you know, you’ve demonstrated in the military, the ability to learn, and you have discipline and integrity. And he said, well I can do is I can teach you the iron, I can teach you the sales skills. If you decide this is what you want to do, and you apply yourself to it, I will help you be successful. And so for the next almost 15 years, I worked for him and a couple of different companies left one other places a couple of times. And then then he was one of the he was an Army veteran, he was one of the ones that helped me come up with the initial concept to form Galax. You. And you know, it’s if you have a veteran that is leaving the military going to college, there’s almost a parallel thing that happens. Because a lot of times the kids in the college class are way more immature than the veteran, they may only be separated by three or four years of age. But they’re separated by three or four generations, in terms of maturity. And so you got kids in the class that are screwing around, that don’t really care about learning, and you have a veteran there that is very concerned about their future and wants to make a difference. And they want to understand this material going forward, it becomes a situation that sometimes creates some conflict. And when there’s conflict in a situation like that the veterans going to lose because they’re the crazy veteran with post traumatic stress. Yeah. The other thing that happens sometimes is that veteran doesn’t know what they want to do. When they get out like the colonel that I mentioned, you I want to control my own schedule, I don’t want to work in a cubicle and I want to make a difference. Okay, well go find a college degree that does that. No, it’s so so now you’re you’re really not sure what you want to do. But it’s hard to get a job. You don’t want to live your parents. But hey, the GI Bill pays me enough money to rent apartment. So I’m going to take classes, I’ll take general classes, easy classes. So I get my GI Bill money. And then I’ll figure it out later. Well, three or four years down the road, gi bills are running out, and they haven’t figured it out. So now they’ve just basically burned through four years of their life did not get an education. And now they’re back to ground zero. So it’s it’s unfortunately, it’s all too common that that happens. And if they screw up along the way, if they have interpersonal conflicts in class have to drop out whatever the VA will reach in your bank account and take that tuition money back. Oh, well, without warning you. And, and so that can create some financial stress that that that veteran doesn’t need at the time.

Aaron Spatz  14:26

Wow. Well, that was actually something I didn’t even know and I’m sure a lot of people don’t even consider that is the the risk of if you’re not performing well in school, or you get kicked out for whatever reason, then, yeah, the US government’s gonna come back for their money. They will. Yep. And they will not warn you. That’s nuts. Yeah. Sounds about right. Take us through some of the other things that you’ve seen. So you know, you described your transition experience. You talked a little bit about where you’ve been Where you’ve traveled thus far? And a little bit about your work through Gallup few, would you care bring us all the way up to speed. So you’d covered some of your work in the first few years post transition, but take us through your career progression from from that point forward?

Karl Monger  15:19

Well, I think just being more aware of really the challenges that face veterans because I had a gut feeling, or somebody was difficult to articulate what it was, but what happens for most veterans, and I generalize, because I see it so much. When they’re in the military, they know their purpose, they know their mission. And if they have any, any confusion about it whatsoever, your squad leader, platoon sergeants our majors got ran right down your throat, right. And it will be very clear what your mission is. When you leave the military squad leader pins are in they’re gone. So now, sometimes, and I I’ve made this, I don’t know if I call it a mistake, but I did this. So when I went the first job that I had, was working for a beverage suffering beverage bottler. And that became my new mission. Right, I was going to work 20 hours a day, because I was salaried. So I didn’t have punch clock, I was gonna work 20 hours a day, I was going to get there early, I was going to leave late, I was going to dig in everything I was going to solve problems, because this is now my mission. Well, guess what, that did not match with the culture of that company. Because they’re used to people doing just enough to get by. And the leadership of that company had allowed themselves to slip into a comfort zone, that, for instance, the Vice President operations, would walk through the bottling line where the open bottles are going down the production line, he’s smoking a cigarette, and I’m telling him, You cannot smoke in here. Because, you know, it’s it’s a health factor. It’s there’s all kinds of bad things about that. And he would tell me to pound sand because he’s vice president, and I’m just some guy that works there. So it’s incongruent, for you to find your purpose and mission in your civilian occupation, unless you move into something that is like CIA or law enforcement, you know, if you if you’re still supporting and defending the Constitution, or you’re serving your community, then then that’s different that that can give you another sense of mission, like you had an altar, a lot of veterans don’t want to leave the military and go carry a gun. Or the things that have happened in the military don’t want them to be in a situation that an EMS or an EMT or somebody else might run into. So they’ll steer clear and go to something else. So how do you recreate that sense of purpose and mission? Without that, then you’re you’re kind of floundering. And work becomes frustrating relationships become difficult. You feel like you’re, you’re swimming with 1000 miles an hour, but you’re not going anywhere. So you got to step back and you got to identify, you have to separate what you do for a profession to make money. And what is your mission, because in most cases, and if you think about the CIA or law enforcement, that that sense of purpose comes from serving something greater than yourself, right, you’re serving your country, you’re serving your community, when you’re selling pot, or you’re selling mobile phones, or you’re trying to become I don’t know an accountant or whatever that is, that falls very short of purpose. But the money that you make at that job can provide you the resources you need to pursue your purpose. So if you, for instance, are drawn to animals who volunteered in animal shelter, if you want to help people go to the Salvation Army or a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, find some way that you can get involved in your local area to help beings they could be four legged beings or two legged beings that have worse health situation than yourself. It puts a lot of things into perspective. And it gives you that extra little fire when you have helped someone through something and they turn to you and give you some sort of appreciation. Yes, you think about an animal shelter a lot of veterans like love dogs. So you go for to an animal shelter, if it’s a kill shelter, if that dog didn’t get adopted, they’re gonna put it down. If that dog is well behaved, knows how to walk on a leash knows how to sit, then it probably has a much greater chance of being adopted. So maybe your mission is I’m gonna say as many as dogs I can because I’m gonna train them how to walk on a leash and sit. So every Saturday I’m going to go spend four hours volunteering at an animal shelter. It doesn’t have to be an animal shelter but needs to be something that is greater than yourself. That makes a tremendous amount of difference, because now you’re bringing that sense of purpose back, your purpose is fulfilled by helping other veterans, then use your GI Bill, go to school to become a counselor, rehabilitation counselor vocational rehabilitation, something like that is going to help you to help more of those veterans doesn’t pay very well. But, you know, that might be a way for you to move into a profession. And if you’re a veteran that has a disability rating, then you could augment it with that, you know, one of the things that the VA does that, in my opinion is an absolute atrocity is declaring a veteran 100% disabled. And then when you kick the unemployable part on there, they pay him enough money that they don’t, there’s no expectation for them to do anything, there’s no requirement for them to volunteer, you know, even even if someone has a severe traumatic brain injury, they can still do something. But to tell them that their sense of value now is that $2,800 A month or whatever it is that they get, and just go away, shut up and be quiet, that’s a terrible thing to do to somebody. And, and those veterans that, that get that 100%, they need to make a special effort to go and find and participate in something that gives them mission and purpose. Or, by the time they’re 50 years old, they’re not going to want to live anymore.

Aaron Spatz  21:25

Your your perspective on this is incredibly telling and I and I think it’s very wise in terms of how we, as veterans tend to obsess over the dedication and the commitment in the service to the Constitution. And I think you said, I think you said that so well. Because we focus on that, that kind of beat that does become our mission. And but the reality is, like you’d said a few moments ago, if you’re not going back into public sector type of service, whether it’s at the federal level or state, local, you’re you’re no longer serving in that capacity. And so therefore, you you really do need to understand what your purpose is, and what and what your personal mission is. And really kind of almost rewire your brain and understand that. Your job may simply be the vehicle that enables you to go live out your purpose, whatever that may be. Or if you’re fortunate enough to have them be one in the same, then that’s obviously a win win. Also, am I hearing you right?

Karl Monger  22:32

Now, I think that search for purpose, is the thing that creates a hang up for so many veterans, and I have some that will say, Well, my purpose now is to be the best dad I can be. And that’s a temporary thing, because that kid’s gonna grow up. Three years from now they’re going to be in baseball or soccer all the time. And you’re going to go to the games, but you’re still going to have a little bit of a hole in there. So do you have to be the best dad, you can be? Absolutely. But why not bring that child with you, when you go volunteer somewhere, right? Help them understand that there are people in your local area, they’re worse off than your families, help them get things in perspective and maybe line them up to be able to have a greater appreciation for service going forward. But I think that’s such a tremendous, it doesn’t have to be something that you do 40 extra hours a week over your job. It just needs to be something where you’re making a difference. And most people don’t do it, I was talking about the the VAs ability to devalue or dehumanize a veteran by paying them 100% and calling them unemployable. You know, so your, your value now is to this to our community is the is the dollar value that we pay you every month to not do anything. And I know veterans that have severe traumatic brain injuries that are crying out for a sense of purpose. So to put them into a position where they can talk to other veterans that are going through something similar to them, you know, arm them with the ability to let’s Corey Rensburg for example is a is a friend of mine, good friend of mine, and Corey was Army Ranger that suffered a traumatic brain injury. One of his other guys in His unit was killed in the attack. And, and a couple of years ago, when Obama was still president, he brought Corey to the State of the Union address and Cory got the longest standing ovation in the history of the house. His dad had to help hold on to his arm so he could stand up and wave to the crowd. Cory talks like he’s 10 sheets to the wind drunk because of his injury. And there are some things that that injury is done that is has caused other issues and kind of some of the ways that he behaves with people. But his mom reached out to A few years ago and said, Cory has a lot of time on his hands now. And he needs a purpose, what can you do? So here we got a guy that can’t, he can’t walk unaided. He can’t talk well enough on the phone to be able to, for anybody to understand him, he can’t throw out a car. And she’s laying down a challenge for me to give him a volunteer job to make a difference. So, after thinking about it for a couple of days, I called him back and I said, well, I need somebody to have my email password. Because I get so many emails, I need somebody to go in and look at my email every day. And if there’s a veteran that’s reaching out that needs help, I need to know about it immediately. And I’ll miss it otherwise. So every day Cory, and he’s done this now for probably four years. He logs into my email, and he scans my email and he looks for anything that he thinks I need to know about as soon as he latches on to something that he thinks I need to know about. He texts me Facebook messages me emails me, he makes sure I know about it. And, you know, why aren’t we doing something like that with every veteran out there that they rate 100%? Anybody, everybody can do something. And it’s just too easy to just dismiss them and say, I go away.

Aaron Spatz  26:13

That’s so true. So true. And I like how you your thought process, as far as tying in the VA disability pay with being actively engaged and doing something rather than just paying you to not do anything. I think that’s a unfortunately, that’s not the way a lot of people look at it. And so it’s, it’s fascinating to hear

Karl Monger  26:36

your perspective. Yeah, yeah. But, but the downside of that is what your your soul is crushed. Right? Yeah, because there’s two, there are two major categories of veterans that I see. And I may irritate some people by saying this, when it comes to 100%. There’s those that have 100% disability and wish they didn’t have it, right, because their injury or whatever, they would give all that money back all if only they could speak again, ride a motorcycle again, or whatever. And then you have another category of veteran that the holy grail is to get to that 100% disability, so they get the money. And, and I think that in the second category, if we’re able to find a way for that person who feels worthless, who would give them money back if they could be whole, if we can find a way for them to engage and give them meaning to their life. And it could be a partnership with vocational rehabilitation counselors across the country to find local ways that they can volunteer in their community, right? You could, that veteran Cory could be a greeter at the Humane Society on Saturday morning and just say hi to people when they come in a checkout dock. I mean, there’s it’s as limitless as our creativity is to come up with something like that. The other ones, if all they’re in it is for the money, and you throw something on there that says, hey, you’re going to be a greeter at the Humane Society every Saturday morning, they might be less likely to just go for the money.

Aaron Spatz  28:09

That’s fascinating perspective. I love your viewpoint on that. Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at Gallup few and a little bit more about that great nonprofit.

Karl Monger  28:21

So Gala. Fue, is an organization that performs triage for veterans. A mission says we want to help every veteran transition from active military service to a love of civilian life, of hope and purpose. And we don’t differentiate by era. So if you’re a Vietnam veteran, or a Korean War, Desert Storm, or post 911, does not matter. We want to engage with that veteran, wherever they are. There are big nonprofits out there that won’t help somebody that’s pre 911. Which I don’t understand the philosophy behind that. But when when you look at the VA suicide numbers, they say right now their latest study is 20 veterans a day, on average, take their own life. But if you dig into the statistics, seven out of 10 of those veterans are over the age of 50. So we’re getting more post 911 veterans that are getting over the age of 50. But for a while they have there has not been you know, when they did this study, most of the post 911 veterans were not over the age of 50. So those veterans that are at greatest risk for suicide are the ones that big nonprofits won’t touch. And I think that’s, I think that’s a travesty. So we engage with them where they are. We do what we call an Asmath check. Because we want to, if you’ve ever done any night land navigation, you got to stop there once a while do a map check. Make sure you’re stalling asthma. And if you’re off, you got to get back onto it. So most veterans after they’ve got Now, if they’re not living intentionally towards whatever their objective is, and a lot of them don’t know what that is, because they just they haven’t gone through that process. There’s, there’s a, one of my favorite quotes from the wisest Catcher in the world, Yogi Berra. And he said, If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably gonna end up somewhere else. And when you think about a veteran that doesn’t know what they want to do with their life, and they’re just kind of drifting aimlessly. If you turn that into an Asmath, and you’re trying to follow with a template, you’re going to be all over the place. So identifying this, where they are right now today, we call that the Asmath. Check. And it’s 25 statements, that a veteran rates, one is not at all and 10 is a whole bunch. And there are statements in there that cover five areas of functional fitness. And we call it fitness because you can’t measure wellness. If you ask a veteran to define fitness, that’s something you measure wellness is a feeling. So we call a fitness, we call it functional. Because when we have a discussion, I want to give you something that you can use right now today when you leave not something some you have to go look something up or take some medications or theoretical has to be functional, than the five areas of functional fitness is physical. Which could you think about? The first thing that goes out the window when you leave the military is your daily PT program. And then 10 years down the road, you put on 20 pounds, your back hurts, and you can’t figure out why is my back hurts? Well, maybe it’s because you’re carrying around extra 20 pounds or more. But But understanding do they follow a fitness plan? Do they have a diet that they stick to? Do they have workout buddies, which is the most important part. And so it’s one of the statements says, I have workout buddies, and we meet frequently once, not at all times a whole bunch. So when I go down through the physical side, if if I have a veteran that is talking about being depressed, and they’re, they’re not satisfied with their life, first place that I look on the physical side, and if they score low on that, I just asked him how much weight have you put on since he left military, and it’ll be 3040 50 100 pounds. So okay, so how do you feel good about that? You know, how does that work for you. And if they’re not satisfied with it, then they tell you what you go. Every day this week you go walk for a mile at a as brisk pace as you can accomplish so you don’t hurt yourself. And then come back and call me on the phone and let me know if you feel better. Right? I mean, it can be just as simple as that. The other four areas functional social fitness. One of the questions in functional social fitness is the only place I go for fun or bars. Why one’s not at all times a whole bunch makes them have to think about the answer a little bit. So if their default for partying is going to bars, how are you making meaningful relationships? How are you going to meet if you’re not married? How are you going to meet? Do you want the person that you meet and potentially marry to be someone you picked up in a bar? So how do you meet people not in a setting that revolves around alcohol? And we have a discussion about that. One of the statements is Facebook stresses me up one to 10. A veteran the other day to put eight, eight out of 10 Facebook stressed him out. Okay, do you know you can log off? You know, you don’t have to read it. You don’t have to look at that stuff. It’s you go a week without looking at Facebook, and then tell me if you feel better. Functional professional fitness is following a budget. Its career education, and its professional professional networking. Functional spiritual fitness is not Catholic, Buddhist Jewish? It is. Do you live with a sense of love for others? And are you thankful for your life. And then the most important one is functional emotional fitness. And one of the statements in there is I believe life is worth living, and one to 10. And if anybody scores below a seven, I’m probably going to pick up the phone and call him and ask him what’s going on. When you when you’re able to kind of create that this is a baseline they Asmath checks a baseline of where you are in your life across those five areas. Now we can start looking for things in each area that you can apply that you can start using to try to move yourself towards whatever your objective is. And if you don’t have an objective yet, then your very first objective is to find an objective, right? So you always have an objective. And, and it’s too easy to fall into the I’ll just watch TV, I’ll drink fall asleep. I’ll get up tomorrow, maybe I’ll look for a job, maybe I won’t. And then you’re 510 years down the road or you’re 50 years old, and you’re thinking man, it’s been 30 years since I was in the military and I’m I’m never going to be part of anything like that again. And that’s when you decide you don’t need to live.

Aaron Spatz  34:46

Well. That’s a phenomenal insight. And you actually took some of my thunder because I was actually just here to ask you about about your book common sense transition in new or you’re quoting that line for line because I’ve made it a point to read the book. So in full, full disclosure, he had given me a copy of this when we’ve met previously, and I’m so grateful for that. And I had intended to ask you about that I was actually going to point out the functional fitness chapter and your thoughts on it. So thanks. Thanks for beating me to the punch. You bet. No worries. Yeah. If people want to get your book coming since transition, how can they get their hands on it?

Karl Monger  35:28

It’s on Amazon, he can you can order it on Amazon, I’m about to get the audio approved, all the files are uploaded, I’m just waiting for the, for the approval to come back from the audible folks. So that’ll be that’ll be out soon. You can get it right now digitally. Or you can order a hardcopy if you want.

Aaron Spatz  35:47

Nice. Well, I was gonna ask you, you know, other questions on transition, but I feel like you’ve already kept them pretty well. And if there’s any, if people have other questions, I really would refer them to your book. Because I think it’s, I think it’s full of a lot of great stories, but a lot of great visual representations of the transition in how to do that. Well. And no doubt, as a guy who helps people through this process. This is a this is a tremendously important and just foundational problem that people find themselves in. And it’s

Karl Monger  36:25

not just veterans. Yeah, it’s it’s universal. It’s a human problem. But I think it’s more acute and veterans, because they have experienced purpose. Do you think about your friends that didn’t go in the military, they never experienced that mission and purpose. So they don’t know what they’re missing. So it’s easier to go forward, not knowing what you’re missing, right. But when you have a veteran that has experienced that, and they want that, again, they want that camaraderie and, and sense of brotherhood, then it becomes extremely difficult to recreate it. And unfortunately, and I’m a member of American Legion, VFW both have been forever. And they are not doing the things posts level. At national level, they’re great at advocating for benefits. But at post level, they’re not doing the kinds of things that need to be done to bring veterans together. So they can have conversations like this and identify those that are struggling and help them out.

Aaron Spatz  37:30

Tell me what you think of this. As there’s something you’d said earlier, that kind of sparked a thought. And I just want to see if you think I’m way off track here, and that’s okay. I’m, I’m wrong just as often as I’m right, which is all good. But what but one visual that I had was thinking of like a professional athlete. And you take so much time, if you’re that professional athlete is taking years to get there. And granted, maybe people’s military careers weren’t quite like that before. I think for a lot of folks, they knew they’re going to be military from an early age some, some it was, you know, you know, very random decision, they were kind of at the end of the rope, to figure out what to do but but there’s a large group of people that knew that that was something that was gonna be part of their life. And so you’ve trained for it, you’ve spent so much time on it, and then you get done, and then it’s all over and I can’t I can’t help but think how that may translate to those in professional sports, where they’ve trained on this that this is all they’ve done their entire life. And then they go do three, four or five seasons. You know, as a football player baseball, basketball, they get out and then they they have no idea what the heck to do. Do you see any similarity there? Or am I just going crazy?

Karl Monger  38:46

Well, I think there’s I think there is some similarity there. But but you know, when you get into the professional sports world, it’s seems like I’m probably going to irritate some more people here. There’s too many babies out there. You know, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the things that Dak Prescott did with the Dallas Cowboys and when Tony Romo stepped back and let him be the the quarterback I thought that was a phenomenal ability to show some leadership on remote spot. And then what happens last year last last preseason Zeke Elliott doesn’t want to show up for training camp because he’s hold now for for more 10s of millions of dollars because he wants to be the highest paid running back in the history of all the NFL. And he gets it they finally they fold and they give it to him but he doesn’t show up for any of the preseason stuff. Right? So what’s what message does that send to other members of the team? And now back is following Zeke mole because Dak is apparently renegotiating his contract and he’s saying you know what, I don’t know if I’m going to show up for preseason games. Has it worked for his buddy last year? So, you know, show me the money kind of thing. And that, that, that whole, that whole thing to me is, it’s just screams of no leadership. And, and no true sense of purpose. You know, these guys, they’re entertainers. They’re they exist to play football, not because they’re a football stud, but because I enjoy watching if you’re entertaining me with your football skills, and guess what, when you can entertain with your football skills anymore, they’re gonna be somebody else that’s just as good or maybe even better than you that’s going to come along and do it. So enjoy the couple years that you have out there plan, but have a plan, right? Be smart and have a plan. But the whole, you know, you got me off on a little bit of a tangent there. But just imagine, imagine the company commander or first sergeant and a unit that’s getting ready to deploy in a couple of months. And they say, No, I am not going to show up until I get a closer parking spot to the office. Right. Yeah, I mean, that’s not you don’t even that doesn’t even correlate in your brain, that one of us would do that. Because we would, because, because in the army, there’s this little tradition and Simon Sinek wrote about it, it’s called leaders eat last. Right, the leader doesn’t eat until he or she is made sure that everybody that is subordinate to them, has gotten everything that they need. And then, you know, if the mess origin screwed up, didn’t have enough that that company commander is going to know. But that that’s one way to guarantee that everybody else that’s on that team is taken care of. And when you get in the world of professional sports is not a leaders eat last kind of world.

Aaron Spatz  41:51

I always like to leave the last segment, for my guests, I would love to just leave this open to you if there’s any last thoughts if you had, if there’s any that you want to circle back to and cover down on more, or if there’s anything else that you’re working on that you that you’d love to share.

Karl Monger  42:07

Every February, we do an event that’s called Run Ranger run, it is a global effort to get people to become aware of veteran issues and how they might be able to impact them. It’s also it really has three levels two, the first one is the veteran awareness. The second one is it raises money for our organization, we don’t have any big grants, we don’t have a million dollars in the bank. And and it’s people that are going out and doing run Ranger run that are donating $50 and $100 here and there that give us the ability to do what we do. And the third part to run Ranger run is it encourages people to get out everyday and Deuce do some kind of healthy activity, whether it’s walking, swimming, biking, rock climbing, you know, we don’t care could be on a treadmill. But but it’s a commitment to everyday get out and do a couple of miles of something. The program is we’re right around 4000 people around the world that have signed up to be what we call athletes or participants in it. And it’s cheap to sign up 35 bucks, get a t shirt that says run Ranger run on it. And then we want you to take pictures and share it on social media. We just released over the weekend of video of Simon Sinek who came here to our conference that we we hold September, October every year. This one was the end of October. And it’s called that Expo it is real raw conversations from veterans who are willing to share their transition lessons so that other veterans can benefit from that and move forward. Simon Sinek came in, volunteered to come in we did not pay him or buy his plane ticket to come in. And he spent an evening with us and this video that we just released is me kind of taken him through a conversation about purpose and the things that are important to him and why why he’s so connected with the military and when you watch that and you see the gosh, there’s he falls into tears at one point. Because he was he prides himself on being someone that puts others first you know, sense of purpose and, and that kind of stuff. And he got to a place where he was in Afghanistan visiting a unit and that unit, his his flight got diverted for something that was more important than him. And then the base that he was at was getting mortared or rocketed. And he said he very quickly went to be a selfish person like you get you Sergeant will get me out of this place and back home like now. Right? And he said he said it does He descended into something he didn’t want to be. And then he realized that the only way that he can pull himself out of it was if he started doing something to benefit others. So we went back to that surgeon and he said what needs cleaned up around here and I will go clean it up. So he ended up it’s like sweeping the floor with a broom or something. But now he’s Helping the overall mission. And it made him feel much better. And it took his, his attention away from the, the fear that he felt from being there. And then when they finally got notice that they had a bird, they’re in a vehicle, and they’re heading out to the flightline to get on the bird. And a message goes out across the radio for all traffic to stop. And they were bringing in an American key IA. And so all traffic stops and renders honors while they do that. So that’s done, and he gets back in the car, and they buzz up to the flightline they get on the airplane, and find out that the airplane is them in one American coffee. And he said the plane was small enough. And there was other stuff on the plane that the only place that he had that he could lay down for the flight back across the ocean was next to the coffin. And so he’s got tears just rolling down his face. While he’s telling the story. I’m choking up just telling it. And he said, that’s when I learned the meaning of true sacrifice. So yeah, tell people to go watch that video. It’s amazing. And we’ll be over the next probably six weeks or so we’ll be releasing each of the other videos maybe a week at a time.

Aaron Spatz  46:29

Where where’s that video?

Karl Monger  46:31

It’s, you can get it on the gala few Facebook page. Okay. It’s also on the Galaxy YouTube channel.

Aaron Spatz  46:38

Excellent. All right, well, certainly encourage everyone to follow gallant view on social media and go check those videos out.

Karl Monger  46:47

And if they want to be part of run Ranger run, it’s never too late. We have people that sign up on the last day of February. And and this year, we have a program with ambassadors that if someone wants to help us grow, the run Ranger run event is you put together teams of people that don’t have to be co located. But you’re all working toward a common objective. And, and you could have someone on your team that’s a relative that lives in Chicago and somebody that’s overseas in Germany and somebody that lives in Texas, it doesn’t matter. But that that teamwork aspect has built the network more because those veterans out there that are struggling. When they find out about us and they do that as much check survey. We can help them start getting connected and finding some resources locally and run Ranger run. There’s information on the Galaxy Facebook about it. You can also go to run Ranger run.com And you can find information about the actual event.

Aaron Spatz  47:44

Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us

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