Citizenship Training For Military Vets – With Aaron Marshal: Have you heard about Patriot Academy’s Military/Veterans program? Today Aaron Marshal joins us to share his journey from protecting freedom on the battlefield, to preserving freedom as a civilian. Tune in to hear about the enriching experience of learning hands-on how our representative form of government works and how it can be applied to advance our values.

Air Date: 02/05/2020

Guest: Aaron Marshal

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, it’s WallBuilders Live. We’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. We’re always looking at those things from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And not only looking at them from that perspective, but training people on that perspective, educating folks on how to look at the issues of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective and then equipping people with the skills to influence what’s happening in their communities, in their states and in our nation.

We do all of that through many different programs. WallBuilders Live is perhaps the most far reaching of what we do because so many people listen all across the nation. 300 stations, tons of folks have downloaded on podcast and you, our listeners are what makes all of this possible. When you donate to WallBuilders Live, it impacts all of these different programs. So please do that today at wallbuilderslive.com. Clicking on the contribute button is all you got to do. You can make a one time or monthly contribution there.

There’s a lot of other ways that we’re equipping people to do this. We train legislators through our ProFamily Legislators Conference. We have pastors’ briefings in Washington, DC several times a year, you can find out more about that at wallbuilders.com and get your pastor there. Or if you’re a pastor listening, get signed up. It’s an incredible experience. We do after hours tour of the United States Capitol.

Tours and Training

It’s a spiritual heritage tour where we take some of the original documents from the library. We have a briefing the next day from all kinds of congressmen and senators and others that are involved in what’s happening at Washington DC. It’s a great experience and it’s a great way to influence the culture. So pastors, check that out pastors’ briefings there at wallbuilders.com.

Then there’s our youth training, we do several youth leadership programs. We’ve got our leadership training program that we do in the summers at WallBuilders so people can actually come into the library and train and be a part of that. That’s for 18 to 25 year olds. Check it out there at wallbuilders.com. And then we have Patriot Academy where we have 16 to 25 year olds come into a State capital and experience being a legislator, get a biblical worldview training and a constitutional training. We do that across the nation in State capitals and regions across the country.

And then we have a national academy that takes place the first week of August, where we train not only young people, 16 to 25, those were our house members, but then we have a senate full of military veterans. And then we have a citizen track of people of all ages that regardless of background, get a chance to come and learn how to be a better citizen and they get to testify in committee, they also get to go through all the workshops. But today we’re going to zero in on that military Patriot Academy. It’s an opportunity for military veterans and giving them another opportunity to serve, not that they haven’t already done enough.

But a lot of them are saying hey, “What can I do next? I’m still want to help protect the constitution and save this great country.”

Welcome Aaron Marshall

So, Patriot Academy has a program where we have military veterans come in and take over the State Senate in Texas and they use the senate floor there for a mock legislative session and a chance for military veterans to experience the very constitutional republic which they fought to preserve, and one of our graduates from that program, two time graduate from that program and good friend Aaron Marshall with us today. Aaron, thanks for coming on, brother.

Aaron:

Yeah, good to be with you.

Rick:

Hey, man, you’ve had a chance to experience this firsthand at State Capitol and then actually used a lot of the things that you learned in the real legislative session. So I want to start back at just your background. You served, I believe you were army, right?

Aaron:

That’s correct.

Rick:

Alright. Tell us a little bit about that, first, how long you serve, what that experience was like, what that taught you about being an American and why freedoms worth preserving?

Aaron:

So I joined back in 2000, I joined the Army Reserves at the time. And then in 2003, I got called up as part of the mobilization to go over for Iraqi Freedom and I spent a year in Baghdad. And one of the things that really impressed me while I was over in Baghdad was how the Iraqi people were so excited suddenly to be free and in many cases without any involvement from the American authorities, without any guidance from anyone. They were setting up, you know, school boards, town councils, things of that nature and starting to govern their own affairs.

A More Active Participant

And I realized at that moment how much I had taken for granted being born in a free society and in a society that had self-government. And so I resolved that when I returned, I was going to be a more active participant in the process and become more aware of what was going on politically and no longer take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy.

Rick:

You know, that just that experience alone, I mean, let alone the military side of it just to, you know, physically observe firsthand, another nation and people that had, you know, I guess their whole life, not had the element of freedom in their life and then suddenly, it’s being handed to them. That alone is something that most, I mean, literally 99% of Americans never experienced. I’ve never experienced it. I’ve never been anywhere like that and watch that happen. So I can actually can imagine that being pretty powerful. Did you notice whether or not to throw any of your fellow soldiers under the bus or anything on this? But did you notice whether or not that was common? I mean, did most folks that went over there and saw that whether in the military or contractors or whoever, did you see other people kind of coming to that realization? Did you have any conversations like that?

Appreciating Our Freedom

Aaron:

I don’t know whether I saw that firsthand. But I can tell you over the last several years as I’ve talked to other military veterans that going overseas and seeing the way other people live and seeing firsthand that there are other countries that don’t get to govern their own affairs and where they don’t enjoy the freedoms that we inherited as our birthright essentially, that people who’ve been overseas tend to be far more appreciative of what we have in this country.

Rick:

Yeah. You use the phrase there that I think we should key in on, govern their own affairs. Because we often use the phrase or the words: freedom, liberty, rights, those kind of things, but we don’t define them, we don’t we don’t talk about what that practically means and you just threw out a great one, govern their own affairs. And in this case, we’re, of course, talking about a people as a whole deciding what their society is going to look like through a representative body but for all of our listeners out there, I mean, that’s the essence of freedom to be able to govern their own affairs. What do you mean by that?

Aaron:

Well, I think you hit on it perfectly. Just you know, both at an individual level where we have the right to decide for ourselves how we want to live our lives, how we want to embrace our God given potential and use our God given gifts proper on a corporate level, you know, being able to elect our representatives to decide collectively what direction our country is going to go in.

Seeing It Firsthand

Rick:

You got to see that firsthand from the inside out when you came to Patriot Academy. And you came a couple years ago, we started this program and you know, our thought process, our idea was we now for 20 years train young people on this, 16 to 25 year olds given them a chance to sit on the real house floor debate bills, going to real committee rooms, live out the life of a representative government as a representative. And we started thinking, you know, we had so many military vets that came to our graduations and ceremony passed the torch to the kids that several of them kept saying, hey, we want to do this, we want to experience this. And so we finally created that program and Aaron, you were part of coming in and seeing what that was like. So tell me, let’s shift gears on it, when I come back from break here, let’s shift gears to you being in uniform on the front lines fighting for freedom and you being in somewhat of a uniform, coat and tie on the Senate floor [inaudible 07:43] for freedom, Aaron Marshall, our special guest. Stay with us, folks, talking about Patriot Academy’s military veterans program. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Patriot Academy

Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? We’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often no one is there.

God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. Patriot Academy was created to meet that need.

Patriot Academy graduates now serve in State capitals around America, in the halls of Congress, in business, in the film industry, in the pulpit, in every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them. Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit patriotacademy.com for dates and locations.

Our core program is still for young leaders, 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at patriotacademy.com

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. We got Aaron Marshall with us, he’s a graduate of Patriot Academy’s military veteran program and been there twice and been on that Senate floor, debating bills, discussing the major issues of the day and as we were going to break, Aaron talking about that shift from being in your army uniform, a military uniform on the front lines literally ready to lay down your life for freedom to trading that in and now wearing a coat and tie uniform on the Senate floor and experiencing what it’s like to make those laws that others are electing you to do. Let’s shift to that.

Through the Halls of the Capitol

What was it like when you got to Patriot Academy and you’re walking through the halls of the Capitol now, you know, even though it was a simulated session, now as a senator for the week?

Aaron:

A little bit humbling to tell you the truth. You know, be able to walk out onto the actual Texas Senate floor, I certainly felt kind of a sense of awe, sense of honor to be there. And it was very encouraging. It really built me up to be among the young people that were there for Patriot Academy and to see the enthusiasm they had for good citizenship and learning more about how to take an active role in self-governance.

Rick:

And for folks at home trying to picture this, so we basically take over the whole capital for a week. I mean, sort of we take over the house chamber is full of young people 16 to 25. And then the Senate chamber across the rotunda there is full of military veterans. And so, you know, Aaron, as you’re serving as a senator and passing legislation on that side at the same time and workshops and meals and different times, you’re interacting with those young leaders of the next generation who are as young as 16 and some of them in their early 20s. And so you kind of got to see both of, you got to be inspired to know there’s somebody for you to pass the torch to, but you also were learning how to protect the torch as a civilian, as a citizen here.

Encouraged by the Youth

Aaron:

Yeah, absolutely. And that was one of the things that was made it such a great experience for me was being able to see young people. You know, because we always have a tendency to look at young people and think, you know, they’re all just a bunch of lazy millennials and they don’t understand any of this or care about any of this. But to be able to see people that were, you know, still in high school even or just haven’t graduated high school, being so interested and willing to spend some time and energy learning more about being either good, just citizen and being an active participant in the process or going even further and looking to become one of those representatives, it was very encouraging.

Rick:

Now in the senate side of things… are your simulated session, you had to bring a bill, you had to write that, you had to get it out of committee, then get it to the floor, tell me a little bit about what that was like to shift gears into that kind of intellectual sparring if you will of what is the right way to govern a society. I mean, what were your impressions of? Was it more complicated than you expected or more difficult to pass a bill or I mean, what were some of your thoughts?

Aaron:

Yeah, so it was definitely good to learn the ins and outs of how that bill makes its way through the process, because I certainly didn’t understand the committee process and how all that works nearly as well as before I had attended Patriot Academy. I think it was…

Learning to Legislate

The one thing about Patriot Academy course is that you’re surrounded by people that tend to be of a like mind. So it was actually easier than I expected to get the bill through committee because of course, most people there…

Rick:

You’re where all the left wingers that are supposed to be fighting me right now? Yeah.

Aaron:

Exactly. Exactly. But it did definitely gives me a good sense of how the process works and some of the hurdles that you would have to overcome in an actual legislative session in order to get your bill through the process.

Rick:

And you actually apply much of what you learned, I guess a year later. I’ll let you give me the details on that we come back from break. But you got involved in a real legislative session and testifying on bills and influencing legislation. So it wasn’t just, hey, let’s go play legislator. It was hey, let’s go learn this stuff and then let’s actually apply it. We got to take a quick break, Aaron Marshall, our special guest talking about Patriot Academy’s military veteran program. It’s going to happen again this summer, first week of August at the Texas State Capitol. We’re inviting military veterans from all across the nation that would like to come in and spend a week with us with that kind of training and that kind of experience. Go to patriotacademy.com to learn more, we’d love to have you there. Stay with us you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

BREAK

Hi, this is David Barton. I want to let you know about a brand new book we have out called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You Your Family and Our Country.

This Precarious Moment

Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book. And we take six issues that are hot and the culture right now, issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration and race relations and our relationship with Israel and the rising generation millennials and the absence of the church and the culture wars and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference. These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved.

So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back here on Wallbuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Got a special guest today, Aaron Marshall, he’s a graduate of Patriot Academy’s military veteran program and now a resident of the great state of Texas. We’ve been talking about your experience both in the army and then at Patriot Academy. And then you took what you learned at Patriot Academy and you actually applied it in a real legislative session, how did that come about?

Getting Involved in the Process

Aaron:

Yeah. So well, as you know, following the 2018 election, the democrats in the state legislature were able to make some pretty unprecedented gains and they use that opportunity to try to push through a spate of gun control bills. So what I did is, I use the connection that I had with a member of the Texas State Rifle Association and I went with him to the Texas State Capitol to testify against some of these bills…

Rick:

Which by the way are… and I’m sorry to interrupt you. But two quick things. Number one, for all our listeners outside of Texas, I know you’re shocked right now, you thought Texas was just pro-gun completely. Everybody that ever walks across the border into Texas suddenly becomes pro-Second Amendment, not true. We had to fight these battles here as well, just like around the country. And then second point, I think Mike Cox is the guy you’re talking about, right?

Aaron:

That’s correct. Yeah.

Rick:

Great guy. Just want to give a shout out to Mike, he’s been fighting for our Second Amendment rights for decades here in Texas. We love him. Alright, go ahead. So you team up with Mike and head off to the state capital.

Aaron:

And what I was able to do is because I had the inner knowledge from Patriot Academy of how that committee process worked, it really prepared me well for being able to step in just as a citizen and be able to present testimony before those committees in opposition to those bills. And understanding the process really prepared me for being able to step into that process seamlessly.

Preserving Freedom

So you know, even though I have not run for office or taking a more active role in in government, I was still able to take that knowledge from Patriot Academy and use it within the governmental process to advance our values.

Rick:

And that’s a highly active role actually in our government. I mean to go-to a legislative session and as a citizen stand up before those legislators in that committee and give your opinion on a major piece of legislation like that is huge. And it would normally be extremely intimidating to take on that role and to walk in there. Was there, and I don’t know if you done that before Patriot Academy or not if you had, what was the difference in going in at Patriot? If you hadn’t, do you think it helps give you a little less nervousness or, you know, intimidation?

Aaron:

No, I actually, had not testified or in any way other than just writing letters to my legislators, I had not participated in the process in any way. And just as you’re saying, and just having been in those rooms previously, you know, actually sitting up on the committee bench instead of the podium, but having been in those rooms and being more comfortable with the surroundings, that alone went leaps and bounds for helping me prepare for that process.

Rick:

I’m a little bit afraid to ask you this, Aaron. But I’m just wondering, in your experience after you got there, and you testified before the actual legislators of Texas after having spent the summer testifying before Patriot Academy students, which ones was the smarter group? I’m just curious.

Aaron:

That’s kind of a loaded question. Don’t you think?

Legislators Are People Too

Rick:

It might get you in trouble for future testimony, either at Patriot Academy or real legislature depending on your answer.

Aaron:

But to your point, actually, that’s another thing that my experience has helped me realize is that the legislators are people just you and me. And, you know, and a lot of times, they’re not as informed on these issues as you and I would hope and so we have to take it upon ourselves to make sure that they’re operating with a full body of information so that they’re making informed decisions which unfortunately in a lot of times, it’s just the activists, the loudest voices that influence their decisions. And so it falls to people like you and me or just average citizen to help ensure that our legislators are actually making informed decisions.

Rick:

Is such a good point, Aaron, because you know, those guys and gals, I mean, whichever side they’re on of the aisle or the issue or whatever it is, I mean, they’re dealing with thousands of issues in a very short period of time. There’s no physical or intellectual way for them to be an expert on every issue. And so whatever your issue is that you’re passionate on and informed in, when you go testify, you’re really doing them a service, you’re helping them to learn about that issue and perhaps hear a position or background or perspective on that issue that they’re not getting in their office when they talk about it or even among their fellow legislators. It’s a great service to be able to do that.

Send Your Application in Today

And I’m just thankful that you and Mike were able to do that. I’m looking forward to you doing that in future legislative sessions. Definitely looking forward to having you back at Patriot Academy. I’m going to put you on the spot when we come back from the break and see what’s up in 2020 for Aaron Marshall, graduate of Patriot Academy’s military veterans program. Stay with us folks, you’re listening to Wallbuilders Live. The website is patriotacademy.com, get your application in today. You don’t have to be a military veteran to come to Patriot Academy. That’s the particular program we’re talking about today. It takes place the first week of August, but that’s at our national Patriot Academy where we also have our student Academy going on, we have a Citizen Track Academy going on.

So actually anyone of any age get online patriotacademy.com right now, get your application in, but we’re specifically today really asking for military veterans to consider coming to this program. We want good biblical worldview folks that have served in the military to get the Patriot Academy training so that you can go to just like Aaron did, testify in your state legislature or perhaps even run for office. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

BREAK

Hey friends, Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton, what all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution. They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.

Front Sight Firearms Training

In fact, if you go to my website right now today at rickgreen.com, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at front side or Larry Elder training the front side or Tim Barton and myself training out there front side. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you’re ready and able to do that. It is a fantastic place to train. They train literally 30,000-40,000 people a year and they’re just wonderful to work with. And you can go with us, we’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family.

And if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you, it’s actually going to cost you one-tenth the normal price to attend this two-day handgun training because you’re going with us and you’ll also get the Constitution crash course. I’ll be teaching on the constitution. You’ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution as well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family. And this is for everyone: guys, gals, everyone should take this class. For no matter how much you shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family.

We’re going to be going several times throughout the year and we would love to have you be a part of that. Check out rickgreen.com today to find out the dates and all the specifics and getting all of your questions answered. Check out rickgreen.com today to join us on this front sight trip for both your constitutional and your handgun defense training.

 Patriot Academy’s Military Program

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, few minutes left today’s program. Aaron Marshall has been with us all day. So thankful for you and I appreciate you giving us the time today. Thanks for going to Patriot Academy’s military program. Thank you most of all for your service in our military and preserving freedom and thank you that you didn’t come home and just say, okay, I’m done, I did all I was going to do. You’re somebody that pays attention to so many different issues, specifically these issues of being able to defend ourselves and protecting the Second Amendment. So thanks for speaking up and being a great voice on that. Your experience we’ve learned today from the military to serving and being a part of Patriot Academy to being a citizen, testifying at that legislative session. Now, I’m going to put you on the spot. Well, we get to see you at Patriot Academy this year again?

Aaron:

I’m certainly planning on it. It was a highlight of my year last year and I be definitely intend to go back.

Rick:

I love hearing that. Okay. What would you say to those military veterans listening right now all across the nation? Actually, around the world, we have a lot of vets in active military that listen to us around the world, what would you say to them about coming to Patriot Academy, if they’re considering it and thinking, I don’t know, you know, I didn’t have a debate class in high school or whatever might be creeping into their mind, what would you say that encourage them to come?

A Positive Step

Aaron:

Well, what I would say is, if you’re looking at the news or you’re looking out at the landscape and you’re kind of concerned about the direction of our country, I would say this is a good solid positive step that you can take to help change that direction even in just a very small way. Because not only will you get some good information and just raw knowledge about how the process works and about the history of our country and how our constitutional system came about, but you will be made a better person by going through the process, you’ll increase your interpersonal skills, you’ll understand the legislative process better so that you’re more actively positioned to be able to participate in that process. And you’ll just find that you come away from it with a more positive outlook about the future of this country.

Rick:

Man, that was so good. I wish I was recording so I could… oh, we were recording it. Thankfully, this is live on the air for folks that are listening to it at this moment. But we’re also going to make it available on our website wallbuilderslive.com. You can go grab this program and send it out to your friends and family, especially your friends that have served in the military that you think would benefit from this program, we’d love to have them be a part of it. Aaron, I appreciate you, man. Thanks for your time. Thanks for your service. Really, really enjoyed having you at Patriot Academy looking forward to having you back this year. And just thanks for being somebody who’s willing to step up and serve and help protect freedom for the next generation.

Aaron:

Thank you, I appreciate it.

Citizenship Training For Military Vets – With Aaron Marshal

Rick:

That’s Aaron Marshall, you can have the same experience that he had at Patriot Academy. Check us out at patriotacademy.com today. Get registered now, it’s going to fill up fast, only 31 seats on the Senate side of the Texas Capitol. And we would like to see you in one of those seats and have the opportunity to participate in this program. So check it out today, patriotacademy.com, click on the military program and get your application in as quick as you can. We appreciate you listening.

This has been Wallbuilders Live and it’s because of you, our listeners that this program is even possible. So thanks for not only listening, but making those contributions and so many of you across the country do. You can do it right now at wallbuilderslive.com, click on the contribute button. Pray about what you can donate. It goes a long way. I mean it literally is an investment in freedom. It’s that lives fortune and sacred honor piece, is the fortunes piece where you invest in freedom. It allows us to become force multipliers as we get legislators and young leaders and folks just like Aaron trained to go out there and influence what’s happening in their local communities in their States. So make that investment today, click on contribution and make that one time or monthly contribution to Wallbuilders Live.

We appreciate you coming alongside us, locking shields with us, being willing to be part of the solution, not just complain, not just be concerned about what’s happening in the country, but do something about it. You can do that at wallbuilderslive.com today. Thanks so much for listening to Wallbuilders Live.