Supporting Our Veterans – With Lt. Col. Damon Friedman: Do you know all Trump has done to help our Veterans? Do you know where your veteran can go to find a wholistic approach to healing? Do you want to be a part of helping those who have served our country? What are the four major pillars you need to be successful in igniting a movement? Click the link to find out how you can change the world for good!

Air Date: 08/25/2020

Guest: Damon Friedman

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:

Thanks for joining us today at the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith in the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. I’m here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.

We are glad you’re with us today. We want you to check out our websites if you get a chance, visit wallbuilders.com where you can get a wealth of information, great tools, they will equip and inspire you, especially right now with all the questions about American history and the American stories, there’s so much available at wallbuilders.com. And the library that WallBuilders has is just incredible. I mean, the largest private collection of Founding Fathers documents.

So, when we teach about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, we’re going back to those original documents, and we encourage you to get that truth. Truth is so needed in our culture right now. Please check out wallbuilders.com, get some of that truth, share it with your friends and family. 

You can use this radio program to do the same thing. Right there at wallbuilderslive.com, you can share programs from the last few weeks and months right there in the archive section. It’s so important to get that in people’s hands right now as they’re being challenged with lies about the culture. 

There is so much of a Marxist effort to destroy America right now. And the way we’re going to push that back as citizens, just like you, just like me standing up and speaking truth. So, if you want to know that truth and have the boldness to speak that truth, get that information at wallbuilders.com and at wallbuilderslive.com.

By the way, while your wallbuilderslive.com, I encourage you to make a contribution, that is so that we can continue to get this truth out there. It might be $5 bucks a month or whatever you can do, just check out wallbuilderslive.com and consider coming alongside us on the financial front as well.

Damon Friedman

Alright, David, Tim, later in the program, Damon Friedman will be with us. He’s another one of these incredible veterans that not only has serve us well on the frontlines, in his case, for 20 years, but then decides to serve those members of the military when they’re coming home. kind of like our friend, Chad Robichaux, who actually introduced us to Damon, Dave Roever, who we’ve had on multiple times.

But these guys that that set up these organizations to literally serve the members of the military that have laid down, they’ve been willing to lay down their lives for us and often come home with difficult situations and we’ve had Chad on to talk about that multiple times. But Damon is doing that in a little bit different way and so we’re going to have him on to talk about that as well. And he’s also got a new book.

Anyway, we just love, not only having veteran interviews, but having an opportunity to support those veterans that are coming home and that need their community to come alongside them.

David:

You know, at this point, I got to do is shout out to Trump, because Trump has come along in the last year or so and reached out to Chad Robichaux and said, look, we’ve got to do something with saving the lives of our veterans. For those that are in the Vietnam War, we lost three times as many Americans to suicide than we did two Vietnamese killings, the North Vietnamese, the Vietcong.

So, while we lost 50, some odd thousand, nearly 60,000 there, we’ve lost about 180,000 suicides of Vietnam vets. And so, Trump has said, look that the VA is not getting this done and the way they’re going at it a secular. We need to get some faith-based organizations in there that have a different approach than what the VA is using.

Trump Cares About Our Vets

Tim:

Yeah, one of the things too, that that even Chad Robichaux will point out is that what they’re doing is not an opposition or in competition with the VA. Well, Chad says, look, right, there’s some good things the VA is trying to offer and do, but there’s a lot of guys who need something different than what the VA has and there’s some people that need both.

And so, one of the things that so often people look at something like a faith-based organization helping military veterans, and they say, well, wait a second, you people of faith, you’re saying that faith is all they need and they don’t need any other help and Chad saying that’s not what we’re arguing. What we’re saying, is there’s more to the whole person than just the physical, than just the emotional, the mental, there’s a spiritual component and all these things need to work in unison.

And President Trump has been the first president in a couple decades to recognize the significance of helping heal the whole person with the spirit, the mind, the body, the soul. And this is something that has been really, really effective, where Chad has talked about the success rates they’ve had and what they’ve been able to do, helping people that are deployed to combat, helping people returning from combat, what they’ve seen with the people that have come to their program, with the thousands and thousands they’ve worked with and they don’t see the same rates of depression and divorce and suicide that is very common.

But Chad said, hey, there’s other great organizations out there beyond Mighty Oaks Warriors. There’s a lot of other faith-based guys that we even do work with. And we’ve known some of them, like Dave Roever is been in front of the program for many years.

Brothers in Faith

David:

General Bob Dees is another one.

Tim:

Yeah, I mean, Jerry Boykin, there’s a lot of guys out there who are really awesome men of faith, who want to serve and help do things. And Chad said, there’s a new guy that you guys if you don’t know, you need to know him, incredible what he’s doing and it has been really fun to get to know him a little bit.

David:

Yeah, it has been and it’s fun to see these allies. And by the way, the president actually put Chad in charge of developing these outside groups and bringing them together and joining them with the VA. And so, this is a great relationship that the Chad is got started. It’s another great voice, but it’s also a great military career. I mean, this would be a great vet interview all by itself, even if we didn’t have the faith-based component of what Damon is doing. I mean, this would be just a really cool, Special Forces interview. So, it’s a great combination of both.

Rick:

Damon Friedman, our special guest today. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Moment from American History

This is Tim Burton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. As the American war for independence began, the president of Yale was the Reverend Naphtali Daggett. When New Haven, the home of Yale came under attack, about 100 citizens rushed out to meet the British. The Reverend Daggett gouged by them on horseback, his clerical robes flowing behind him in the wind and he took up a solitary position on top of hill.

The 2,500 British soon for the townsfolk to flight, but the Reverend Daggett continued to stand alone, firing down on the advancing troops. A British officer confronted him. “What are you doing there, you old school? If I let you go, will you ever fire again on the troops of His Majesty?” “Nothing more likely” was the preacher’s reply. America’s early pastors personally confronted danger and courageously led their communities.

For more information on pastor Daggett and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com

Rick:

Welcome back WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Damon Friedman is with us. We got a lot to talk about. We definitely want to talk about his new book, Igniting Movements. Damon, thanks for coming on WallBuilders Live.

Damon:

Yeah, super excited. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. I’m a fan of your show and just so appreciative just to be here, just to share my passion, my heart for American, our veterans.

Rick:

Well, man, we appreciate what you’ve already done for our country and what you continue to do, not only for your fellow servicemen and women, but really the whole country in terms of encouraging people to be involved in, 20 years as both a Marine and an Air Force Special operator, now, how did you get downgraded from Marine Air Force. That’s all I wanted, I’m just kidding, man.

Special Operations Command

Damon:

That’s funny. That’s hilarious. So basically, you know, I love the Marine Corps. There were just other opportunities. I spent five and a half years, I was part of the invasion and my last unit, I was in the force reconnaissance community, graduate the indoctrination. And at the time, there just wasn’t a Marine Special Operations Command and I heard about other special operators forces out there and I heard about combat control, a special tactics and I had a heart for the air to ground interface.

I was a Pathfinder Team Leader. So, I wanted to just take my fight to the next level and that’s what Air Force Special Operations gave me. And hey, I can’t complain, I’m a free faller, combat diver, demolition expert, FAA air traffic controller, you know, protecting every weapon known to man. So yeah, it was a pretty decent move.

Rick:

Oh man. No kitty. No kitty. 20 years of it, three Bronze Stars, man. Just incredible story. And you came home, once you retired from the military, you went through a tough time and now you help other folks that are, you know, same thing, you know what they’re dealing with. And so, I mean, your ministry and what you guys do is incredible. And I even love the name of one of your projects, The Resiliency Project. And we need that not only in our military men and women, but just in our culture itself, we need it. But you guys specialize in serving veterans that are in crisis.

Damon:

Yes. So, I’ll tell you 20 years in the military, multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2010, I had a culminating event, came back from the 7 days firefight, particularly 72 hours no sleep, fighting a few hundred Taliban. And made it out alive, had a lot of concussive blast, mild traumatic brain injury, injured my ankle, just came back all busted up and I was dealing with some post-traumatic stress. And I just went through a dark time. And there are a lot of great people that love America, love our veterans that took care of me.

Full-Spectrum Healing

And I went on this path, a full spectrum, psychological, physical, spiritual, social path to find hope again, and to regain ground of where I used to be. And I found my purpose, my higher calling to be a freedom fighter, and I found my new mission. And so, while I was active duty, my wife and I, we found SOF missions. In the mission statement is “To find purpose and to be resilient.”

So, what we have is our nonprofit, is a manifestation of my own struggles, the dark path, contemplating whether living was worth it and then finding hope throughout that whole process, the dealing with the implications of combat in the scars of war and then being able to find myself back on my feet and I thought, I’ve got to be able to do the same for my fellow brothers and sisters that go off and do the nation’s bidding that may, in fact, not have the same care. And that’s the birth of SOF missions, particularly, the Resiliency project.

Rick:

I think, you’re out of Tampa, right in Florida?

Damon:

That’s right. Yeah. I actually just recently retired out of from MacDill under the Special Operations Command headquarters. And so, I retired as a director of future operations for sock fit, Special Operations Command Central. So, I’m here, our headquarters is here, offices are here, but we have a strong influence and a regional support team up in the panhandle all the way down to Tampa. So, and we’re serving thousands of veterans in the state of Florida.

Rick:

That was actually my next question for you. And so, is it specifically in Florida? Is that where your main concentration is?

The Resilience Project

Damon:

Yeah. So, we’re actually in 34 different states. Our headquarters is in Florida, which is the second largest populated State of veterans. Texas is third. California is first. And so, we serve those three States, but primarily Florida, but we are servicing in 34 different States, but very, very, one of our superpowers for our organization is that we provide this holistic care, psychological, physical, spiritual, social, and we call it The Resiliency Ring and we drop that ring, wherever the veteran is. So, the veteran doesn’t have to come to us, we can come to them.

So, if they’re in like we had one warrior who was in Prairie farm, Wisconsin. Where’s Prairie farm Wisconsin? It’s in middle of nowhere. But what we do is we drop that Resiliency Ring around them. They get counselors. They get coaches. They get strength and conditioning. They get physical therapy, physical rehab. They get social workers. They get regenerative medicine. We take care of that warrior wherever they’re at, which is something that the VA really values.

Rick:

Now, tell me two different things. One, a warrior that is looking for this, how do they contact you? And then two, if you either know a warrior that needs this and you want to connect them or you want to sponsor and you want to actually donate so that you can help, maybe you don’t know a specific warrior, but obviously donating to your organization is going to help a warrior. So number one, if you’re a warrior, where does that person contact? And then number two, if you want to support and help, where do you go?

Shield of Faith Missions

Damon:

Yeah, so all you do is go to Sofmissions.org and that’s an acronym of Shield of Faith Missions. That’s with an S, sofmissions.org and right there, you’ve got all the options. If you want to donate, go for it helped me, sponsor a warrior to get them back on their feet. 100% of the proceeds go into veteran services. And if you’re a warrior that needs help, as soon as you get on the landing page, there’s a button, “Need Help”, click on it, it’s red, can’t miss it and then you just apply for the Resiliency project.

We have world renowned health care professionals on our resiliency project committee and we’re talking about the best of the best. And they help us identify and select the kind of care that each warrior that applies needs. And once they get accepted to the program, get this, 100% of all the care that they receive is free. So, the veteran is not charged anything.

And that’s why if you’re a veteran out there and you’re hurting and you just don’t know where to go and you don’t have money, don’t worry about it. Just come, check it out sofmissions.org and let us help you. If your spouse or significant other, a father or mother, you’re worried about your son, your daughter, learn about sofmissions.org because this program is radically changing and transforming lives. We’re so honored to be on this journey with so many warriors.

Rick:

Sofmissions.org, that’s the website. We’re going to have a link today at wallbuilderslive.com to make it easy. Now, Damon, tell us about the book, Igniting Movements. I mean, it sounds like we are so on the same page, you love helping people find their passion and purpose and getting them to make life count. Tell us a little bit about why you decided to kind of branch out just from the military folks and say, look, we all need some of these secrets.

Four Major Pillars

Damon:

I love the way that you said that. Right? So, when I was getting my doctorate, I extracted for my dissertation a lot of movement stuff. So, I studied a bunch of historical movements. I had the opportunity to interview some of the most exciting executives in the nonprofit world and also just gleaning from my 20 year career of special operations and humanitarian work. And I packaged all that, put it in the book.

And the reason why I did that was because I wanted to help other people change the world for good. And the cool thing is, so, SOF missions, we’ve actually have been able to help thousands of veterans. We’ve procured approximately $3 million. We’re 34 states. We’re like six VA hospitals and we’ve helped out so many warriors. I applied every critical factor that’s in that book to our nonprofit.

So, the book isn’t just like from the research, the book is actually application to our own nonprofit and how we’re changing the world for good, one warrior at a time. So here in this research, like when I package it, I come up with four major pillars. In order for you to be very successful, you’ve got the leadership, you’ve got ideology, you have organization and you have strategy. Those are the four major pillars. And I want other people to find their people group, their place, their community, their projects and go change the world for good. Particularly now, we need it; with all these crazy times, we need it now.

Rick:

Have you noticed how many people right now they are driven to want to be a part of something, but they don’t know what to do? I mean, they want to make a difference. They’re tired of saying, it’s kind of the old, you know, Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for meaning thing have purpose in life, having some meaning in life is more important than any of the other drivers. And people are hungry for that right now.

Suicide Epidemic

Damon:

They are hungry and you know what, the obstacle is, is what does it take in order to make my dream or my heart, my passion to help change the world for good. That’s what the book is all about. So, what I always tell people is answer this one question. What keeps you up at night? Figure that piece out. Because when you identify that, if you identify that, for me, it’s a suicide epidemic.

Over 20 veterans take their lives every single day. It’s scary. It’s not right. It’s so wrong. These veterans, these warriors, they go out they do the nation’s bidding, they have these valorous acts. Their men and women of action. They come home and then they shoot themselves after surviving all of that chaos. It’s not right. And so, for me, I was wanted to put a dent in the suicide epidemic?

So, the question that people have to answer is just, what keeps you up at night? And the book will help you with what you need in your nonprofit movement, in your organizational movement, in your group movement, in your people group movement, in order for you to change the world for good.

Rick:

Alright, and right now, Damon, it’s already available. It’s available on Amazon. You guys shot up to the top very quickly.

Damon:

Yeah, absolutely. So, first of all, I want to thank everybody who’s been a part of our Igniting Movements team, we hit number five, number five in our category, within 48 hours, we were an Amazon bestseller. So, it was just so awesome. I can’t believe it. We got raving reviews. And I’m just super blessed that we have such an incredible team that’s passionate about changing the world for good and getting this book out there to people.

Damonfriedman.com

Rick:

I love it. I love it. Well, as we’re talking, I’m sitting here clicking through and getting it on Kindle right now so that I can read the rest. I got some of the preview stuff via email, but I’m looking forward to read the whole thing and recommend it to everybody else as well and we’re going to have a link to that as well at our website today at wallbuilderslive.com. But one more time on the other website address, sofmissions.org. And then for the book itself, Amazon, the best place to go. I noticed you have a website as well at Davidfriedman.com.

Damon:

Yeah, if you go to Damonfriedman.com, you could pick your copy up there or you can go to Amazon, either way is good you go

Rick:

And speaking engagements there as well. Right?

Damon:

Yeah, absolutely. If you go to Damonfriedman.com and you order your book from there, I can also provide a one that signed copy. And if you want me to come and speak, I’ve been speaking all over the nation. Damonfriedman.com, more than happy to go out and empower people to change the world for good.

Rick:

Love it. Damon, God bless you, brother. Man, I’m so glad Chad introduced us and so thankful for your time on the air today. And I look forward to having you again sometime.

Damon:

Absolutely, anytime. Thanks a lot, brother and Godspeed.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Help Us Tell Your Vet’s Story

Hey friends, if you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifices they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories. Here on WallBuilders Live, once in a while, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices, have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War Two veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live from folks that were in the Band of Brothers to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived being Indianapolis to so many other great stories you’ve heard on WallBuilders Live. You have friends and family that also served.

If you have World War Two veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please email us at radio@wallbuilders.com, radio@wallbuilders.com. Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us and thanks to Damon Friedman for joining us today. Back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, you all get to work with Chad and Damon and a lot of these folks with the legislation, looking at the federal level, working with the Trump team and you see, and not only politically meaning like government intervention in these programs, but the things that that you do with the Nazarene project. So, you see the difference it makes when we actually pay attention to these problems and challenges.

Trump Has Made the Changes

Do you think that Damon and Chad and the federal programs that they’re talking about implemented, it seems like we are way, way further down the road than we were even just two or three years ago or let’s just say three years ago before Trump took office?

David:

Oh, there’s no question we’re further down the road. These guys now have an official voice into policy and policy making. This is so different than what we saw back, for example, in the Obama administration, where they gave lip service and made noise about and this is important, but they never did anything to try to reach out and connect and actually help implement some of that stuff. This has been really, really different.

President Trump has said, okay, let’s get this done. And literally, we’re seeing Chad and these guys meeting with VA officials meeting with the psychologists and psychiatrists and others. They’re getting to know each other, they cooperate, and they’re finding out where they can cooperate together. And so, there’s a respect on both sides and there’s also an awareness and you really can’t utilize groups if you’re not aware of what they are and what they do and who they are.

And so now, these guys have an official place at the table, not just a cordial place, but the President has given them an official place at the table. And so, they are in the conversations in the discussions and now these services are available being offered. And by the way, I’ll go back to what happened last year with the decision we had in the Bladensburg cross decision where that the US Supreme Court rolled back about 50 years of hostility and said no, no, it’s okay to have a Military Cross. It’s okay for Maryland to have this official military monument in the shape of a cross.

The VA Approach

Well, right after that the VA came back and said, well, you know what, based on what the Supreme Court said, they said that if something has been a long standing tradition, we’re going to assume is constitutional. Well, the vets, we’ve had vet Bible since 1680, but we haven’t been able to give them out. So, the VA, we’re starting to give out Bibles again, this is just since last year. The VA rewrote its policies on being able to give out Bibles and prayer books and spiritual stuff. And so that Supreme Court decision opened the door for them to feel confident to do so.

And so now not only are they doing those activities, they’re bringing people in, who are also very engaged in the, if you will, the operational side of faith-based programs and how to implement them and how to take guys through them. And as Tim indicated, the stats from the faith-based guys, the clinical stats, the results are so much higher. There was an outside group, University group that looked at the VA approach and faith-based group approaches and it’s just a real statistical difference between the two.

And so, the VA, to their credit, instead of saying, well, we’re just a secular organization, that’s all we do, they say we want to help the best and we won’t whatever will help the vets and do a good job for them. And so, it really is a change of tone in this administration and it’s really making a difference in the lives of individual vets as a result.

And by the way, I mean, even just looking at the military side of this, where Damon says, hey, I found my calling, I was called to be a freedom fighter. You know, what a great statement. But that’s a guy who can connect with the warriors, I mean, this was what he did. And he described being in that hours long battle against hundreds of Taliban, just a handful of Special Forces guy. So, he can now connect with those guys in a way that a VA official often can, a bureaucrat can’t. And so, it makes such a difference with the background he’s got.

Faith-Based Organizations

Tim:

Yeah, and the fact that just like so many these great organizations, that they’re offering all this for free, that there’s not a charge to veterans, because there are people out there helping support what they do. And one of the things we’ve seen even for veterans was under President Bush, I think it was 17 veterans a day that were committing suicide, under President Obama, it went up to 22 veterans a day that they’re committing suicide. Under President Trump, it’s now down to 20 veterans a day that are committing suicide. And what we are seeing is a trend going in the right direction, with fewer and fewer veterans taking their life, but it’s still far too many, which is why we need organizations like this.

This is why we as people of faith need to look around us, if we can encourage the veterans around us, if we see somebody, it looks like they might be in need. We need to help tell them about people like Damon the things they’re doing, these organizations that are out there, it’s totally free, but we can be part of the solution to help save these veterans lives.

Rick:

We’ll have all those links today at wallbuilderslive.com. Be sure and check it out there. You can also get to some of the archives of the program as well if you’ve missed any of the program and please share the program. There’s so many easy social tools now and people are looking for truth.

If you’ve enjoyed one of the programs on a particular topic or particular guests like Damon today are or maybe as some of the special guests we’ve had in the last week or two, Ben Shapiro and Jannique Stewart and Voddie Baucham, so many great interviews and guests that we’ve had on the program. Help us get that out there. And you can do that by sharing it on all of your social media tools. Just grab them right there at wallbuilderslive.com.

Shield Of Faith Missions – With Lt. Col. Damon Friedman

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