Chris Thorp is the founder of Honor Guard. He produces patches which say “Thank You” and both sells them and hands them out to thank LEO, Firefighters, EMTs, and service members. It sounds like a simple concept but it’s not until you listen to him talk about Honor Guard that you realize there’s so much more to it than meets the eye.
In addition to running Honor Guard, Chris is a fellow GRT and has some incredible stories about his first few events. I highly suspect that you are going to love this episode.
- GORUCK & Rucking Glossary
- Honor Guard @ Sew Strong
- Honor Guard
- PATHFINDER Ruck Training (Use Code 013ADR for 20% Off, Chris Thorp is CA 007)
If you’re looking for Chris Thorp on Facebook you can find him under the name Chris Hamlet.
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Brian: I’m here talking with Chris Thorp, who is the founder of Honor Guard. He is a fellow GRT and I am just very excited that he’s taking time out of his day to chat with me. Chris, how are you doing?
Chris: I’m good, sir. How are you today?
Brian: I’m doing great. Can’t complain. It’s a Monday, but it’s a good Monday.
Chris: It is Monday. My Mondays aren’t normally Mondays. I don’t run by the calendar. Today is Monday, but this is my Saturday afternoon.
Brian: That’s not bad. Everyone hates Mondays and here you are, Saturday afternoon.
Chris: Actually, I just got back from running an errand. Somebody said, “Happy Monday,” and I responded in kind and I got, “Ah, Monday.” They’re like, “Hey, Monday morning. Full of potential. In a week, la, la, la, la, la.” That didn’t go over so well.
Brian: That’s all right.
Chris: Hey, it is an absolute honor. Thank you for reaching out. I’m honored, man. I didn’t really expect this kind of thing to happen. Been looking forward to it for the last couple days trying to figure out – I’m a neophyte for this, so this is new. Thank you. That’s all I can really say when it comes down to it. Thank you for the honor of doing this.
Brian: Well, I’m honored to have you on. I’m really excited and it doesn’t matter that you’re new. That’s going to be good.
Brian: Before we get into Honor Guard, let’s talk a little bit about your involvement in the GORUCK community. This is predominantly rucking podcast, so how did you stumble upon GORUCK?
Chris: I work 12 to 16-hour days, four to five days a week and I’m on my feet a lot. The Fitbit came up what? Well four, five years ago plus when they first came out. I started putting on a Fitbit and was just curious and I stumbled upon a community in Fitbit, very small community, one of those little message boards that more often to a tightly group of friends, just right about five of us and we’ve all been on that little community for the entire duration. Still are.
One of them – backtrack. I had found run zombies, zombies run, one of those fitness apps with a tracking game on it. I’m a huge proponent of game theory and playing games. If I ever want to accomplish something, I have to make a game for it for myself. I picked up – somebody else in the group had it and we were discussing it.
What I decided to do was in the game, you go out on missions and you collect supplies, you come back and you get points and you build your base based on your supplies on distance, speed, whatnot. I decided to simulate the game and I went out to a military surplus and picked up a assault pack and I decided to carry the assault pack while I was out doing my running and I put items in it to simulate the game.
One of the guys in the group was a GORUCK guy, and he mentioned the GR1 and I picked up a rucker, because it literally just come out that week and there you go. I switched from using a assault pack to a rucker for my runs. Thus was born that – I ended up doing an event or two. None of which went well for me, but I got through them and got involved in the community and here we are today.
Brian: That’s wild.
Chris: Yeah. It didn’t go well. It did not go well. The first one was a – when was it? It was the memorial light and not really thinking too far in advance. Again, I work a lot and I don’t get the standard days off that everybody else gets. I had worked a 16-hour shift, got off, got a couple hours sleep and then decided to go to the light. Me and my buddies stopped off for barbecue prior. When I say barbecue, it wasn’t just a small sandwich. It was a pretty large barbecue sandwich. I wind up on the side of the event being tended to trying to keep my sandwich down for a while. Yeah, that didn’t go well.
Brian: That’s quite the first event. When was that?
Chris: I want to say 15. It was with a cadre Flash and Handsome Mike. I remember hearing Flash on the side of the event saying something about how Handsome Mike was looking forward to making somebody puke. I guess, I had accomplished that for him.
Brian: You’re the lucky one. You made his day.
Chris: Yeah. Sometimes you got to be the guy that flips the switch for everybody. Yeah, that was me that day.
Brian: Oh, man.
Chris: Yeah. After that, I did – Let me see. I did the rucking anniversary in San Francisco and got to hang out with everybody there. Jason McCarthy was nice enough to cut it out one. I think it was almost a 2016 I did the 9/11 light in San Francisco. Fortunately, or unfortunately thereof, I got the privilege of hanging out with Christian Griffith, which I’m sure most people in the community are familiar with.
Christian was training me on the side at that time. We had talked about me possibly getting the point where I could do one of his runs with him in Nicaragua. The cadre did the whole nice little ruck relay race across the field. I got partnered up with Christian and the runner guy. I’m not a runner guy. We’re at the start line, we get tagged out at the same time, and I figured, because he’s training me, I better, at least keep within striking distance. I got 10 yards and I got a cramp. I got a severe cramp and I kept going all across the field, all the way back, laid down, try to get through it. Everybody told me to sit up, the next one I said no. Got up
Again, I got paired up just through luck with Christian. 10 yards out, cramp hits again, this time worse. I come back, I got the talk, “Are you going to stay in or stay out?” I’m staying. There’s no way I’m not leaving. Long story short, I did the whole thing and a week later I had discovered I had ripped my hamstring and I was black from stem to stern for a long time. That was my other one that didn’t go that hot.
Chris: Yeah. I’ve signed up for a lot. I have signed up for a lot. However, unfortunately I’ve had to cancel last minute, because in my line of work, if nobody shows up for work, somebody stays. There have been a number of times where somebody doesn’t show up for work and I end up having to work a 16-hour shift and there is just a – this is fourth 16. I can’t do that. I’m not going to be able to do that. I’m going to be a liability to myself, or somebody else. Or it’s just I can’t make it on time. I probably canceled out on far more than I’ve ever done.
Brian: That’s life sometimes though.
Chris: It is. However, what I have been able to do to make up for that is I’m sure, you are familiar with it and I’m sure some other people are familiar with it is the team spearhead pathfinder ruck training. You’ve heard of that?
Chris: Yeah. I’ve been able to do that. I started on team – class 007 with them. Then I have been a course adviser pretty much every class since. I’ve been able to do that, since that – my own time. Today is like the 28th, 27th, right? Its late January. I can’t remember the date today. Next class starts February 1st, so I know this will come out probably right after that. I’m really interested, I’m seeing that team 7, or group 7. If you’re interested, you can hit me up with that.
My style is a little bit different than the other guys doing the course advisers. I try to work more on acts of kindness, things a little bit less than the physical nature, more emotional, spiritual, mental, building a better American thing. But if anybody is interested, we’re going to hit it up February 2nd through April 31st, I believe is the classes this time.
Brian: Very cool. It’s interesting how the CAs all bring their own piece of themselves to the groups.
Chris: Yeah. Have you done it?
Chris: Okay. Yeah. You’re not CA?
Brian: I’m not a CA.
Chris: You haven’t been one? Okay. My first one was Kirk.
Chris: Yeah. I’m sorry. You should know this, because Kirk being you. Yeah. No, Kirk was my first CA in group 7, or class 7.
Brian: That’s wild.
Chris: When Kirk passed, that hit me really hard actually. I was sitting out working a unit – who was it? It was either Tina Streeter, or Hope Delos Santos that put a message out about Kirk real quick. I remember sitting in a housing unit surrounded by close to – let’s call it a 100 felons. I’ve been there trying to cover my eyes, because I lost it. It’s something about losing Kirk really hit me.
I know you were really close to Kirk. My condolences man. I know it had to be like losing a brother. He actually meant a lot to me too, and I know he meant a lot to a lot of people.
Brian: Yeah. We really found how many people he meant a lot too that day, because there were a lot of people – a lot of people were sad. All the work that him and I put together; we talk daily about charity challenges and that whole project. It was still as sad. That’s tough.
Chris: Yeah. I have what I call my honor ruck and I know whether you edit this part out or not is up to you, but I know you have got the video. I’ve got the patch, Kirk’s patch. I don’t know if you see it there.
Chris: Yeah. I carry that with me on my honor ruck daily. Kirk was a definite influence. Back to it, yeah, the CAs, I try to bring a little bit more of getting out there and just being human over miles and weight. Although that’s an important aspect, and that’s the core of the program. I want somebody to walk away from that program growing in every aspect, not just their quads, their cardio getting better. I want them to be better, just be better.
I’ve had a lot of people get in it and quit, because they couldn’t handle the mileage. Because they weren’t ruck people. Hey, to me it’s not about the miles. It’s did you make a friend? Did you have some fun? Are you better today than you were yesterday? If you did, you passed the course in my opinion. Yeah, okay you didn’t get the patch but that’s okay, because it wasn’t about the patch. It was about just being better and learning something and making some friends. That’s where from me. It is what it is.
Brian: That’s awesome. I love that approach. Can you remind us again for those who are listening and recently got their interest perked and want to be on your team? What number are you?
Chris: My group is 7. Group 7. They can find me under course adviser, Chris Thorp. There is a link if you go in, you can actually actively choose who you would prefer. At this point, yeah I’m on there. They can easily ask either Lyle Peterson, or Lisa Stevenson who were running it to switch me over if they can’t find it.
Brian: For those who are listening and haven’t heard of pathfinder before, I interviewed Lyle back in episode 2 or 3. I’ll post in the show notes. If you’re listening to this and you’re interested in hearing about him and the pathfinder program, check up the show notes. I’ll have a link to that episode. He did an awesome job on that interview.
Chris: Yeah. Lyle is a awesome guy.
Brian: Before we get into Honor Guard, I just got one last quick question about your experience with GORUCK. It sounds like you’ve had quite the experience that first event. Ate barbecue before had a tough time. Second event went all right. Third event ended up tearing your leg, huge issues. You keep signing up for events. What keeps bringing you back to them?
Chris: What keeps bringing – That’s a pretty good question. I’ll say it, you guys, I can go and do rucking any day of the week I want to by myself. I can tear myself down any of the day of the week I want to by myself with somebody on the group. The group overall, it’s just an awesome group. Man, I don’t know how to – I’m sure everybody in the community knows what I mean. If I have to qualify it, I don’t know.
I haven’t met anybody in that group that I didn’t feel the solid person wasn’t – there isn’t flat out almost implicitly right there, right then, trust with my life. Working in law enforcement, I need to be able to trust people. That somebody has my back in a bad situation, that I know somebody is going to be there when my life is on the line, or somebody else’s life is on the line. I get that sense; that kind of group, that kind of solid foundation, that kind of integrity and trustworthiness is just implicit to other people.
Brian: That’s great. I mean, we really do have a special community here. It’s very unique and not just anyone can go to the – we’ll go to the GORUCK website, read that description, see the hours, see the miles and say, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.”
Chris: Yeah. You get it. Everybody else in the community gets it. But you’re like, “Why do you do that? What? You do that on purpose?” I mean, I got up one day. My wife was taking care of her parents out of town. I was by myself, which is really rare. I couldn’t sleep and I woke up at 1:00 in the morning and decided to do a marathon ruck solo. Got up, got ready, got my stuff together.
I think I was out the door 2:33 once everything was said and done. I walked from my house to my place of employment. At this point, I had no idea about foot care. I completely knew, didn’t learn anything, but I decided to do cold, a marathon ruck and it goes 30 pounds dry with no foot care expertise or knowledge and I got 13.1 in to work. I had serious, serious, serious blisters.
I walk in to t nurse’s station there and said, “Hey.” I pulled my shoe off and gave them a quick rundown of what I was doing and I just go the look, “What are you doing? You’re nuts. You’re crazy. Why would you do this on purpose? What are you thinking?” I tried to explain it and I couldn’t. I did what I did and put my shoes back on and walked the 13.1 back. I think, we probably all have some kind of story like that.
Brian: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s quite the distance for when you’re first starting out.
Chris: Yeah, I was stupid. That was some dog. That was not an intelligent – it was not an intelligent decision, but it was actually very life-changing, because I got to the point – Again, I had really bad blisters before I got halfway through. I didn’t stop. I got to the point where I couldn’t stop, otherwise I wouldn’t begin again. I called everybody I knew and I said, “Just talk to me. Tell me a story. Tell me a joke. Breath in my ear. I don’t care, something to distract me.” I got to a point where I think I was about a mile out, probably about a mile out and I turned my headphones on and I started listening to music and I was singing at the top of my lungs through residential neighborhoods that I’ve lived for 40 years.
It’s not like people don’t know who I am. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, Metallica, Black Label Society, anything, because my emotions were completely shut and raw from the pain in my feet. Turned the corner to the cul-de-sac, to my house, which is probably about 300 yards and I cried the entire time, because it hurt so bad and I realized how far I had gone, what I accomplished, that I wasn’t going to quit. There was no reason for me to do this. I wasn’t doing it for anybody other than I just got the idea in my head and I couldn’t quit at any given moment and nobody would’ve known.
Nobody would’ve known anything at all about what I did, why I did it, how I did it. It was just simply because I wanted to see if it was something I could do. I did it and it was quite life-altering just to do something stupid and dumb like that. But realize, “Hey, I do have it in me, that I can do something.”
That was my only why was, “Can I do this? Do I have it in me?” That was probably a very important why, but it was a very selfish why.
Brian: Still, I mean that’s very powerful.
Chris: Yeah. No, that was freeing. It was very freeing. I teach at the academy for law enforcement academy and I try and tell these guys stories about why and integrity and all those kinds of things. They don’t get it. They’re like, “Ah,” and they’re looking there with their eyes blank look. They’re 20, 21, 22. I just want to like, “Oh, come on guys.” I literally show GORUCK commercials to them and try and get them to understand the issues of camaraderie and integrity and do not quit and what’s your why? They don’t get it. I wish they did. I hope that one day they do and they probably will. Yeah, that’s –
Brian: Well, this is great. I mean, some of that stuff just takes time for develop – I mean, 21, 22 is still young. That’s solid. When you put yourself in that kind of a situation where no one knows, no one knows you’re out there rucking, no one – you could’ve Ubered home. You could’ve taken a life home, a taxi home, no one would – go on right back to bed. Showered, gone to bed, woken up. No one would’ve known the difference. The fact that you can hold yourself accountable and be that driven to complete something, when clearly you weren’t even halfway through when your feet were toast.
Chris: I was 5 miles in and I was already off in blisters. I had no food care knowledge. Nothing at all. I literally had a pair of work boot socks that I put on, and I think I got, yeah 5 miles in and I was getting a blister and like, “All right, just keep going.” By the time I got, yeah halfway through, you know how you get that blister on a blister on a blister and it rotates around the back of your foot? You know what I’m talking about?
Chris: It’s like, “Oh, man.” I swear they were multiplying exponentially. It just so was bad. For the two days after, I couldn’t walk. I had to go some places with my daughter the following couple days and it’s like, “Hold on. Daddy’s coming.” She goes, “Oh, a 98-year-old man.” Something that would’ve talked me 3 seconds, took me 3 minutes. It was bad.
Brian: That’s bad. That’s bad. The feeling after you’ve got smoked at a GORUCK event and you’re just standing there looking at the car. I have to get into this. How am I going to get into this?
Chris: Okay. Here is the other one. Now that you bring that up, I forgot about this, because I’m stupid. I am. I’m just stupid with it. Me and my wife, the zombie thing I talked about earlier. Have you ever done a zombie run?
Brian: I haven’t.
Chris: You haven’t. Okay.
Brian: But I know what you’re talking about.
Chris: Right. You usually get three balloons, three flags, three something, three lives, and you go on a 5K run and they have people that dress up as zombies. If they’re able to pop your balloon, grab your flag, whatever, you lose a life. Three lives and you’re not out, but you don’t get your survivor medal.
I had been out jogging and somehow I’m with my daughter jogging. I got little twins in my abdomen. I’m like, “I don’t know what that is, but okay.” It’s like a week before the race. It’s there, but it’s not going away, but it’s not bugging. It’s like all my life. We go out and we get to the first group of zombies and we sprint through. Duke, here is exact there. I’m done. Okay, nobody got my flag.
I’m feeling like a sport. I got this. We got to the next one, zig-zag-zig, all of a sudden I feel as ripped in my pelvic floor. I’m like, “Wow, what was that?” It damn near dropped me. I’m like, “Okay, I don’t know. That’s not cool.” I walk a couple more. I’m like, “Hey, I’m out. I’m out. I’m out.” I walk through a couple more sections, I get to another one and I find a flag on the ground I’m like, “Okay.” I feel inspired, because I got an extra life in my hand. I’m like, “Let’s do this again.” I get to the next one, zig-zag. I feel that rip again in my pelvic floor and it dropped me.
I lay there. Everybody comes over. “Get away. Get away. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.” That stupid macho, leave me alone, I can handle this attitude that most people get in this stuff. I complete this series of run, run, run, rip, run, run, run, rip, run, run, run, rip through the whole thing. I get through and I get to the car and like you say I got to get in the car. I have to at this point literally sit down and take my other leg in my hands and manually lift my leg into the car. As I do it, I’m letting out a pretty good scream.
Long story short now, so I have a half marathon the next day. Dummy me decides let’s do the half marathon. Using my GORUCK experience, I went to the ATM and got 20 bucks, put it in my sock and told everybody, “Here is the gig. I’m going to do this run. Yeah, I don’t feel my hot, but I got 20 bucks. If I have to bail out, I’ll bail out, I’ll meet you back at the finish line.”
I decided to flop an 800 ibuprofen. You know anything about those? The big ones?
Brian: Those are real.
Chris: Okay. Those are the real ones, right. I have, because I’m smart I have a stash of these. I pop an 800, so I should be feeling okay, right you think. Every water station, I decided to pop another 800. How many water stations do you think there are in a 13.1 race? Quite a few. I popped an 800 ibuprofen at every water station. I finished the race. Again, I’m hurting man. I want to say it was like, 2:45. I didn’t run it, but it was – I didn’t crawl either.
We get done and we decided we’re all going to go to the cheese cake factory and eat and I get in there and I’m there with my wife and I’m looking at her, I’m like, “I don’t feel so hot. I’m not feeling too good.” I go over to the bathroom, “It just doesn’t feel good.” Go outside, “I just don’t feel good.” I end up with my head in my wife’s lap in the middle of the cheese cake factory and she’s rubbing ice on the back of my neck, because I feel like I’m overheating.
I tell her, “Hey, even the noise right now is bugging me. I got to go.” I go to stand up and I walk over to the cashier’s section and the lady looks at me and she was, “Sir, you don’t look too good.” What I remember is I don’t feel too good and then my head being ripped off of the floor. A guy pulling me up look at me – he goes, “Hello, sir. We’re with the fire department.”
I had passed out in the middle of the cheese cake factory and the fire department pulling me up checking me out. I’m like, “Hey, what’s up?” He goes, “Well, apparently you passed out.” Apparently, I passed out into their Deckard of bush. Thank you cheese cake factory for having that there. Probably saved me a bust than knows.
What ended up happen is I got tested for rhabdo and then I did not know, but I had bilateral hernias. I did that whole race with bilateral hernias. I’m just not smart enough to know when to stop.
Brian: That is wild.
Chris: Yeah. On top of that, monitored for organ failure because I took probably close to 5 grands of ibuprofen.
Brian: I was going to say, if you can take that much ibuprofen and still feel bad, something is really going on.
Chris: Yeah. I got the lecture of a lifetime from the emergency room physician. The kicker is I was a medic, I was a firefighter, I did nursing, I know better. I know what that stuff does. I know what the level of toxicity can do to you and the long-term stuff, and I still do silly stuff.
Brian: That is wild. That’s wild.
Chris: What keeps me coming back in my own inference? The people. Yeah, the people. Long story short, that’s where that came – where we got ultimately was the people. All of my mishaps, all of my minor tragedies and the fact that I probably paid GORUCK more money to do nothing and then I have to actually go and experience and event, because of all of my cancellations. I just want to be a part of the community. I really do.
Brian: That’s wild. The follow-up, the zombie run, did you get the survivor medal?
Chris: Dude, I did. I did. I did. I did. I kept that thing, and a lot of it – I don’t know if it was a pity survivor move or not, because I would literally run in, zoop, jag, trying to get through a couple zombies and I would fall to the ground and holding my crotch, because they were hernias. Somebody come over, “Go away. Go away. Go away.”
Then my wife would stand over me and I would pretty much crawl to the last zombie, the little shaky zone and then sit there for it was probably 30 seconds, it felt like 10 minutes. Then collect myself and limp to the next section and rinse loud and repeat. Yeah, I kept it. I got it. They could’ve easily walked over and taken it, but they let me have it. I have my survivor medal.
Brian: That’s awesome.
Chris: I’m surprised, I didn’t get divorced over that.
Brian: Being married. I understand.
Chris: All right.
Brian: Let’s get into Honor Guard. Where did the idea for Honor Guard come from?
Chris: My dad when I was probably eight. I knew you’d ask this and this is when I mold over in my head for a long time. It all does boil down to my parents. My parents have always demonstrated a level just appreciated, gratitude and kindness, being active, honoring things. I know they didn’t intentionally do it, but they did it. They did it.
Pretty much, I consider myself a reflection of my parent and my family and friends. The whole you are the sum of the five people you hang around most concept, that my father specifically is still the lot of these thought processes into my head on little things that I know he wouldn’t never remember. I’ve tried to jog his memory. He’s like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I’m like, “Well, you know what dad? You created this, so when you sit here and tell you like what I’m doing, head over to the mirror and talk to that guy, because he was the one that started it.”
My dad was a police officer for a little while and my dad worked in juvenile hall and he ultimately became a probation officer. I grew up in a household that – my dad was not a firm man. He isn’t a big man, but he was fair. I learned a lot about fairness to him, and I ended up going into nursing. I did low-level nursing. I went to paramedic school, I did firefighting and I ultimately wound up in law enforcement.
What I found in all of these was I remained the same person. My desires, my goals, my morals, my integrity and all of that never changed. But how I was treated was based upon the uniform I was wearing. I’ll give you a quick example.
When I was on the ambulance, we had – one night we had three back to back to back, called blue calls. We went to three homes, attempted to save three lives and lost all three, which is – that’s pretty standard in EMS. Saves are far a few and between. I had three back to back to back, and at some point in there I’m sure, somebody came up and said, “Thank you. Thanks for everything you did for grandma,” or whoever it was we were working at the moment.
I got down on my hands and knees and we went three rounds with death that night and we lost all three rounds. I work in law enforcement and what had happened was we had an incident where somebody passed away. Anytime, you have anywhere where there is humans, you’re going to have somebody ultimately, long enough timeline, pass away.
This gentleman passed away and we got grilled. We got questioned, we got treated like we had done something wrong. Yet, here I am. I’m the same guy that I was. Nothing’s changed. Then a couple years later, I am driving down a street and I come across a car that’s on fire and the car looks like it’s been going for the while. I pull over and I’m wondering why the fire department isn’t there. But hey, being who I am, I pull over and I check out. There is a little kid hanging out the back of this car. The car is on fire. Wow, what’s going on?
I realized an accident had just happened. I look in the front seat and there’s a lady there and she is completely engulfed, emolliated. She’s not moving and I did the quick fill triage and rode her off, and did everything I could to get the three-year-old out of the car and we ended up doing it – I ended up getting the three-year-old out of the car, third degree burns over 90% of his body. He survived.
Then went back to fighting for the life of this lady in the front, who I had written off as dead until she started moving very, very slow. The long story short on that was she got out, she didn’t survive, but the problem here was when the fire department came and extinguished the fire, one of the firefighters – and I’m standing right there, leans in, looks out and he goes, “We got more people in here.”
I was 6 inches fighting for the life of one small kid, another lady and I was 6 inches from watching four other people burn to death that I didn’t know were there. What had happened was work got a hold of this, because I happen to be working there and another guy from work showed up on duty – I was off duty. We got the gold medal of valor for it, which is great. Thank you. I appreciate that.
Why did I get treated three different ways for three different incidents, where the only thing that changed was the uniform I was wearing, or my expectation to duty? I was treated completely three different ways.
How Honor Guard was born, to bring it back full circle, was I decided I needed to see some consistency in how people were treated for their service and actions towards their nation and to be just like Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Be the change.” If nobody else was going to do it, because I didn’t see anybody else doing it, I decided I was going to do it and that’s how that transformed.
Brian: That’s wild. Those are stories.
Chris: That was the concept. How it really morphed is I was sitting at work on God, I should know the date. I don’t know the date. I’m embarrassed, I don’t know the date. The days at the five officers in Dallas were shot and killed. I was sitting on the couch with one of my co-workers just watching the story unfold and just incomplete and utter – an emotional wreck watching my brothers being killed on live TV.
Because of GORUCK, I decided, “You know what? Let’s do a patch.” I put together a patch for the Dallas five and got it made and sold it off and sent the proceeds to the families. It wasn’t a lot, but it was what I could do. I sent them some money and got the patch out and born from that was the concept of those thin-line thank you patches that I have.
One of the SWAT team members saw the Dallas patch, wanted his own patch made. We sat down and did a couple designs and put together a SWAT patch. They paid me and I took the funds that they paid me and I did the first run of the thin-blue line thank you patches. I drove from North Carolina to California in November 9th, 2016. I handed those to every law enforcement officer I could find.
I took the time to thank them, express what I was doing, who I was. Yes, I work in law enforcement, but I’m not here as a law enforcement officer. I’m here as a civilian; somebody that lives in the community which you protect and serve and thank you for the sacrifice that you do. Thank you for your family sacrifice of loaning us you during the times that you’re here, and being willing to endure the stress that comes along with being the loved one of somebody that serves.
Thank you to each and every one of you. I did that. The rest is history. We just move on and expanded it to firefighters, EMS, nurses, military and hopefully as many more as I can in the future.
Brian: That’s great. That’s an amazing story on how Honor Guard got started. For those who are listening and haven’t seen an Honor Guard patch, can you just describe quickly what they look like?
Chris: Yeah. I’m a minimalist. I don’t like a lot of fancy stuff. There is patches out there that are similar, but the basic design for me was I sat down at my desk and what is – first of all, what am I trying to do is I want to say thank you. How do you say thank you? You say thank you. You say thank you. I wrote down thank you.
What is the quintessential thing that basically everybody says that’s a police thing? The big thing in the community is the thin-blue line. What is something else that – black and white cars. It’s a black patch with the white words ‘Thank you,’ and the thin-blue line in between, the thanking to you. It’s that easy, that simple. It was just simple.
The idea that it doesn’t take much to thank somebody. One of the biggest questions I get is, “What I do with this?” You give it to somebody. Well, would I say thank you, that’s it? Yes. That is it, man. That is it. You walk up and say thank you. Well, what are they going to think? Here’s the problem, you’re going to get one with your responses. You’re there going to get, somebody that go – that looks like right and goes, “Hey, I appreciate that. Thank you very much.” They act appreciative, or they look at it and they flip it over in their hands. They look at you, they look at it and they just shove in their pocket and walk away.
The reason they do that is because they are not used to being thanked. They’re not used to somebody approaching them not wanting something and showing a bit of gratitude. I’m a law enforcement officer. I’m a 20-year veteran. I don’t have any tax. I dress the part. I look the part. I had numerous law enforcement officers as I drove through across the nation, stop, look at me and go, “Huh?” I would have to go, “Hey, man. I’m a cop. I’m just like you. I’m right here with you. I’m just dropping these off. I want to say thank you for your service.” “I don’t get it.”
I got that so much that I realized that it was something that needed to be done. I drove in the Reno, Nevada Police Department and I had a bag of probably 40 or 50 patches, and I walk up to the receptionist and this was a receptionist is behind bulletproof glass. “Hey, man. I’m a deputy from California. Is there anybody around that I can speak with? I have some items I wanted to give it to them.” I put the bag up on the counter. She backed up like it was a bomb.
I need to go, “Hold on a second.” I pull it out and go, “Hey, they’re just patches. I’m just here to trade patches.” Okay. Before that, she was getting ready to call her supervisor in the bomb squad, because I walked up and said I had something I want to give them.
That’s how on the defensive that everybody is feeling. Law enforcement officers to civilians. I’ve had civilians ask me all the time, “Well, what if I get shot?” “Why would you get shot?” “Well, what if they think I’m a threat?” “Well, what are you doing that would make them think you’re a threat?” People literally do not want to approach an officer, because they think there is going to be an altercation. The officers are feeling their tension, so they’re reacting to their tension, so they’re feeling there’s going to be an altercation. What point in time, what does it going to take, so that nobody feels that just saying hello to somebody is going to lead to an altercation?
Brian: That’s wild. There’s two things that I want to bring in on that. When you go out to dinner, how many times you say thank you to the hostess, the waitress? They bring the food, thank you. They come by –
Chris: Me, all the time.
Brian: All the time, right? Same here. They bring the food, thank you. They bring the check, thank you. Even though they’re bringing you something and say, “Hey, pay us this money,” you’re still saying thank you.
Chris: Yeah, constantly.
Brian: I mean, I probably say thank you at least a dozen, two dozen times when I’m going out for dinner and I’m standing here thinking and it’s just wild to me that a police officer you thank you once and they’re taking it back. You think people in the service industry and I mean, police officers they really – they’re serving us. They’re also in a service style industry. You thank people who bring your food all the time, but how often do people thank the police officers, the fire fighters?
Chris: They don’t. They don’t. That’s the point. Here is the issue, the firefighters are the rock stars. They know it and we all know it. In an industry we know it. The firefighters are the rock stars. EMS, they don’t get thanked. Police, they don’t get thanked. When was the last time you thank an officer yourself?
Brian: It’s got to be a couple months since I last reined into one and actively went out there and said thank you.
Chris: Why did you do that? Why?
Brian: Because we’re friends.
Chris: Okay. Take him out of the equation and I appreciate that you said thank you to your friend. When was the last time you said thank you to an officer that you don’t know?
Brian: It’s got to be three months ago.
Chris: Okay. Why did you do that? Why did you thank the one that you don’t know?
Brian: Because he did something for me. That’s nice.
Chris: There was a catalyst is what you’re saying.
Brian: Exactly. There was something that sparked it.
Chris: Right. When was the last time you thanked one that you had no interaction with? You just walked up and said, “Thank you, sir.”
Brian: Six months ago, possibly. It was at a GORUCK event.
Chris: Because you had the patches?
Brian: Our group did have patches.
Chris: Right. I get that, but the catalyst was the patch. But had you not had the patch, or it had not been a GORUCK event, because I understand that some people are using them in the GORUCK events, which I think is absolutely awesome. People don’t do that. If you would say we’re outliers in the community, then how often does the average person do that?
Chris: Okay. How many officer on duty right now, right now, what percentage would you say would lay down their life for anybody, anytime, anywhere?
Brian: Probably somewhere between 99 and a 100.
Chris: I would say unequivocally a 100. I can understand the 99. I would literally give my life right now for anybody, anywhere, anytime to make sure somebody else is safe, somebody else over me. That might be selfish for me, because I leave behind a number of people who rely on me and care about me. But that’s what I do, that’s who I am. That’s the way my mom and dad raised me. That is a direct reflection upon the values that my parents had instilled up on me.
Nobody is going to come up and thank me for it and I don’t expect them to. At the same time, those guys put on a uniform every day and they don’t know whether they’re coming home every day. The average person doesn’t’ thank them for it, and a lot of times they get treated poorly. That doesn’t make any sense to me.
Here is a trivia question for you and I don’t expect you to know the answer. How many line of duty desks that we had this year for police officers? We’ve had eight. We had 125 last year and we had 140 the year before. The reason I don’t expect you to know is because I went out on January 12th, and I remember the date because it happened to be a birthday celebration. My wife and I went out and I came across a group of officers at a barbecue joint and they were sitting there and they all had their motorcycles and I mistakingly thought they were en route to a funeral up in Washington for the deputy that passed away, I think it was like January 8th up there.
I walked up and I had patches with me. I patched them in and said, “Hey, thank you.” I said, “Are you guys coming or going?” They looked at me and said, “Are you coming or going to the services up in Washington?” They said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “The deputy that just got killed in Washington, the services, I figured – Sorry, I thought you guys were funeral detail for going up there.” They’re like, “Oh, we didn’t know about that.” They were very surprisingly uninformed about somebody in their field that had just passed away.
If we in the field don’t know, how do we expect the civilians to know, the people that we serve to respectful and gratuitous when we aren’t even paying attention? Come on, man. Seriously, what’s your thoughts on that? You’re thinking a long pause, so I know you got something going through.
Brian: Yeah. I mean, it’s tough, right? Where do you start? Is it because it’s not as exposed as heavily in the media? What’s the way to make sure that people know the true impact?
Chris: Okay. Here’s another flipside. I may have my numbers wrong and I apologize profusely if I’m incorrect, but these were the numbers as I understood them. 2017, do you know how many military guys were killed in action? From my understanding, it was 33. For law enforcement it was 125. Based upon those numbers, and again if I have them wrong, I profusely apologize. That would mean line of duty death, killed in action law enforcement in 2017 was almost four times more deadly than act of duty military.
Yet, we don’t really hear – we hear more about when the military is killed in action than we do with law enforcement. Based on what you’re saying, yes I think media covers it a lot less. Firefighters line of duty death, I think for 2017, I’m almost certain I don’t have the number right, so I’m going to generalize, but let’s say it’s about a 100. I think it was somewhere between 95 to 113. I can’t remember exactly at the moment. Line of duty deaths for firefighters are even less reported for some reason.
These guys go out, are willing to put themselves on the line each and every day to make sure we’re safe and then when they pay the ultimate price, it’s swept under the rug. Then we could sit here and ruminate on that for a minute. However, just as important are all those guys that were injured that while didn’t pay the ultimate price are now unable to work. They are now physical broken, mentally broken, to the point where they’re incapable of completing their tour of duties and they are having a hard time finding work.
They put themselves in the line and just because it didn’t reach the extreme level, they’re forgotten about. Who’s thanking them? Who’s taking the time to make sure they’re okay? For me, it encompasses a lot. It really does encompass a lot. I think a thank you is the very least, we as a community can do.
Brian: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Chris: I didn’t mean to lay the heavy stuff on you today, man. Sorry.
Brian: That’s good. It’s a heavy topic.
Chris: It is. That’s the bane and the beauty of it is it’s a heavy topic, so it doesn’t get talked about, but it needs to be talked about. Nobody is really – I hear people giving lip service to it, but I don’t see a lot of people being active. That’s why for me, the patch is an active thing, because it forces you to walk up and engage. You have to literally walk up to somebody, give them something that you’ve purchased yourself, so that purchase represents a small moment of your life because we trade our life one second a time for money, and then I pay the money so that is a physical embodiment of a few moments of my life that I’ve given.
I hand it to them and say thank you. Then that person that receive the patch gets to walk off and have a small memento that somebody actually said thank you. Whether they throw it up on their desk, they throw it up on their headboard on the car, they put it on their vest, their gear, whatever, there is a physical reminder that somebody said thank you. I think that’s really powerful.
Brian: I think it’s incredibly powerful. I think we just established that law enforcement officers hardly ever get thanked. Having that physical reminder that it happened is very powerful.
Chris: I get pictures of guys with them on their bulletproof vest. They send it to me. I get stories of people saying, “Hey, the officer was in near tears because he said nobody ever said thank you.” The awesome one I get is when people come up and say, “Hey, I try to give this officer a patch, but he opened up his vest and there was one already sitting on it.” That’s a lot. That’s awesome. This guy is carrying it around on his vest. Somebody tried to say thank you. He’s like, “No, already got one.”
Brian: That’s amazing.
Chris: Yeah, it’s cool.
Brian: That’s really cool.
Chris: That’s really cool. I just had somebody in the pathfinder just took one up to the Granite Mountain Hotshots. You know I’m talking about? The firefighters that died on the Yorneo mountain fire, so that only – I haven’t seen the movie yet, but only the brave, the movie that just came out is based on them. She took a patch up there and left it at the memorial site, sent me a picture and somebody forwarded the picture to one of the firefighter’s wives.
Chris: I’m sitting here almost getting – because I’m like – this is, “Wow.” That’s really cool. She gets a picture of somebody that walked up and left a patch. It’s just a patch. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s a small piece of cloth with some what? 15 cents worth of thread. It’s the thought, it’s the time, it’s’ the effort, it’s the action behind the item that is significant and not the item itself.
Brian: That’s powerful. That’s got to be like you smile all right. That’s exactly what you’re hoping for when you started this.
Chris: It’s exactly – it does make me smile, yes. But it almost makes me feel like a fraud. Because I know that sounds weird, but it’s like you don’t have to buy a patch. Anybody can do this with anything. It’s nothing. All I’m providing for you is an opportunity and a reason. The patch is an icebreaker. It doesn’t have to be a patch. It doesn’t have to be anything. It can be simply walking up in a handshake. If it takes the patch as a method of an icebreaker for you to walk up and show somebody some gratitude, whether it be military, fire, EMS, whoever, crossing guards, whoever, then great, I’m willing to give that to you.
God, I hope it works, because everybody in this world on some level deserves a piece of gratitude and for somebody to say thank you for something. If that’s what it takes to be the catalyst, I’m very happy. That’s an honor. That’s a deep, deep honor. It’s not like I’m doing anything.
Brian: You definitely are doing something. You’re providing – I mean, some people just need that extra push. Some people are more introverted than others and they just need that little shove.
Chris: All I’m being is a gentle shove on the shoulders. I’ll gladly be that. If me providing a patch and going out and posting things and saying, “Hey, look, look, look, look, look,” is what that gentle shove is, that’s awesome. It’s an honor to be a part of it. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything other than what I would do is just this happen to be the avenue that it took.
Hey, thank you for what you’re doing. The stuff you incurred and put together. You guys have over a $100,000 donated to charity. You guys are a catalyst. Do you feel like you’re doing a lot with that? I mean, you don’t have to answer that, because it’s rhetorical. Only you know how you feel how much you’re affecting the world. But you’ve been able to bring charity challenges out initially with Kirk and now with Kirk and I believe his wife is tied to you somehow.
You guys are raising awareness and money for people – that will help people, that you will never hear a thank you from. You know what I mean? The recipients of these gratitude and kindness will never come and say thank you. That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. You’re doing all these work and you legitimately will probably never be thanked by the people that is going to directly affect the most. Thank you very much for that. I have a lot of deep respect for that.
Brian: Well, thank you. Yeah, Kirk’s wife is amazing. She’s helping out a ton. She’s phenomenal. She’s incredible. She has my deepest thanks for all the support and time and effort that she puts in. She puts in a lot of work in the charity challenges.
My thoughts, just personally how I feel in charity challenges is I always feel like it’s never enough. That if I had an extra hour or two hours, I could do something more. There is always something more. I never feel like on top of some mountain like, “Look what has been accomplished?” It’s always just looking up. There’s more that needs to be done. I’m nowhere –
Chris: No, no. That’s exactly, because it’s not about you, it’s not about me. We’re only being conduits. I’m only trying to help funnel somebody’s gratitude. We’re just conduits. It’s not about us.
Brian: That’s the thing, right? Like you said, a $100,000 donated, that’s not for me. That’s not a $100,000 under my bank account. That’s thousands of people signing up for events. Their money coming through us and then going straight to the charities to get donated. That’s like you said, charity challenges. That’s going to be over a 100,000. That’s like I said, not on my bank account. That’s why I feel like, yeah, exactly what you’re saying.
Chris: You’re right. I charge for the patches. I could be altruistic and I could give the patches away. I give a fair amount away to people I meet, but I don’t for two reasons. The most important being is as I said before, that patch embodies – in order to purchase the patch, you have to go to work, you have to give up your life. That patch embodies a very – depending on who you are, how much money you make and everything, a portion of life.
When you hand that patch over to somebody that you paid, you are saying, “Here is a very small portion of my life that I have taken and dedicated to showing you thank you for what you’re doing.” If I just handed the patches out to everybody and said, “Hey, go hand them out,” there is no investment by you. There’s none. There is no physical investment. At that point, you are a representative of my time to pay for them and get them created.
I sell them, because I want people to be giving of themselves. I don’t want them to be an agent for me. I want them to be an agent for themselves. Then it allows me to continue the process and buy more patches and ensure that things get out there, so that more and more people get that thank you. I hear you. It’s not like I specifically profit from it, all the money for the most part of it goes back into buying more and whatever equipment – I’m looking at buying some small equipment in the next little while to move forward and see what else we can do.
Yeah, it’s no win. Am I really financially profiting from this? Just like you said, it’s all going to somebody else. Yeah, when you hear the accolades of things you’re doing – I’m just like you. It’s not about me. I don’t feel like I’m doing much and there is always a thousand more things I could be doing. That’s my mindset is looking up and not looking down. Just like you said. Yeah, good way to put it.
Brian: We talked, just touched briefly now on buying the patches. For people who are wanting to buy your patches and hand them out, do you have a website?
Chris: I do not. I need to get one. If there’s anybody, or if you know anybody that will help me with that, I need to get that. What I have is they can find me – I assume you’ll link it up through your stuff.
Chris: There is the Honor Guard, just Facebook page, I guess, the retail page, which on there is a little store shop and it needs to be updated, but Kevin Maestri and Kevin I know I probably screwed your name up, Knotted Chords help me put it together, but they can go on there, or they can just message me and we can do the things through PayPal.
The other thing is if anybody’s interested, we have a private group, secret clothes, all that backdoor stuff. People in the group – I bet people in. I just don’t let everybody in. They come in and they tell me they want to do and I’ll go checkout their profiles, their pages and if I have any questions, I’ll ask. I think we got close to 900 people in that group, but that’s the best place to reach me is through that and we can either order through that website, or we’ll just go straight through PayPal. I haven’t used Venmo. I know some people are using Venmo, but it’s just a simple like that. Just very, very simple, easy transactions and get it done.
Brian: I’ll post links to everything in the show notes, so people will know where to go buy some. I think there’s someone So Strong as well.
Chris: Yeah, sorry. Yeah, oh man. You can edit this part out. Sorry, sorry Margaret. Yeah. Margaret is So Strong and I partnered – Yeah, we talk about all the other stuff, man. My mind is still on that other stuff. Margaret and I have partnered and she is using So Strong as a method of selling the patches as well along with her patch tags. Those patch tags are awesome. I know you got some.
Brian: I do.
Chris: I don’t know how many I have, but I probably have at least 15. I attached the patch tags, the carry beaners and then I have all my little honor patches and my thank you patches all over my ruck. Yeah, they’re everywhere. Everywhere. I had given amount. The patch tag are awesome. Our stash tags are awesome. Yeah, you can pick up the patches through Margaret as well.
She’s selling the fire law enforcement and military ones at this point. I have the nurse and the EMS ones as well, and I’m looking at teachers and dispatchers. Oh, geez, a whole bunch – whole fleet down the line soon.
Brian: Very cool. I can’t wait to see when those ones come out as well.
Chris: Yeah. In the future. I’m working on some other things with regard to some apparel things, just to see what I could play out and we’re – I’ve got a couple other projects on the side that I’m trying to mesh, for lack of a better term, that I’m hoping will fit nicely and everything will come full circle and work together. We’ll see what happens.
Brian: Very cool. I’m excited to watch it.
Chris: What about you? What do you have going on for ADR? What’s next for you guys?
Brian: Trying to get into video. We’ll see how it does. Started the podcast. This is going to be podcast episode 34. Haven’t missed a week since we started.
Chris: I know. You’re doing well.
Brian: It’s been kept as busy. I’m trying to get setup with some video stuff, so that will be interesting. Then my time right now is just been focused probably 90% on charity challenges, getting ready for the winter challenge, which will have just started when this is aired. I had to rewrite probably 90% of the website to get that thing going. It’s been fun.
Chris: I think your video stuff would work well. I think you’ll hit a homerun with that.
Brian: Thank you. I’m hoping.
Chris: Yeah. No, I think you’ll do fine.
Brian: Well, Chris is there anything else you want to talk about before we go?
Chris: I mean, I could do this all day. Let me see.
Brian: Maybe I’ll have to do a follow-up.
Chris: Yeah, maybe actually. That probably would be not a bad idea. Well, right now with the Honor Guard we partnered with So Strong. We’re working on that partnership and I’m hoping that – it has been an absolute joy for me to work with Margaret there. She has taught me a lot. We’re in contact quite a bit and she has been nothing short of miraculous with her mentorship of me.
I’m a service guy. I worked all the different service – I’ve been in the service sector job for 30 years running calls, dealing with things. I’m not the best knowledgeable person when it comes to business and stuff. So Strong has been awesome avenue of mentorship.
Right now, Christian Griffith, which I know a lot of you guys are familiar with is doing his run to hill, his run across the United States. I believe that starts like March – I can’t remember the exact date, but mid-March. Right now I’m donating a percentage of my proceeds of all sales to him through the end of his run. We’re going to be making donations to him as we get in orders, because that’s an absolutely worthwhile cost. Christian is an absolutely worthwhile guy. I’m assuming you watch selection.
Chris: Yeah. I actually use selection as my training material at the academy. Here it is law enforcement and I’m showing selection. If you watch that and I would tell anybody to watch it again and there are a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of absolutely base line, awesome life lessons in each one of those episodes, whether it comes from teamwork, being on top of things, the integrity station, all of that.
I use each and every one of those as a training session for the recruits. A matter of fact, Christian’s section where – I actually start off the academy giving every recruit a copy of the man in arena speech and then about halfway through – Then we’ll start it off and I’ll tell somebody, “Somebody in this group is a friend. I won’t tell them who.” They usually end up pointing to Bert Kuntz, or Tyler Gray as who they think my friend is. It’s never Christian. It’s never Christian.
Then we come to his interview where he actually – that was the first time he publicly really divulged what’s going on for him. Then he gives the man of the arena speech at the end. Then I turn it off and I look at them and, “Hey, that speech sounds a lot better given a context, doesn’t it?” Everybody goes, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
That’s when I go, “That’s my friend.” Then jaws all drop and they’re like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yeah.” I bring it full circle to is hey, you never know and all of your dealings with all the people in your career, in your life and these people entered in some semblance or crisis. You never know what they’ve gone through, because a lot of people that knew Christian never knew what he went through.
Now he’s using that in that show as a catalyst to propel him and his cost to hopefully do what he can to defeat that. People didn’t know and you never know. The selection and Christian all that, he really brings a lot to the table for me with regard to my training. I tell them that all the time. The academy is going and I’ll usually take a picture of that scene where he’s crying on TV and sent him just that clip.
Everybody’s watching him with the tears and he’s like – Just a little, “Hey, look. We’re doing it again.” Hey, it’s a powerful thing. I’m really happy to make that a possibility to donate to that cause like that. That’s an awesome thing. I’m really looking at – he’s going to be running into San Francisco at the end of his – his index s San Francisco, so I’m hoping to get as many people as I can to run with him that last few whatever distance, whether it be a marathon, half marathon, 5K, 2K, 10 yards, but across that finish line. That’s awesome.
Brian: That would be amazing.
Chris: Yeah. It would be awesome. Are you going to come down?
Brian: We’ll see. Probably not. It’s tough to get out. I have a eight-month-old daughter and a three and a half year old foster son.
Chris: You’re fostering?
Chris: Dude, that is phenomenal. Way to go.
Brian: Thank you.
Chris: Yeah. Look at you. How is that?
Brian: It is an experience. It’s amazing, but it’s an experience. I love them death. They’re at sixth or seventh placement.
Chris: How long did those normally last? Just out of curiosity.
Brian: Up until this one, it’s been five to seven months. We’ve had this little guy for over two years now.
Chris: You can confirm or deny something for me, okay? It’s going to seem like it’s not the same, but I’m curious. I run a service dog program and I don’t know if you knew that.
Brian: I did not know that.
Chris: In the jail, I run a program and the person that I run it with is Dr. Bergin and she is the person, the lady who is responsible for service dogs. She was the initial person 60 years ago plus. I don’t know. It was a while ago, who thought up of service dogs for those that were handicapped, not seeing eye dogs, but service dogs.
She had a friend who was a quadriplegic and she went down to the pound and picked one up. Basically from ground zero, figured out what it takes and how to train a dog to be a service dog. I have the inmates that they’re learning how to train. They’re training dogs. They’re training service dogs from week. Let’s call it 12 and they have the dogs for about four months and then they have to give the dog up as the dog was on.
Well, they’re doing this and they’re carrying for something that will move on. A lot of these guys, this is the first time they’ve ever been able to tap into that emotional side of themselves. They’re giving something to somebody that A, will never say thank you. They’re giving this thing their love and care away. They will probably never see it again. That has to be very tough. That is a huge gift and thank you for being that kind of guy. I think that is absolutely awesome.
Isn’t that one of the most awesome things you’ve ever done?
Brian: Absolutely. I think it’s probably very similar. You care for a child for months and months and months as your own. Sometimes they’re going back to a good situation and sometimes they’re not. There’s just a ton of emotions associated with it.
Chris: Well, I think the difference between them and you is A, it’s a puppy, it’s a dog and it’s not a child, but I know there are people out there that family members are family member, whether they’re four-footed, or furry or not.
A lot of these guys, this is the first time they’ve cared for anything that they’ve actually taken the time to access that part of their emotional – their psychie. They’re accessing this and they’re giving it. It’s the first time. Some of these guys have a really hard time. I see that they grow a lot. I tell them all the time, “Hey, thank you. Thank you for that gift. Thank you for that and thank you for the love and caring and compassion you’re giving.” You’re not going to get thanked by the person who receives this gift, so I’m saying thank you, because I know that – I see what you’re doing. I see the gift you’re giving.
Hey, thank you. It might not be the same and I realize that some people think it isn’t, but I see it in them. It gives me a sense of what you’re doing, so thank you man. That’s awesome. That’s a big gift.
Brian: Well, thank you. Thank you. That’s incredible what you’re doing at that program. That’s amazing.
Chris: It’s cool. It is cool. I got to hang out – with that program, it should be coming up. I haven’t looked, but Jason McCarthy is putting that service first thing together.
Chris: You’ve seen this, okay. Jason came in with cadre Mikey B and Leah. I believe his dog’s name is Leah. Jason filmed I think with Mikey B. Well, I brought Dr. Bergin in and I got to hang out with Jason and Mikey and Dr. Bergin. Dr. Bergin and Mikey B sat down and they had a conversation. That was really interesting, the fact that here he is with Leah, his service dog who has by his own admission saved his life. Here is the lady that is ultimately responsible.
Brian: That’s phenomenal. That’s amazing.
Chris: Yeah. I got to sat there and watch this interaction. It was absolutely awesome. I don’t think GORUCK released that episode of the service first, but I’m really looking forward to that one.
Brian: Me too. Chris, this has been so fun. We have to do it again.
Chris: Okay. Anytime you want, man.
Brian: All right. Thanks so much for taking all this time out of your day. I’m really excited to get this episode up. Let’s keep in touch.
Chris: Yeah, please. Absolutely. Please. I really look forward to it. It’s been an absolute honor. Thanks for letting me spout my craziness. I hope somebody somewhere hears this and just walks out to somebody and says thank you. Say thank you to somebody, somebody who’s done something for somebody; a waitress, a crossing guard, the mailman. Go to the store and hold the door open for somebody, something. Show somebody some gratitude and specifically those people that you think may never get it, or don’t get it as often as they should.
Go hug your wife, your husband, call your mom, which I probably should do here when we’re done now that I’m thinking about it. Those kind of things. Just say thank you. It’s two little words that I don’t think it’s said enough and mean probably as much to anybody as anything else we ever hear.
Brian: Absolutely. Thank you.
Chris: Thank you.
Brian: Have a great rest of your day, Chris. Thank you so much again.