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Behind the Mask: Guardian

Q: What does your call sign mean to you?

A: BLUF: A duty to care for someone. Throughout my military career, whether as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer where our motto is "So Others May Live" or as a Critical Care nurse in the hospital or deployed setting, my job always entailed "caring" for someone else. After caring for

our wounded veterans whether in Afghanistan or at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, I would wonder what was next for our brave men and women after they left the hospital and began the process to learn their new "normal". OEW definitely shows these individuals how to grow into their new normal. As MAT it is our honor and duty to ensure the adaptive athletes safely navigate the course.

Q: What branch of the military did you serve in (or are currently serving in), for how long, and what was your job?

A: Currently active duty in the US Navy for just under 25 years.

Q: Why did you commit to the Masked Athlete program?

A: I first met OEW and the MAT at Wintergreen 2014. While waiting at the start line to start my heat, the music stopped and I heard the bag pipes playing. Leading the procession was the MAT with Noah Galloway, Ed Lychik and Todd Love in front. Something inside told me this was the answer to my question on what happens after our wounded warriors leave the hospital.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about being a MAT?
A: Knowing that no matter how hard we are pushing ourselves through equipment malfunctions and discomfort while geared up, we will NEVER truly experience the hardship and adversity our adaptive athletes experience.

Q: What would you like people to know about OEW?

A: OEW's mission is unique and no other veteran service organization provides what we do.

Q: Motto or principle you live by.

A: I have a couple:

"Life is too ironic to fully understand. It takes sadness to know what happiness is. Noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence."

"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."

"In life, you will realize there is a role for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, some will love you and some will teach you. But the ones who are truly important are the ones who bring out the best in you. They are the rare and amazing people who remind you why it's worth it."

Q: How do you stay in shape for the demands of the MAT?

A: Pretty simple formula: CrossFit, masked runs, eat right and embrace the pain.

Check out our new Spotify channel! Each Call Sign will share their own playlists of music that gets them pumped for action or helps them chill during their workday. Follow our channel and receive updates whenever new playlists are posted!

Don't have Spotify? Click here to download now and enjoy FREE music on your mobile device or desktop.

About INDOC: The application process to apply for the Masked Athlete Team Warrior INDOC opens on an as-needed basis for a short window of submission. Requirements are men or women with military or LEO experience. Announcements are made via social media. Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts and check back frequently for our open enrollment announcement.

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