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Hazard Ground

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Servicemembers from across the military, sharing their accounts of combat and survival. Hosted by sports talk radio host and Army veteran, Mark Zinno, this podcast brings you inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield. Subscribe to stay up to date when each new episode is released!

Servicemembers from across the military, sharing their accounts of combat and survival. Hosted by sports talk radio host and Army veteran, Mark Zinno, this podcast brings you inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield. Subscribe to stay up to date when each new episode is released!
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Servicemembers from across the military, sharing their accounts of combat and survival. Hosted by sports talk radio host and Army veteran, Mark Zinno, this podcast brings you inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield. Subscribe to stay up to date when each new episode is released!




Ep. 70 - Col (Ret) Tommy Goode (AF Helicopter Pilot)

We're back from a short hiatus, with an incredible guest! Retired Air Force Colonel Tommy Goode has led an unconventional career as an Air Force helo pilot. From the story behind how he made it into the flight program, to flying the rescue/recovery mission after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, to now flying fire attack helicopters...Tommy Goode is no ordinary pilot. He's about as humble as they come, but when you hear him talk about his time in the air, you know he's the real deal!...


Ep. 69 - Elliot Ackerman (Marine, Author)

He completed five combat deployments between Iraq and Afghanistan as both an infantry Marine and Marine Special Operator. He has been awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star for Valor for actions on the battlefield during those deployments. He has seen the hellish, unlucky, and simply chaotic side of war, and lived to tell about it. After eight years of service, he left the Marine Corps to become a writer. Now Elliot Ackerman is an accomplished author, who has plenty of life experience to...


Ep. 68 - Jim Hackett (Marine, Vietnam)

Facing a draft notice and challenged by his Marine father to prove his mettle, Jim Hackett signed up for the Marine Corps in 1967. The war in Vietnam was heating up considerably in the late '60s, and Jim Hackett the Marine - and a crack shot at that - was heading right for the meat grinder. Except a funny thing happened at boot camp graduation: Hackett wasn't immediately sent to the infantry. Instead, as a top graduate of his class, he was sent off to "Secret School" to learn how to track...


Ep. 67 - Special Guest: Dianne Layfield (Gold Star Mom)

This week, in honor of Mother's Day, we have a very special guest. Dianne Layfield is the proud mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield, who was killed in action on April 6, 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dianne was gracious enough to sit down with us and share Travis' story, as well as talk about her journey coping with his passing, and experiencing some unexpected and amazing discoveries that followed. Parent or not, this is one episode everyone can take a little something...


Ep. 66 - Karl Holt (Green Beret, Tillman Scholar)

What an absolutely amazing story! Driven by a keen interest in medicine & a desire to give back to his country, Karl Holt joined the Army to become a Green Beret medic. After several years of assessment, selection, & special forces training, Holt found himself in the heat of combat, putting his SF medic training to use. On one particular mission though, while trying to escape an overwhelming counterattack, the helicopter Holt was riding in crashed & literally fell out of the sky into a...


Ep. 65 - JC Glick (Ranger, Leadership Consultant, Author)

This episode with JC Glick could have gone on for hours...That's how good conversations with JC, especially those about leadership, can be. JC went from battle tested Army Ranger, serving over 11 combat tours between Iraq & Afghanistan, to leadership consultant, couch & author. He's been tested in just about every way imaginable, from making it through a difficult childhood to leading special operations soldiers at some of the highest levels in the US military in combat. And what came out...


Ep. 64 - Lewis Nelson (Author, "Life After Loyalty")

A combination of factors led Lewis Nelson to enlist in the Army after college - 9/11; a family history of military service; and a history degree with a job that was going nowhere. So Nelson enlisted to become a linguist, and after several years of specialized training found himself in Iraq on two separate deployments with the 101st Airborne Division. While deployed, Nelson ran the gamut of combat occupations, from intelligence collection, to running convoys, to helping combat arms soldiers...


Ep. 63 - Matt Gallagher (Author, "Kaboom")

Matt Gallagher thought he was just keeping a regular blog of his time spent in a war zone as a way to chronicle daily life as a Platoon Leader during the Iraq War in 2007-08. Little did he know that his blog, aptly titled, "Kaboom" was a much bigger hit on the internet than he thought. His chain of command was even okay with it, until, as Matt puts it, "they weren't." And soon the US Army was shutting the young officer's blog down. But, with the internet being the internet, Matt's war...


Ep. 62 - Trey Grissom (Navy Football/Marine)

Trey Grissom entered the Naval Academy to play football & left there to become a Marine after highlighting his collegiate football career in one of the great Navy upsets over rival Notre Dame in 2010. The rigors of the Academy & college football prepared Grissom well for leading Marines in combat. But as combat goes, nothing ever fully prepares you for that experience, except the experience itself. That sentiment is reflected in Grissom's thoughts on his combat tour in Helmand Province,...


Ep. 61 - Joe Serna (Green Beret)

As a Green Beret, Joe Serna has been through just about everything in combat: he's been blown up a couple of times, shot at, and nearly drown in an armored vehicle when the road under it gave way next to a canal. And with all those combat injuries, most certainly comes PTSD, which Joe has most certainly battled. The breaking point came a few years ago when Joe was arrested for drunk driving. He subsequently broke his probation & ironically found an unintended healing point when the judge...


Ep. 60 - Cliff Anders (Apache Pilot)

From a young age, Cliff Anders wanted to fly helicopters in the military. Getting into the cockpit seemed to be a breeze for Cliff, but getting to war, to "do his part," was not so easy. He was in flight school during September 11, 2001, but it would be several more years & a few moves around the world to various Apache & training outfits, before Cliff would finally see combat. You see, Cliff is a determined individual - so much so that he & a fellow pilot would call the Army's Personnel...


Ep. 59 - Josh Jespersen (Navy SEAL)

Josh Jespersen's entrance into the military wasn't exactly conventional. But then again, there really isn't much about Josh that is "conventional." And he's just about the nicest & decent human being you'll ever meet, too! Once in the military, Josh quickly earned the Trident of a Navy SEAL & went on to honorably serve several years as a SEAL, surviving combat tours in Iraq & Afghanistan. After leaving the Navy he co-founded Mission Memorial Day - an organization that has set out to bring...


Ep. 58 - "Brad" & Jason Everman (From the band "Silence and Light")

Two men...One of them wanted to work in special operations from the start, & ended up serving a long career in the most elite forces in the U.S. military, fighting in The Battle of Mogadishu all the way into the Global War on Terror. The other holds the unique distinction of playing in both Nirvana & Soundgarden before deciding to join the Army & going on to serve in Special Forces for the rest of his military career. They are "Brad" & Jason Everman, both the truest form of modern day...


Ep. 57 - Mike Vining (1st SFOD-D/EAGLE CLAW/Grenada)

This is sure to be part one of a multi-interview series with US Army & Delta Force legend, retired SGM Mike Vining. Vining enlisted in the Army in 1968. He served in Vietnam as an EOD tech, but after 10 years in EOD he started looking to transition to Special Forces as a medic. He soon found himself, however, going through the selection process for the newly formed 1st SFOD-Delta, more commonly known as "Delta Force" as the Unit was looking to add more EOD techs to its initial roster....


Ep. 56 - Steve Cannon (CEO of AMB Group/Atlanta Falcons)

Our guest this week is not the typical guest we tend to feature on "Hazard Ground." But we felt it was important to have Steve Cannon on to talk about service & leadership, as he is someone who's embodied those ideals for a very long time. Steve Cannon is currently the CEO of AMB Group, LLC - the Arthur M. Blank family of businesses, which includes the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, whose business operations Cannon currently leads. He is also a West Point graduate and qualified Army Airborne...


Ep. 55 - Special Guest: Sebastian Junger

We are honored to be joined this week by special guest & author/journalist/filmmaker Sebastian Junger. Junger is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author of such works as "The Perfect Storm," "War," & "Tribe." He is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film "Restrepo" was nominated for an Academy Award. As an award-winning journalist who's covered news stories around the world, he's received both a National Magazine Award & a Peabody Award. He is also known for directing "Korengal," the...


Ep. 54 - Margaux Mange

We return this week with a guest who at first, humbly, didn't really believe she had much to offer to the podcast or our general audience. But she in fact does have something important to share, & sharing her story is yet another reason we do the podcast each week - to help others whether they've been in the military or not. Margaux Mange is a living example that you can find a way to heal from PTSD & the traumatic effects of having your brain literally rattled in combat. While serving in...


Ep. 53 - Chris Van Etten

There are simply too many positive things to say about Chris Van Etten to fit in this short intro, but what we will say is that his drive & motivation to move beyond his injuries & inspire others is infectious & invigorating. In 2012, while on patrol as a Marine in Afghanistan, Van Etten stepped on an IED. The blast took both of his legs as well as the life of his best friend. The accident took its toll both physically & mentally on Chris. Unsure where his drastically changed life was...


Ep. 52 - Ryan Pitts (Medal of Honor Recipient) - Part II

Today we pick-up with Ryan Pitts' story as the Anti-Afghan force begins their deadly and sustained assault on Pitts and his observation post, in the vicinity of Wanat Village, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 13, 2008! If you like the show, please subscribe/rate/review on iTunes! It helps the show tremendously, and we always appreciate the feedback!


Ep. 51 - Ryan Pitts (Medal of Honor Recipient) - Part I

On the one year anniversary of Hazard Ground, it's probably fitting that we share part one of the two part story of how Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat. His is a story that defines the reason we do the podcast every week - to tell the stories of service, sacrifice, of unbreakable spirit, and strength in the face of insurmountable odds, with the hope that these stories will help others, whether they've served in the military or not....