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Hazard Ground

History Podcasts

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 firsthand accounts of war, with a perspective you only get from someone who has lived through it. From WWII to Vietnam, Somalia, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hear inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield!

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 firsthand accounts of war, with a perspective you only get from someone who has lived through it. From WWII to Vietnam, Somalia, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hear inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield!

Location:

United States

Description:

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 firsthand accounts of war, with a perspective you only get from someone who has lived through it. From WWII to Vietnam, Somalia, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hear inspirational stories of service and resiliency from those who have fought on and off the battlefield!

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 214 - Chris Jones (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

4/13/2021
This week, another detailed look at COP Keating and the October 3rd, 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan with Chris Jones. Chris was an Infantry soldier in Red Platoon, Bravo Troop 3-61 Cav. He was also one of the five guys who volunteered for Clint Romesha's small team to take back the outpost against overwhelming odds. Jones talks about the intense battle that unfolded that day in October 2009, and the strong bonds amongst brothers in arms that kept a relatively small number of them...

Duration:02:23:00

Ep. 213 - Kyle Knight (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

4/6/2021
This week we return to COP Keating and the Battle of Kamdesh, which took place on October 3rd, 2009 in Afghanistan. Kyle Knight was a Forward Observer in Red Platoon, Bravo Troop 3-61 Cav. Kyle offers an unvarnished perspective of what life was like on Keating before the overwhelming October 3rd attack, the leadership failures that lead to it, and the hours fighting on the ground to win back American control of the combat outpost. He and his unit of just 53 U.S. cavalry scouts ultimately...

Duration:01:17:52

Ep. 212 - Special Guest: Dr. Shauna Springer (Trauma Expert)

3/30/2021
Dr. Shauna Springer's father raised his kids like a drill instructor - up at 5 a.m. three times a week to run miles in the dark at a local track. That kind of activity at an early age, along with solo mission service trips to foreign countries starting at the age of 10, may just have been the spark that started Dr. Springer on a path to understanding the psychological trauma veterans face on and off the battlefield. She isn't a veteran, but she has made it her life's mission to understand...

Duration:01:13:20

Ep. 211 - Richard Rice (Green Beret - Vietnam to Mogadishu/GORUCK)

3/23/2021
This week's episode is all about highlighting an incredible career in Special Operations that spans from Vietnam to Operation Gothic Serpent - better known as the battle portrayed in the book and film, "Black Hawk Down." More importantly this is a conversation about turning combat experience into leadership and mentoring the next generation of individuals to lead in positions from military service to business and government. Richard Rice began his military career as a Green Beret in Vietnam...

Duration:01:45:22

Ep. 210 - Dale Rider (Army Combat Vet - Syria)

3/16/2021
Dale Rider deployed to Iraq as a bridge crew member of an Engineer unit initially assigned to advise and assist the Iraqi's, after the war had theoretically ended. So, naturally, in the middle of the Iraq mission, his small detachment would head into Syria for a different mission. Dale shares his experiences with that sudden change of mission, and the struggle to deal with some of its side effects when he returned home. It's an interesting story that explores the volatile environment in Iraq...

Duration:01:19:12

Ep. 209 - Special Guest: Char Fontan Westfall (Gold Star Spouse)

3/9/2021
Once again, we step outside the bounds of the typical HAZARD GROUND guest to tell Char Fontan Westfall's story. Char is the wife of the late Navy SEAL, Jacques Fontan. Jacques was killed while attempting to rescue survivors of Operation Red Wings, the ill-fated reconnaissance mission in June 2005 in Afghanistan, that left one lone survivor. Char talks about receiving the news of her husband's death, and the long, difficult road she's traveled dealing with the pain, anger, and grief of losing...

Duration:01:28:47

Ep. 208 - Jason McCarthy (Green Beret & Founder of GORUCK)

3/2/2021
GORUCK founder Jason McCarthy went from Green Beret to building a 100 million dollar company, starting with just a napkin sketch of a rucksack that could withstand the abuse of war torn Baghdad and still look good on the streets of any major city. Along with a backpack company he also started a global movement to get people outside rucking, adventuring, and forming community through his GORUCK Challenge events. Hear how Jason McCarthy survived combat and went on to build one of the most...

Duration:01:39:07

Ep. 207 - Joe "Spoon" Rizzuto (A-10/RPA Pilot)

2/23/2021
Retired Air Force Colonel, Joe "Spoon" Rizzuto has had one of the most interesting careers a military pilot could have. The Air Force Academy grad started out flying C-130s in Alaska - something he wasn't initially thrilled about, but he describes as extremely rewarding and beneficial as a young pilot. He would eventually go from the C-130 to flying both the A-10 and Reaper and Predator drone aircraft in combat. He was even one of the first to fly drones in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11....

Duration:01:17:36

Ep. 206 - Tonya Oxendine (Command Sergeant Major/MVP)

2/16/2021
For Tonya Oxendine the Army offered an escape from a rough upbringing - a chance for a better life. Although not without extreme hardships and challenges, Tonya embraced the military, using the trauma she experienced in it and after, to become an incredible leader who has made it her life's mission to take care of others. She served over two decades - including several years in the 82nd Airborne - retiring as a Command Sergeant Major. Today she serves as the Atlanta Program Manager of...

Duration:01:15:54

Ep. 205 - David Smith (Navy Corpsman/CONTINUE TO SERVE)

2/9/2021
Our conversation this week is simply about service - service in combat, and continued service when the uniform comes off. David Smith is a former Navy Corpsman who served in combat in Afghanistan. When an aspiring career in the Navy was cut short, David found another way to serve his country. Ultimately he started an organization called, CONTINUE TO SERVE. Through this organization, he brings together other veterans in continued service to the Nation, particularly when it comes to civic...

Duration:01:17:05

Ep. 204 - Grant Broggi (Marine/The Strength Co.)

2/2/2021
Grant Broggi didn't take the typical route to the Marine Corps. The extra time he took before ultimately joining meant he entered the Marines with life experience - a key attribute in forming who he would become as a leader of Marines. And the experience he gained from leading Marines in combat would eventually pay dividends when he became a strength coach, preparing Marines for combat as well as forming a small business. That small business would take a punishing hit during the onset of the...

Duration:01:16:00

Ep. 203 - Rod Lurie (From West Point to Filmmaker/"The Outpost")

1/26/2021
When Rod Lurie immigrated to the United States at a young age, he was taken by what he saw when he visited The United States Military Academy at West Point for the first time. Beyond the institution, he knew attending West Point would provide a means to pay back the country that welcomed him from abroad. Whether his decision to ultimately go to West Point was right or wrong, Lurie has found that his attendance and graduation from there prepared him very well for the profession he knew he...

Duration:01:15:00

Ep. 202 - Ryan Hendrickson (Green Beret)

1/19/2021
Ryan Hendrickson doesn't know when to quit. If you've served alongside Ryan in combat, that's probably a good thing. Ryan Hendrickson is a retired Green Beret, leaving the Army as an E-7 in January of 2020. Before joining the Army, Hendrickson enlisted and served in both the Navy and the Air Force, until he found his true calling in Special Forces. As a Green Beret demolitions expert, he would find a passion hunting IEDs and working with local villagers. In the high risk confines of...

Duration:02:02:03

Ep. 201 - Donat Le Blanc (Marine/Vietnam)

1/12/2021
Donat "Dan" Le Blanc lost his right arm while fighting in Vietnam as a Marine aircraft machine gunner. Service was in his blood; his father was a World War II veteran and POW. So when it was his generation's calling to combat service, Le Blanc joined the Marines. He cites the 1957 film, "The DI" with Jack Webb as a major source of inspiration for joining the Corps. But, Le Blanc's time in Vietnam would end not long after he sustained life-threatening injuries when the helicopter he was...

Duration:01:20:51

Ep. 200 - Daniel Rodriguez (COP Keating/Battle of Kamdesh)

1/5/2021
There's no better story for Episode 200! Daniel Rodriguez entered the Army shortly after losing his father at the age of 18. He joined the Infantry and was almost immediately thrust into one of the worst positions to be in as a new soldier in combat: the replacement for another soldier who had been killed in Iraq. Although it was a rough start, the unit he ended up with would ultimately be the group of guys he not only bonded with, but would also go through one of the bloodiest battles of...

Duration:02:10:11

Ep. 199 - Justin Piessens (Army Tanker)

12/22/2020
The junior enlisted servicemembers we've had on this show have never shied away from giving the unvarnished truth when talking about their experiences in combat. They join for a myriad of reasons - a sense of patriotism, a career, or they just didn't think they had better options when entering the workforce. Regardless, you can always count on them to shoot straight when asked for their opinions, especially when it comes to life in combat. Justin Piessens enlisted in the Army after high...

Duration:01:12:44

Ep. 198 - Dr. Jeff Cain (From Army Ranger to Army Doc)

12/15/2020
Dr. Jeff Cain has led an interesting military career to say the least, as both an Infantryman and a doctor, spanning from the period of the first Gulf War into the Global War on Terrorism. Dr. Cain began his career at West Point, choosing Infantry as his branch upon graduation. Following time with the Berlin Brigade in Germany during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cain made his way to 3rd Ranger Battalion where he would serve - along with time at Regimental Headquarters - until he made...

Duration:01:15:24

Ep. 197 - Tom Spooner (Army SOF/Warriors Heart)

12/8/2020
When Tom Spooner enlisted in the Army, he had every intention of becoming a Ranger. But, a last minute change in orders would send him to the 82nd Airborne, where he quickly found, Ranger or not, that he was in his element as a paratrooper. From then on, wherever Spooner went in the military he would find his element along with seasoned veterans who mentored him into a proven combat leader and special operator. Aside from serving in the 82nd, Spooner went on to earn his Green Beret and serve...

Duration:01:34:46

Ep. 196 - Gordon Sumner (Army Aviator/Grenada)

12/1/2020
Gordon Sumner joined the military at the end of the Vietnam War era. As such, the timing of his entry into service led to very unique experiences while serving overseas, both in combat, and during the tense years of the Cold War. He began his military career as an Infantry officer, but through a weird twist of fate, would transition to Aviation before nearly resigning his commission. That move to Aviation would set Sumner on a trajectory to Grenada, where he commanded an Air Cavalry unit...

Duration:01:08:42

Ep. 195 - Jeff Morris (Army Infantry/"Legion Rising")

11/24/2020
This is a story of combat and survival in the truest sense. Survival not just from bullets and bombs in Baghdad, but from the indelible scars war leaves on those who’ve experienced it firsthand. Jeff Morris is one of those individuals. His time as an Army infantry officer led him to fight in Iraq both as a platoon leader and company commander. It would carry him through bloody firefights where he would lead soldiers, all trying to survive, and achieve the “little victories” that make long,...

Duration:01:23:09