“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.
We — with guests like you — will help the military community not only navigate their finances but also military life. We chat about both good and bad financial practices and provide some insight along the way. We’ll share strategies to help people get ahead, discuss military benefits that members should take advantage of, and more – all working towards the goal of helping people become more financially independent.
On the show, we’ll also preview and talk about how to take advantage of military specific services, such as loans and mortgages, and help members prepare for important milestones such as PCS moves and the transition to civilian life. Finally, at the end of every episode, we have a bit of fun with our Military Minute. That guessing-game segment features military history, hobbies, a bit of pop culture. Correct guesses by listeners could result in a donation to charity of individual’s choice.
Episode Show Notes:
Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.
In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Tom Tice, President and CEO of Warrior Strong Inc., shares his journey of empowering veterans through wellness and his commitment to helping them rediscover their purpose. They also discuss the incredible free health and wellness programs Warrior Strong offers, and how they foster inclusivity and camaraderie among veterans.
Ep. 34 – Empowering Veterans through Wellness: A Conversation with Tom Tice, CEO of Warrior Strong
Tom Tice, President and CEO of Warrior Strong, tells us about his background in exercise science, and how he developed a strong desire to assist veterans transitioning into the civilian world by connecting them through health and wellness programs.
We learn how Warrior Strong provides free health and wellness programs to the veteran community, with a focus on yoga and meditation. Tom shares his passion for inclusion, explaining how Warrior Strong is dedicated to providing veterans, veteran family members and first responders with resources and programs to support their health and wellness.
Suicide Awareness in Active Duty and Veteran Communities
Tom describes a pivotal moment that galvanized him to take action and focus his efforts on the mental health of veterans. He shares his experience of attending a suicide awareness training, an event that left a lasting impact on him.
Tom was invited to the training by the Garrison Commander at the Picatinny Arsenal. He arrived at the training feeling somewhat out of place, being the only civilian there amongst military personnel. Throughout the training the reality of the situation struck him hard as he learned about the devastating impact suicide has on both active-duty service members and veterans.
One of the most poignant moments was when the Garrison Commander openly acknowledged that he had lost more men and women to suicide stateside than he had during overseas deployments. This alarming fact made Tom realize that the fight for mental health was just as essential as any battlefield confrontation.
The training not only highlighted the high rates of suicide among service members and veterans but also shed light on the mental health struggles faced by many. It sparked a determination in Tom to augment the mental health sector within the veteran community.
This experience ultimately led to the creation of Warrior Strong, an organization that provides free community exercises, mental health relief, adaptive fitness and sports, health and wellness retreats and other programs to veterans. Tom is working for mental health support within the veteran community, and understands how awareness and understanding can spur individuals to take action and make a difference.
Supporting Veterans with Expanded Partnerships
We hear about Warrior Strong's strategic partnerships with Armed Forces Financial Network, Fisher House Foundation, and Wounded Warrior Project, and how they are helping to expand their program offerings and connect with other veteran organizations.
Tom also speaks about the importance of American Legion and VFW posts and how Warrior Strong is working with them to help them transition and adapt in order to stay alive and serve their community. Tom shares his vision for the future of Warrior Strong, including growing the programs, offering more classes, getting more veterans certified, and having larger wellness retreats.
Stories of Veteran Impact
Tom Tice shares two inspiring stories of how Warrior Strong has helped veterans. He talks about Christopher Smith, a two-time combat veteran in Iraq who never did yoga before, but found Warrior Strong. He went on to get his yoga certification, even before Warrior Strong had a certification program. Today, Christopher is the lead yoga instructor at Warrior Strong, sharing his experience and helping other veterans find their peace and purpose through the practice of yoga. It's a full-circle moment that embodies the essence of Warrior Strong's mission.
The second story that Tom shares is about Kenny Keith, another combat veteran who had a life-altering experience after his deployment. Post-service, Kenny was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite the physical setback, Kenny's spirit remained unbroken. He was introduced to Warrior Strong and their adaptive fitness programs.
Seeing his determination, Warrior Strong helped Kenny get his adaptive certification in training. Today, Kenny is the face of Warrior Strong's adaptive fitness training videos. He is an inspiration to other veterans dealing with physical disabilities, showing them that their current condition does not define their future potential. Kenny is a living testimony to the transformative power of Warrior Strong's programs and the resilience of the human spirit.
Through these stories, Tom Tice underscores the impact of Warrior Strong's initiatives, not just in terms of physical health, but also in empowering veterans to find new purpose and community.
Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.
● Last episode’s Military Minute: In 1952 the US Air Force created Project Blue Book to study what?
● Answer: UFOs
● This week’s Military Minute question: The marathon course of the 1972 Munich Olympics was shaped like the mascot Waldi, which is what type of dog?
● Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to www.afbank.com and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.