Joining SOFREP Radio for the first time is Andrew J. Polsky. Polsky has been a professor of political science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (known as CUNY,) as well as Hunter College, and is now the Dean of his department there. Polsky wrote a fascinating book released in 2012, “Elusive Victories: The American Presidency at War.” It covers the decision making by the executive branch during times of war from the dawn of the American Presidency up until when the book was released. Although the book doesn’t cover President Trump for obvious reasons, we get Polsky’s take on what’s happening now. He does a great job at drawing parallels we can infer between decisions made at the executive level of government in the past to current times. You can visit Andrew online at AndrewPolsky.com. As you’ll hear Jack say, this episode is fundamental in understanding some of our previous episodes covering U.S. foreign policy.
“Tanto” is a man that really needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated, he’s best known as one of the contractors who served on the ground during the attacks in Benghazi. Kris is a long time friend to the podcast but it’s been a while since we’ve heard from him. We get into where he’s been, and his break from the spotlight as he purged all his social media and felt a need to get away from the public eye for a bit. As you’ll hear Kris get into, he’s not someone out searching for new gigs in media, but sometimes being in his position, a great opportunity presents itself. The latest being “War Heroes,” a docu-series created by Jack Thomas Smith spotlighting those who served in combat. We hear about the premiere for the series taking place in Succasunna, NJ tomorrow (February 28th) which you can attend, as well as a meet & greet with Kris. The details for that are up at WarHeroesTV.com.
We also hear about Kris’s charity work with 14th Hour Foundation, his training courses through Battleline Tactical, and his upcoming book “The Patriot’s Creed: Inspiration and Advice for Living a Heroic Life.” We get the former contractor’s take on recent controversies in the field both in Yemen and in Haiti. As usual though with Kris, we also share some big laughs. Since Kris is starting over with his online presence at the moment, be sure to follow his new Instagram @real_kris_tanto_paronto, as well as his new website KrisTantoParonto.net.
In addition to all that, we answer your emails sent to [email protected], and also get your reactions to “The Punisher” being cancelled on Netflix. We love hearing from the listeners. So strap in, this was a fun episode.
If you’ve been following Newsrep, or any news covering the special operations community for that matter, you’re well aware of the arrest in Haiti of former U.S. Navy SEALs Chris Osman, Chris McKinley (who previously went by Chris Heben,) as well as former U.S. Marine Ken Kroeker. These three and several other men were hired as contractors in Haiti working security for the central bank. Due to the massive instability within the government there, matters were handled very poorly and you’ll hear how this led to the arrest and eventual release of these men who are now back in the United States. We shoot down some of the wacky conspiracy theories going around since the news hit, and break down what we know so far.
Following the discussion we get to our featured guest for Episode 433, Chief Master Sergeant Mike Lampe, a man who was there during the primitive years of Air Force special operations. Previously on Episode 391, Mike joined us to discuss his origin story and Vietnam service. This appearance we get into the next stages of his career, specifically his service in Desert One during the Iranian hostage crisis. As you’ll hear though, we still have a lot more to cover in this man’s career spanning three decades, so be on the lookout for a part 3. We hope you enjoy, and if you do, be sure to leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts.
In 1975 a military man by the name of Ba Van Nguyen took the huge risk of boarding a Chinook CH-47 with his family to escape the communist soldiers of North Vietnam. He had no solid plan but knew he had to get his family out, and things somehow came to fruition once he encountered a Navy ship helping other refugees looking for a new life. The story of Ba Van Nguyen is an incredible one, and we are honored to be joined this episode by his son, Miki Nguyen who relays this story from the eyes of a six year old boy at that time, up until the last years of Ba’s life where he got the chance to reunite with those men of the USS Kirk and salute them for their service. Miki got to tell this story in the 2015 Oscar nominated film “Last Days in Vietnam,” as well as in the book he authored, “My Father the Badass: An inspiring real-life story of a true HERO.” Be sure to check those out after you listen to this in-depth discussion.
Also, you’ve heard us talk about Hurricane Media‘s first ever short film “Big Mountain Heroes” pushing the positive agenda of “thrills before pills” where special operations military veterans you know from the podcast ski and snowboard the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. We even had the guys in studio to reflect on the adventure back on Episode 290, and if you’re a Spec Ops Channel member (which we highly recommend) you’ve already enjoyed the film. For the rest of you, we have some great news, and that’s the film now becoming available to stream in it’s entirety on Youtube. So be sure to check out this incredible footage captured in HD, and spread the word!
Actor Max Martini has been seen in some amazing hit films, including many in the military/war category such as “13 Hours,” “Captain Phillips,” and “Saving Private Ryan.” It’s no shocker that we’ve gotten plenty of requests to get him as a guest to the podcast, and we’re excited to bring him on for the first time. His latest film “Sgt. Will Gardner” not only follows the story of a veteran struggling to transition to civilian life played by Max, but 30% of the proceeds are going to some amazing charities he’s involved in. These charities are focused on the mission of helping veteran homelessness, PTSD, and TBI. Max not only stars in the film, but he wrote and directed this, and it was truly a passion project which he hopes to make an impact with for a cause he feels so strongly about. Although Martini credits the VA with helping many veterans, he often hears about where they may be failing, and he discusses this with us.
“Sgt. Will Gardner” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19th, so pre-order it now, and you’ll be able to check it out before you know it as we’re only a few days away from it’s release. You can follow Max on Twitter and Instagram @MaxMartiniLA. Let him know what you thought of the interview.
We cover quite a lot of material on this episode of SOFREP Radio. To start off the show, our friend Fred Galvin is back on with us, this time with some more unfortunate news due to the recent death of Congressman Walter Jones. For those who don’t know, Jones was instrumental in helping Fred and his men that were a part of MARSOC 7 become vindicated. As you’ll hear Marine Corps Major Galvin say, Jones personally vowed to him in what was expected to be his final term in office, that he would fight to clear their names. He kept his promise.
From there, friend of the show and former Air Force PJ, BK joins us. Many of you know BK from his writings, his podcast, and of course, his hammering of social justice warriors and #WokeVets via Twitter. Well, after several suspensions, BK has now been tossed off the platform and is forced to Tweet under a new account (which you can follow @BKActualPodcast.) We have a funny yet thought provoking discussion about the de-platforming of figures on social media and whether or not it tends to be politically driven. As usual, BK’s appearances are not for the easily offended.
Last we end on an urgent note. Another friend of the show, Rob Trivino, is in need of your help. The former Special Missions Unit operator recently suffered a life altering condition that is sure to cost his family a great sum of expenses. A GoFundMe has been set up by those verified to be close with Rob, and he needs your help in reaching their goal. In great news, as of now, over $60K has been raised for the former operator, so let’s get this audience engaged and put them over the finish line. Rob fought for us, let’s fight for him.