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Veterans, survivors, dependents, advocates and allies: welcome to the first episode of the Real Veteran® Podcast.

We are going to kick open the doors on the veteran community, let in the sunlight of fresh ideas and faces, and explore what it means to be a Real Veteran.® If you want to learn more about the goal of the podcast, and what inspired it, please listen to Episode 0 (click here).

If you find this podcast to be helpful or interesting, or learned something from it, I ask that you please leave me a 5-star rating on Apple podcasts – it will really help me out.

I’m going to try to get a new episode every other week. If you are moved by the show and want to be a guest, or have ideas of people I should talk to, shoot me an email at

The theme for the first season is “Identity.”

I’m going to explore veterans’ lived experiences in their lives after military service, and try to understand how race, gender, gender identity or ethnicity shaped or influenced each veteran’s experience.

Episode 1 – The Chains Fell Off.

Today’s episode was inspired by James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew on the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation: My Dungeon Shook. I don’t want to spoil the letter, but in it, Mr. Baldwin makes the point that racism in America cannot end until those of us who are white see ourselves as we are, stop fleeing from reality and strive to change it.

Please read the letter – it should be required reading for every white person in the country.  Here’s a link to the letter, with a phenomenal study guide:

“My Dungeon Shook” – James Baldwin.

In my monologue, I consider whether we all truly wear green, or if hiding veterans behind that “green curtain” keeps us from seeing the experiences of the individual people standing behind it.

After my opening monologue, I’m going to have a chat with Hill Pluviose, a Marine veteran who has quickly become a good friend. Hill came to the US from Haiti as a child, settling down with family in New York City. His path led him into the Marine Corps, where he served around the world from 2002 to 2006. As a Marine, he provided logistical support to units in Afghanistan, Japan, Iraq, and Kuwait, and deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

After leaving active duty, Hill worked in Logistics and Electronic Warfare as a private contractor in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.

Hill took advantage of his GI Bill benefits, and obtained Bachelor degrees in business  administration and Film Production.

He’s worked in a variety of roles in the film, news and media industry. Hill currently has a great gig with NBC Universal Media where he works as a BOLD Vets Resident, building client relationships and creating marketing solutions for the company’s clients, while also working to kick open the doors to employment in the media industry for other veterans.

Hill is the host of Vet Talk with Hill, a YouTube show that you just have to watch – here’s a link: Vet Talk With Hill.

Hill and I hit started talking several months ago, and we hit it off pretty quick. We’ve  had some great conversations about race, life as a veteran and being a father. We recorded one of our conversations to share with you.

The episode closes with a discussion of one of the most valuable benefits available to veterans: the GI Bill. It is a multi-faceted benefit and we’ll hit the proverbial ‘high notes.’

Here are the links I promised in that segment:

VA Vocational Readiness and Employment program (VR&E)

VA Dependent Educational Assistance Program

Ben Krause’s Voc Rehab Survival Guide

1 Comment

  1. Leroy (Lee) E. Gee

    Great video! *****


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