#080: Project D.R.E.W. – Bringing Songwriters And Veterans Together – Brian Ferguson, Marilyn Zeidner, Mike Winnen, Tony McDonagh, J Scott Franklin, And Bill Kraker

Thursday October 20, 2022

What would you say if someone asked you to write a song about your life? A song about you. Your story. Who you are and what defines you. Music’s a powerful influence in our emotions and our feelings.  But usually, it’s another person’s story. Another person’s journey that we identify with. What if the song was your story? What if the song was about your life?

Fran Racioppi travels to Cleveland for Project D.R.E.W; a program bringing Veterans and Songwriters together and named in honor of Captain Drew Ferguson. 

Veterans tell their story, but songwriters write the songs. Fran first sits down with the founders of Project D.R.E.W. Marilyn Zeidner, Drew’s Cousin Mike Winnen and Drew’ s brother Brian Ferguson to discuss Drew’s life, why we should tell our story through music, and how a barn turned music hall is changing the lives of our Veterans.

Fran also brings back Boston Firefighter Tony McDonagh to sit down with their songwriters, J Scott Franklin and Bill Kraker, to share their experience, the process for turning a full song in 24 hours, and what defines each of us in our path from Boston to the Army to civilian life. 

Learn more and get involved with Project D.R.E.W. at projectdrew.org. Listen to our songs throughout this episode and watch the concert and full video version of our conversations on YouTube

Listen to the podcast here


Project D.R.E.W. – Bringing Songwriters And Veterans Together – Brian Ferguson, Marilyn Zeidner, Mike Winnen, Tony McDonagh, J Scott Franklin, And Bill Kraker

What would you say if someone asked you to write a song about your life? A song about you, your story, who you are, and what defines you. Music is a powerful influence on our emotions and our feelings but usually, it’s another person’s story and the journey that we identify with. What if the song was our story? What if the song was about my life?

These are the questions Brian Ferguson asked me a few months ago when he invited me to Project D.R.E.W. Brian was a Navy Seal. His brother Drew was a Green Beret in the 10th Special Forces Group. Drew was a great officer and a phenomenal musician who led a band in a small town Cleveland barn. A band that played songs Drew wrote about his journey and life. Drew died by suicide in 2017.

For this episode, I took Brian up on his offer to go to Cleveland to write my song and share my story in a way I had never even considered. Since every challenge puts us out of our comfort zone, it should be shared with others. I asked a few of my closest and oldest Army friends to join me to write their songs too. Project D.R.E.W. is named in honor of Captain Drew Ferguson. D.R.E.W. also stands for Delivering Restorative Energy to our Warriors.

We spent the first day sharing our stories with our songwriters, telling them where we came from, what defines us, and what drives us. The songwriters then had 24 hours to produce our song, and on Sunday afternoon, deliver a concert. After the concert, we tell a story at Project D.R.E.W. I first sat down with Project D.R.E.W.’s founder, Marilyn Zeidner, Drew’s cousin Mike Winnen, and Drew’s brother Brian Ferguson to discuss Drew’s life, why we should tell our story through music, and how a barn turned to music that is changing the lives of our veterans.TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

It’s the veterans who tell their stories at Project D.R.E.W. but it’s the songwriters who write the song. To talk about this relationship and the bond that’s built between songwriter and veteran, I asked my longtime friend and previous Jedburgh Show guest, Boston firefighter Tony McDonagh, to sit down with me and both our songwriters to share their experiences. Bill and Scott explained what they learned from Tony, the process for turning a full song in 24 hours, and what defines each of us in our path from Boston to the Army to civilian life.

I want to give a special thanks and shout out to my friends, Corey, Tim, Alex, and Tony for asking no questions and jumping on the plane to Cleveland in Project D.R.E.W. I especially want to thank our songwriters for not only listening to us but hearing us. Also, thanks to Jim and the crew at Barnegie Hall for delivering a unique concert that allowed us to feel, not just heal. We lost a warrior in Drew Ferguson, but his legacy and his music will live on. Tune in to my conversation and hear our songs on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the full video version of our Project D.R.E.W. experience on YouTube. Learn more about the show at JedburghPodcast.com and follow us on social media @JedburghPodcast. Learn more about Project D.R.E.W. and get involved at ProjectDrew.org.

Brian, Marilyn and Mike, welcome to The Jedburgh Podcast.

Thank you.

Thanks for having us. I want to start right there. First of all, to be here in Cleveland, to come to Project D.R.E.W., to come to your home, Marilyn, be in Barnegie Hall, and to sit on this stage, this has blown me away. I told you this a couple of times. I still don’t know if you believe me. I didn’t know what to expect when I came here. You guys do a good job of keeping it very broad in the initial conversations in setting this up of, “You’re going to come in, tell your story, and pair yourself with a songwriter.” To come into this barn, see what has been built, and see this stage, this is a full-blown musical operation. It has been impactful from the minute I walked in here.

We had a concert. We’re going to talk later to some of the guys, the songwriters, the veterans who participated, and my friends. Before I get into some of the questions, I have to thank you for letting me do that and letting me bring my friends here. As we talked about in the last couple of days, the guys who came, I’ve known for twenty years of my career. All of them have been impactful in my life in some way at different points. Now we continue to maintain it. It’s like we never left each other. It was truly an amazing opportunity to be part of Project D.R.E.W. and spend time with them. Thank you so much.

I’m glad you’re here.TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

Let’s start with Drew though, your brother, Brian and your cousin, Mike. He was in the 10th Special Forces Group with me. I knew of Drew but I didn’t know him personally. Talk a bit about your brother and the legacy that has been built through this organization.

It’s wild to your opening on this barn. Every time we do a workshop, and this was the 20th and I come in intermittently and get to see, it’s insane how almost this is a metaphor in many ways for Drew and much of his journey. The thing I love about this barn is you can feel it’s humble and it represents much of how we grew up. Cleveland and what Marilyn has put into it is this soul that you can’t replicate anywhere. Now to be this anchor in Project D.R.E.W. is nuts for me to see. For the audience, we end every workshop with a song that Drew wrote.

We grew up in this small town that’s outside of Cleveland called Avon Lake. It was small at that time. It has grown a bit. In retrospect, it was very much an idyllic upbringing. It’s a little town on the lake with incredibly humble and hardworking people. My brother and I were very fortunate to be sons of this community. Drew went on and he had always been interested in the military. Even before that came to fruition, he has always been very creative. He’s a tribal-oriented person in the sense of friends and family. He served in special operations for twelve years. He went to Ohio University and ROTC. Our mom passed when we were young. I was nineteen and he was a sophomore in high school.

Those are those moments where people go one way or the other. My brother used that for resolve, and he became incredibly focused on his career in the military. That was very clear to him what he wanted to do, and he thrived. While he was in special operations, he was also a prolific songwriter and singer and was using it. He had a very deep soul and heart, and those were his outlets. He painted and played music, but ultimately there’s this great song that he had written. A lot of people don’t know there’s a chain of islands about an hour West of Cleveland called the Lake Erie Islands. One of those small islands is called Kellys Island. Our family is my brother and me. Mike is one of our cousins on my mom’s side. There are 20 cousins, 9 aunts and uncles.

In 1974 or ‘75-ish, our family built a cabin up at Kellys Island. My whole life has been a physical and metaphorical anchor for my mom’s family. My brother had written this song that was played by the Campfire. It was a night building. It was a group of friends moving through an evening together, what we drink, how we dance, sang, dreamed and sleep. Drew wrote that song. We have a video of the first time he played it, and he’s telling people how to sing. He was very into getting it right and getting the energy right.

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“I think we all perhaps hope to be elevated in death beyond who we were in life.”

Now, at the end of every one of these workshops, to see different groups of people singing his song and to be that for the hundred or some veterans that have come through this program, we all hope to be elevated in death beyond who we were in life. My brother to see that is a gift. I come in and out. I’m fortunate as a participant, but to see what Marilyn and Mike have done for Drew’s legacy, you guys can imagine it. Anyone who’s lost someone to see that is beyond gratifying.

[bctt tweet=”We all perhaps hope to be elevated in death beyond who we were in life.” username=”talentwargroup”]

Let’s talk about your involvement, Marilyn, meeting Brian, Mike and Drew, being around their family, and after the loss of Drew, seeing this opportunity.

Drew was a friend of my daughters. All the kids used to hang out here upstairs where there’s a game room. There’s still a game room. Drew spent a lot of time here, but I never saw him after high school. He went to college. He graduated in 2002 and I started Music on a Mission in 2007 and he heard about it. He was home once when I wasn’t here and saw the barn renovated. He kept sending me money for Music on a Mission because he was a musician. I had been thinking about starting this program, but I hadn’t done it yet. When I heard that he died, I thought, “This is it. That’s what I’m going to do.” At his memorial, I met Mike and we paired up. Mike has partnered with me in Project D.R.E.W.

Mike, you have a musical background. You were up here and you played not only Drew’s song but my song, which was absolutely amazing. We’ve been joking that I got the band. Bill who was my songwriter has a bass player, so he brings everybody in. I didn’t expect that. It was cool. He wrote the song in the last 24 hours, so nobody ever heard the song. You didn’t even hear it until going up there, and absolutely crushed it. Talk for a minute about music, your background, and the connection that you had with Drew about music. Also, getting involved with Marilyn and the vision behind Project D.R.E.W.

TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.From an early age, I was exposed to the power of music. It’s simply stated. Going way back, my wife, Lexi, and I actually met in band camp. I didn’t learn guitar until I start playing the guitar in high school. I learned that Drew plays the guitar and we would jam at Kellys Island. When you said travel earlier, Brian, the image I have was Drew with face paint like Charles Wallace in Braveheart.

He was like, “Let’s put a smoke machine in the shed and let’s play this song that we know, but play it differently.” It’s like this whole theater thing. We had the best time goofing off like that. Those are the times that we remembered. It might be a song that you’ve heard on the radio 100 times, but playing it and connecting it in that way is so important. I learned to play music in high school with friends. Here in the barn, I feel like the one they let on stage as an amateur musician. There’s such great talent here. I’ll jam with these people any time, any day of the week because it sounds so great. I just want to play along.

I’m always at the top of my game. It takes me back to what Marilyn mentioned a minute ago. The first time we met was at Drew’s memorial service. He died in 2017. We had a memorial service up on the lake at Veteran’s Memorial Park. It was pretty amazing. His military community, his giant family, and his art community all came together and try to make a tribute to him in music.

As Marilyn said, I’ve been wanting to do a program like this for a while, pairing songwriters and veterans together. Now I feel it is the right time. I’m going to call it Delivering Restorative Energy to our Warriors and name it after my cousin Drew. I was immediately drawn to, “Yes. Can I help? Can I join? Can I come to check it out?” That’s how we all got started.

Let’s talk about the mechanics of the program itself. What you’re doing is bringing in veterans, pairing them with songwriters, and they’re telling their stories. I joked that you’re very vague about what you’re going to do when you come here. Talk about the process, Brian, of identifying the veterans, working with them to set this up, and then getting here. What’s the whole process when they show up?

I’ll probably let Marilyn do that because she’s the brains of the pairings and thinking about the mechanics. I’ll say what I find fascinating and some important context I left out. As Mike said, Drew passed in 2017 and we’re recording this in ’22, so he passed five years ago in July. He ended his own journey.

It’s one of those things where you wonder if something in life has existed, if he’d gone through it or if it could have helped him. We all know, unfortunately, especially in the Special Operations community that there’s a heavy burden that a lot of guys struggle with, not just in Special Operations. What has been beautiful about this is the setting here in Cleveland. When Marilyn and Mike started this whole idea, it was for the local community in Ohio.

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“I’m going to call it Delivering Restorative Energy to our Warriors and name it after your cousin Drew.”

There are so many. It’s such a massive veteran community. I don’t know how deliberate, but Marilyn had this powerful vision. What I started to find amazing as soon as it got going, and this was a few months after he passed, is there have been over 100 veterans from every conflict from World War II to the present day including the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What is beautiful is it’s about telling your story. I was saying to Tim that everyone who comes here tells the story they’re ready to tell. For some people, that’s a deep story. There have been some Vietnam vets who’ve talked about things they never spoke about in their life, and here they are decades later. There are other people who talk about the simple connection of brotherhood and what it meant. It can be either of those. What is amazing is the way these songwriters then take that story and turn it around in 24 hours almost as a mirror.

It opens up almost a new channel of understanding oneself. I listened to my song once a month and it reminds me of things in my own journey. For people with children or those who’ve gone through with grandchildren, it’s this incredible gift. For people who have a hard time talking about something, when it’s done through music and the story of a song, you can feel that. That’s the setup. It’s the art that Marilyn figures out how to bring people in to get the right songwriters and pair them, and then it’s the magic of that storytelling.

It’s the songwriters that have the magic. We talked about this a little bit and maybe it’s the fact that the veterans are talking to strangers that makes it easier to do. A lot of our veterans have told us that it’s the first time they ever told that story. One man served in Afghanistan and he struggled when he came back. He did try to get help, but he couldn’t talk about it with his family and friends. He told us he plays his song every day. He had a childhood friend that came over and he played it for him. The guy started crying and he said, “Why didn’t you ever tell me?” He said, “I couldn’t.” Now the song lets him hear it.

I came up on the stage after the concert was over, a camera was still rolling when I did it, and I thanked Bill. I was choked up because I couldn’t even get out that thank you. It was such a powerful representation. To your point, Brian, we saw that in even the five songs that we heard now from the five different perspectives of the different guys who were here. All of them had a slightly different angle. It did allow everybody to sit down and answer the very simple question, “Tell me your story. Where do we start?”

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“I view life as these series of chapters…and how do we position ourselves to achieve our goals and our vision in these different chapters.”

Everybody had a different starting point. Certainly, the other guys will talk about theirs but for me, it was about the theme of life. I view life as a series of chapters and how we position ourselves to achieve our goals and our vision in these different chapters. Sometimes, these chapters start and end with our own decisions and there’s a purpose behind them. Other times, they don’t. They are out outside and existential factors that start or end them. Sometimes without warning and violently. All of a sudden, you’re thrust into a new chapter of your life.

For me, it has always been about reconciling very quickly. Why am I here? How did I contribute to this in some way? Can I come to terms with that and take ownership, accountability and acceptance? Now, what am I going to do to move forward? The song that Bill created was I press on. It’s about driving on how I wake up every day and think about where I came from. I’m going to learn from that, understand it, and use that as this experience that shapes my future mindset.

Nobody is coming to give you opportunities. You got to go seek them. You got to find what drives you and what your mission is, and you have to go execute it. For me, it was a great opportunity to talk about the totality of what I’ve gone through and having the highest highs and the lowest lows, how we then represent that in my character, and how I approach my day and my life.

Even the way Bill played your song, this concept of pressing on, and taking everything, how you thought about and lived that life. Again, you tell that story and a good songwriter and the storyteller is going to pick up on the subtle narrative that you’re missing that’s so obvious. I’m saying to Mike, “What I find fascinating about this one, in particular, is there was no audience.”

There were a few close family members and people who have been through, but deliberately, a Special Operations community not wanting people to feel like they’re here to be put on stage. You don’t need an audience. The only person that is meant to hear the song is you. That’s the power. In my mind, there’s this line my brother used to say to me. Drew was younger than me, but he always had wisdom that was far deeper than I had at any season in my life.

When I was particularly in high school and college, I’m always running around and busy. My brother would say, “Hey, man, don’t live so fast,” in a very calm insightful way. I had said that to Gretchen who wrote my song. One of the lines in there is, “Hey, man, don’t live so fast. It’s no one else’s job to make these moments last.” You know it intuitively but it’s my brother’s wisdom being told back to me. It’s beautiful. I’ve said that before, but she picked up on it and made it almost a chorus. When I listen to the song, it’s this subtle reminder for me, particularly since my daughter is three and a half now. It’s powerful.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t live so fast. It’s no one else’s job to make these moments last.” username=”talentwargroup”]

We were talking earlier about the power of music and to me, it’s all about the connection. You never know what somebody is carrying. You never know what they’ve been able to put down and what they’ve been through. My dad was a Vietnam vet and so was my uncle. I was exposed to traumatic stuff that happens to people and they get through it. We help each other get through it. When you come through difficulties, life can be sweeter on the other side.

I have a whole bunch of things to say. We did have a small audience, but the ones that were here have participated before. That’s important to keep those connections, have contacts, and that the former participants support the newer ones. Not the ones that were here now necessarily, but a lot of them have felt disconnected and isolated in their lives. It’s one small way to provide support and connection for the ones that we’ve seen.

TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.The other thing that’s important if people are reading this is that they don’t have to have been in combat. When I ask veterans to participate, a lot of them say, “I don’t have a story.” We say, “Everyone has a story. You do,” and they’ve done it. The magic with the songwriters is we’ve had a couple of situations where the veteran didn’t end up coming at the last minute. We had two songwriters for one veteran, and they spent the exact same amount of time, heard the exact stories, and their songs couldn’t have been different. The songwriters are incredible. That’s what makes the program so successful.

You don’t have to be musically inclined yourself. You should maybe hit the mechanics or structure of the workshop for the audience who are potentially going to come to spend time with the songwriters.

On the first day, we get together and do short introductions, and then one veteran goes with one songwriter. They get paired off, go somewhere in the barn, and spend a few hours, however long they want and need. They can share anything. Sometimes, it’s about being away from home or coming home. We’ve had a couple of songs about their girlfriend being at home waiting for them when they got home and things like that.

It doesn’t have to be about the military, combat or anything like that. It can be something that has shaped their life. We all come back the next day and the songwriter performs the song for the first time. Sometimes, they haven’t memorized the words yet. We record it and then all the veterans get a copy of all the songs of the day.

I can’t wait to get that. What’s ironic about all this for me is in my family, my brother was talented. My mom had a great voice. My dad, two of his guitars or at least one of them was up here on stage. My dad was a talented musician. I am as musically uninclined as it comes. I do think that the 24-hour time compression with someone’s story forces the important elements to come to the surface. I saw that now. It’s insane.

It makes a song even more impressive when someone has not had the time to process it. One of the things Marilyn said that I’m passionate about knowing, being a veteran myself, and knowing how some of these programs can either project people into positions where they’re not ready or propagate a narrative that says you’re broken or you need to grieve where it’s like, “Come here and tell your story for yourself or for your family.”

TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

“Just come here and tell your story…for yourself…or for your family.”

One of my favorite songs is I’ve Got a Brother. It’s a guy who was a Marine in the ’90s when there was nothing going on. It’s about him being in Okinawa and being in Child Hall. Guys raise their hands to volunteer for each other to cover someone’s watch shift. They knew someone had a family. It’s about the deeper tribal bonds of why we all love service. There’s nothing about it that’s extraordinary, but it’s one of the most beautiful simple songs. Seeing him listen to that too was awesome.

You saw that in the group now. Especially you said this group was a little bit more unique because we knew each other. That was powerful because as you listen to the song and you know these guys as I do, it’s real. You’re like, “That’s him. They nailed him,” and then watching them listen. I was trying to grab videos and pictures that I can share with them while listening to their song. It was cool.

Part of what our project team does well is this welcoming space. As Brian and Marilyn said earlier, it’s not prescribed that we want you to talk about combat or whatever. It’s what story you’d like to share. Also, Jim Miraldi, Curtis Leonard and his team do such a great job with the sound. It’s so fun to play here. It sounds great to play in here.

It sounds even better when they get the songs mastered. We’ll put it in our show notes and we put them up on our website. Despite being a 24-hour turn, they made it the first time through, it’s new, raw and real, and the sound quality is good. I know Jim takes a lot of pride in that too. It’s great because it puts everybody at ease, especially the musicians and the song artist. It’s a lot of attention and pressure to deliver on the spot a day later.

You would have thought they had been playing these songs for years. Nobody got up there and was looking for something. They got up there and they absolutely nailed it. It was all different kinds of music. We talked a lot about the lyrics and the music too. They did such a great job of matching the music to the character and personality of the person they worked with, which I thought was definitely cool.

It’s like psychedelic rock.

That was a first.

We haven’t said it explicitly, but there have been a lot of women who’ve come through some powerful. A woman who was a nurse in Vietnam has an amazing story. Obviously, a lot of songwriters are females. I think that’s a cool balance of energy when you get what is ultimately the strong masculine story of the war with someone putting that to words lyrically. A feminine voice can be insanely profound.

You talked a bit and you started touching on mental health initiatives. During your service as a Navy SEAL, you’ve come to understand the importance of mental health and the programs that are out there for our brothers and sisters that we served with because everybody deals with things differently. I do agree with you and believe that a program like this because it’s a welcoming environment of it and almost nobody is coming here telling you what you have to do, it creates that space for so many people who have struggled to even want to get involved. We talk a lot about, “Talk to somebody.” It’s easier said than done. I do a number of episodes and I always reiterate that point, but there’s still a limiting factor for a lot of people. I feel like when you come into this environment, it does go away, that limiting factor, at least it did for this group.

It certainly raises the question of what we’ve seen for the last two workshops. One was April 2022. Some of Drew’s buddies from 110th came and that was cool. They had not been together, some of them, since Afghanistan. It raises the point of this is not meant to be therapy, but it becomes this guy is being together and feeling that connection. When you’re telling those stories and you’re seeing your buddies react to their songs, and a song is encapsulating who they are in many ways.

There’s no interest here in overselling that, but it becomes powerful in ways that a lot of these other programs fall short because they don’t get at the core of the human desire to serve and what it means. When you reignite that, particularly when you’re around the people you did it with, it’s such a powerful reminder of why service is the most extraordinary opportunity in the world.

[bctt tweet=”When you’re around the people you did it with, it’s such a powerful reminder of why service is the most extraordinary opportunity in the world.” username=”talentwargroup”]

It’s been structured in such a way here that you have a lot of time to spend with everybody else, even outside of the barn. We went out into the city and went to the baseball game.

We should thank Jay for those tickets. That’s where Marilyn does a great job of creating space. Another program that I’ve been involved with is called The Station Foundation by a guy named Kevin Stacy. What he does brilliantly is when you give to people, you bring them to the right environment, and here we are in the barn. There’s an element of we’re on the lake in Ohio. It’s fall and gets people together, and then asks the right questions. In this case, tell your story and then give people space. It illuminates that when you’re with people, those stories that emerge are cathartic.

What’s next for the program? Where is it going from here?

We picked out dates already for 2023. We got to get those up on the website. That reminded me I got to do that. What’s next is more workshops, but we’re conscious of we want to reach as many vets as we can. I want to thank you now and again for having us in your show to help us do that. We’re aware of we’re about authentic and quality experiences. We don’t try to fill a workshop with 10 to 12 vets. Six or so is the right size because we want everybody to have a profound experience. It’s getting better at what we do, fine-tuning our process, and connecting with as many people as we can.

I would totally agree. I would say that as we’ve gone through now, we’re in our fifth year. We took a year and a half for COVID. The name has gotten out and it started with Bill, your songwriter. I usually cry through every workshop and every song, especially, I cry for the Drew song.TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

Every time, that kills me. One of our first workshops that Bill did was with a Vietnam veteran, Joe Horvath. Bill made a video with him. They went into a studio and did it professionally. He’s gone to many events with Joe. He sang at his birthday parties and stuff. A lot of songwriters keep in touch with their veterans. What I was going to say is, Joe was in Vietnam. He was a medic and his job was to pick up the dead and wounded. The name of his song was La Dey, which in Vietnamese means come here because they would be signaling them to come here.

After Bill wrote that song, he played it in church. They have a big church like 400 people. He told the story and he said, “Joe Horvath,” and he gave all the details. After church, this guy came up to him and said, “You have to introduce me to Joe because he saved my life,” so they did. They met and had breakfast. This circle of awareness and care is growing as more people find out about it.

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“I think it is part of a multi-part solution to getting people to not even heal, but to feel.”

Our goal is to spread the word as far as we can. One of the things I’m passionate about is whatever one thinks of this year in Afghanistan, we ended the longest period of combat operations in the history of the country. There are an extraordinary amount of men and women who have extraordinary stories of service. That extraordinary is being there and being a part of whatever that looked for and looked like. The more that we can get veterans of our generation through this, it is part of a multipart solution to getting people to not even heal, but to feel the power of their service in a way that’s uplifting. For those that are reading, it’s a beautiful simple experience.

The other thing that Marilyn and Mike do amazingly well is there’s not a lot of overhead here. We’ve all been involved in veteran organizations where, by virtue of having to go raise a lot of money, you then have to start doing things that you wouldn’t normally do in order to show metrics, and the program gets away from you. Because you’re only talking about six veterans here and we’re paying for people’s simple expenses, it allows the experience to stay incredibly protected and grounded in the things that most veterans are looking for. That keeps it insanely authentic.

Your point right there is not necessarily about healing, but about feeling. That’s very well put. I would say that sums up the experience because I’ve been sitting here through this conversation and talking to everybody at the end of the concert thinking about, “Who am I as I walk out of here?” You quantified that for me, so thank you. That’s what it is. It’s about the feeling that you have when you’re sitting there in the concert, listening to your song, and how that represents what you’ve been through, and what you want to share.TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

It’s a lasting tribute to your service.

I appreciate you having us here and sitting down with me, telling the story, telling your stories, talking about Project D.R.E.W., sharing Drew’s story and his life, and allowing us, my friends and my family, to come in here and be with you.

Thank you so much. We appreciate being able to get the word out, but also that you all came and spent your weekend with us. That means a lot to us.

Thank you.

This one’s called, I Know A Place. This is a song Drew wrote years ago on Kelly’s Island. It’s his ideal and his vision of coming together with friends. Music is bringing everybody together. We like to sing at the end. I hope you’ll join us in your seat, on your feet, wherever you’d like to do. All right, now let’s shake these timbers.

“I know a place, I know a place where we can go to pass the time. Pass, pass, pass the time. I know some friends, I know some friends where we can go to share our lives. Share, share, share our lives. I know a drink, I know a drink, that we can drink to one of my boats. Boat, on my boat. I know a song, I know a song that we can sing to lift our souls. Lift, lift, lift our soul. I know a dance, I know a dance that we can dance to fill our hearts. Fill, fill, fill our hearts. I know a song, I know a song that we can sing to lift our souls. Lift, lift, lift our souls. I know a song, I know a song that we can sing to lift our souls. Lift, lift, lift our souls. Lift, lift, lift our souls. Lift, lift, lift our souls.

Thank you.

Tony, Scott and Bill, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having us.

Tony, you’re becoming quite a star on the show.

I’m a regular now.

TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.You were in 75 on Boston Fire Department. That was such an impactful episode and now to have you come out here for Project D.R.E.W. What we talked about in 75, we’ll talk about here too. You’re one of my long-time best friends and to have this experience together has been so meaningful. Thank you for taking the trip and doing this, and taking the leap of faith when I presented it.

No problem.

Scott and Bill, you’re two of the songwriters here with Project D.R.E.W. This program. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it probably a few more times in the conversation, is so much more than we expected. I don’t know what I expected when we came out here. We’ve been setting this up for about 6 or 8 months, and I had no idea what was going to happen when we walked in here, met you, and came into the room.

I’m blown away by what each of you created here, Scott, with Tony’s story, and Bill with mine. I came up and gave you a hug after. I was choked up and could barely thank you because it was so meaningful and meant so much. I want to start by talking about why get involved and what drew you into Project D.R.E.W. What was that call that you received and said, “This is something that I want to be a part of?” Bill, we’ll start with you.

When Marilyn first called me and told me about it, I thought about it. First, when you think you got to write a song and perform it the very next day, you think about the technical aspects of it. You think, “I don’t know if I can do that.” In my instance, I’m a bass player so I’m thinking, “I would need all the help I can get.” I’ve told people this before. Selfishly, I did the first one as an exercise. I thought, “As a songwriter, that sounds like a very good challenge to do.” As you’re saying, it was so impactful that first time, and then I realized how much it meant to me and to the veteran that I worked with. I haven’t done every single one, but I’ve done over ten probably.

Scott, what about you?

I like writing songs about people. They’re real stories from when I was younger. I love people like Johnny Cash and people that had true stories or stories that sounded true or blends of stories that some it is true. I like to write about people, and then I was asked by another songwriter. Brent Kirby asked if I could come out and do one, and then I got to meet Marilyn and everything. I went through the first meeting and I was like, “This is going to be great.” I then found out, at the end of the meeting, that we had to write the song in 24 hours. I thought, “I’ve never done that in my life.” Songs take me months. Sometimes, they take me years. Sometimes, I’ve written a song in two days.TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

I said, “If everybody else is doing it, I’ll give it a shot.” My grandfather was in World War II, and he was in Utah. There are a lot of stories about that. I know of a few. Some of them shaped my mom’s and all the kids’ life. I take to heart the whole package of start to finish of someone being in their stories and how our process of bringing people back into civilization. That’s my short answer.

Let’s talk about the process for a minute because as we mentioned, we didn’t know you when we got here. We came in, sat around, and get Marilyn to talk about the background of the program. Everybody introduced themselves, and then it’s right into it. There’s not a whole lot of fluff. It’s like, “Here we are. You met everybody now. Let’s go,” and then we get paired off.

I know that we had spent the day before we went to dinner with Marilyn and she tried to get a feel of who we were and our personalities. She tried to match us with people who matched our personalities. I’ll say after the show, she nailed everybody. It is absolutely spot on. It’s incredible. I want to hear Tony’s opinion here in a second too.

I think there’s a little bit of nerves on both sides because what we’re expecting is to come in and all they say is, “Tell your story.” That’s a very bold and very broad statement because from there, you can go anywhere. Tony, when we came in here and I presented you this, I didn’t know a whole lot about it. I was like, “Let’s go do this thing. We’re going to get the guys together. We’re going to go out to Cleveland, sit down with songwriters, and tell our stories.” It’s generally all I knew as well. Talk about how you felt coming in and then sitting down with Scott.

It was very interesting. When you asked me to do this, I didn’t ask for any details. I know I’m going to say yes because if you asked me it’s going to be yes. That’s our relationship and I trust you. I almost didn’t want to know too much about it because all I knew was songwriting, and let’s talk about your feelings. I’m like, “I don’t do that.” I know it was an absolute leap of faith.

What struck me the most and what I learned is we’re in a barn. This might look like in this film that this is a Nashville stage. We’re in a barn, but it’s actually home. This isn’t a corporation. What struck me are the people that are involved and do this. They give their time to do something like this. It’s overwhelming. Any fear I had or anticipation, it was like, “I’m in it now.” When you see something that’s this powerful, you just got to dive right in. I tried to be as honest and open as possible and shared my story with Scott. I put a lot of faith in him. We just met. It was a lot to do in one day.

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“When you see something that’s this powerful you just got to dive right in and try to be as open and honest as possible.”

Scott, as a songwriter, you meet Tony and you hear him tell his stories. How do you open that conversation up?

I didn’t have to try hard this time because he sat down and he said, “I thought about it a lot. I have a message.” I didn’t have to think much about that, then when he got done with the message, I asked him some things about his life. With Tony, it was actually easy. It’s not always easy, but with Tony it was.


When you say that she matches up by personality, I take that as a compliment because I was like, “This is one of the coolest people I met.” Why was it easy? Because of him. It’s one of the things that I thought was fascinating because he doesn’t seem like somebody that probably goes around wearing his heart on his sleeve and saying everything he thinks. I could tell that about him, but he’s right here saying this and this. It was all because of him.

What about when we met, Bill? Now we’re going to talk about our day. I’ll tell you from my perspective. I didn’t know what to expect and I felt like, “I’ll just start at the beginning.”

That’s all we ever do. There has been a couple of guys that have had a specific day part of their story. For the most part, it started when you got in or when you signed up. Maybe right even before that. Tell us what happened all the way through there and then we go from there. Something always comes out. All I’m doing is sit there and write. I might ask to clarify something. I always learn stuff and then we ask questions about certain things that might pop out.

Tony and Scott, you focused a lot on your song, 10,000 Holes. You focus a lot on the military service piece of that. What did you see in Tony’s story, Scott, that had you hone in on that message? There were two components to this song too. I want to hear when you left and how you started putting that together.

The one thing that brought that thought to mind was he talked about someone in Iraq. They weren’t even in the Army, but they were somehow employed by Al-Qaeda to take out one of the Americans. I know I don’t have the terms right, but was it a unit that was going home?

There was a unit leaving that day and they had a specific target.

They had to take out one of them. That was their goal. I heard the story as this and this is how it was in my mind. There’s a young American. He’s about to go home and he’s up in the guard tower, and then there’s a sniper that shoots him on the day he is going to go home. I thought, “How awful because he was about to go home.” Tony explained, “There was a family waiting at home.” There’s always a family waiting at home, but they don’t know, “Today, my son is getting on the plane.”

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“This is the first time that I haven’t written the song about just your military experience.”

On the day that they knew their son is getting on the plane, their son is killed. That’s more holes than just the one hole of that one bullet. All the guys that got on the plane, and I never thought about that. This is a happy occasion. Everybody is going home. Now it’s no longer happy. I thought about how that one thing to put all this. Originally, I was thinking about poison. That one action put all of this poison into the world through all these different people. It gave them hurt, pain, loss and negativity. I added that and then I thought about holes. It’s 1 bullet and 10,000 holes.

Bill, we focused more on life overall. We talked about the military service piece and these themes throughout my life. You joke that it’s similar to the Chumbawamba song, “I get knocked down and I get up again,” where there are these super high highs that I’ve had in life. Every time I wake up, I’m like, “We’re doing it.” It’s within sometimes minutes where it’s the ultimate low.

It feels like I’m starting over again. Hitting everything that we’ve worked towards up to this point is for nothing or certainly learned a lot. I talked to you about taking those experiences and learning from them, but having to get back. You created my song called I Drive On. When you left and we parted ways for the day, what went through your mind?

When we were breaking, I wrote the first couple of lines and was thinking that you keep pressing all the things that you’ve gone through. I told a couple of people that this is the first time that I haven’t written a song about military experience. This was the first one I wrote that was a theme because you had this theme running through your life. You had said that you see your life in chapters and you compartmentalize if you are able to, so it couldn’t be just about one thing. It had to be about those highs and lows and how you keep pressing.

[bctt tweet=”You see your life in chapters that you compartmentalize.” username=”talentwargroup”]

I feel so strongly about that. It’s all we can do in life. Even when our actions result in negative things that happen to us, we have to have accountability and we have to take ownership of these things and say, “Did I contribute to a part of this in some way or all of it?” The faster we can reconcile those things, then the faster we can move on. I always think about sitting at my house and nobody is coming or knocking on the door saying, “Here you go. Here’s the next opportunity.”

Sometimes, it feels like that happens. People call up and they’re like, “I want you to be involved in this.” If you walk it back, it’s because you met someone somewhere, you went to something, you did an event, or you participated in some organization and they got to know you, respect that, and they called. It all comes back to constantly having this push and this drive to do something.

The one thing I did, and hopefully, it conveyed in the song too. We talked about this. That is you’re the high-risk, high-reward guy too. We talked about if you could have taken the safe job. I remember you looked at me like, “No, I couldn’t do it.” That’s what I had to convey. You are pressing it. You’re not taking the safe choice.

Scott, I want to talk about the actual concert for a minute. It’s so powerful and it was you up there. We joked before you started when you said Tony’s name which is spelled the Irish way. When you think about the actual music itself that sits behind the lyrics, how did you compose that and how did you think through matching that with Tony’s story and his personality?

The song had two parts and the song has got to be written quickly. I was looking at all these details of his life that I thought were fascinating like his father was born in Ireland in 1946 in a stone hut with an attached roof. It’s the kind of thing I’ve sung about in songs, but I never had any connection to someone. Now I’m one person away from someone that was born there, then there are little snippets that I got of stories of being in different places.

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“Everywhere you go, people are people.”

I couldn’t get all this into the song but he talked about universal which is something I thought about before that everywhere you go, people are people. These are my words there, but it’s what I got from what he was saying that people are subject to their governance and the politics above them. It’s a family and they want the same things generally. I’m talking about as you visit communities of people, generally, it’s the same. He said he liked bluegrass music. I’ve gotten to know quite a few Irish people in Cleveland.

I do know a guy that was born in Ireland, but he wasn’t born in the stone hut. It’s a cool upbringing, but not quite as cool. Anyway, I know bluegrass. When Irish music came to America, it was the next generation of Irish music that was bluegrass. I drew on that. The first part I had is I walked out of there with a melody in my head. When I got home, the melody was different, but a melody started coming in as I was walking in my car.

By the time I got home and started writing words, the melody had changed a lot, but it was the same basic idea. In the first part, I never changed the chords. I stayed on one chord for the whole thing. It’s something like, “It feels like droning if I was on a mountain in Ireland, except I’m not from that time, so it’s more like a mountain in West Virginia.” That’s where that came from. The second part, I watched both videos of both of the songs that he gave me. Was it Slaid? Is that the name?

Slaid Cleaves. It’s a song about coming home from war.

I didn’t use the melody, the rhythm, or anything of that song, but it was a song that he said meant a lot to him. I used the feeling of that song. It’s a guy and his guitar. That was my jumping-off point to say, “It’s okay to go in this direction.”

You added the roll call in the middle.

He had mentioned, at one point, that it was how they would say roll and that it comes from the Civil War and that’s how they would speak it. I started thinking how that might fit in the middle. If I put the roll a little bit about the American that was shot in the tower on his last day. The roll call for him reenacted but then at the end, he’s still here. There’s a lot that is not here and I thought, “We can actually do that right now and he can be present.”

Bill, I gave you two songs that I felt defined me. One was John Parr’s Man in Motion, and the other one was Allman Brothers’ Ramblin’ Man, and we got the whole band. I had no idea that was going to happen.

I always have to get help because I’m a bass player. When I come in, it depends on who’s here. I’m always asking, “Can you play with me? Can you do this with me?” We even got Scott to play the drums so that was a first. With the music, I had something else going. I had the song completed, but technically, it was a technical issue. It was sounding more like something I had already done for another veteran. I couldn’t do that. I was trying to purposely not do that, and then that was ruining it. I scrapped it altogether and then came back to what we had now. I changed it altogether.

It was phenomenal. We’re going to play mine in this episode. Anyone else who will let me, we will do that too. What’s next? Are you looking forward to the next one and continuing to stay involved?

It always depends on your schedule, but Marilyn knows she can always call me. It’s too important and impactful to not do.

Tony, how do you feel when you leave here?

I’m overwhelmed by this organization to know that there are people out there that care so much and are willing to do so much to get this message out there and to help veterans. My story is not uncommon. Unfortunately, my Battalion took more casualties at home than we did in the two wars I was involved with. The orders of magnitude are more in what we’ve lost back home.

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“That’s what Marilyn’s trying to do here. Is really get to the root of it and try to understand why we lose soldiers after the war and what as society are we going to do about it.”

What we’re trying to do here is ask the difficult questions of why does that happen and what are we going to do about it? It’s a crisis. I always try to find those answers and educate myself on what the root causes are. It is probably the process that helps me deal with it. I know that’s what Marilyn is trying to do here. It is to get to the root of it and try to understand why we lose soldiers after the war and as a society, what are we going to do about it.

We’re losing too many. That’s the reality. It’s programs like this and it’s people like you, Bill and Scott, who are willing to come in, support these types of organizations, and support veterans and people who want to share their stories. It’s important. Tony, thank you again for coming out and doing this because we have to show others that they too have an outlet. It’s not bad to share.

A program like this and why I wanted to highlight that it’s so open-ended to share your story is important because you get to go where you want and focus on what you want. It’s a program where you’re going to get out what you put in. I sincerely appreciate everything that you gentlemen have put in here. This has been a truly tremendous and life-changing weekend for me and the rest of the guys. Thank you so much.

Thank you for everything that you’ve done.


Thank you, Fran and Project D.R.E.W. This is an amazing organization.

It is. It’s an honor to be part of it.

We’re looking forward to spreading the word and getting as many people as we can involved here, get them out, and experience this in Cleveland. I have been here for twenty years and it has changed a lot. It’s pretty nice. Cleveland rocks. Thanks, guys.

My name is Bill. I had a great morning spent with Fran. We’re choppy and it was awesome to sit and listen to him. He was a hard guy to describe because he has got such drive and ambition. I thought guys like him were only like fictional TV people like Elon Musk or something like that. His story has this theme. He started in broadcast journalism thought. He wanted to tell a story and do that. After 9/11, he thought he might be a war correspondent, but then he ended up in the Army deciding he’d rather be making a difference.TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.

With his drive and his internal push that he has, he rose through the ranks of leadership. For thirteen years, he has the rug pulled out from underneath him politically and gets out of the Army. He goes through business and that same kind of thing. He rises. He’s working at Snapchat. It’s getting knocked down in business but he’s got this drive that just keeps pressing on. That is the overall theme that I got out of it. With everything he told me, we wrote this. It’s called Press On. These guys heard it now. Ray is going to hear it here in a minute and Scott is going to hear it right now.

“I know the world has a story to be told. I learned that I had a limit for me to go forward. I’ve written in chapters, page by page. In black and white, never in gray. So I press on, I press on to all the vines. I press on as if I see it right before my eyes. I press on just out of reaches where it lies. I press on, I press on, I press on. The long entail leaves nothing in between. I’m either on or gone it seems. Our time is now, I tell myself. No time to make it for the time that’s been gone. So I press on, I press on to all the vines. I press on as if I see it right before my eyes. I press on just out of reaches where it lies. I press on, I press on, I press on. The choice is sunny, I was chasing what my life can be. To asking myself who do I want to be. From service I’ve learned that life is bigger than myself, it’s more than what I can hold or about who I’ve been. So I press on, I press on to all the vines. I press on as if I see it right before my eyes. I press on just out of reaches where it lies. I press on, I press on, I press on.”

Tony is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. It goes beyond any stories he had or anything. When you speak to somebody and you can tell by the thought that they’ve put into different categories of things that have happened in their life or categories of their life, how everything fits together, and how they categorize things. Apparently, I can’t think of another word besides categories, but it was something to meet him. I thank you for sharing your story. I wish that I could explain where all these things came from that he said and they’re going to go by fast, but it’s going to hurt me more than it hurts you.

TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.“Not too far above the ground where the cloud of an Irish sun shone down. Shown down on the patched roof out of stone. My dad was born flushing bone. Flushing bone and spirit roam. Across the oceans where he’d gone. Lace some curtain house is all I’ve known. Now Boston is my children’s home. Not too far above the ground in the sand and the dust of a desert town. I’m knowing door to door. Are you a friend? Now I’m making sure. Look here at my son you see this prize creation that you made. The world, your world is ancient like my dad. I’m a soldier in Afghanistan.”

“Coffee, lady bread, cream, cheese, Sarah’s mom in the morning breeze, shooting pool and telling jokes. In Baghdad I have known some folks. Not too far above the ground in the broken clay of a broken town was a son of a soldier. He was just a boy. He loved his country and he loved his soil. Aimed his rifle, he aimed his gun to the tower of the young America, to the tower and another father’s son, to the tower and another mother’s son, to the tower and another brother’s one, sister’s one, someone’s one, to the tower and a story never told. Three shots he left 10,000 holes.”

Sergeant Chiomento. Sergeant Robert Chiomento. Sergeant Robert J. Chiomento, strike from the roll.

“There’s a bullet twelve inches from your hair, whistling sandbag, broken threads. From a gun that was only one hair out place. Just laugh it off, you’ll live one more day. Sun, don’t you know that to sun shine? Wrap a hole and comanche now. Never left home in ones or twos. They all walked each other’s shoes. The darkness can steal the hope of your soul. One shot takes a soldier, it leaves 10,000 holes. Your steps surrounded by your brother’s boots. Never ray wait and never ray why. Just ask for help and you know to be true. Each one was ready to give up their life.”

“Now you walk the streets of your hometown. No one’s in front and no one’s behind. Seems the people back home that you sacrificed for. Their eyes are as cold as they’re blind and the darkness can steal the hope of your soul. When a shot takes a soldier, there are 10,000 holes. Behind that wall, the enemy creeps, maybe it hides just outside the door. It’s looking through windows and burned-out cars, somewhere in a haze that you’ve been before. Each bullet that misses will maybe you’ll hear and you’ll see the damage that’s done. But one comes if it takes you down. Well, you’ll never see that one, and the darkness can steal the hope of your soul. When a shot takes a soldier leaves 10,000 holes.”

“Back at the base behind barricades, you know deep inside it’s not safe. You’re still in the fight and you must study the waves. Understand the band that’s lying in a wave. Advancing through shadows, no warning, no trace. As an enemy, you’ll never see face to face. You’ll feel and sense it like you’ve no control. But the stronger you are, the more you’re alone. And the darkness can steal the hope of your soul. When a shot takes a soldier leaves 10,000 holes.”TJP - E80 Project D.R.E.W.

“Each bullet that misses, maybe you’ll hear, and you’ll see the damage that’s done. But if one comes and finally takes you down, you’ll never see that one. And I plead from my knees that you’ll call out for help, when it feels like there’s only one road. Don’t let the enemy take one more win. One shot leaves 10,000 holes. That fleet from my knees still call out for help. You feel like this is one road. I don’t let the enemy count one more win. No, don’t let the enemy count one more win. Hang on, don’t let the enemy count one more win. Hang on, call for help. Call a brother, my friend. Don’t let the enemy count one more win. One shot leaves 10,000 holes.”

I’m Ray Flanigan. I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Tim Driscoll. It was a great conversation. I think we talked about a lot of different things, but I felt like at the core of what we were talking about was just compassion and the relativity of whatever your personal problems in your daily life are to where you live and where you’re from. I wrote this song called First World Problems with Tim. He was talking about the military and the operating room because he spent some time in some operating rooms.

The sense of humor amongst female nurses is very similar to those in the military. We’re talking about how sometimes some people who have been through the worst may have the deepest sense of humor. Also, it’s important to get your kids to soccer practice on time and stuff just as much as it is to be thankful that you can go get water out of the sink and you don’t walk 5 miles to get it three times a day. This song is called First World Problems.TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.

“Rules and violin, five lines of prayer, water lilies drift through the air. I made my home in North Carolina. I take first world problems with the last world mind. These old mountain look like big hills, wherever I’ve been, I recall the smells. What was that thing that made you leave us behind? I take first world problems with the last world mind. I’ve seen Afghan or fence with the world’s biggest smiles, you get around a ball of duct tape and walk in for miles, three times a day for what water they could find. I take first world problems with the last world mind. “

“I saw my medic treat his own wound, and proceed the stitch off the whole platoon. You push through the pain and you learn to be kind. I take first world problems with the last world mind. On the razor’s edge of tragedy, the darkest humor has come food in. Pasta, potatoes, down the high tension line. I take first world problems with the last world mind. I take first world problems with the last world mind.”

Thanks, Tim. Thank you all very much.

My name is Bethany. I spoke with Corey, and Corey was Green Beret. We talked about a lot of things, but the main theme was consciousness and life and death. What I took away was how your experience in your life has shaped your perception of those things. We connected over a lot of our thoughts and ideas about life and death and meaning. That’s what the song is centered around. Among many other things, he has a degree in Biotech and he studied Quantum Physics and a bunch of other sciences at that time, but we talked a lot about Quantum Physics ideas.

That stuff is fascinating to me. It’s too complex to put into a song in one day, but I have some of that in here. Something I liked is your optimism about your future. As you say, you don’t have regrets. You look back on your life and you’ve learned and you’ve become who you are because of everything you’ve been through. I like that. That resonated with me a lot. The first thing he told me was, “I don’t want a slow sad song. I like psychedelic rock and I want it to be upbeat.” I’m like, “Cool.”TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.

I did my best and wrote a song in that vein. That style of music doesn’t have a lot of lyrics so the lyrics aren’t extensive. It’s called One Choice because he’s got this awesome tattoo that goes over his whole back, spirals around his arms, and comes to his hands. He talked about basically you have a choice in each hand. You can go and stretch in that direction. The song is called One Choice and here we go.

“Nineteen years old, just trying to find my way, then I found it when I was a Green Beret. They’ll press or leave. It meant everything to me. I’ll take the hill, man, as long as you are coming with me. I know that I’ve been around where I’m going. One choice in each hand is what I have to show. And it’s because of comes at 35. Feels like I’ve been here longer than I’ve been alive. Our understanding of what’s been and what will be is no longer just what we can see. I know that I’ve been in where I’m going. One choice in each hand is what I’ve got to show. I know where I’ve been and where I’m going. One choice in each hand is what I’ve got to show. No fear, no regret. I haven’t looked back yet. No fear, no regret. I haven’t looked back yet. I know where I’ve been and where I’m going. One choice in each hand is what I have to show. I know where I’ve been and where I’m going. One choice in each hand is what I have to show.”

Thank you. Thanks, Corey. Awesome meeting and working with you.

I’m Tim Blake, very nice to be with you all. Alejandro, we met and he’s probably one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life because he is a philosopher and he is a master photographer that he’s working on. At one point, he worked three jobs. He worked in the postal service, the National Guard, and as a bouncer. I figured that Green Berets would probably be very qualified to be bouncers. These are all his words. He showed me his website and I went home. I didn’t add very much to this.

These are his words and I put them to music. It’s the philosophy that I can’t get out of my head. I’m still not right from it, but it’s called the Blur Between Lights because he said, “When you’re looking into the future and you have a goal and you’re looking at something that you’re striving for, what you do is forget to see what’s going on around you on the sides while you’re getting there.” His philosophy is to have that goal, but make sure you see every minute and everything around you on the way to that goal. It’s a wonderful philosophy and we wrote this song about that.TJP 80 l Project D.R.E.W.

“Fragile lines get crossed in the journey of life, look beyond the stars up in the sky. Sometimes we get lost, can’t stop at any cause, especially when you hear the battle cry. My name is right, and my presence is sight. It’s the path that is worth in 4-pound beef. The more I see the barbed wire, the less it seems so sharp, and the more I feel the earth beneath my feet. I tossed two coins and take a ride with reality and your dreams collide. Photos taken in black and white, I am the blur between the light. I am the blur between the light. Sit down and grab your ass, grasp before another breath. Light is above the shattered sky. Like a movie with an all-star cast, all is going to be my bet. Can’t fight back time, can’t compromise. Make a plan and take a ride. Hidden pass or magnify like fireflies in the moon so bright, I am the blur between the lights. I am the blur between the lights.”

Thanks, Alejandro. Thanks for all the wonderful insight you have given me that I have to practice.

American Jedburghs went out to form the foundation of the United States Special Forces in the Special Activities Director to the Central Intelligence Agency. Thanks for tuning in to the show. Join us next time for a new episode on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast. Check us out on YouTube for full episodes, highlights, and other behind-the-scenes content. If you like what you heard, give us a like and leave a review.

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TJP - E80 Project D.R.EW.


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