Meet Marty and Mel. Marty is a newly retired veteran and Mel is a military spouse. Together they introduce Operation Within and discuss the challenges of military life and why it’s important to select resources that are meaningful and relevant. Also available anywhere you can listen to Podcasts.
Operation Within Podcast: Suicide Prevention & the Unspoken Truths
Listener discretion advised. This episode covers content that may be triggering due to vulnerable and sensitive conversations around the topics of suicide, trauma, and loss. If you or anyone knows someone struggling with suicidal ideations, please contact the suicide military crisis hotline: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
Marty and Mel have an open and honest discussion about suicide in the military and how it’s impacted their lives. They suggest introducing compassion and grace into conversations surrounding suicide awareness and prevention.
Operation Within Podcast: Finding Your Significance
Mel interviews Wendy Fish, True North Program Manager for the 37th Training Wing, U.S. Air Force. Wendy shares how her experience as a military spouse and cancer survivor have helped her to find her purpose and significance.
Episode Four: Back to Better vs. Back to Normal
Marty interviews Eric Cooper, President and CEO of San Antonio Food Bank. Eric shares stories of hope and resilience and describes how acts of service can nourish the soul.
Episode Five: Self Actualization and Yoga
Mel interviews Phil Sussman, a Special Operations Civil Affairs Officer currently undergoing a medical separation board out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Phil has served as a Scout Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Squadron Planner, Team Leader and Company Operations Chief and has deployed multiple times in support of operations in the Middle East. He most recently returned from Syria in December 2020. Prior to joining the Army, Phil worked as a photojournalist, covering war in the Middle East and news on the home front.After a training accident in 2015 in which he suffered a back injury, Phil found yoga to assist with his healing and help recover from the loss of several men from his unit the previous year. Phil founded American Yogi in 2017 with his brother with the goal of bringing yoga and mindfulness to those who need it most. American Yogi has evolved from a t-shirt brand to a movement, a community, and a tribe of men and women who want to bring peaceful transformation to their lives and to those around them.
Episode Six: There Goes My Life
Mel and Marty talk about the challenges of parenthood and some of the taboos associated with the transition period following childbirth. From postpartum depression to the feeling of a depleted life force, the "4th Trimester" can be daunting for mothers who are balancing their physical health, relationship with their spouse, professional career, and a growing family. In this episode, Mel talks about ways to harness the power from within to overcome negative energy and regain control of one's life.
Episode Seven: It Takes a Village...
Mel and Marty interview Maria Gonzales, Humana Military, to learn more about the vision for Operation Within and its role in the overall wellness of the military community. We discuss Maria's collaboration with local partners and some of the engagements that led up to the podcast all while maintaining a military household, staying active, going to school, and balancing a professional career. This episodes highlight how it takes a village to promote promote health initiatives and provide critical resources to support military families.
Episode Eight: Purposeful Steps
Marty talks to Glorygrace Dickenson, wear blue: run to remember, to learn more about Gold Star families and the overwhelming challenge of moving forward after losing a loved one in combat. The mental and emotional toll of these tragedies affects all aspects of health but there is a community and resources to help these families. In this powerful episode, GG talks about how wear blue: run to remember allows families to celebrate the life of their loved one by taking purposeful steps towards healing.
Episode Nine: Unpacking the Box
Marty connects with Kimberly Andersen, Director of Wellness at Endeavors, and they discuss the challenges of transition and finding ways to "stand in the gap" and remove barriers for care. Military families are a unique subculture within the larger population so we tend to compartmentalize experiences and learn to "embrace the suck". In this episode, Kimberly talks about the myriad of programs offered at Endeavors to help unpack negative emotions and address the physical, social, and clinical issues that are detrimental to the health of military families, especially during the transitional period.
Episode Ten: Money- Perspective, Mindset, and the Value of Joy
Mel and Marty discuss the topic of money, mindset, and financial management as they have a light hearted and honest conversation on experiences of finance from both business and personal experiences. Learn the power of perspective, unpack your relationship with money, discover perspectives to aid ease, and learn how your relationship with money impacts your perspective on freedom, peace and relationships.
Episode Eleven: Fostering Connection
Mel interviews Adam Evans, Chief Strategy Officer of Instant Handz and Air Force Spouse diving into the topics of community, resilience and the power of connection. Adam shares his experience and work with Instant Handz, a community company connecting military families with their neighbors to earn additional income along with wisdom he has gained throughout the years. Learn ways to begin connecting with the community, the power of presence and the value of service for one another. Learn more about Instant Handz at www.instanthandz.com
Episode Twelve: Rising to Recovery
Mel sits down with Armando Sanchez, MSW, Veteran Peer Support Specialist at Rise Recovery- who shares his experience with addiction and his military background. Armando discusses addiction, the hidden truths and hope of healing through community, compassion and the body. Armando tells his powerful story and provides timeless teachings, insights and experiences that whether you or someone you love are navigating alcohol and substance abuse or you’ve been touched by addiction in one way or another- this episode will awaken your heart in more ways than you can imagine.Armando provides powerful resources and perspectives on beginning your healing. To learn more about the incredible work and recovery services provided for the military and veteran community visit https://www.riserecovery.org/about-us...
Episode Thirteen: Mindfulness Meaning and Sustainable Collaboration
Mel is joined by President and CEO, Sandy Morander, from the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, as they dive into the mind body and spirit foundations of the YMCA's history and greater mission. Sandy shares wisdom on sustainable community outreach, social responsibility and pivoting through the pandemic to continue serving the greater San Antonio area and military families. Learn accessible and empowering ways to begin mindfulness, volunteerism, and community innovation that embodies your own maintenance of wellbeing.
Episode Fourteen: Mind/Body and Connection
Marty welcomes back Kimberly Anderson, Director of Wellness at Endeavors, for Part II of their conversation and they take a deeper dive into the wellness programs offered at this facility. From initial contact to that first step into the "connection room", Endeavors is very deliberate in setting the conditions for success and removing barriers for care. In this episode, Kimberly walks us through the pillars of wellness and explains how these are all interwoven into how we seek care and accept care as we continue to unpack boxes of emotions, trauma, and stress during transitional seasons.
Episode Fifteen: The Gift of Life
Marty welcomes Dr James Ogletree, Chief Medical Officer at Health By Design, for a candid discussion about our overall health and how stress, anxiety, and depression are really tied to how much we pack into our busy lives. We tend to overload ourselves with a multitude of tasks and set unreasonable expectations for getting things done to the point that it affects our physical and mental health. In this episode, Dr. Ogletree talks about easy ways to reduce risk factors that lead to severe ailments, like heart attacks, by simply having fun, creating white space in our daily routines, improving our diet and exercise, and enhancing our knowledge of resources available through the American Heart Association.
Episode Sixteen: Mindful Coping for the Military Child
Mel interviews veteran and military spouse Tania Palacios exploring parenthood in the military and mindful coping skills for the military child. Mel and Tania get candid on experiences and tools they’ve personally acquired through different seasons as a military spouse with parenting. Learn about co-regulation, mindfulness and grace through an intimate conversation to aid in community and connection.
Episode Seventeen: Mental Programming and the Power of Belief
Join Mel as she dives into mental programming with 20 year Marine Veteran, Nigel Fisher unpacking mental programs that keep people stuck and disempowered. Discover reframes and tools to awaken deeper self realization, agency and ways to live an intentional life. Nigel shares powerful insights based on his military career and experiences through the profession that led to deeper connections within that have aided his success now and during his transition out of the military into civilian life.
Episode Eighteen: Holistic Health and Fitness with SFC Bullis
Mel sits down with SFC Christopher Bullis to discuss Holistic Health and Fitness. SFC Bullis shares his own journey of holistic health and fitness through addressing mental health and resiliency to today initiating ways to bring mindfulness to our cadre and student soldiers. SFC Bullis shares insight through his own personal experiences on the relevance of utilizing a holistic framework for soldier wellbeing while highlighting the impact movement and mindfulness have provided him. Listeners will be inspired and guided into practical ways to improve quality of life through mindset and the power of multi-modal health maintenance.
Episode Nineteen: Reflections
Mel and Marty unpack some of the most powerful teachings experienced both on and off the podcast over the past 6 months offering more context on applying this content and holistic wellness deeper into your life. Discover the power of self awareness and enjoy a lighthearted reflection and storytelling with Mel and Marty.
Episode 20 - Life After Military: Veteran Entrepreneurship
Mel joins David Holland, the owner of Longtab Brewing Company for a conversation on David's journey of 20 years as an 18 Delta, 10 years as a Special Forces Warrant Officer and his transition into starting his brewing company that began as a passion and love of beer to a business that is dedicating to honoring the history of Green Berets.
Episode 21 - Yoga in the Military
Mel sits down with Enrique Irby who has served in the military for over 20 years about his passion and interest in yoga in the military. Irby shares his first hand experience from beginning his mindfulness journey after four deployments and navigating mental health challenges that in his words saved his military career and has changed his life. Topics include accessibility, the relevance of mind body modalities and practical applications to how the timeless wisdom of yoga and mindfulness optimize soldier performance.