Operation Within Podcast Episodes


Episode One

Episode One: Operation Within + Taking Control

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.

Episode Two

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. 

Episode Three

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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