What is your identity – how do you define yourself?

What is most important to you?

What can you do to stay true to your authentic self?

In this week’s Pivotal Moments Media Charlie Mike Channel episode of Life After the Military we talk with a combat veteran, 5-time Bronze Star awardee (one with a “V” Device for Valor), and former Ranger and Delta Operator, Brad Thomas.

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In this very candid, open, and transparent discussion, Brad shares how he balanced his role as a combat veteran with his role as a rock musician. 

A lover of music since his childhood, Brad never let his time in uniform completely define him. He always saw himself as a creative artist – whether writing and playing music or working on combat development projects to bring new, innovative equipment to the battlefield to make his combat colleagues more safe and more effective.

In this episode, Brad discusses

  • Staying true to yourself while serving in the military
  • Encourages veterans to see more in themselves than just their identity in a uniform
  • How he conceived of and patented body armor to help his battle buddies
  • Putting himself and his family first in his the decision-making process 
  • Giving back to the community from an intentional place
  • How the late 80’s – 90’s rock era influenced his love for music and his career as a musical artist
  • How his veteran rock band, Silence and Light, contribute directly to charity through their music sales
  • The importance of contributing to the community and maintaining your mental health


Show Notes:

00:00 Howie and Lee introduce Brad Thomas, a five-time combat medal recipient and founding member of the all-veteran rock band Silence and Light

1:53 Brad shares his perspective on military service and self-preservation

9:45 An origami gift was developed into an innovative combat gear solution, eventually earning Brad a US patent for special ops armor

12:55 The conversation shifts to the importance of keeping a sense of community, including how Silence and Light’s music directly benefits military charities

16:48 Brad discusses his earliest memories and connections with music, and how the band formed

22:57 Brad explains how the American grunge rock sound from the late 80s to mid-90s became the soundtrack to his life during active combat duty

25:51 Lee brings back a favorite game, giving a new title to Brad’s potential autobiography; the conversation shifts to selflessness

28:20 Brad explains the flow state he and his bandmates achieve when making music, and how it serves as a crucial form of therapy

30:54 Wise words about finding what keeps you mentally fit

33:32 Howie discusses survivor’s guilt

35:13 Lee adds the final book title and closes the show