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Heston Russell of Voice Of A Veteran

by Shaun Kober
March 1st 2021
01:10:37
Description

Heston Russell is a retired Special Forces Major and the Founder of Voice Of A Veteran.

In this conversation, we discuss the ramifications of the recent release of the Brereton report in A... More

I became so competent at providing physical courage, you know, that it just wasn't ever something that came into consideration were just great at doing what needed to be done, putting ourselves in danger, doing all that, whereas life outside of service really ever requires physical courage and that's where we really find ourselves in a place where we don't feel relevant, but what we actually have is the flip side of that, which is moral courage because we actually have the basic building blocks of personal ethos and values that led us to absolute greatness that has caused us to not even fear for our own lives and that's perspective and experience that some people are never going to have and it's harnessing that is responsibility to then apply that to really appreciating what matters in life and doing the right thing, moral courage, you're not gonna get killed for it, but still it's one of the hardest things to do and that's the best way we can lead by example, is just being the best that we can be for the right reasons. Hey guys, welcome to today's episode of the live train perform podcast, I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me today is Heston Russell who is a retired Special forces commander and who is now the owner, founder of voice of the veteran Hessen, Welcome to the podcast mate, how are you?

Good Copes. Thanks for having me man, my pleasure, I'm excited to have a chat to you. We, I haven't actually met um but we've been kind of following each other on social media, Yeah, we've been following each other a little bit on social media um for the last was six months, eight months or something like that. Um and you know, there's so many things that I want to talk to you about in um this conversation because you've got so much going on in your life. I've been listening to you and scotty ever nets um podcast voice of a veteran as well. Um and I kind of want to discuss that. I want to discuss um the direction that you're heading in with the voice of veteran, why you've started that. Um and kind of something that's been big in the news recently has been the baritone report. Um have you seen that unfold and how is that impacting veterans back home? Uh so quickly putting all those things together. You know, my story was service transition end of 2000 start of 2019, but before that long service and got to a point basically august last year, august 2020 where I seriously sat down and thought about taking my own life and then had my aha moment went back and did some back casting and sort of tracked and traced the ways and means that me.

I had got to that place in my own actions and attitude, but also those within some really key systemic values from the lack of transition process and the idea through to literally the only problem that I'm yet to be able to not solve and that's trying to get my own admin through the Department of Veterans Affairs so that all sort of all happened and I jumped into the media founded voice of the veteran because I needed something that wasn't me putting myself forward, it was putting a cause forward and then you know, that was sort of october then a month later made the, sorry, that was september then a month later in october, the abc uh published a story that was a marine, a U. S. Marine Huey door gunner heard a pop in Afghanistan 2000 and 12 and said that november platoon of which I was the platoon commander, novem platoon Afghan 2012 allegedly executed someone to fit them on a helicopter because he heard a pop and I just took to social media and just said one, this is such crap. Two, I was the platoon commander, let's have a chat long story short the project added as well.

But the project jumped onto the social media stuff and invited me in to do it one on one interview with them of which I got to tell my side of the story, particularly the context of just how much our community has been hurting with mental health, the ongoing Britain report which had been 4.5 years in the making and then a month later the Britain report was released and I was sort of top of mind and the one who has spoken out from special forces and has just been an ongoing process with the focus being to better educate the Australian public on who veterans are, better take control of the veteran narrative because it was pretty much sick of people talking about us. It's time for us to speak for ourselves and also to start working with veterans to step ourselves up to start solving some of these problems like we do best. So down and dirty. That's very uh we're going to circle back to the voice of a veteran in the moment, but I do have people listening from all over the world. So if they're not necessarily in Australia, um can you just kind of dive into what the baritone report is?

What our outlines, which will probably then segued into voice of the veteran. Make sure, okay, so Britain is a person in Britain is a High court judge from here in Australia. He's also an army reservist two star general and he was brought into 4.5 years ago, commence an inquiry, not an investigation and inquiry into allegations that special forces personnel have potentially committed what might be considered war crimes, released Um illegal activities during uh their time in Afghanistan. So the Australian forces were in Afghanistan and the special forces as a part of the special operations task group were in Afghanistan on and off since 2001 in particular. He was looking from Um that 2005 period through to about 2016. But the burden report specifically captures the period during that time and of which it took 4.5 years to be completed. Uh Hundreds of people were interviewed.

It was very divisive within the veteran community, particularly Special forces community because I, like myself had to go in there and be asked questions and provide evidence seemed just fact basing stuff. And as soon as you were called forward to provide evidence, you were not allowed to then speak to anyone. Even those within your Special Forces fraternity about what you have been through, what you had said and particularly within the Special Forces of Community which is already very insulated and isolated just given the operational secrecy requirements. The inability for us to engage within our community and have these rumors spiking around and to be honest, the way in which the inquiry was conducted because the rules of evidence didn't apply was also very divisive in itself. You know, I sat in there twice and they were interrogations as opposed to questions. Um And then the report was released into the Australian public november of last year and it was for the first time we've ever seen in our nation's history where our Prime Minister even stood up before it was released and called it a brutal truths and our Chief of Defense Force stood up and Made recommendations to remove honours and awards from 3000 people which included 20 dead special forces personnel who died overseas on deployments.

And basically jumped to all these conclusions without the presumption of innocence, without actual criminal investigations and charges being applied. And you know, a few of us sort of really spoke out against it and sort of since then the government really has stepped back and the honors and awards have been removed in any of that. But it's when we won't talk about this like this inflicting moral injury. And that's really been the ramifications across not only the veteran community but the Australian community whereby the defense force has always been one of those treasure is not the highest valued institution that is just so pure and authentic in our values, in our culture, in our purpose to serve and protect the Australian people a politically a anything And for the first time we saw our senior military general stand up and act like politicians. We saw abandonment of those who have literally gone outside the wind with their lives at the same time. Given the nature of service and even Special Forces Service, the inability for people to stand up and actually rebut these in the media, outside of people like myself who have since gotten out.

And The response from the Australian people has been huge. You know, we should put a petition together. We had 60,000 signatures in six days. Um and the public support for our veterans right now has probably been stronger than ever, mm man, there's so many different things to unpack there because, you know, obviously these allegations have come from somewhere. Um but you know, we need to look at the other side of the story as well is like you guys, the special forces community have been drawn in and essentially interrogated, but what's happening with the other side, who's telling the other side of the story, it's going to be the families of slain people who primarily going to be fucking Taliban forces. Now, this is something that is going to be, this is a complex man, there's a complex subject and this is why I want to get you on is because I've been in Afghanistan and I've seen fucking guys shoot at us and then go around the corner, put their weapon away and now they blend back into the civilian population and, you know, our rules of engagement dictate that we can't do anything about it.

You know? And this has happened multiple times. And, you know, we would we would essentially capture these guys, we get into a TIC troops in contact. We'd capture these guys didn't have a weapon or anything, we'd take them back to our base for processing three days later. They're back out again doing the same fucking thing trying to try, you know, and some of these guys did kill some of our guys, some of these guys did, you know, some of our guys did lose limbs and things like that. And we're trying to go through the due process and you know, we're being hamstrung by all the fucking red tape. Yeah, it made a very complex terrain. And first and foremost, the biggest thing that's been evident and brought out by all of this is the lack of understanding of just exactly what we did in Afghanistan, by the Australian people, let alone the complexity is like you're alluding to make of counterinsurgency warfare, you know, not people lined up on opposing sides of the field and different uniforms, um different languages, Everything else in between. You know, it's just there's layers and layers and layers of complexity to it.

And I'm sort of at the at the point where it's just the key part to impart on people is that now in Australia, they've set up this federal organization called the Office of the Special Investigator, which is now tasked to grab the recommendations from the written report and go through an official investigation, applying the laws of evidence and that's going to take. Yes. So even to all the Australian media now, all I say to them is, hey, let's have a chat when uh, the official investigation has been completed, when evidence has been provided, when charges have been laid and when convictions have been awarded and after. Until then everything else is hearsay and all you're doing is perpetuating so much angst and emotion in society by one realizing that you don't actually even know, let alone value the service, that so many sacrifices and even lost lives or limbs over there full let alone have taken the time to do your due diligence to better support our community nationally and internationally by preparing the Australian people for this.

So there's lots and lots to it has been very, very emotive over here to say the least. Mm, I'm glad I'm in Thailand and not back in Australia, like, the media has just, it's fun, man, I don't know how far to go down this path, but last year, I was talking to a fair before last year, this time of the year, I was actually back in Australia during my yoga course with a bunch of veterans and um, you know, right before I left Thailand, um, you know, there was talk of the coronavirus and all this type of stuff and I got back to Australia, it was fucking everywhere, man, you could not escape it. And then I got back to Thailand was like, all right, cool. Um, you know, there's not much going on, um, whatever. And then it's like the government's gonna close everything down. Like, I didn't hear much about it on the media, but that's all I'm hearing back in Australia, I've seen you all over social media recently, um, essentially defending those who cannot defend themselves because they're still within service and they can't speak up and they can't um you know, they can't have a face, they can't have a voice.

Um but as you said, the media just perpetuates this information based on what what's the, I used to say this um deployments, but you know this better than anyone, that when there's, when the war outside the wire draws more quiet, it comes inside the wire, you know, when people aren't busy with something else, you know, let's even just say purpose outside of self, let alone risk. Risk is the biggest thing that inflates emotion in people. It comes inside the white man and the best media is media that stirs emotion with people and not many people are very good at inspiring people in the media. So the easiest thing is to scare them and that's that's where we're at mate. And it's just being, you know, uh it's been incredible being here mate. And I put this again in the context of mental health and emotional trauma and The sleeping disease that is just now being nested within our society that is just being dragged over the last 12 months worth of lockdown and scared an outbreak in this.

And, you know, we were so stuffed around here in Australia when there was a spike in Sydney, a cluster in Sydney just before christmas was shut down the borders and literally disrupted millions of people's plans to reconnect with their families because Queensland had finally opened their borders, which had been closed all the m and you sit there and have the government and these organizations and media talk about, you know, how we need to do this, we need to protect our people. And it's like Anyone with military tactics. 101 is like why are we still landing international flights with the highest risk people into our largest populated city being Sydney and then putting them in hotel quarantine in the middle of the city. You can't remove human error. The fact that we're not thinking even tactically not to do that for the entire year, but maybe just not in the months leading up to christmas and new Years just to mitigate some form of human error risk. You know, we're more than happy to almost allow these to occur. So as we can see this authority of in this um fear brought back into the place and you just sit here trying to look for common sense and look for as we do ways in which you can push past and solve these problems and move on and just when you start seeing the systemic actions to do otherwise.

You just sit there going, when is this over? When can I get a time and enjoying coats? Cool. Yeah, man, I think, you know the media, it's a tool, right? As with everything, it's a tool, it can be used, it can be used for positive. It can be used for negative, but I'm reading a book at the moment called fact illness. Have you read it? I don't read. Maybe It opens the book with 13 questions. And one of the questions is, for example, um, in the last 20 years have the majority of people in poverty doubled remain the same or halved. and there's 13 questions like that. What would your answer be for that remain the same? The answer is halved in the last 20 years. Yeah, but where about in the world? In the world? Throughout the entire world? Yeah. So the book goes into, um, you know, these goes into data essentially looking at how the world has changed for the better. But because of the way the media is driven, it is all about sensationalizing information and again, putting out headlines that are going to draw attention, get clicks and things like that.

So for the most part, people think that the world is getting worse. Whereas in actual fact the world is actually probably the safest place to be alive as a human being in humans history. So, you know, this just goes to show the power of the media man is, it's not that the world is uh, a scarier place, it's a more dangerous place. It's just that we have a lot more access to that information. And the other thing is like, we're not getting that information that, you know, most of the world's population coming out of poverty has halved in the last 20 years. We're not getting that information because nobody's clicking on that, you know, and there's so much, there's so many things that um is improving in the world due to science due to um medical, um you know, advancement and more countries getting out of poverty and creating more money, creating more jobs, creating better futures, better health care systems, better educational systems and things like that. But we don't hear about that stuff man. And I think it's crazy to Yeah, I think it's crazy man that we are literally drawn.

We are belt fed this information from the media. But the thing that the point that I want to make is that we choose what media we consume. We are a product of our environment. So we need to be careful of what we're consuming. We need to be critical thinkers because all of these companies are using this data are search engines and things like that to then push more information towards us. So we end up living in an echo chamber. The information that we're searching for, the information that we're consuming. We're getting pushed more and more of that information. We're not hearing the other side of the story. So I think it's important for people to be critical thinkers and seek out and search for information that opposes their views and their beliefs. Yeah, it's good. It's a really good point, mate. I mean, first things first, like you said, the media is such a tool and it was down to me to even like realize that and then start harnessing that just to essentially force multiply the message that I needed to get out. And that's where you can apply your training to basically have people not only like you, but believe in you because you're being authentic about what you're doing.

But again, it's just that, that epiphany that even though I've gone through, you know, that abc report in particular where they're able to publish report, calling out special forces platoon by name for the first time in our history without actually like interviewing any live person and quoting them from an Australian force who was completely an american guy. And then to literally get in direct contact with the abc and multiple occasions emails calls a whole bunch of people on my behalf following up and doing so and then being unwilling to engage with me to even do a follow up or to even try and get their own facts straight, you're just like, cool, so the purpose is not using education, the purpose is click and cut through, got it, you know, and particularly as a, as a veteran, but you know, this is They released that on the 8th anniversary of the death of Scott Smith who was my corporal engineer, special operations engineer I lost in afghan and it struck a coordinated, you can imagine that night I was down at the Rsl meeting up with his mom who hasn't seen in eight years and it's just so insulting that they can't even do their due diligence to follow up and I don't know how to hold the big beast to task.

But you know, even the burnt reports since being released, I'm not under investigation. It just all goes quiet, but I'll tell you what there is accountability that has to be made and we just have to find a way to do it. But it comes down to the consumer to individually make sure that we're doing that. What is it? So what make sure you're always questioning what we're seeing? Absolutely made because unfortunately it comes with its own purpose as opposed to just authentic information? Mm That's a great point man. Um I want to circle back around to voice of a veteran. I want to talk about why you started that. Um you kind of already touched on it. But let's go a little bit deeper because it's obviously important to have someone like yourself who is no longer in anymore. But has that experience has been in the mold has had your fucking boots on the ground outside the wire overseas, You know, doing what needs to be done taking the fight to the Taliban. Um, you know, is that kind of why you start a voice of a veteran or is it, was it to um just become the face and the voice of the people to represent the veterans.

So when I sat here in august of last year and literally started writing out my little death letter and going through visualizing someone like Senator Lambie reading it out to Parliament, you know, it was with the context of you know, my profile being a retired Special forces major, so an officer, you know, having a killed plenty of people myself as a platoon, we've gone out there and taking the fight to the enemy and killed and captured many, you know, I've lost, you know, some of my guys, I've done everything from take our Prime Minister over at first female Prime Minister over on their first trip to Afghanistan served in exchange for a whole year within the U. S. Special Forces headed up contingent for taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq, you know, all these things that look fantastic on paper and the beautiful picture and all this that the other. And I was like right finally this is a profile that is going to achieve the cut through after I kill myself for people to realize that you know she is wrong. And then I had my moment, I snapped to it and I sort of looked at this profile that I put down on paper and had this moment where I'm like well why am I passing this over to someone else to tell my story, why am I not using this for the weapon that it can be to fight for good?

Again, we're still extremely uncomfortable doing that as myself. So I needed a platform. I needed something that could help me bring a team together and that was the voice of a veteran and that's the whole thing, its voice of a veteran and I would love nothing more than it to be passed on and moved on to other veterans and it just needs to be a place to to speak out, because that's the biggest thing that I realized is when I was sitting here and all these things were attacking me emotionally is that I was unable to voice, my concern was unable to communicate and it comes from that place where you just spiral into feeling hopeless. Um and in such despair, that sort of suicide and ideation comes from just literally being able to speak. You know, it's so therapeutic and needed that I just needed to harness modern society and technology and social media and that's it. And it was literally just a brand made a brand was born, but it was the confidence that I needed and the purpose that I needed outside of myself to make it happen now, you spoke about suicide there.

Um we both know that that's a massive out for a lot of guys who have previously served and a lot of guys do get out of the military and they lose that purpose and that self identity and um you know that direction and um who they are essentially and some people don't know how to um put those pieces back together because when you're in the military you have your purpose, you have your task, you have your mission, you have that environment that you have those people around you that are all um you know, putting service to others above themselves. Then when you get out of the military you no longer have that anymore. Talk to me about your transition process. Um and some of the things that you dealt with when you did walk back into the civilian world For sure. So I got back from my last deployment to Iraq early 2017 at this point in my career I had pretty much not taken much leave and I had about 120 days worth of leaving my book and also had my long service leave.

So I um I move myself to America where I actually in secret had a boyfriend that I moved over there and decided to be with him for a while to at least see what that life was like uh which was in Los Angeles and it was, it was great and then he was working for a company called Barry's bootcamp which at that time was looking for international expansion and I ended up picking up the rights to partner with a crew over here and bring it here to Australia. So 2018 I moved over here and did it and it's important to note that even during that 8-10-month period, I wasn't contacted by defense other than someone to try and offer me a deployment to come back. You know, there was no there was no proactive outreach to me and there was no no reactive outreach to me back. And it was kind of like a just interesting thing in my head to see like how long is it gonna take for anyone to sort of check up Because concurrent do this, they had been the murmurs of this veteran mental health crisis that I was completely ignorant to because you know, particularly in special forces and we were, you know, pretty good.

Um, and You know, the long story short, all of 2018 did Barry's and more and more along my own personal transition. I got immersed in the civilian world and I was very fortunate jumping straight into leading a brand and expanding it over here. It had its own media, had its own hype. I was you know, very successful in that area. Just project managing. I've got to build a whole new company, a whole new team, run selection courses for our trainers, all that good stuff. And then January 2019, I went in to complete my transition paperwork to discharge and it was about a two hour meeting to conflict and I had to come back two weeks later and do the same and I had to do a medical where they just did all these scans of my body and I'd never put in a single injury and a single downgrade even though I'd done things like completely ruptured my patella tendon and shoulder and whatever. And then somehow on my file there was a waiver that said I didn't need a psych screening after four trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, one to Iraq and everything else in between.

I just walked out good to go. And then the next year I got involved with regular Sydney social life. You know, I enjoyed myself. I partied hard. I got into some recreational drugs like nothing crazy but just the normal stuff and I drifted more and more away from those values that saw me be my very best, responsible, selfless. Um, and really start to what we do best immersed myself to my new environment. That was very self gratifying superficial. I became completely disillusioned with the deBA process because it took me over a year to get doctor's appointments. I had scans on my knee made like before I left the military, I had this M. R. I scan on my knee, the knee that I ruptured my tendon and then it took me 12 months to get that approved so I could then go and see a surgeon and the surgeon picked up the same scan, the same report I had over a year ago and said, hey, has anyone like spoken to you about this?

It's like, no, I've been in scene three D be a designated doctors and they put me through a range of motion tests and everything is like, yeah. So they've looked at all of this from a liability and compensation scope in order to see, you know what they're liable to do. But If anyone looked at this with your own care and interest at heart, they would have seen like it's written here that you have a two centimeter fractured bone that is rubbing on everything and I can remove in a 45 minute procedure and you can run again. And I say that because I know that you can probably really definitely connect with this that I've gone from particularly special forces made if we had a cough. If we had a shoulder injury, if we have anything, we had hyperbaric chambers, we had our own personal, you know, we'll high performance sport athletes and we were looked after like nothing else because there's millions of dollars in capability in us and to realize that I was now no longer even valued enough for a suite of doctors to not think about how can we make this dude happier and healthier and have less pain. It was just this by this time my emotional resilience, which is so worn down.

It just, it hurt and hurt and hurt and you know, you just build up such a bad taste in your mouth and you know, then you're leading this lifestyle that you're not proud of, if you guys back in work started to see, and you don't feel as relevant because the unit moves 400 miles an hour and you jumped off and trying to catch up with the bus that's still going. So it's just all a big pile of mess in the air and there's just nothing that really ever fulfills that intrinsic motivation, that purpose, that is putting yourself, putting your team, your mission in the country before yourself and going out there and testing yourself in the ultimate level of training. So, yeah, I want to ramble there. No, it's fine man. Um that's that's why I wanted to have a conversation with your brother is like, let's have an open conversation about this. Um because I think it is an important conversation for people to hear. Um you know, it's not just you that's going through this, I went through this myself. Most veterans have gone through this and, you know, the interesting thing for me is a lot, a lot of people in the last year in particular, um particularly when, you know, lockdown started happening and people lost their jobs and they were stuck at home and they were isolated and they no longer identified with what they did for work and they were no longer seeing their friends and family and things like that, that, that that is some people's identity and when that's taken away from them, that's when mental health issues started rising.

And the interesting thing for me is like all pretty much all military go from that environment where you're you're sacrificing yourself for a higher purpose. And then when you get out, you kind of, as you said, man, like you're, when you're within the defense force, when you're high level fucking operator, you're being looked after because you are a capability and you need to be you need to be at your best health so that you can be utilized. However, and whenever possible, two do a task, complete a mission, get the job done. But then when you get out, you're no longer, you know, one of the capabilities and you kind of left on your own and you know, going to figure this out and figure this out. You're not given any transition process, you're not given any um kind of getting into the army, you go through a basic three month fucking course to get in as an armoire and longer for officers, right? But then when you go the other way in transition from the military to becoming a civilian, again, there's no process.

So how do you do? No, that's right. You can teach people, you can teach people who walk in off the street, get off the fucking bus how 6, 17, 18, 19 year old kids shave all their heads, put them in the same fucking close, tell them what's right, tell them what's wrong. Give them all the rules and regulations, train them up for minimum three months, then send them off to their trade schools, then off to, you know their units. But then when you're getting out, there's no process, man. It was interesting that you spoke about the sites as well. And when I I've told this story before on the podcast, but when I was coming back from Afghanistan, were based in TK and had a five day decompression period or whatever, handed back weapons systems, ammunition, body armor, all of our stores and everything like that. When I saw the doctor went and saw a psych and I walked into the sites office and the cycles like corporal koba take a seat. I know who you are, I know what you've done. I know you've pulled the trigger. I know you've treated your mates blah blah blah blah. Is there anything that you regret?

And I thought about it, man. I sat with it for about 30 seconds and I looked and I said, yes ma'am I regret not pulling the trigger more. And she kind of looked at me, She made a little note and then she goes, do you mind elaborating and I was like, yeah, you know when we first arrived a little bit hesitant, we wanted to obviously, you know, we're wearing, man, we want to make sure we weren't doing anything wrong. We're following rules of engagement, blah blah blah. But then that um I guess tentative behavior allowed the taliban to get the drop on us sometimes. Whereas in other situations I was like, I wish we had have been more proactive because I would have this guy's head in my sight picture who's like following the main body as a sniper. I'm in the high ground observing um you know, battlefield communications and things like that. And you know, I had this guy's head in my sight picture. I'm like this dude's bad fucking dude, we need to take this dude out, but couldn't find any weapons, um couldn't see any communications equipment or anything like that. We knew what he was doing, He was fucking spotting man. He was following our main group, our main body and he was spotting man.

Anyway, obviously I couldn't pull the trigger. A couple of days later we find out one of the boys gets fucking hit by one of our interpreters steps on eid, takes his shreds, his leg kills him. One of the boys gets fucking hit cops. A heap of shrapnel gets sent home and we find out that that guy who, whose head I had my sight picture was the IED facilitator. I was like, we could have taken that dude out prior to and that was I mean that's just one story, man. There's so many stories where that was the case and I was like, man funny, I wish I had have seen something that would allow me to pull that trigger and take that dude out because not taking that guy out then resulted in Australian casualties, anna casualties interpreted casualties and deaths and things like that over the coming weeks. And then, so just to go into that. Um, so I spoke to the psych, yep call, good to go go back to Australia three months later, when did a follow up? And it was basically like Cobra, Cobra, how you doing? I was like, yeah, good, blah, blah, blah, blah, answered some questions, told them all the right fucking answers that they wanted to hear and then walked out and never got followed up on ever again and you know, I haven't, I've been lucky man, I don't have ptsD or anxiety or depression or anything like that.

But that is simply because I took those skills that I learned as a soldier and I just reapplied them. It took me a little bit of time to kind of float through life and, You know, lose my identity and purpose a little bit. And um, you know, I needed that time off after Afghanistan, I got out in 2012. Um, and I kind of needed that time to decompress and travel the world and kind of like you said, just chucking live my life a little bit. Um, but then once I realized I was just kind of floating, I'd lost my purpose, I lost my direction, my structure, um I lost my mojo essentially, and once I realized that I was like, why am I not doing the things that made me such a good soldier, getting out of bed at a certain time, making my bed shaving every day, these small daily habits that had become S. O PS standard operating procedures, and once I um notice that once I started reestablishing them and just kind of tailoring them for what I want to do with my life, making them specific. I'd already been taught these fucking skills. All I need to do was then repurpose them into the person that I wanted to be, the person that I wanted to become, the direction that I wanted to be moving career wise, that I realized, I was like, hey man, like I've been taught this stuff, why have I not been using this for the last year and a half?

Amen, mate, that's it. And you know, so many people is a part of the current veteran transition process and problem and solution paradigm, keep looking at, you know, new qualifications, new education, all this. Whereas what I'm really trying to work with the veteran community the moment is exactly what you said, make the, the soft skills and the ability to define and develop intrinsic in our own extrinsic motivations, the quality of the individual veteran as a member of a workforce, Member of a team, member of the culture, Member of society is actually something that any corporation would spend as much money as they could to instill within the basic building block of capability which is the humans of their workforce. So it's just the issue is making its being able to work with people to help draw the pathways and link their own understanding of their own capabilities. And I was the same, I was like you know, have a platoon anymore, I don't have a company anymore, you know, I don't have a position to lead and all this. Whereas I have zero rank, I have zero title have zero nothing but leadership by example is all you need to do and you're not leading in order to lead, you're leading in order to lead yourself and you're just doing what needs to be done.

And it's really helped me understand and realize because I became so mm competent at providing physical courage, you know that it just wasn't ever something that came into consideration were just great at doing what needed to be done, putting ourselves in danger, doing all that. Whereas life outside of service really ever requires physical courage and that's where we really find ourselves in a place where we don't feel relevant but what we actually have is the flip side of that, which is moral courage because we actually have the basic building blocks of personal ethos and values that led us to absolute greatness that has caused us not even fear for our own lives and that's perspective and experience that some people are never going to have and it's harnessing that his responsibility to then apply that to really appreciating what matters in life and doing the right thing, moral courage. You're not gonna get killed for it. But still it's one of the hardest things to do and that's the best way we can lead by example is just being the best that we can be for the right reasons.

Mm That was very well said mate, um I want to go back to something you said earlier about getting out and kind of you kind of I guess said that you were suffering in silence and you were kind of on your own. You felt like you didn't have anyone around, you didn't have your team anymore. You were kind of just left to your own devices as most people are. Um Now when you started talking to other people actually, let's go back um you said you were about to you were thinking about committing suicide and you had this I guess lightbulb moment where you're like no, I can use this for a better purpose. When you started talking to people about this stuff and you shared what you went through um did you find that other people were also suffering in silence and and had simply because we're guys man, we just go, yeah, I'll deal with this myself and we don't speak up about ship girls are very good at talking to their friends and bouncing ideas off each other, whereas as guys, we tend to hold shift in and think that we can deal with things ourselves and when it gets too much, you just pull the pin and you know, we know that this is this has happened way too often, the veteran community, I've lost many of my mates over the last couple of years and I'm sure you have as well, but once you started having those conversations with other guys, did you find that they were going through the same thing as well?

Well, that was a fascinating thing, man, you can imagine it was a slow and incremental process from my heart moment where I was all filled with purpose again through to 24, hours later, where I was back into my own self doubt thinking, you know, you can't do this, you're not big enough, you know, this is much bigger than you and and it was the real thing that actually made me do everything, was them speaking with and reconnecting with a couple of my gosh, my platoon reconnecting with people like scotty and others and every single person at the same story or a or a version of this story where they doubt themselves and be taken to that place and so many of those people the first time they were talking about his stories, you know, I had guys that I'd seen at the absolute greatest of human spectacle in firefights and ship breaking down, telling me about their situations and that's why I was like holy cow, you know, there's something in this, we have to talk about this and we have to make it okay to talk about this because it's so therapeutic and cathartic to do it, and the only thing that is literally holding ourselves back is ourselves.

So that's where I was able to lead by example and just being vulnerable and authentic and be able to actually see and you know, and others helped me in just appreciating that we're all human. You know, obviously I had a huge benefit of the timing of my stuff being 2020 where I think as a culture we had some very rapid evolution for our ability to actually appreciate things like actual mental health and emotional trauma, but yeah, just so fascinating, mate, we just sit there bottled up and all it takes is literally speaking about this stuff, you know, there's no magic pill, that's communication in connection in that communication. Yeah man. Um I've been, you know, some people reach out to me, they're like, I love your military post, I love your army post blah blah blah, you know, just explaining my mindset and the things that I've been through that literally shaped the person I am today. Um and you know, I don't write those posts for anybody else. I write them for myself, it's a reminder of like look at this that you've been through, you know, you can overcome anything, you um you know, it's it's reminding myself of the person, everything that's fucking shaped the person I am today and if other people can take some benefit from that and they can take some lessons from that, then I'm fucking all about it man.

But again, like you said, it's therapeutic, right? Like it took me, you know, years, probably like 56 years before I actually started like openly talking about my military service and it's not like I um put myself into that position and started just like having that conversation with people just because I wanted to have that conversation. It was literally because I moved to Thailand and the gym that I work in, its very transient, so there's always people coming and going and blah blah and people like hey what brought you over here and you know what's your background and blah blah and I just started talking about my army service and um I found that once I started talking about it man, I really fucking opened up and people like to you know, do you feel do you feel like you don't want to talk about it, like you don't, you know, you hated that experience or whatever, I was like no actually fucking loved my time in the military, I loved being a fucking soldier, I love being a sniper and I loved everything that it taught me. You know, it shaped the man that I am today, but it wasn't until people started asking me questions and showing interest in it, that I actually started lighting up and opening up about that sort of stuff.

And again, I felt it was really therapeutic and you know, that's why I started doing these military posts and things like that and people have really gone behind and people love and there are some of my um most popular posts that I put on my social media platform, because people like, oh funny, I never thought about, you know that perspective, I never thought about some of the things that you went through. I never thought about, you know, the people that are putting on the uniform that are deploying overseas and protecting our country's interests because it's not in the media. Yeah, you're right, you're right. And it's just as you say, we too often put again others before ourselves and particularly in that transition piece out into society, I was saying whereby we're more, we always think actually about others before ourselves, even before we embrace these conversations, we actually do our own quick war game that says, hey, this person probably isn't gonna be able to connect to the story and might potentially make them feel uncomfortable. So I'm going to avoid it. I mean, I know that for a relationship for four years, I did that with all my life and it got me absolutely nowhere.

It's only actually embracing that yes, this is a part of me. But this is what I keep putting on the veteran community at a moment. Like that doesn't entitle you to anything and your story doesn't define you. It's actually your responsibility because you have been so privileged that we have been so privileged to have been able to volunteer. Remember we volunteered to do this stuff and the experiences and exposure we've had mean that we actually have more that we need to be contributing to society and not doing so in a way whereby yeah, you better respect me in this and the other is more like, no, you do it for the right reasons, do it because it needs to be done. Not because you want people to take notice of it. Mm That's a great point. Leadership is not a position or a title. It is your example, your personal example and your actions. Yeah, that's it, mate. You can't you can't open up a bottle of leadership. You can't go purchase leadership from the shop. You know, you know, when you've got it and you know, when it's toxic, that's for sure. Yeah. Those that was something that I struggled with um going from the army to the civilian world.

I mean, I was kind of lucky because I say lucky, but in reality I fucking decided to open my own business because I knew that I didn't want to work for other people. So I went down that path and you know, something that I noticed fairly quickly is that civilians, for the most part, they don't have the same professionalism that you have as a soldier. I mean, you know, you're a high, high fucking operator, high level skilled operator working in the teams, and I was in a four man sniper team and my fucking team had to have each other's back and that meant I need to know where my teammates equipment was. I need to know where their first aid kit was. I need to know where their spare batteries were. I need to know where they're torn. Okay, was you know, we fucking had to know everything about each other because when you're out on task, like if something happened, you needed to do whatever you need to do whatever was necessary to get the job done and to look after the boys and protect each other. And if you weren't somewhere where you're supposed to be on time, if you weren't keeping your spacing, if you weren't um managing your field craft, that set your basic fucking soldiering skills man, you become a liability, you increase the risk of being ambushed or losing your own life or limbs or those of your teammates and the same can't be said about, obviously you don't expect people in the civilian world to understand that, but it was just mind boggling for me to go from um being in the fucking sniper teams and then again going back to that transition process, you know, within six weeks of putting in my discharge paperwork, I was on city street bro.

So I'm walking from these fucking high level teams, you know, as a, as a highly functioning, highly skilled soldier back onto city streets, you know, just the difference in professionalism and um mutual respect and just all those, all those values and you know, I go into corporate, are going to corporate and do keynote speaking these days and people want to talk about combat leadership and all this and I just say combat leadership leadership is the easiest because the purpose is very clearly defined the hardest is career leadership. You know when you have to actually deal with people's personal ethos and submit them with values and what not. Most of these big Corporates that I talked to. You know the ceos, the CIOs, they have never had proper professional leadership training. They have risen to their ranking positions through confidence in their trade or time in rank and the average member of the public mate hasn't been through the level of training and experience, you've had not for the simply the reason that they want to do it, but like you're saying for critical reasons like you need to do this or results in loss of life, life limb or even worse for us, loss of respect and reputation with our team, Those we actually brothers by choice and loved by choice.

So it's so difficult, particularly for someone frog straight out of hot water into the cold water. It's transitioning from high performance at a personal level as well as professional level, not too low performance, made, just two normal performance and I know that you may, but I joined straight out of school at 17 and I thought that, you know, those type of people in defense, you know, defense, the people in defense, a representation of society admittedly with specialist training and whatnot. But to then jump out and see that people's purpose was themselves and work ethic and you know, teamwork and loyalty and furthermore, the biggest one made accountability. You know, people are able to shirk accountability left and said, I'm an accountability, Nazi, like, you know, if you say you're gonna do something, you know, I will hold you to a standard because I want you to hold up to me as well. And that's just even the biggest part mate that we could immediately wanna one help fix this transition pieces. People like yourself and myself going and talking to those who are currently serving all those who are thinking about transitioning, saying, hey, you need to set your mindset now that you think differently.

You perform differently. You act differently. However, that doesn't mean that you need to forget that that is actually an aspirational level that you want to try and bring a car across, but you need to understand, you need to bring people along with you, you're already at a higher level of operating baseline because you've been trained that way. So start conditioning your mind set now and even better. Make more exposure while you're in service to what life is like out of service is actually the real and proper thing we need to do. You know, learning by actually doing. But there's just, it's fascinating because I was the same mate. I was dropped straight into working on building studios and doing things like this and, you know, timelines and deadlines and budgets and everything's blown out. You just sit there going, how are you important? And then I'm the bad guy for holding people accountable. Yeah man. It's a uh huh. It's a difficult, it's a difficult process but you know, I think a little bit more needs to be done on that transition because you know, once you, once you sign that dotted line to get out, it's like, and the funny thing for me is, you know, going back to my transition process, um you know, I filled out my paperwork, I got everything ticked off.

I, you know, ticked all the boxes and I got called into the Ceo's office and I walked into the Ceo's office, um had a quick conversation with him and he was like, all right, cool, what are you doing with your life? And I was like, I'm gonna do this and that we like and he's like all right cool, thank you for your service all the best. And I walked back down to the office and I walked down the hangers man and one of the boys comes up and he's like what the ceo say? And I was like oh he just wished me all the best and he's like my mate was like that's fucking bullshit. You're like you're one of the most respected like highly decorated soldiers in the battalion. They're just gonna let you walk out of here. They're not going to put up a fight and try and keep you around to pass on this information to you know, the next bunch of leaders or whatever man. And I was just like, I was I was actually glad that you didn't try and don't try and follow me around and keep me in. But then you see other guys that trying to get out, they get fucked around man, they lose their discharge paperwork and it takes six months, it takes a year. Um You know, and then there's other guys that they like high highly qualified soldiers, good dudes that you want in your battalion to pass on the experience knowledge information too.

You know the next bunch of soldiers coming through, they let those guys walk out really fuckin easy because they were good soldiers. They were like oh they'll be fine, they'll be fine in normal life. But then you got the pieces of ship that didn't have their ship together, they were just a fucking pain in the ask for everyone that dealt with them and the battalions would just hold on to those guys and make it difficult for them to get out. It was crazy man. I was like this weird fucking dichotomy. I was like, you're letting the good guys walk out the door and you're holding onto the ship. Dude was like, what sort of a fucking, what sort of a culture are you creating? I don't know. I never honestly personally never got to see a lot of that. But one little point that I really did pick up on was just the lack of no engagement with those people once they're gone. Like you think there'd be something we learned the best when we actually have like a mentor, when we have someone like we can look up to or we can at least envision our own personal glide path in some form of a pattern or tradition in that direction And then, you know, not even having anyone check up on you in the first year, the second year, like the first month, Amen.

Like what have you learned? Like, but you can imagine that you stand up a capability which is meant to be this joint transitional authority that they've stood up here in Australia and be like, hey, your task is to like effectively transition people, first of all, most it has to come from people who already transition. I know if you asked Major Heston Russell 2017 to do this transition program, I would have been like, right, we need to do this, this and this. And then Hester Russell right now is like hell, you're so wrong. Like you have to literally walk that path because of his life. But yeah, I just can't believe it. And this is what it comes back to is even helping people better understand that in defense. It. Well, there's plenty of those around who do care who you are, What it actually comes down to is what you can do. It really comes down to what you can provide and what you can do and when you can no longer provide or you choose that, you're no longer going to do that. Then sorry, You know, you're a good guy, but we don't need you. It's hard to move on from that night. But honestly, just even if someone had said that to me, you know how you're probably going to hear from defense, You know, we need to move on.

We're gonna do this. Um, it's for the first time where you really start to get that emotional injury and that's where entitlement starts to creep in when you don't feel like you're being treated the way you're entitled to, you know, you don't feel like you're actually getting a fair go. You don't feel like your service is worth anything. That's where resentment builds an entitlement festers into your own sort of toxic personal culture. Mm There's an interesting point there um when you're in you are, your identity is what you do for a job and how good of a soldier you are. That's interesting. Yeah, man, that is that's an interesting point because when you discharge that is no longer your identity. I can no longer say you can no longer say you're a major in, you know, in special forces. I can no longer say I'm a sniper. Like your identity just goes up in smoke. Yeah, just like I was I was I was cool man. Like what are you today? I was like, I'm a veteran. Cool. What are you doing with that?

Good question. I'm trying to figure that out. Yeah, man, that's that's interesting. That's interesting. Um may I want to go back to you mentioned earlier that you had a boyfriend. Now I can imagine being special forces and having that come out would have sent some shockwaves. Like when did that come out? Talk to me about that process how people reacted to it. Um and kind of what you're, how those events unfolded when you did come out. Yeah, so I never I never came out. Um I sort of even have this thing, even in hindsight. I I kept myself in my closet, my whole adulthood because I wasn't comfortable with being gay. I thought that I could shake it. I thought it was a phase, uh, you know, into 2000 and 14. I got sent over to the US for a year on exchange with the special forces. So that was all of 2015. So I turned 30 actually turned 30 in Afghanistan with those U.

S. Forces. And I had set myself the task at this stage to find myself a beautiful american girlfriend whose father had an oil field in texas or something. And you know, I was going to do, you know the stereotypical model? Um, I was then to be promoted on major back to Australia and within within two commander and within special forces to my knowledge at that time, there was no openly gay person, openly gay male operator. And for me to then be essentially the second highest rank in the units as a major and be the first person to be that I wasn't ready for that because I again kind of what I was saying before hand thought that that would define me and essentially allowed myself to think that that was going to be the definition of me. And I didn't want anyone to think anything of me apart from my confidence and character each and every day. And we have the same when you get your bearings, a daily renewable contract, Your Berets your daily renewable contract. You need to earn it and justify that.

You have it in the responsibility to wield it every single day. And to think that someone was going to potentially look at me with a label as being gay or homosexual and think that that was going to impact my personal professional performance in any way was literally a nightmare to me. So, um, you know, even that deployment to Iraq, I've been with my boyfriend then for 18 months, long distance, he was in L. A. and I stepped off early 2017 and you know, gradually during that time I probably got a little bit more relaxed on my social media. But it was during that time that I told my sister, I told my mother, um, my time in the U. S. I actually got to see professional gay men. Like, you know, I went to dinner with a Disney producer. I met one of the founders of Paypal and I didn't even know these people gay. Whereas I lived from like a very Sydney stereotypical sort of feminine, feminine, masculine contrast. And when I finally became comfortable, I never again came out was just when people started to ask me if I was gay, I would say yes.

And you know what made about three or four people actually asked me that and most of them had to have half a skin full of liquor to do so. And the most incredible part was, and particularly a lot of my old platoon, You know, I really, then at that point felt horrified that they would have thought that I was holding something from that I've been dishonest to them. And um it really was my biggest fear was actually them thinking that I didn't trust them enough to know who I was, but it was actually me who had to trust myself and become comfortable with myself and every single person that I ever focusing, but I'm still yet to find a bad one. I said, do like, why don't you tell us? You know? Um you know, they immediately empathized. That must have been like crazy trying to hold that. And it's like, well, no, it wasn't, it just wasn't a factor for me every now and then there'd be those moments, but I was so dedicated to my job. And um yeah, it's fascinating for me to look back and this is where I said earlier, this podcast might realize that too often you are the only person holding yourself back and I now look back with a regret that I didn't have the confidence in myself to acknowledge that that was me, not a weakness because you can imagine my, Even if you're applying 2% of your effort to potentially suppress that, that's 2% of your effort, you could have been putting into what you were doing.

Um, and particularly when we start talking about physical mental and emotional alignment, I just literally did not allow myself to have emotions my entire career unless they were for my soldiers, as you can imagine and that was actually a huge part of my transition is that I allowed myself to be in love, I allowed myself to feel emotion and I first felt those emotions as a 32 33 year old man and I was not good at it, I allowed those emotions to overtake me, I I lived my life for those emotions, you know, that pendulum swung hard core, you know, I basically finally embraced teenage emotions as a middle aged man. Um you know, that's part of like my lesson, anyone listening or hearing it on, this is you know, I have great emotional intelligence in the ability to perceive and influence others and physical and mental resilience, but I did not, I was not mature emotionally and it was fascinating to even just learn that about myself.

That's crazy man, that's uh that's a very that's an awesome reflection dude, thank you very much for sharing that, I really appreciate it. Um we did talk earlier about, I'm sorry you broke up then, so that's the first time I've probably actually being able to put that together, So again, thanks for this mental fitness session, may, it's good to go, oh mate, you're coaching me as much as I'm coaching you, I love these conversations bro. What? Oh great, um what I want to go back to is you spoke about mentors earlier, have you had any amazing outstanding mentors in your life in different areas, Whether that's within the military guys that you really look up to, that you want to emulate people within your civilian life just anywhere in your life, who are the people that you look up to that you want to emulate and you want to take some traits that they have, may, I have really struggled in this and this has actually been something that's really weighed on my head where I never, you know what, so many other people have clear and divine mentors and there's always been, I guess probably a part of that whole like personal uncertainty as I really probably close myself off to allowing myself to be inspired by others.

You know, I've always been inspired to be honestly, I've always drawn the largest amount of inspiration by those I've been responsible for. Um you know, I just, I operate that way and I honestly, but it heads too much with the people above me because I thought that I was better at supporting my guys and the mission and they were just being lazy. But you know, in hindsight. My father who was in the military before me really was a key role model for me without even knowing it. A key mentor. He, he got in and served, he started off as a, as a digger, became a bombardier, then became an officer and he served 20 years during, you know, the great piece in his 20 years. He did one deployment to Butterworth, where he got his uh S. M. You know, his Australian service medal, no warlike service and he got out and he got back in about 10 years later, the next thing he was off to when I was at for in 2000 and three, he was off to Iraq as a part of the first push to rid Saddam and he did another trip to Iraq with british strikers and then he was off to Afghanistan, you know, in that seven or eight year period he did, you know, multiple combat deployments, but When he got out after his 20 years, he got out as a major, he got out with his pension and when he got back in, he was never going to be promoted again.

And Throughout my 16 years in my career you couldn't help run into people who work with my dad and his reputation that he had was just, he was good at his job and he was a good person, like he's an absolute workhorse and everyone had the most amount of respect for him because there was not a single ounce of him that was ever looking to progress his own career. He was just, and you can imagine particularly after he had his first trip to Iraq, he, You know, as a 50 year old man was finding like completed as um what he signed up to do and it was just so fascinating really understanding that where you can find true happiness in authentic purpose, not being yourself, but being the mission, the men, the task and this year's catch phrase, be good at the job, be a good person. That was huge within the military. I never really had a lot of role models because they were mentors because there are a few that I had and then they ended up letting me down to be honest mate. But then in personal life I have to say my mom and my sister, you know, um as far as being and I go back to that emotional immaturity piece, as far as being my emotional rocks from being the, When I lost Scott Smith and Afghan 2012 and I came back after three days of that mission.

You know I went into my, my room um in Kent russell in TK and I pulled the phone to my office and I bawled my eyes out like a baby to my mother and told her that I lost one of my guys. Um it was like really a mostly traumatic for me, but I had my cry to my mom, my mom listened to my mom, you could just imagine what that's like for a mother on the other side of the world hearing that, but more happy that I was okay. Uh then I was done. You know, I've got to pour out that emotional box, the next thing I put the phone back and I was straight back into it. And same for my sister, she's always been that one person to keep me levelheaded and you know, she was the first person I told that I was gay and her response was as long as it's not illegal, then you're not hurting anyone, you do what you want, honey. I was like, okay, this is my younger sister, absolutely hilarious. And particularly I think as a man drawing that inspiration from women where there is authentically no competition at that tribal level. We tend to have, I'm happy to say that ladies have always had a pretty leading edge in my life and my mom started off as an aerobics instructor and then when I went to add to her and added divorce by then and she was working in a bottle shop and doing her job, It's instructing and I don't know if she was 40 something, she decided to take herself too to university and become a registered nurse, you know, um, and really break from the trend and really push herself out and she said me going to add for inspired her to do that.

So, um, I, I guess I've never really looked to someone where I want to go to, I really want to focus on how I'm doing what I'm doing and really opened myself up to draw inspiration from those in and around me. And that's been a really difficult thing, particularly to remove that competitive blends and open yourself up to appreciating, you know, physically aspirational, mentally aspirational mostly aspirational, but also just that support structure you put around you. Sorry, that's a very roundabout way of answering the question. Now. That was brilliant man, loved it. Um that leads me to my next question. How do you define success? How you do? What you do will define the success of the future. You? Um that's my little riddle. Uh success for me mate is being good at my job and being a good person and appreciating that success can be reached every single day. It's just this value can be. Uh and I don't know where that ends, I just know that I need to apply myself into everything that I do um that needs to be done and success to me at the current moment is making sure that every capital city in Australia effectively commemorates ANZAC Day this year and pulls their finger out and does what needs to be done because it's all about much more than a physical parade.

It's about our people, our hearts, our minds, and our souls of our nation at the moment through to success for me over this next year as potentially Australia approaches an election, is to make sure that the not only the voices of our people, our veterans and our Australians who need to be heard are heard. But our nation moves forward on a renewed purpose. That better takes account of the mental and emotional aspects of our people because too often we're focusing on the physical and the financial. I don't know how that's going to happen. I just know what, excuse me, I think needs to occur. So if I can check back in with me towards the end of the year and hold me accountable and let talk to me and play this back to me and let's see where success and failure have come along that round. I shall do that, mate. You create your own success um to wind up mate. The last steps. The last question that I want to ask is the name of this podcast is live train perform, which stands for live life to the fullest, trained to your potential and perform at your best.

What does that mantra mean to you? Oh, that means that mediocrity. Mediocrity has to die a slow and painful death and very quickly. And for me mate, it's kind of the word commando for me means so much because it's not bound by or conforming to Convention President or rule. And it's being that daily renewable contract. Being ready for anything In the last 18 months of my career before Iraq I ran and remodeled our commando selection course and training continuum. And it was all about selecting the right person that we could then train to do anything and live train perform like has to be that made you can't just turn up and expect things to happen. You need to live a life that best supports everything you need to train and prepare yourself for because when the game comes, you know, you have what you have there and then in physical, mental and emotional strength to put it all on the table and put it to the test and you just can't backtrack from there.

So, so that means to me love it bro. Um if people want to support voice of a veteran and yourself and um the mission that you're on at the moment, where can they find you for sure even just want to find out more voice of a veteran dot org is the website and it all goes from there and then myself, Heston, Russell, H E S T O N on social media um and yeah, I just get on there and have a look, it's a pretty open transparent book these days, but always willing to engage with anyone who can um there's plenty of ways, particularly the voice of the veteran website to do that or just the old sneaky DM works just as well slide in those DMS people you guys also have a podcast as well you and scotty ever met who is a former two commando guy as well has been the fitness industry for a while since you've discharged, I've been listening to you guys for the last few days, just catching up on everything that's going on with voice of veteran in preparation for this conversation. Um so I'll have all of those links in the show notes, Heston, it's been an absolute pleasure having a chat to you mate.

Thank you very much for sharing your journey, sharing your story and sharing your emotions with myself and my audience. Sean makeovers. Thank you so much to like I said, I was feeling like pretty flat coming into this as I said before and it's been a long day, but even just having these conversations may have helped to like connect so many of these pathways that obviously need to be connected. So thanks so much for one, give me the chance to do it and to mate creating the space for this communication and connection to occur because as we spoke about previously, this actually is the ship that helps people, so thank you for helping me and helping those who are listening and drawing from this amazing, great conversation, Thank you very much below We'll see you mate and there you have it guys. My interview with Heston Russell, I really enjoyed this conversation. If you did as well, please make sure you pass it off to your friends and family. Anyone that you believe can benefit from these conversations and any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated, much love guys peace

Heston Russell of Voice Of A Veteran
Heston Russell of Voice Of A Veteran
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