Tom Smoot – Chief Executive Officer of Lift and Shift Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing veterans with science and technology activities deployed as an alternative therapy setting, geared towards building confidence and developing problem solving skills.
Tom served in the military for 12 years as a staff sergeant mostly in civil affairs, and briefly as a chemical reconnaissance soldier. He’s been deployed in various countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.
He moved away from his family to have personal space in Ocean City Maryland at an early age of 17, worked a few jobs, and realized that he wanted to be someone better, hence joining the military.
We talk a lot about memorable moments from his first drill sergeants, life during and after various deployments, his struggles from having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during reintegration, and his Lift and Shift Foundation – it’s inception and it’s mission of redirecting wounded veterans to a new purpose.
“You learn a lot about chemicals like Anthrax and VX Nerve Agent and Sarin Gas; but for the most part, chemical operators are 90% focused on decontamination operations so you’re like a glorified car washer” – Tom Smoot
“A lot of times, you’ll hear people say they’ve recovered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I don’t find that to be an accurate description.” – Tom Smoot
In This Episode:
- Why he joined the military [1:24]
- Memorable moments from his drill sergeant [6:23]
- Tom’s career after boot camp [9:03]
- How small decisions in the military can make or break you [14:41]
- After 9/11 [17:30]
- CNN and Tom’s fascination with PR [19:20]
- Story from his first deployment [21:50]
- Life after first deployment [31:40]
- Second and third deployment stories [37:43]
- Life after third deployment and PTSD [41:45]
- Life after the military [46:18]
- Lift and Shift Foundation [54:00]
- A story never shared before [1:00:55]
Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Headspace App
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation Video
- Mayo Clinic Stress Management
- Binaural Beats
- Binaural Beats on Spotify
- Dartmouth Relaxation Downloads