Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Herb Thompson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

For this Independence Day holiday, we decided to treat America to a birthday present and release next week's episode a little bit early. Sticking with the theme of the holiday, our guest this week is former Green Beret Herb Thompson who helped protect your independence and freedom fighting in the United States military. Gus is joined by special guest co-host Marnie Schneider to interview Thompson about his military career, connection to sports, adjustments, and his novel. Be sure to join us in a very patriotic huddle for this Independence Day special! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Hey everyone, we appreciate you joining us in the huddle. I'm your host, fifteenyear NFL quarterback gusts rock, alongside my longtime friend and Co host Dave Hagar, where we talked to guests about how sports shape their life. Be sure to check us out on our website. How up with Gustscom, where you can listen to more episodes just like this. Now let's join the huddle. Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of Hud off with us on your host stuff frock, indusial NFL quarterback feder in of the League, usually joined by my friend and go host Dave Hagar, but Dave is not with us and once again back with us is Marnie Schneider Marty. Thank you for joining us and, you know, taking the time out of your business schedule to join us and talk to our great guest today. Oh well, thank you for having me. That they privilege to join both of you die. So thank you. Well. For me, it's a privilege because I have two authors, two people have written books on the show today, something that I've always wanted to do and never have. And and so our host, our guests today, Marnie, is he has written a book about how important it is and how hard it is and all the trials and tribulations that go into transitioning from military service into normal life and to the business world and whatever you want to do. And I found that very interesting to me because I had a lot of those issues leaving the NFL after doing the same thing for twenty five years of playing football through high school, college and the pros, and so I sure our paths are different, but they're same. They're very similar in different ways. So joining us today is a green beret, is a drill sergeant of the year, is you name it. He's done. He's at Cornell now, he's continued into education and it's somebody that we should all look up to and thank him for his service and thank him for what he did for our country and also thank you for writing this incredible book. So Herb Thompson joining us in the huddle today. Thanks, or herb, for joining us and it's a pleasure to speak with you. Hey, now guess I'm happy to be here. Thank you and Marnie for having me on the show. I know we're going to have a good bit of fun here. Yeah, and I think it is. I think we're going to have a good time. You know, where we always start is if you can go back to, you know, growing up and upstate New York. What's that first memory where? You know, I think sports are so transcendental with everyone. Everybody somehow has played it or joined it or did something with it. What's that first memory where you have of being involved in sports? Or did you have an idol? Did you have somebody you love to listen to? What was that for you? Yeah, I don't know if there was one moment, but definitely at an early age I was wrestling, playing football and playing baseball at probably the age of, you know, six or seven. So that was my life all year round. So that really took on a big part of my life and I don't know if I had some idels I looked up to. Hey, this baseball player, this football player. Being in Buffalo obviously, or near Buffalo, you know, the bills were there. So I didn't look up to them, though, because we were Redskins, you know, pepy football team. Yeah, ht telling our yeah, like Daryl Green, those type of guys back in the day, but no one particular thing. It was just the teams that really kind of inspired me. So did you play multiple sports growing up? I did up until high school and then we didn't have a high school football team actually, so I still wrestled played baseball, but all the way through that I just did, you know, all year round, all three sports, between baseball, wrestling and football, whether it was in season or we just picked up and played a game outside. Did you growing up? Did you have a lot of friends in your neighborhood? Yes, yes, yeah, that's you know, if I could think back to my child and one thing I missed was riding my bike and go and get all my friends. Are just going to pick up a game, no matter what it was in the backyard. I don't know how many kids do that today. Yeah, I don't see it, even my kids. I don't see it as as much as I try to get him out there doing it. But we did all time, whether it was a football game in the snow, you know, a baseball game, kickball, something, we always had something going. We just went out there, got together and maybe we went to the fielder. We made our own field and, you know, we made it happen and he stayed out there all day long and then eventually you knew is getting dark and somebody was going to get mad if you didn't get home. So you got homes, you get some dinner and then, I think one point we had a whiffleball filled with some lights at one of my buddy's house set up and we were able to do a little bit of playing there at nighttime. That's that's great. We got another whiffleball fan. We talked about it all the time and how big whiffleball was the so many people's lives. That little yellow pat and a little ball with holes on one side. You can just take that and have a lot of fun. Yeah, one, you know, two people and I'm we play for hours. You know, if head off the house as a home round, if I bounced in the house, it was a double and we just made up the game as we went and I mean you didn't...

...have to worry about is getting trouble because we're just doing that all day long right now. I get it. And Martie, I think you know you're barring your son's computer today. I think all of our kids connect to their friends virtually now more than anything they do, except that I am supposed to take Leo, if it doesn't rain to go meet his friends in a field, which sounds a little sketchy, but I'm hoping it's actually to play football. I'm hoping, you know, he's like you drop me off at the field down by the point. I'm like, okay, but just behave yourself. Yeah, at least they're going to get out of the house and right not be inside on the computer. We'll just drop him off and tell him be home by the whistle. That's what my dad used to tell me. Yeah, and don't bother me until then. That's what he would say. I'm I'm in my garden, don't bother me till then. So, you know, I think we are kids miss a lot of that. That because you learned so much out there by yourselves, how to pick up, how to fight, how to do all those things, how to, how to, you know, make amends, how to? You didn't have a parent, you didn't have a referee, you didn't have a coach standing or over your shoulder. You learned a lot of things when you were young that you know now. Kids, I think are missing. You're because everything so structured and and you have to be here on time. You have to do this on time. Even now, like in the summer for your kids to go to a camp or a baseball clinic or a football clinic. It's all structured. It's crazy to me. Yeah, they're structure and you probably got to fill out ten pieces of paperwork where we just we just went did it. You said some of it like yeah, did we get in fights and we figured it out. You know, we nobody got hurt and you went back to play in the game, or you would. You know, there's conflict resolution, leadership all on there and just how to like make decisions on your own and, let's be Real, how to have fun with out somebody telling you how to have fun and, I thinking, your own rules. It's actually the best part of it too, being able to decide what is actually what is a home run, what's not, what is in, what's in bounds, and then fighting over whether it actually is that nose out. No, it was in, and then just quickly moving on and going to the next play. Well, you know, herb, I think you heard you said something funny's conflict resolution, and I tried to get my dad involved in that with me one time because two kids stole my bike and they were older and I remember going home I was little, I was like eight years old, and Ryan he's work in his garden and he looked at me dead serious because he was a mill guy in Pittsburgh, and he said don't you come back to this house without that bike. I was going for eight hours trying to figure out where they took it, what they did with it. They finally end up I found it in the tree. They put it up in a tree and I had to climb the tree, drop it down walk it home. It was like eight hours later and he said see, you solve the problem and I'm like that how that's all the problem. Dad. He said, you just got to take care of yourself. That's how it works and you just you know, it's just funny how parents are. And I said, all right, my kids ever get in a situation like that. I'm going to try and help him out a little bit more, but you learn from it. What have you ever had any situations like that when you're young? Herb all the time. And truthfully, if you, if you you your parents probably do about it for you got home, you know, and if you did something wrong, somebody probably took care of you on the way home. Yeah, I had multiple in sences like that. Probably the one that sticks out the most is a little bit different. I was riding home from football practice, probably at ten or eleven years old, and we're riding our bikes back from football practice and ran at mailboxes, four of them on a telephone pole. So I could tell you who wins that match. Is My face. Yeah, that one the match, because all the mailboxes got destroyed and my bike kept going and then happen to be the coach drive by through me in the truck and, you know, took me home and help help me on that way. But yeah, it was always something we had to figure it out. You just went figured it out and whether it was Marnie talked about. The rules are like, Hey, when you came home and you didn't have your bike or you didn't have a big one, for us would be like the glove. You know, a glove. I didn't grow up with much money. So, like, there wasn't a stack of gloves or a stack of ball so, like you came home with that and if not, you better go find it. Right, and that's why they wrote your name and everything. Yea, your mom and Dad, that sharp you that pain. They headed your name written in everything because if it was at somebody else's house and you know you better, you better go get it. You know, it's interesting. So you played a lot of sports. When you got the high school, what did you end up? You said you didn't have football. There's so you were a wrestler and a bait and a baseball players at right. Wrestle, wrestling baseball. Didn't really get into much else. I wrestled and then, yeah, baseball, which both were huge in my uppring. I think, all the way from, you know, Little League time, you know, as a little kid through high school. Were instrumental a lot of things far as leadership and grit and figuring some stuff out in life that you just don't get elsewhere. Hey, listeners, thanks for joining David I in the huddle. We invite you to join our excusive huddle through Patreon, where you can get access to content made just for VIPs like you yourself. Head to our website, huddle up with Gustscom...

...and hit support our podcast on the pop up ad once again. That's huddle up with gustcom. Now let's get back in the huddle. So who swing did you emulate? I know you had one. Yeah, what I'm trying to think. Man, that's a it's been a couple of years. Probably whoever was big at that time. I remember Albert Bell used to play for the Cleveland Indian teach have weird swinging with swing it somewhere. I would do that and then the coach would tell you knock it off, and so I'm like, I'm looking a practice or something. Well, that was was great, like wow, he's was. I was always Willie Stargell, but from the right side, right because I loved his swing. And now he's he started his whole routine. And but when you play with all your buddies you could do that and you could commentary. But when you started a little league and you tried to do that the first time, coach would be like no screwing around, let's go be serious, and I'm like, well, I am serious, and so I bet he's like no, no, that's really start. Well, that's not you, that's that's that's what the whiffleball games are for. You did the crazy at bats or bat from the opposite side of the plate. Coaches done like that in real games or practice? No, they didn't. So I watched an interview that you did. It said that, you know, when you were getting up there in high school and you were trying to figure out what were you going to do next, and you kind of said that you always had that thought about the army. Why was that? You didn't want to. You felt like school, wasn't it? You want to go to college. Yeah, I think just growing up, and you know, I think this. One of the big things for me was sports. was I grew up dirt poor, you know, at one point my family is on welfare. We didn't have a lot, but sports made you an important person if you were good sports, it didn't matter what you made in town, growing up in a small town, you were important, so to speak. So was able to do that. But I knew I was self enough of where to know if I went to college it would not have worked out. I wasn't mature enough and I didn't have any money to pay for it. So went through. You know, I always since I was a little kid, one joined the army. So I did that, though my dad did one time receive a call somehow from like the Hofstra football coach called me. I don't know if I had back then said a letter or something, because this would have been one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven, ninety eight time frame. And I we grew up outside of Rochester, New York, and my dad got the call and I got homeies like Hey, this coach said football, you wants to come down? Look, and we didn't have a high school team, but for whatever reason he said, hey, come take a visit. Right the coach did, and I was like Dad, okay, where is it? And he's like well, he said it's right outside the city, which the coach met, outside of New York City. My Dad took that to mean right outside of Rochester. So I had right tell him, Dad, like, there's no, there's no chance and that's happening, so let's not take the trip to New York City. But it was a good kind of fun thing. That's like my college recruitment. That didn't happen. That's your college. Well, you got rid. Did you get recruited for the military? To you just go and sign up? I actually called when I was sixteen and they said, what are you running from? You have to be seventeen. So I because I graduate high school on Seventeen. So I called back again a week before my seventeen birthday. Talk to army recruiter. He's like what are you running from? I'm like no, I just want to join the army. Seriously, if you don't talk to me, I'm going to go to the Marine Corps recruiter. So he listened up and I just wanted to join the army. That's I also knew I want to store my country, but I knew was a way to get away from there. You know, it was a way to make something for myself and have a different life in it. I mean, I would not have changed it for the world. You have any friends that were doing that with you at the same time? None that did. I had my sister joined for a couple of years. She was about five years older me, so she did a few years. None of my friends in high school were joined in the military, but I mean I knew. I think I signed the contract in January and my high school year to actually ship out during the summer to to basic. Most other were either hey, we're going to go work in a factory or, you know, there are some going off to college right indeed. Did you have family members that were in the military before you? I had some. I actually found out my GRANDPA was in the Korean War after I joined, but I think the big driving force. I've been asked this a lot, like why'd you join? And you know, Small Town America you have parades for Memorial Day or you have a Veterans Day ceremony and my parents always made sure to take me to those and I just I was laser focused on that's what I'm going to do when I graduate high school. Yeah, yeah, my father was in the Korean War and you know, between my wife and I we've had so many family members. I have Memora Billia from my family. Members will be back to the civil war. And then her little brother was an army ranger. But it's funny that you say he was running from something why you went into the military. A few DU eys and a few other things in high school really said him on his path. But yeah, HB was at it. Was a ranger. He served his time and you know a lot of my uncle was in a navy. So really appreciate what you did for our country and I want to thank you and and what you're doing now is even important because I know I do a lot with players who are transitioning out of...

...the NFL, you know, and people want to say, well, you make so much money and there's all this, but look, most guys are done after three years, you know, and they worked so hard and that's all they know is football, and then all of a sudden they're out in the real world they go god, I don't even know what to do now, you know, and and they think the people are just going to come knocking at their door and giving them a job, and it's not how this world works. I don't. I mean I think I'm just trying to figure out for you. When you were in the military, did that next step of across your mind? You just were so ingrained and what you were doing now? I didn't. I had a mentor sent me down very I mean I was seventeen when I joined. Got To my first duty station in Hawaii, which was awesome because I got to live there for four years. Wow, start out as like an eighteen year old. I'm in Hawaii. I'd barely left York state from Rochester, New York's and Hawai. So I'm like, wow, this is awesome and they're give me a place to live in food like this is cool, and they're paying nice. But yet know it was I had a mentor sent me down and tell me, Hey, no matter what you do, get a college education, because I'm so joint straight on high school. So that was the only concern I had before I got out of the military, whenever that was going to be, is that I had my bachelor's degree. And it wasn't until fast forward seventeen years after that, you know, a couple years ago, that I had a Vietnam era green brace sent me down and talk to me about what's going to happen afterwards, and he had a very successful career after being a green beret and went to warden for his MBA and went to work on Wall Street owned companies, and that really got me thinking of the transition out of the military about two years before I retired. But again, if them couple of conversations hadn't happened, I don't know where I'd be right now. Yea, for me, I think back in my career and I wish I would have done more continuing education, taking my time off and really spent it to say, at some point this is all going to be over and what am I going to do when it's done? And I didn't do enough of that and I kind of regret that that I didn't do enough of that because now it took me so many years after playing to figure out what the Hell I'm going to do with my life. Yeah, in that bubble to like even think about that for both of you guys. So you're in a bubble. Everybody's doing the same thing and your whole goal, certainly, gust, your goal is to just sustain a career in the NFL, and her of your career is to continue to fight for our country and add you know more things and learn more things within the military. So when you're in this bubble, then how do you get out of it? Like, how would one do that? You know, that's that's a great point. That's one guests was talking that's why I said because I've talked with a lot of athletes and I see a very similar mindset, because you're fully ingrained. Your whole lifestyle is either the military or being your sport. How do you do that? And a lot of and I didn't know I was out putting a rucksack on my back with a hundred pounds of marching or I was going to arrange shooting. I was doing whatever I was doing, and the same with guys. He's out studying place, he's running, you know, throwing balls, guys are running route. But there comes a time of like, if you look back, you're really not doing that seven like people watch a movie. People, you know, do whatever, go on date nights, they go to church. There's some free time in there, and that's a something I get a lot from the veterans I talked with as like I didn't have time. It's like, no, you do have time. It's what you choose to do it. We all have a little bit of free time to break out of that bubble, but I think it's the mental bubble of know, all my focus has to be on this because this is my livelihood, whether it's, you know, in service, you know going overseas, or it's hey, this is how I'm making paychecks, is being fully ingrained into my craft here right now, and it's and going back to your point morning, is that when you're in that bubble, the people that are hiring you, they only want you to be in that bubble. They don't want you to think about other things. All right, so now you know they give you the pseudo speakers that come in and they want to talk and go listen, but you're not even focusing on that because you know, you got to go practice or you got to go out in March or you know, HBS told me all about in the army all the drills they did and when he became a ranger, everything they did to him. Like I'm like, no wonder that. When you get downtime, like he had some problems with drinking in like he's like, I want to just freaking get away. It was so hard, he said, when you're marching and you can't be less than in arms lengths behind the guy in front of you and if you are, they stick at thermometer up your butt, like to make sure that you know, because it's so intense to get to the level of green Berey or or ranger that. You know, he said, I just wanted to be away from it all when I when I had the chance, and you know, and then when he got out, he's you know, he's getting opportunities to be private security and different things and boy, if he would have been multilingual, he could have really had a really good job. And then it just, you know, none of it...

...worked because he didn't take the time to understand that and they're not teaching them that inside either. So I don't know if you agree with that or her, but I mean that's how I felt too. No, yeah, it is. I think you're in that bubble and anything that takes you out of it. People could have come talk to me ten years ago and been like hey, herb, or eight years ago whatever and been like Hey, this is what you need to think about, to the military and I'm like, I'm going off to war, go pound and you know, I'm focused on right. How do I shoot somebody before I get shot and how do I employ my indigenous forces? Jumping on a plane whatever, I'm not worried about that. So No, no matter how, they would have had to have some great speaker coming to talk, because I just write. Like you said, you're in the bubble and that's all the matters. Start Your Day sunny side up at the Weston Bonaventure Hotel and sweets and enjoy breakfast or two on us. No matter how you plan to spend your trip to Los Angeles, start every day with a hearty meal to kick start your morning. Enjoy breakfast for two on US each day you stay for reservations be sure that Promo Code S for B appears in the Promo codebox when making your online reservation at Marriottcom. BACKSLASH LAX BW or call one eight hundred two to eight one thousand two hundred and ninety and asked for a promotional code s for B. Yeah, and it's really hard to get out of that. It's really hard to get out now. I mean what you guys do is way more intense than what football is and we do have downtime. My downtime I had got married when I was really young and had kids, and so that was like my downtime was my family and making sure that I was always going to be with them so we always stayed together. That was very important to me. But that wasn't everybody. You know, everybody has a different story. And for you, how long have you been? Are you married? Not Right now, so going going through a divorce. But uh, I have two kids that are from my I had probably young, like twenty three, twenty four. So, like you said, I was going focused on them. You know, that was my free time was once I had kids, was it was focused on them. How does that work for you guys, because when you do get free time. You're over there. And now my wife's little nephew, he's a he's a doctor in the air force and you know, he was over for six months and he deploys different places and I understand what it's like to try and hold your family together. It has to be so difficult for you in the military. Yeah, it is, and I think for the service member it's at least for me, was easy. You compartmentalize. It probably be like hey, if you're on third and ten and you need this to win the game, are you going? Well, how's my son doing right now? I know you're not. You're totally focused. Right you had to turn everything off, and that's the same with us. And now is there times when maybe it's late at night or you're back from a mission, and I was hard, and you look at pictures or you have a phone call, and now with technology, you know you facetime or skype or something. But for the most part you compartmentalize because any again you come out of that bubble, even if it's for family, that's you're not mission focus. So it's you know, it's different when you're back. You know we're not always oversee. So you're right, you're you're back here and you're you know, that's a little different, because then it's a more I don't even want to say a normal job, but at least your home at nights most of the time. Yeah, no, and and you find it hard to discuss things with your family, like when you come back or I mean I know that a lot of times people in the military have a tough time talking about what they've done. I mean my wife little brother was his somewhat like that. But he has a few drinks, we get him loosened up, he would. He would, you know, not talk about all the stuff he did, because he did two tours and some of it was pretty bad and he wouldn't talk about a lot of that. But you know, just to try and get him to because you're interested in his life. You know, it wasn't like, Hey, I just want to hear this for a story. I'm interested in you and I want to find out more about you so that we always stay connected. How was that for you in family life? Yeah, definitely, and it's for me it was. I always felt when I went away, if I want to overseas or something, it was I was going away for a work trip. It was no different if I was a banker. So I wouldn't come back and till I still don't come back and talk about it. Probably didn't hit me until at one point my son was probably seven or eight years old and he's only ever told him hey, I go away to fight the bad guys. Yeah, and then and I was always like Hey, you know, daddy's tough, like you don't got to worry. And then he's like well, Daddy, don't the bad guys have guns and aren't they tough to and I was like, Oh crap, you figured it out now, like now I have to play this whole different game. But yeah, it was. It's always a thing. You know, what do you talk about? What are you not for me? I just I chose not to and now I'm more comfortable talking about a back then I wouldn't I want to talk anything like hey, you, even if I called home from overseas. So it's like had a good day, yeah, because you can't talk about you know, because truthfully, if you start...

...telling your family member what's going on, they're going to worry too, and you're in you're trying to protect them, and I understand they are. They just want to know and they want to help out. But again you go back to that bubble. Yeah, I know that. That's that's that's really interesting that you say that, because I've felt like that. So when you go through this and you're in the military, tell us a little bit about the steps it takes to get to be a green beret. I've had a gentleman that I know that is a green beret that is a I have a French mastiffs and he breeds French mastift in Minnesota's name is Mark Roberts and Van Kran's candels, but in I've had a lot of conversations with him about this. So tell us about the steps when you first enter and what it takes to be a green beret. Well, least you got a little small dogs are Guss I appreciate that. Yeah, no, so it two ways. Now you can join off the street and a tempt to go through or your Ari in the Ari in the army. You could transfer from other services. Obviously you complete basic training the army, whatever your skill is, you go to airborne school. So they, you know, for three weeks they they packed three days of training in to teach you how to jump out of a plane, which basically there's a parachute on your back. I'm simple. Fine, they tie a rope to a line in the plane, you run out the plane, it opens your parachute. You do that five times. Congratulations your airborne quality. Find you're dumb enough to jump out of a plane. And then, and then you go to special forces selection. So it's very between two or three weeks. But you go for three weeks when I went, and the first week is a lot of physical testing, psychological testing, and then you get into different events and I'll say the biggest thing is a rucks x. So think of like a backpack, but put sixty five pounds in that backpack and wherever you go that's going to be on your back because that's your new buddy. So you do that. But the big thing about switch force selection, different than some other schools like ranger or navy seal something like that, is they don't tell you what you're doing. So they're just say hey, candidate, this is where you're going to do. Go and you go and you're like, well, I don't know when we're stopping, so you just have to keep going and it's a mental game. And then you start doing that at night, you're walking through the woods with a compass and a map. You're trying to find yourself through the woods, and that's where that is the the differentiator right there is when it's two am and, let's be real, it sucks and you're like is this worth it to me? The guys that's not worth it. quit the guys who are like, it's two am and I'm let me just keep on one step, you know, left, right, left, right, all right. To my point, you do that and then you do a team week event, which is they just think of the most outrageous things of like hey, you ten people, move that jeep six, six miles over here, but the jeeps missing a wheel. Or Hey, pick up that log that weighs four hundred pounds, move a five miles over here and you all. You still got your pack on. You still get all that and they just have great fun events like that for a week and a lot of it is actually about being a team player with green braids is you have to work as a team and you do that. So Hey, good, you got selected. If you made through that, then you go through a qualification course that could be anywhere from a year to two years and it's like living in a fish bowl. So you you learn a language. You learn a foreign language. All of us learn a foreign language. Get to where you can be. You're not fluent, but you can survive, right. You learn tactic, so how to do patrols, how to shoot, you know any weapons you can know. By the way, that's let's keep rock marching. You know whether our packs on. Let's keep jumping out of planes. You learn a specialty, MS or job. So you the learned weapons, communication, medical or an engineer, which I did, which was awesome, because they're like blow stuff up. Yeah, it's like this is awesome. Plus I learned how to do plumbing, so it's like, oh, that's cool too, that they work down the road. Yeah, and then one the final part is they do an unconventional war for exercise across the State of North Carolina into Tennessee South Carolina, and you go and they've been doing this for like sixty years and you act like the US has been overthrown and you're running around parts of North Carolina, probably by where you live, Marney, like there's something right now. You don't know it, but they're like hiding in the woods near Your House and they have a camp, but they have some gorillas that they're training and leading through on conventional warfare, and that's like the final kind of that's the that's the thing right there. And then you that's training, so to speak, but it's it's kind of like saying you, you know, you passed like spring you not spring training, but you know, training camp, but like you still keep learning and there's more stuff to do. So you never stop training. You always going to schools after that and learning. Yeah, so good money. No, was it what you expected? I mean, did you have any expectations of what it was going to be like? Yeah, it was harder and expected it was harder just I mean I remember one point I saw aliens land and they got out of the ship and I'm like what are you doing? And of course I was delirious. I was walking...

...with machine gun and then within thirty seconds that we got fit ambushed. You know, we have blake grounds and make noise, but they don't shoot anything, and instantly I'm running up, I'm putting the machine gun down and I'm like where did the where did the aliens go? Like you know, some of that stuff happens it's just it's difficult, but that is the easy part because nobody's shooting at you. The stuff that you do overseas and combat is much harder than that. Hey, listeners, thanks for joining Dave and I in the huddle. We invite you to join our excusive huddle through Patreon, where you can get access to content made just for VIPs like yourself. Head to our website, huddle up with Gustscom and hit support our podcast on the pop up ad once again. That's huddle up with gustscom. Now let's get back in the huddle. Yeah, I couldn't even imagine now all this. I'm thinking about why you're talking about all this, because I've gone through this training program where it takes your acumen from the football world and it translates to the business world now when you have to teach people, and what I think you're trying to do is take that, everything that you just said and everything you learned. How do I put that on a resume into the business world so a CEO or an HR department can understand who they're getting and what I understand right and and tell me they don't train you and how to do that when you leave the military. Yeah, no, nobody cares about profits and loss in the milit I'm sure somebody does, but we didn't write. So it's same with your skill sets coming from football or if you come from a different sport is. How do you translate them skills, because there are skills there, but they're not directly translatable to somebody who would be your peer at your same age when you left NFL or when I leave the military. And that's that's really getting people to a identify what them skills are. So like, especially for Green Bra we're always working with indigenous forces. That's what we do. Like that's how I learned. I sucked at cricket, is playing with Afghans, and that is the I thought I was gonna be awesome because Whi football basement. No, but you learn to work by with and through people. So the relationships you get to build there and like that's wait, wait, why was it so hard to play cricket? I've never played it, but why was it so hard? So, if you ever seen a cricket I don't even think they call it a bat, but it's kind of square, flat right, and there's a smaller ball. So it's like I'm gonna crush this, this is awesome, and then you realize the ball is not much bigger than a golf ball and it is coming about ninety five miles an hour and, by the way, it can bounce up and you can hit like it's no I got embarrassed. It was it was ridiculous. And how frustrating was that for you? It was extremely frustrating because it was the first time my indigenous force, in this case was Afghans, saw I was human, you know, because they'd see me do some super compared to them. So the most of them were smaller me. I'm not the smallest guy in the world, you know, roughly six foot two, hundred and twenty pounds, and they're rolling around at like five, six, five, seven, hundred and fifty pounds. So they just think I'm like. They see me like pick dudes up to throw them, and that's when they learned, oh, he's human. So it end up being good, you know, because we had a lot of laughs out of it and definitely embarrassed. And then when those little dude comes up and smacks the ball and you're like God darn it every time, and then you just get more mad because you're not hitting the ball on us. It's frustrating, it's funny, but so, yeah, so you go through all these things and I think that's why I connected with your book, was just because of that transition is so tough because you learned. You in the military for all these years and everything from a drill sergeant, everything that you learned. You know how to run teams, you know how to run a business, you know how to do all that. But then you get out in a world, as we say, you know, because what we did was our real world, but now we're on a different world. Yeah, and and all of a sudden I don't even know how to operate in that. But I do, but nobody's teaching me how to change my thinking, if you understand what I mean. Now that's a hundred percent and that's what I talked about the book. It's a whole shift of mindset, because what we did do mattered, but it's how we translate it. It doesn't matter how good I think I am. Tell well I can articulate it to someone else to see that value. And a lot of that is some of it's checking the ego of going hey, I'm A. I'm a, you know, barrel chested freedom fighting green beret. I am top of the top of the food chain. Everybody wants to hire me and then, no, they don't. Or same with you, you know, coming out of the NFL, like I'm an FL running back, I'm a lineback or whatever. Anybody's gonna hire me because of that. And then, oh no, they don't really care. What are you going to make them business? You know? So I think part of it is shift in that thinking and humble on yourself to go. Well, I got to learn some new skill sets and see how I can adapt a skill sets. I know, right, right. Do you feel like when you went to Cornell? Now, how long have you been at Cornell now? So I a year. I'm halfway, a little over halfway, through the executive NBA program. Now, when you started that, did you have a feeling of am in over my head or I can do this because I've done anything that anybody...

...could possibly imagine. So when I started this program, and it's awesome, I felt comfortable day one. I've actually published the book Dernet. So when people like hey, how is I'm like well, I published a book and Oh, I wrote and published a book, one right here, but I did a two week program this is where I see the the course, you know, correlation with athletes. Up at Dartmouth. It's called Tuck next step to business. They take about forty four veterans, you know, transitioning service members, and about twenty two, most of more Olympic athletes, like rowers, track right field, and they put you in there and they're leaving their sport and I didn't get it at first and I went there thinking that's like I'm not going to make it on the outside. I know I'm good in the military but I'm not smart enough, I'm not whatever. And Day want of being in there and Ivy League business school at Taka Darmouth and I'm like, Oh yeah, I'm gonna be all right, I belong, I can do this. But then we start talk with athletes and of course I thought they're awesome because I'm like, you've got a wikipedia page and Olympic metal, like this is awesome. They're like, dude, you're a green bride. This is awesome on the gay but I'll have a wikipedia page and like it was just a great experience and that's when I believe. So that's when I knew Cornell would be okay. Well, anybody can write on your wikipedia page. Somebody like, what do you tell me, Morty, I'm the king of what that says. I my wikipedia page. Divorce. You're the Boorsh Belt King. Yes, yes, see, somebody wrote that on my wicked chief. She thinks it's real and I just went with it. It's not real. I don't even know what Borge is. How Fay confusing. All right, heard, we can work on your wikipedia page. Thank you. Yeah, we'll add will add our own to it. So we'll put some good stuff on there. Actually that you're really good at cricket. Yes, yes, you can. He can throw a man five miles, but he can't hit a cricket ball. That would actually be factual. Let's let's find something that's a little better. Let's sell it better. Yeah, let's sell it better. So you know it's so you're going through your time. Tell us a little bit about being a drill sergeant, because you hear a lot about drill. Sorry, I've seen it. You've seen the movies. You know the famous movie with the drill sergeant with private pile in Little Jack. Yeah, I mean you couldn't get more of what a you think a drill sergeant would be. With that, Marnie, I was thinking private Benjamin. You know, wait, don'ty on. Yes, I've often, you know, been compared to Judy Benjamin. So I have made jokes with her about you know, if I was in the army, would be a little bit more like private Benjamin with the drill sergeant and so forth. But yes, I'm very curious to hear about being a drill sergeant, a real one, not a movie one. You know, I love joke with you about that, Marnie. No, so I wanted to be a drill sergeant and now, after having done it, and you know I had a couple unique way of doing it, a basic training, so people coming straight and join the army. Then I went to the drill serts Goll, to rage drills Harn's and then I was drills out of the air for the army. So I saw a different side. But there's almost nobody in life that changes and has somebody's impact on them. As a drill sergeant, and I take that, I took it and I still do, is a huge responsibility and if I asked you, Hey, who's your fifth grade science teacher. You may or may not know if I asked you. I think a similar is a high school football coach would be maybe the only thing. But in a ten week period you take somebody from they can't they don't know anything about the military. You know, for the most part, they can't shoot, they can't march, they can't tie their own shoes, and I'm over generalizing here. And then ten weeks later, twelve weeks, whatever length it is, they're marching tall and they're a different person and you know, just like somebody changed my life when I went through their you'r change in their life and you're making an impact on them. And I saw it when I was the drill star of the year. They the only stippy like. I flew all over the country and they're like fly in uniform. So I would go and there's a drill SAR hat and I got one somewhere around here. It's a like the hat you see in the movies, ground hat, like state troopers where and but I'd be walking through the airport with this right. So this is probably two thousand and eight, two thousand and nine time frame, and I will put it on the TSA. You know the the security belt to go through the metal tector. You know extrame machine. People Freak out. The TSA age. It's be like, Oh shit, you a crap, crap. They're jumping back like it's okay, drill soorring. I'm like, am I good to go or do I got to get padded down there? No dross are no drill start. I mean just the sight of that hat. I got stopped by hundreds of people during that year of and it's because that impact that is sole unique. I cannot think of anything that is close to to football coaches, if you had the same high school football coach. But that's over a four year period to your peer right, right, we're talking weeks here that you change people's lives and everybody remembers their drills. Are Drills, are white drill Sart Smith, drill start, Gregory Mind in one thousand nine hundred...

...and ninety eight. You remember them, and I think that's the special thing about it, because you're transforming America's sons and daughters into soldiers or, in my case, or Marines for the Marines, whatever it is. Valet, stay and play on your next getaway to Los Angeles. The Weston Bonaventure Hotel and sweets offers effortless access to all the city of angels has to offer, whether you're hoping to catch a concert or sporting event. Our hotels just moments away from all the action and accessible to Hollywood beaches, museums and theme parks. The package includes a guest room and valet parking. For reservations, use Promo Code PSF in the code box when making your online reservation or call one two hundred and three six, two four one thousand and ask for Promo Code PSF. So tell me about what I want to know is. I mean, I can understand what you mean about that, right, because when you go to the NFL, they're transforming you in from who you thought you were the greatest ever and and now you're just back to a rookie, right. So you're training all these rookies and but there we're not all the same, you know. And so tell me about when you have somebody that can handle things and then can't handle things, that want to quit, like, how do you do you change your way you approach people in in the military like that? In the military, yes, it's hard and basic training because it's a moving train. You have a limited amount of tie and the people have to keep up with the train. You really can't hold it back. But a lot of time that's when you you know you got some trainees that are getting it. You're like hey, if he doesn't get that tomorrow, it's your bus, you know, and they're like, Oh crap. So something happens overnight and the guy figures it out, you know, or figures it out. So it teaches them leadership. But the team work and it's all about the team. And you start out of basic training, no matter what you do, everybody's like, Martie, you dropped, you know, you dropped your hat or whatever. Your boots on tied, everybody does push ups and it's like that. So you start to learn. You make them start policing each other up and taking care of each other and that team, and that's really how I's done. Otherwise, like how is one person going to be there with sixty individuals and like get them through this throughout that? It's you have do. You have to get them to buy in to help each other. So I think that's awesome. I think the other thing about the military right, everything has to be done your bed, your your your shoes, everything, you have to have a haircut, you have to be shaved, all those types of things. When you left where you like, okay, I'm done with all that, like I'm just going to grow it out. I'm not. I'm doing what I get to do, what I want to do now. I don't have to be clean cut shaven, like, not that, because you have a beard now. But I'm just wondering, like what that feeling is like when you leave that, that structure one hundred percent. So it's if you leave the regular army, go to special forces, you get a little more leakay. So like maybe you grow your sideburns a little longer, you keep your hair a little longer. Everybody wants that little bit of like let me different, let me let's make myself different. But for me, as you could see now, I you know, I got the big old beard, I got the hair going. Yeah, because for you know, twenty years people said get a haircut. Today, like Guss your hair is too long, get a haircut. Yeah, be back at it's a five o'clock be back of thirty. I want to see your hair cut. Nobody's doing that now. So yeah, probably it's some freedom of like yeah, let's let the sucker grow and see what happens. Yeah, yeah, I don't have anybody telling me got to cut this thing now. That's awesome, you know, and just you just know what it's got to be like, and that's I think that there's such a mentality. Like I feel like my wife's little brother went in one way, came out another way. You know, they had a chain. You have to change you a little bit, you know, and talking to you, what presses me is that, you know, I don't know what you were like before, but I know you have a sense of humor. I know that you can can roll with the punches, and I've been trying to do a little bit of that with you, and it seems like that they didn't take all that away from you like sometimes I feel like I've seen people that it felt like they took something away from them that, you know, that made them who they were before they went in. I'll tell you something, gusts, they tried, and I tried to push the ground all the way to China with them telling me I'm going to change, and you know there's people that do that right now. Obviously adapted. I did what I had to do, but I enough to get in trouble at to where I didn't get in trouble but like hey, get in line. I'm like man, and they're like well, you're gonna suffer and like okay, I'll suffer a little bit and then like I'll get in line. So I've always kind of and that's what happens a last special for Scott. The Green Berets are usually known for being that way a little bit, and that's why a lot of them tend to flock to that and away from like the regular army of like hey, your boots aren't shined or like hey, your hair cuts not and we're like how...

...does that help me jump out of a plane better? Like it does it. Okay, next story, move on. So, yeah, I didn't let them take it out of me. But you got to have that sense of humor. And I imagine maybe during the know, Fall Camp, doing three days or something, or like same for us, like you do some crazy stuff and like you have to have humor to get through it, or I don't. You got to, or you probably do. Start to get in a different mindset. Well, I was always the prankster in the locker room. So I know all about that. Like when year Ryan Fitzpatrick, who's a quarterback in the NFL, is this preseason. We had full you know, you have four preseason games. So Ryan was like a size thirty six pants and his shirt was like I whatever size it was right every game I shrunk it like his pants, but I they took this the inside stuff and they sewed it into the pants but they were smaller. So Mark Bouldry and I'd be like Ryan and be like man, he's pants or time, like dude, what are you doing? Like it's been one week. How much are you eating? Like you just getting fat. Like the next week it's like he went from a thirty six to a thirty in four weeks. And finally the last game he's got a play and he's into size thirty pants and I didn't say a word till halftime and he goes, you've been doing this to me all the time. I said yes, and I've been loving it the whole time and he still talks about it to this day. But I've played jokes on everyone. It was just it's you got to get through it. What I like about that is use your brain and, like we had some instances, like you reach into him pouch and you're like in a firefight, you reach your to a pouch and it's a honeybutton. You're like no, this is supposed to be a magazine with bullets. Like throw it and because you know when your buddies got you. And I know that sounds probably bad and people are like, Oh my God, but like it happens because you got to find ways to have fun and laugh. Oh yeah, lighton trying to lighten the move when things get really heavy. If there's a way to lighten the load and lighten the mood and just keep it a little bit light and breezy, then it usually does kind of have a shift of everybody's emotions and making things just a little bit of a redirection is always a good thing. Definitely. I think you make the best on any situation. I think that's what I did with military and what I tell people, whether it's transition for athletes, you make the best of the situation. You control how you feel, laugh, have fun, like you own your journey. It's your journey owner. Don't let anybody else control you. Yeah, no, I agree with that. I agree with that. Okay, one of the last things we do on our show her is it's been great to talk to you and it's a lot of fun. We do a two minute drill where we fire a bunch of questions at you, and so, Marny, I hope you got your questions ready. I do. Well, yeah, I do. Yeah, all right. So, so it's always we have a lot of fun, but I'll start off. So do you have you know, you've been in the army for a long time. You've been a Green Bay, you've been in the military. Is there a somebody like for me it was always Terry bratchaw with. There's somebody in the military that was your idol or you looked up to and said, you know, I really respect him or I want to be like him. was there anybody like that for you? Master sortain Roy p Benefita's metal of honor recipient, Hispanic gentleman from Texas. Look them up. It's they couldn't make a movie that would may make up what he went through Vietnam. Awesome, Marnie. Well, all right, I'm gonna have to write down his name so we can look about take the movie about them. Well, you have to listen to the episode, right. We'll do that too. All right. So what's one piece of advice like when you talk to your children? Is there like one saying or one kind of word of wisdom that you would give them that you've learned yourself? Yeah, you determine how hard you work. Nobody else can determine that. So and I think that has a big impact on life. No, I agree with that. I agree with that. All right, this is going to be good. I can't wait to hear this. What is your biggest pet peeve? Oh Wow, pet peeve, like I'm on the clock. Pet peeve people driving slow and traffic like in the left lane. That's mine. That's mine. High Five, that's mine. I hate it. So just come on, get up, get over. Isn't it a called a passing lane? Yes, not. Not Go the same speed lane. Go ahead, Marty. All right. So what? This is a page out of your own playbook, herb. What gets you up in the morning? I want to make a difference. Simply that. Yep, awesome. All right, if you could go back to this and talk to this kid who grew up in upstate New York that you know, played sports, didn't have a lot of money, and you can give him some advice a young Herb Thompson? What advice would you give him? Join the army and follow your dreams. It sounds like that's what you did. Yeah, I wouldn't change it for the world. was there a lot of hard lessons...

...learned? Yes, but those ones are the you know, the ones that really sit home and the head, at the heart, the ones that are learned hard. Awesome, fantastic. That's great. You get another one, Marney. Well, yeah, but I feel like I almost like I can't really after, you know, after hearing that, it's kind of it's going to be. You know this. No, this is a this is two minutes row. Good and bad happen. You just let it, let it rip. All right. So what's your favorite thing to do, aside from, you know, educating people on the transition and owning their journey. Besides spending time my kids, spend time my labordud old liberty bell. What do you? What do you guys do? It's she like a fetch or what do you? What do you guys do? Yeah, her crack is she has a flying squirrel to square frisbee and if she sees that, she does backflips like that's that's our thing. And she can go all day. She could go all day and then she'll sleep and if you pull it back out, she's back ready to go's yeah, yeah, I got flat nosed dogs, like I had bulldogs, and they like three, three throws and they're done. It's like, yeah, she'll keep gone. Yeah, that that's awesome. That's awesome all right. Now, if you're sitting at home, or even maybe while you're in the military you get down time, give me a sports movie that you would love to watch. Hoosiers, who's just as good one? That's just so. I mean there's a lot. There's actually a lot of them I love, but who's yours is probably the one for me. What what did you like about that movie? I mean you you got a bunch of poor kids who come together and, let's be real, they probably shouldn't have one, but they come together as a team. The coaches drive them, but you can tell that he cares. And then old Jimmy Chitwood comes back and then you got all the other life stuff, you know, with the with the drunk dad and all. It's just that's life, you know. It's not. It's not rainbows and UNICORNS. It's that right. But sometimes those people make it. And when the championship, you know, and when I watch the NCAA tournament, you know I don't. I could care less about the one and done guys. That are all the I love the teams that played together. The seniors have been together for three or four years. You know, they run the show. They may not win, but for me that's the most fun to watch. They're you know, they're going to dive through the scoring table trying to save a ball going out of bounce. Exactly, exactly, all right, Marty, one more. You Got One more for me? I do, all right. So what's your favorite song, or what's your favorite album? What do you like to listen to when you're at with Liberty Bell? Well, not one of the out when Liberty Bell, because that will get a little weird right now, but probably thunderstruck by ACDC. But that doesn't necessarily go with walking with the lab ordoodle. But that's why I have to turn on a song. That's I'm getting pumped up. Let's let's get it on. Yeah, I know, that's awesome. So, her, we appreciate you taking the time out of your day and teaching us a little bit about transitions into military and please give us and let us know on our fans know how they can get ahold of you, all of our veterans who are fans, how they can get your book and maybe one last little bit of advice you'd love to give everyone. Yeah, so the transition mission. It's on Amazon is real cheap, underten bucks. Find me on Linkedin herptops and SF to Biz or SF to bes the number two on instagram. But Hey, we all overcome stuff, right, and that's what makes the difference between those are successful I'm not is are you going to put in the work and are you going to overcome? You know, keep going, don't let anybody tell you what you can or cannot be. Go, go earn and I think, I think that's what's helped me get to where I am and what I tell my kids. I want I tell everybody that I mentor all right. Well, thank both of you, Marnie, thank you for joining me. Her, thank you for joining me and all of our fans out there. Go and earn it and do your best and you know, there's no quit you know, in anything that we do. So thanks for giving us your advice or morning. Thanks again for joining me everyone. Thanks to listening to huddle off with dust and wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. So thanks again everyone. Have a great night and talk to thank you, guys. That was awesome. Thanks Marnie. Thank you. Thank you for joining David I in the huddle. We hope you enjoyed our podcast. If you'd like to hear more podcast just like this, go to huddle up with Gustscom, where you can find our social channels, subscribe to hear more by our merchandise and join our exclusive huddle through patreons. Please join us next week when we talk to more guests about how sports shape their life.

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