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tv   Ryan Manion Heather Kelly The Knock at the Door  CSPAN  November 25, 2019 12:00am-12:43am EST

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decided they wanted to destroy civilization instead of rebuilding in a fascist way two r serious readers. serious readers. [inaudible conversations] >> bulk of everybody we as the entire staff are so happy to have you all here it is such an honor to host this event i am the owner of the mahaska bookshop we are so happy to be in a community that supports our local businesses as well as our local nonprofit and this is special today.
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i am honored to introduce you to the author of this book t6 has dedicated to support veterans and military heroes inspired by the character of leadership and sacrifices first lieutenant travis who ultimate sacrifice in 2007. serving as the president of their foundation via the national movement to take the next step in their personal journey to inspire the next generation of leaders. in 2015 she received the president's lifetime achievement award for volunteer service and in 2016 ryan tuck a official appointment with the remember and explore subcommittee and the advisory committee at arlington ryan also serves as
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a board member national association of veteran serving organizations as well as the global war on terror she resides here with her husband and three children were she intinues as the township supervisor she was elected in 2011. [applause] >> the surviving south of marine lieutenant killed in afghanistan in 2010 as the program manager she works closely with veterans life and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to foster america's next generation of leaders ryan and heather will be in conversation today with derek
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the director of marketing for the travis foundation so please help me to welcome them. [applause] >> welcome everyone. what we would doe this afternoon i will ask diane and heather to read their favorite excerpts from the book they will elaborate a little bitra more and go through so q&a and is needed to the actual book citing portion. obviously we are here in t doylestown.
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it happened right here in this community and your brother travis was so well known you did feel that ripple effect so your family made a decision on how to move forward and really on her travis do you mind elaborating on that a little more? >> sure. >> thank you for coming out today we truly appreciatee it i was just saying we are so excited to be here. we've been in new york all week we are just happy to be twith people. we've been sitting in hotel rooms all week it's great to be here for this today and if you aream not familiar our
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organization was founded in 2007 after my brother was killed in iraq i will tell you when i got the news travis was killed i was standing in front of coaches i was about to open a store right now what i think is the holiday house i was standing there with the landlord about two sign a lease on my second location i signed a lease and my phone rang it was my aunt on the other line telling me to come back so i flew five minutes down the road and learned that my brother had been killed on the day of his funeral my dad
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hpulled my mom and my husband into the bedroom from this day forward we continue to make sure we live to honor her travis thing continue his legacy of service. so that really was the birth of the t6 foundation and they say it all the time to become a national that are in serving across the country but the root of our organization right here in this community to this day i travel across the country where you headquarteredai we say doylestown we have offices around the country and operate with 130,000 members but the community here played such a
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large part and still plays a tremendously large part to help us do the work that we do to support veterans. >> thank you. dowith that what i want to is go into a little more of their favorite excerpts from the book. ryan we will start with you the first one youou picked out. >> this is from our introduction talking about grief. >> ten of us know how to do grief right away there's only one way to do it but we know how to do it wrong we have lashed out at loved ones and have drunken self medicated heavily slip too much exercise and eat too little anger and depression abandoned friendships and self care with
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the tragic fall or unhealthy coping mechanism at one time or another but we found forgiveness and peace we realized how much fight there is left in this and opportunity has been afforded us we have been challenged to embrace that opportunity we fully expect too f continue to learn our individual journeys are not the same and will not look like yours but despite her differencesest we have learned one universal truth. every human will struggle in this life. our challenge is to struggle well. after all struggle is the antecedent of growth only when we abate - - embrace the pain and discomfort that punctuate our lives that we find the strength that we need this is a e fact and it is as true at
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the molecular level as the celeste teal one. and of those muscle fibers to exercise only when they have broken down to be go through the natural process. that's it. [applause] actually i went to long. [laughter] >> she's the boss. in that section, it really does not directed to anything with the military more than anything can relate to our
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co-author is not with us today but she had her first child eight weeks old then took baby grace up to new york so we gave her the day off today. gave her the weekend off. heather and amy and i all lost loved ones in service to this country and valley obviously orlt this is important too share stories but more than that we wrote this book because each and every one of us can get a knock on the door is from the death of a loved one, heartache, cancer diagnosis, what we talk about a lot in the book is not so
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much about what happened when the knot comes but how you respond when you get it. and i am very upfront t to say it took me 12 years to be able to share my thoughts. if you have asked me five years ago to write this book it would be a very different story and probably not very uplifting but i feel be a fall come to find we are in a place now we are not self-help experts but we also feel we have experience of grief and loss. so we put our tricks for what worked for us and what didn't into this book and it is for anyone not only those who have
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gotten a knock on the door but for thoses who haven't if you haven't to be the best version of yourself today. >> great. thank you heather read your first excerpt i will preface this by saying that ryan did a tremendous job setting the table for her knock at the door and in heather's she will explain her experience. >> this is the story of how my knock star started. my knock at the door 3:00 a.m. i was in a deep sleep when i heard the knock at the front door felt far away.
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was coming out of her drowsy haze i did not recognize the noise i thought it was part of a dream and then i realized it was real coming from my front door. i wasn't expecting company so i hesitated i got to the door and i saw three sharply dressed marine standing together. immediately i had a sinking feeling in my gut my husband had deployed six weeks earlier with a third deployment together and that was really a good thing to have them show up but this gave me some hope because i was at a meeting even as a readiness officer and instructed us they will come no earlier than 8:00 o'clock in thear morning sitting with other military families the protocol of the loved one's death of this were
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bad news it wouldn't come for another five hours at least. no matter how long they were standing outside to get my attention i figured they were there to ask where another marine family lived regardless i knew they were bringing bad news for someone i was wide awake when he began the formal scripted speech telling me my husband was dead my head fell into my hands my brain shut down i heard the script as if they were underwater of how he had sustained injuries after the loss of his leg and then i cut the phase extend our
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deepest sympathies and then silence when he finished reading he looked up and stared at me i imagined waiting for robert to show up i don't think they were sure what to make of my reaction there was nothing on the surface i was in total shock no screams or agonize cries or questions they would much have preferred if i had instead i stared straight ahead with that quiet sadness it didn't seem real but yet real enough to leave me hollow immediately i realize there must have been a mistake and this was not the thing they would screw up there was nothing to be said.
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[applause] >> thank you for i that heather cyou mentioned knocking at 3:00 o'clock a.m. so by that time and why that happened cracks? thet was very out of ordinary at the time he was servingin overseas my father was anut active duty marine when he went into work he would sign onto the computer and find out immediately with the list of casualties back also i was notified so i was notified of the exact same time he was so one of the friends he went to training so he went to the door at 6:00 a.m. and they came to mind at 3:00 a.m. and we were notified at the same
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time and we can't communicate immediately. that was the third reason of my unusual notification time. >> now ryan we will come back to you. >> this is from the third paragraph called my drug of choice. i have a take away at the end of the chapter but the first was embrace your support system for a relationship for everything for family and friends and loved ones we just need to let them friends and families to nourish our
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ill-conceived dreams that which is well beyond our reach and if you are lucky enough to have friends and family like mine then let's do it together. they gently and lovingly protect us of our own self-destructive habits. they lift us up literally. and they cheer us on. with a loving support system we can afford to be a little light on - - naïve because we can't do it alone we are human and only one person allow yourself to be carried forward. finally, don't wait please don't wait for i had no idea how tough i was why did i wait until my brother was dead to find out my only regret is that it didn't take place in
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2006 he would have loved to run and train with me something like that require focus and discipline and then would have been so proud there are so many things i wish we could have done together. i am better than i am stronger why did a way for him to disappear to become the woman i wanted to be. [applause] >> so you talk about how you areha better and stronger so what is your thoughts of travis were hereay today what would he think about what you heve done in the person you are today? >> as it pertains i would say he would be right beside all of us with the organization
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right in. the mix also the one thing he would hate as we the travis manion foundation we recognized that and my dad said i feel like you wouldn't like that maybe we should change theit name. we are committed you can't aange it now. [laughter] so i talk a lot in that chapter with the takeaways how i decided to run in 2007 for the red for america because travis signed up for that yearhe so he called my dac - - my dad because he knew that is not something i would do. so as soon as he passed away
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here i am to say now i will run a marathon's of course i finished it and i felt tremendously strong and proud and i honored him so well but why did it take him leaving for me to say now i will do it so that is what i battled with but i think he would be incredibly proud to be here beside us and as he transitioned out of the smilitary and did everything he could to support the veterans. >> heather coming back to you the next excerpt that your dream may be taken away from you tomorrow. >> when my 17 -year-old self
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that him in 2002 at university we jumped to spending her life together the dream that occupied the greater part of our adult lives as the years went on the dream remained we entrusted to our circumstances and given time. imagined hosting parties as a married couple in our new house we planned it out in minute detail with as much ldpleasure and then one day in 2010 i have to dream alone. there was no landmark on this map i created myself. yhough dream of losing my husband at so young of an age like a snowstorm releasing 10 feet in front of you it is scary and treacherous but it is doable per call you may not know what awaits you down the road but that shouldn't stop you from dreaming about how
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wonderful it would be when you get there if i knew that fate would separate us so early dream would not look any different we would still have the summer in florida and the days and committed our lives to one another. anyone's dreams can be ripped away in an instant and it hurts like hell. but dream anyway. after all anticipation is half the fun. [applause] >> you talk about dreaming anyway. can you speak more about the process of your own personal journey and how you went about to dream again and look
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forward to things as you take those first steps forward? >> finding dad anticipation was a way to find a purpose know if there's ever something that you say that finding a meaning behind it the foundation is first that my co-authors that i met with them at different stages and fighting with the foundation did in my own way which is a huge part of that and that made montes that was very important to me in the very early in my journey i took off
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full-time position in san diego and when i interviewed for that job to say we want to bring you on the team i said i will go today give two weeks notice that my job and said okay and then from two weeks i was sitting t there and then two weeks ahead is november 9th my first day would be the five year anniversary of losing rob so i knew he sent me something speciall that helped to bring me to the other side that was a huge part that really helped me look ahead to see what that
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future, quite without him here so this is my four year anniversary of joining the foundation. [applause] >> ryan read your third excerpt from the section that is titled failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. >> before travis died i never bothered to think about failure. not because i was wildly successful at everything i me ratherieve because they didn't care about anything i was apathetic but travis was ambitious and i was just coasting through life after he died my mom died and that i had a major wake-up
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call to take advantage of the time i have left on this earth. i went to do this not for my faith but for theirs. intention nursed me that nothing stop me but then as occurred with all humans i failed since i never permitted myself to do with it before. it can make you c feel worthless the first few times i failed i was not prepared for the consequences i was so programmed and did not let anything stop me then allowed my failures to define me.
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failure wasn't so scary anymore. when we recognize our lives are series of failures we are more likely to handle difficulties. eventually despite the inevitable failures our next success is never too far off of the dense mine - - distance. [applause] >> you talk about overcoming the challenges and successes you had big shoes to fill from your mom and to carry on his legacy going forward. what is your approach of the goalsetting to say this is what we will do and how we will do it and how do you
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approach that in your own mind with a very high position? >> five years in less than a day after my mom passed from cancer and now the travis manion was at a national scale and i work with the foundation at the time as executive director but actually i was the assistant i followed her she led the charge and never had to make decisions because she did. whatever you need mom and i would fill in the gaps ang. after she passed away two weeks later the b board met and they told me now i'm the president of the travis manion
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foundation. i felt tremendous weight on my shoulders but here i was you have 50 employees and after your brother by the way a multimillion dollar nonprofit. so don't fail. so don't fail. . . . . including the legacy of my mom
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and my brother so i had to look at not just setting goals in a way that next we have to do this. i talk about intention to say this is how we are going to do it, be very intentional about why you are setting the goal and for the purpose of it is. i guess it's been almost seven years now and running this organization outside of that i also t talk about the daily challenges of not just what i do at the foundation for also being a wife and mother and making sure i don't let those responsibilities fall to the wayside so it is a bit of a
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balancing act. i don't know any other way to say it. it's a happy medium and fine balance that you will find, no. that's why i talk about this idea like don't let these small things set you back too far goes for a timeeg in the beginning i was letting small little failures and when i talk about failures in the book it's small things like we did and i grant i thought we were going to get and i would go into a place like this organization is ending. they don't believe in our impact, clearly we are not doing what you're supposed to do. that one didn't catch the next one will. it's about changing your mindset oand knowing you are going to feel that you have the opportunity to pick up tomorrow and succeed. [applause]
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i'm going to ask you to read one last excerpt for us. this is from t the section if yu expect to see the good or the bad, you will. >> there is a quote that says if you think you can or can't, you are right. perspective is everything in life is the subject to becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. the way we deal with grief works in the same way. not long ago i was perusing items for sale near my home in carlsbad california north of san diego. i stumbled on a bar said that included two glasses once at yourhadyours and once at mine. they have a matching picture that said ours.ha there was a time i would consider this sweet but these days i find it depressing. i was feeling down about the turn my life had taken and that little reminder of my grief followed me. i turned the corner inside the shointo thegestalt and as i q de considered ourselves better
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ontogether by jack johnson began playing on the radio sitting on a shelf in a nearby booth. i'd like to think it's his way of reminding me still with me and understood the pain and that no matter what i would never be alone. alone. its true reminders of difficulties and sadness are everywhere. we don't usually have to look too hard to find them, but reminders of happier times are everywherere and we can feel reassured him to take pleasure in the gifts they bring to us when we need them the most. sometimes we have to be intentional about seeking out these little signs. [applause] in the buck you also speak a good deal about how you used humor. i wondered if you could elaborate on that a little bit more. >> definitely one of the earliest coping mechanisms was trying to find dark humor and the situations that came after
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and my brother-in-law, his brother, was kind of my partner in that. it's pretty surreal to be 26-years-old and have lost your husband and be sitting in a funeral home planning a funeral with his family. my brother-in-law tried to lighten the mood and he whispered to me you know what bob really would have wanted for his funeral and i said what. he said he would want you to riden in on an elephant, the mot absurd thing you can think of. i said you're right, he would have and it became our joke that first week. he reminded me there is a a simpson's episode that bart could win an elephant or money and it's very indignant about where is my elephant so that was our joke for the week just between he and i.. where's my elephant, get that elephant here. it sounds absurd and ridiculous but it's what kind of could take us out of the moment and still
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have a moment of whiteness because you have to laugh. i didn't want to cry everyday. i couldn't cry everyday. that early humorless self-important and it kind of carried me through and still. he was funnysa and sarcastic and was always cracking jokes so i can see him and that's still with the humor being definitely one of my earliest ways to cope that i still use. >> great. thank you. [applause] >> at this point we would like to open it up to some questions from the audience. if you could raise your hand, the girls would love to answer a few questions. go ahead.ue >> is this available on audio? >> the audio book version is being recorded right now. we just picked our voices. that was a fun process.
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they haven't given a final date but if the audio version is forthcoming. >> when you got the news did you have any family members near where you were in california? >> at the time i was the only one right there outside of san diego that my brother-in-law that i just mentioned but also ialsoan active-duty marine actid about two hours away so as soon as they were at my door and i knew everybody in the family knew i needed to see john he hopped in the car immediately and followed me the first day before i flew to the east coast and i talk about it in th the bk that he helped me take care of all those little things and sat with me as we sat with the news and i think that he took on that big brother role and was the closest one when i got the news. >> i just want to make a comment on how not thinking people are gone forever. when my mother passed away ten yearsrs ago, it would have been
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her last birthday she died of lung cancer within two month is and from that day forward starting the next june, my parents anniversary was june 23 and all the time i find that they finding a penny to date was 1959 and i find [inaudible] my stepdaughter died two years ago from suicide on october 13 and i was pumping gas and randomly stopped and the amounte amount was 1313. so they are gone but they are still there. >> weave >> we were at dinner the other night talking about stuff like that. how was the foundation funded? >> our foundation is funded through individual donors,
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corporations and private philanthropic funds. we are pretty easily dispersed in the funding stream. yes, private foundations and grants and everything. >> can we talk about what the foundation does? >> for those not familiar, we are a nonprofit. our mission is to empower veterans and instill character in the next generation and we are a community of like-minded individuals, veterans, military families, and what we lik wouldo say inspired civilians. we do everything like right now we are in the midst of operation legacy where we had service projects happening across the country in the month of november all of our service projects are named in honor of a fallen service members we will bring out thousands of people in the month of november to do that.
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one of our biggest initiatives as cold character does matter and we actually trained veterans to going to school and deliver character education. we worked witwe've worked with 0 kids across the country ages 12 to 18. it's all about constant engagement for our veterans. we have programs happening each and every day in cities and states across the country making sure that they have an opportunity to continue to serve outside of uniform. >> i'm going to get emotional for a i want to say thank you for giving me an extended family. i know that i am not among the people you know today that being an educator who has benefited, [inaudible] when i collaborate and inspired by susan cook, thank you for the family that you have given me as
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an inspired educator. thank you so much and you are alle responsible for that. i talked to your dad at the summit last year into being in front of you right now i'm so starstruck. [laughter] >> i've been trying to get my administrators on board at my middle school. do you have any advice to turn the tide for getting administrators and locals with police officers and veterans on board with teaching? >> i will help you with your administrator no problem. i'm good at that. >> i'm a counterpart in san diego. i think word-of-mouth has been popular. if i can go to the middle school andll say that their fellow principal at whatever school --
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the proof is the experience they get into the word-of-mouth and testimony for sure. >> any other questions? >> at this point what we are going to do is i'm going to ask the authors too make their way back to the signing table and then kristy will come up and give everybody predictions on forming a line and how to go about everybody getting their books. >> thank you again so much. [applause]


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