Navy SEAL and Army Ranger Visit Ketchikan Coasties and Sailors
KETCHIKAN, AK - If asked to add up their injuries and friends lost in war and post combat mental health related tragic endings, Mikal Vega and Howard Mullen would have to sit down and spend hours with pen and paper in hand. But it’d never happen.“Spending time dredging up negative memories is the last thing I want people doing” said US Navy SEAL Chief retired Mikal Vega, in front of a packed crowd of Coasties during American300‘s latest visit to the Base and Station along with SECNAV Back Island Navy Service Members and Support Staffers this week. “I was on that road, and thanks to doctors who fed me pills and sympathy I ended up nearly killing myself.” Vega added.
Instead the busted up Naval SEAL Operator turned to eastern medicine as an alternative to traditional therapy and slowly started to become human again. “I started off with deep muscle message, acupuncture and then became a student of Kundalini Yoga as taught by yogi Bhajan.” With this transformation in care came a new beginning and life for Vega.Today, the Wounded Warrior turned Hollywood actor, can be seen in major film productions like Transformers and TV Series like CSI to name a few. He also founded ‘Vital Warrior’ a 501c3 nonprofit which works to share the teachings of Kundaline Yoga as taught by yogi Bhajan with fellow Service Members who he hopes can experience the same life changing and saving benefits that he’s been blessed with.
Mikal and US Army Ranger hall of fame member combat veteran, Master Sergeant ‘Mad Max’ Mullen, retired are part of a force of volunteers who have joined Robi Powers, the founder of American300 to spread resilient messaging across the service branches and globe. “Call our programming the antithesis of computer based training, what we do is provide one on one real world life lesson sharing delivered by fully vetted volunteers who are: likable, relatable and relevant.” says Powers, a former US Army Mountain Warfare Instructor and National and Olympic Teams athlete and Coach, he adds, “We visit the same areas of operation over 2-3 years bringing individuals who have experience worth listening to.”
For Coast Guard BM3 Micah Grey, American300 programming first landed on his cutter’s deckplate at midnight 2 years ago. “Back then I was a non-rate deckhand pulling a duty officer shift, I didn’t know what these guys were doing dropping in on us,” says Grey who was one of the last to ‘strike’ up into the Petty Officer ranks of the sea going service. “Robi brought some world champion cowboys and cowgirls into the galley in the middle of the night and the next thing I know my favorite song (Bob Dylan’s Wagon Wheel) was being played by a Nashville country music star. It’s surreal when I think back on it now that I’ve met so many different American300 guests and understand why they come visit us.” said BM3 Grey.
With a who’s who of guests like: Tom Whittaker the first amputee to summit Mount Everest, General Edward Mechenbier, nearly 6 year Vietnam Prisoner of War, USAF retired, Steve Swanson, 3x NASA Expedition Astronaut and International Space Station Commander, along with many others the goal of American300 resiliency tours at places like Coast Guard Base and Station Ketchikan is to deliver as many resilient real world stories over a 2 year span of time as possible.
As Mullen puts it: “If I could put my Ranger uniform back on I’d do it in a second, but volunteering as a American300 mentor is the next best thing and I’m happy and honored to serve my brothers and sisters who are pulling the duty today, besides these Coasties in Ketchikan are outstanding, I’d have to say they are ‘Mad Max Approved’ even.”
American300 is a non-government all volunteer ( NGO/AVO ) 501c3 nonprofit with a mission of supporting our Department of Defense and Department of State - Total Force Fitness initiatives. No federal endorsement of nonprofit is implied or intended - American300.org