May 8, 2021
Today we hear the inspirational combat story of Eric Hollen, a former Ranger in 2/75 Ranger Regiment and Green Beret with 2nd Bn, 10th Special Forces Group.
This is a unique episode where we filmed in person for a change while Eric and I were in Graham, Texas, courtesy of Greg Coker, who many will recognize from the podcast, for an aviation hog hunt to benefit veterans and gold star families.
In this episode, Eric shares what was going through his head when he sustained a life-altering injury on his horse farm in Tennessee and how he persevered through dark times to reach a level of excellence very few will ever see.
Eric was awarded USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year two years in a row and competed in the Olympics as a shooter for the U.S.
Hollen strives to help newly injured veterans through a program called the Care Coalition which supports injured Special Operations soldiers. I hope you enjoy his inspirational story as much as I did.
Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a short clarification
#specialops #rangers #teamusa #olympics
0:00 – Intro
0:42 - Eric’s Bio
2:34 – First time holding a Firearm
6:11 – Eric’s left turn moment
11:35 – Joining the military
13:46 - “I thought I was cold and miserable, and then a snowflake went right into my ear hole.”
14:59 – “We aren’t there to hang out. We all want that scroll on our right shoulder that follows us wherever we go.”
16:30 – “I either pass, or I die trying.”
17:53 – “We go to bed every night expecting to go to war the next day.”
23:04 – Combat Story – Operation in Haiti: The mission where everybody came home
27:21 – The Catastrophic Life-Changing Injury
28:25 - “It took probably about ten years before I can talk about this without getting emotional.”
29:06 – The “Come to Jesus” moment about Career and Family
32:21 – The Injury
35:11 – “I had kind of a looming sense of doom.”
36:16 – Could you put into words the way that you felt at that time of the injury?
38:43 – “Eric, if you try to move again, you’ll die.”
39:46 – Eric’s conversation with the Lord
42:06 – From a Good Place to a Dark Place
45:15 – Eric’s Surgery
50:34 - What was it that kept you from taking the step?
50:48 – The Balloon Message
55:14 - “It’s not necessarily fighting and dying with your boys. It’s like getting hurt so bad that you can’t function at a high level.”
55:35 – What would you tell somebody who is having a similar looming sense of doom and a catastrophic life-changing event occurs?
56:36 – “I wouldn’t trade the injury for all the good it’s done to me.”
57:35 – What drove you to become an Olympian?
1:25:24 - The Paradigm Shift
1:27:32 - Is there something that you would say to people who do not have this type of injury who just see the wheelchair?
1:30:18 – “Whatever that (injury) is, it’s a choice to allow that to define you as an individual.”
1:30:38 – “Don’t let the injury define you.”
1:31:24 - Was there something you carried with you when you were in combat or in the Olympics that had sentimental value?
1:32:14 - Would you go back and do all that again?
1:33:32 - Eric clarifies a point.