Eric DeVries (Dev rEs) is an Author, Peak Performance Coach, Vet Advocate, and most admirably—an Air Force veteran. Born into that role through “The War Generation,” Eric’s dad is a Vietnam vet, his grandpa fought in WW2 … and he can trace family all the way back to both sides of the revolutionary war. But instead of joining the service immediately after high school, he waited till he felt that he was mature enough before enlisting, stating that “I wanted to be willing to give my life away, instead of irrationally following directions.”
After a first term as an Air Force Helicopter mechanic, he lat moved into computer programming, and then forced into intel to finish his time in the service.
Eric talks about the rigidness of the system saying “if I had been in control of my own destiny… there would’ve been different opportunities and different options available there for me and therefore there would’ve been different decisions…”
In 2012, he found himself in a military that “wasn’t recognizable,” and knew he “didn’t want to do this for 20 years and started thinking about what jobs were out in the civilian world that I can translate this trade to.” Simultaneously he started fundraising for those suffering with PTSD, which at the time 18 suicides per day and there was a “calling,” which helped the transition from the Air Force to APEX, where he worked a lot in mental training (concentration, focus, guided imagery, etc…) where he was helping clients learn to focus on the task at hand, and helping teach ways to filter out the noise in order to focus on the moment.
In our conversation he gives tips on Lat Moving. He says to “look for MOS’s that are undermanned… if you have flexibility… because then you don’t run into being placed into a place that they’ll place you where Uncle Sam wants you.”
He talks about active listening. Saying that “we spend more time listening to people in order to RESPOND, than we do in order to UNDERSTAND,” and that we can get away from that by realizing that we don’t have to fix everyone’s problems and just need to” listen sometimes and respond only when needed, show empathy, and ask how we can help… instead of offering advice.”
Eric talks about Breaking the mindset that these already set organizations that are already established (such as the Legions, VFW, etc…) won’t accept you because you are a veteran of a different era. He mentions it’s important to get involved in a peer groups because they are a great alternative to seeing a one-on-one therapist. “You get around those individuals that share similar interest, or similar problems… and through active listening, healing happens…” and in case one isn’t near you or you’re not comfortable with the ones around, he reminds us that all you all you need is to get 2 people to meet up, and you have a peer support group.
We talk about scholarships, reverse engineering the brain, the profession of counseling, LinkedIn, biofeedback, CSF2, the concept of who you know, the process of writing a book, but most importantly—his book, Control it, Influence it, or dump that S**it, his first of a three part series in which the first book is about the things you control, the things you can influence, how you respond to the inevitable that will happen, and how your influences have affect on other people. The second book would cover military transition: moving from a flexible machine to a different type of chaos, and book number three, would focus on the spouses.
Nothing is wrong with your radios around 45 minutes… its my fault… operator error…