Manny Garcia finally joins the #YearOfTheVet family to open up about his transition journey from his past life of 9-years in the Marine Reserves, to the life of a Student Veteran...itching to re-enlist.
But don't let the "R" word fool ya. He wasn't just a weekend warrior looking to fight for college credits. Manny lived, breathed, and engulfed himself into the life of an active duty Marine; volunteering for as many deployments as possible—finding himself walking on the same path as many active duty Marines find themselves after falling in the rabbit hole... looking for himself in all the wrong spots.
Getting Manny to be as socially vulnerable as he was in this conversation, was a gift... and I hope this episode is able to connect with you and convey the reasons why I coerced him to join me.
I met Manny at California State University Northridge, in the CSUN Veterans Resource Center—where Manny aides veterans map their way through college and into their new lives as student veterans into life outside of the schoolhouse as the Student Administration Support Assistant. As a natural leader, Manny found himself taking on the role as President of the Veteran fraternity Sigma Tau Alpha (ΣΤΑ), where working with a skeleton crew, he still managed to create and implement an annually hosted 5K that supports The Soldiers Project, a 501(c)(3) devoted to helping the veteran and their families by providing free counseling services.
Manny and I talk about the road the lead him from HMLA-775 to the Intel community. We also explore the mindset of going back into the service after separating... but more importantly we talk about purpose, identity, and how easy it is to find yourself not being true to yourself.
The conversation between the two of us takes us into an area of solution... more-so for Manny, but a solution that could possibly help others get past their demons, and get out of their own way. For Manny, this absolutely requires discipline, routine, as well as a thirst for knowledge.
Once again... from this conversation I hope that you pull, that like many others who've served, Manny is a veteran who does not often share emotions—nor venture far outside of his circle of trust. And to have Manny come on to #YearOfTheVet, I am honored that this is the platform that a veteran of this caliber can come and open up for others that follow behind him to potentially learn from, by relating to.
Pre-Marine Corps Manny (11:09)
Keeping a small circle (12:54)
Joining the Corps… in a Mexican family (13:28)
The road from Aviation Mechanic Technician to Intel guy (18:00)
That moment when you thought you knew someone, and then they blow your mind with “let’s scratch that” (20:57)
Just because you’re a reservist… (22:34)
Reserve/Life Balance (23:46)
The end of an era (24:48)
The “Break Up” (26:46)
Hey HQMC, I know you’re listening… (27:49)
Leaders are Magnetic (30:19)
Shout out to Tim Ferris (35:16)
Books, Books, Books (35:37)
You can take the boy out the Corps (40:58)
Manny’s Daily Routine (42:26)
I don’t read so good…(43:53)
“Of Mice and Men” Spoiler Alert… (45:02)
Explaining “Work Study” (45:48)
The Veteran Resource Center East Coast WORLD TOUR… (47:00)
The reason you should EAS and move to Connecticut (47:32)
The Birth of the Beard, and the Re-Birth of Manny (49:10)
“Who is that person in the mirror?” (52:48)
Tipping back the bottle (55:35)
The next big thing (1:02:01)
Manny’s advice to those separating from the service (1:05:36)
Guidance to Recruit Garcia (1:09:43)
Ask those that have been in your shoes…(1:12:33)
Connect With Manny