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GRP 59- Co-hosting for this week's podcast is Tim Kolczak the creator of the Veterans Project. Tim was recording from the house of an American warrior who survived the Bataan Death March during World War 2. Tim's featuring this gentleman on his next project which will come out soon. It's very good. Our guest for this week is retired Army veteran, Mylee Cardenas. Mylee worked in several capacities throughout her Army career. She made her way into the Cultural Support Teams, a program that put women alongside Special Operations units in Afghanistan to assist in intelligence gathering and other aspects of the mission because of the culture sensitivity of Afghanistan. We talk about dealing with adversity and how to overcome it. Mylee discovered a lump in her breast while on deployment in a combat zone in which it was discovered to be stage 3 breast cancer. Below is an excerpt:
John: You've been in the Special Operations community for a few years now. There was a need in Afghanistan because of the cultural differences to have women alongside Special Operators to deal with the women and children and to handle other facets, working in several capacities as the strategy was changing. Eventually, you signed up for the special job?
Mylee Cardenas: 2009 I was voluntold to go to the school house at FT. Brag. The good idea fairy visited some people in SOCOM. For a while, in Afghanistan, there was a top-down approach to promoting governance and security. The Special Ops community decided that we needed to go back to the basics with a bottom-up approach. The Green Berets started setting up these Village Stability Operations camps all over of Afghanistan to train the local police, gather intelligence, and promote governance at the village level. As amazing as these men are they were only able to reach 50 percent of the population because of the cultural differences. A message came out about the program and I said nope I'm not doing it. I felt like it was a knee-jerk reaction, and there wasn't enough time put into setting this program up. The second time around it was more like you're going. The reactions to the program from the guys also made me not want to do it. I didn't want them talking about me the way they talked about these other chicks. I knew the men weren’t happy with this program.
Music provided by Caspian:
Social Media: The Veterans Project