110 – Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief Stephen Drum Reflects On His Brother With Severe Special Needs
On this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast, host David Hirsch talks with Stephen Drum, a retired Navy SEAL who has a brother with significant special needs. Steve is a public speaker who talks about his 27 years as a Master Chief in the SEALS. He’s seen combat and led teams in and out of incredibly sticky situations. Listen to his story on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Find out more about Stephen Drum and see a demo of his public speaking:
Dad to Dad 110 – Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief Stephen Drum Reflects On His Brother With Severe Special Needs
Stephen Drum: You know, in the military, you know, we need people that can be tough under fire and make decisions and take the fight to the enemy when they’re injured. But we also need those people to be people of good moral and ethical character. And so that’s, that’s another critical component.
Tom Couch: That’s Stephen Drum, David Hirsch’s guest on this Special fathers Network, dad to dad podcast. Steven grew up with a brother who had significant, special needs. Steve’s also. Captivating public speaker who talks about his 27 years as a master chief in the Navy seals, he’s seen combat and led teams in and out of incredibly sticky situations. We’ll hear his story on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast.
Here’s David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the Dad to Dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs. Presented by the Special Fathers Network.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help. We’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s listen into this conversation between Stephen Drum and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Steve Drum of Lake bluff, Illinois. Who’s a father of two, a recently retired Navy seal master chief with 27 years of experience, who is now doing leadership training and speaking. Steve, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Stephen Drum: Thank you, David. It’s really my pleasure to join you today.
David Hirsch: You and your wife may have been married for 17 years and of the proud parents of two children. A son who’s 14 and a daughter. Who’s 10. Let’s start with some background. Tell me, where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Stephen Drum: So I grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, probably about 30 minutes Southwest to city town called media, nice little town, uh, since kind of blown up, but good little satellite town, uh, of the city.
And I grew up, I had a older sister, uh, four, four years older than me and a younger brother, four years younger than me, you know? Good, solid, loving. Parental unit there with mother and father and, uh, you know, knew that I eventually, I was going to join the military, just wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to go to college first and try to get my degree and then try to get a commission as an officer.
But, you know, after some thought and some, you know, some discussion with my mentor four at the time, my uncle who was very influential in my, in my journey, I kind of decided we best that I just joined the Navy right away. Get after my ultimate goal, which was being a seal Navy seal. And so I did that joined the Navy right after high school at 18.
David Hirsch: Wow. Well, it sounds like you were focused when you were in high school, but I’d like to go back just a step I’m I’m sort of curious to know what does your dad do for a living?
Stephen Drum: No, my father was a technical writer, so he grew up in Ireland, immigrated to Canada in the sixties. And then, yeah. Eventually made his way down to the United States and never had a good degree.
He went to boarding school in Ireland, but he never had a college degree. So of course he was very, very intelligent, very good with words, uh, very, uh, charming and funny, but he didn’t have that. I agree. And he always would tell me how that, how, you know, despite his level of competence and work experience that always held him back.
But nevertheless, he was successful from what he did.
David Hirsch: Well, it sounds like he must’ve had a good work ethic too.
Stephen Drum: Yeah, extremely, extremely high level of, uh, you know, discipline when it came to work. And,
David Hirsch: yeah. So how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Stephen Drum: We had a fairly warm relationship. I have to say that I, I was, I said to myself as I.
My young self. I said, there’s no way in heck I’m having kids here. They may be like me. I knew that I was an extremely difficult child. So definitely that relationship was tested and strained at times as it was with my mother. You know, he definitely was not short on showing love and compassion and, you know, and he was there for me in that sense.
And so those are the things that I, that I choose to remember. And so I have no, you know, I can’t be critical of him as a father in any way. So
David Hirsch: was there an important takeaway or two when you think about your dad? An important lesson learned,
Stephen Drum: uh, you know, it’s hard to, I guess, dig through and, but I always just, I think one of the things that he imparted to me was really, it took a while to sink in was just to really be more present and engaged.
Meaning to be in the moment and enjoy that instead of constantly looking forward. And he, I remember him, I was young when he told me that, but it’s something that never kind of left me was, you know, the life is short, right? It’s a cliche, right. Life is short, but. You know, as a kid, you, you find yourself looking ahead a lot.
When I’m 16, I’m going to get my driver’s license when I’m 18, you know, I’m going to be at home high school, one on when I’m 21, I can drink, uh, all these different things. Or for me it was, I can own a handgun. Right. It was all the different tanks, right? Yeah. You’re always looking ahead. And then what I’m out of the Navy, I’m going to be able to.
And then you find yourself like fast-forwarding right. You find yourself not as, not as present in those moments with the people that are important to you as maybe you would have liked to have been.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Great advice. Thank you for sharing.
So let’s talk about special needs. Um, And for the record, this is more of a sibling interview as opposed to a dad interview. Um, most of the men that I’ve interviewed, Steve are fathers raising a child or in some cases, children with special.
Stephen Drum: Yeah.
David Hirsch: I like to stretch myself and. Look at this, a world of special needs from a different perspective.
And, um, one of my goals is to do some more sibling interviews like this interview, just to get, uh, another perspective or to cause, uh, that could be challenging when you’re growing up and you have an older brother or sister younger brother or sister for that matter. Uh, who’s got different challenges.
There’s a different energy in the family and a different focus. So with that in mind, uh, your, your younger brother, Collin who’s now 41 is nonverbal and has had very limited capabilities. And is now a ward of the state? Um, what was it like when you were in high school and growing up with Colin?
Stephen Drum: Um, you know, if we go back even further, I think it’s kind of important to.
So maybe frame what it’s like to have a younger sibling. You know, what I remember early on is, you know, having not had any kind of, you know, understanding of fundamental infant development, right. You know, you have a baby that comes home and, and you’re keep wondering when that baby’s going to learn how to talk.
And when they’re going to start, you know, interacting with you and you don’t know, and you just keep, I remember, and I don’t really know how, how long it was, but I’m just like, cause I knew there was something wrong with him. And I kept asking my mom, my parents finally, I was like, well, look, when is he going to be normal?
When is he going to be able to talk and all that? And they finally told me, well, he’s, he’s never going to be. And that was like a big moment for me. Cause I didn’t. I didn’t understand up to that point. And, you know, as a kid, you, you don’t understand, you know, I remember being frustrated when I would have to share a room with them.
Right. Because they didn’t have another, before they finished another room, my sister had a room and then my brother and I had a room and of course I had all my little, my little toys and my, my matchbox cars. And he would just go through and wreck and destroy everything. And I remember that becoming big source of frustration to me just cause I didn’t understand.
I felt like maybe. You know, again, I’m very hesitant to say anything that would seem critical of my, of my parents. I would simply say that maybe at that point more of a conversation, maybe a sit down to really explain things as a parent, maybe to say, alright, these are the challenges that we’re dealing with.
And I feel like those are things that maybe my parents could have done with me that would have made me. A little bit more, uh, you know, emphasis of their situation. Cause you know, you’re a kid you’re just thinking about your own needs. Whereas, you know, I’ve had my parents maybe had a discussion that kind of just brought me on to, to the family as a team member rather than just another kid in the house that may be, that would have been more helpful.
It would have maybe allowed me to kind of. Re frame my situation as the sibling, but, but then throughout the high school years, you know, it became different. My brother had a school that he would go live at and I would see him like on the weekends and we would spend some time, but again, with my brother’s condition, which was tuberous sclerosis, like he, it also has kind of, uh, autism and, um, Other associated comorbid things that go with it, but there’s not much in terms of engagement.
Again, no conversation, no hugs, nothing like that. So it, it was always very, very difficult to really bond with my brother into a, to have any kind of like relationship. Really.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. And if I understand what tubular sclerosis is, it has to do with, uh, An impact on the brain and the brain’s development and the motor skills and other skills that go along with it, which sadly was his situation.
Stephen Drum: Yeah. And it’s tuberous. Sclerosis is a, even the way it was explained to me was this calcium deposits on the brain receptors. I’m not entirely sure that that’s accurate, but you know, Essentially, you wouldn’t tell necessarily by looking at them that anything was wrong. There’s no bonding really fundamentally, he can do certain things that are routine based if he did those things over and over again, the feeding, changing, things like that.
But, uh, anything more complex than that, more complicated than that, then it’s just, there’s no function there.
David Hirsch: So I’m thinking about your parents and the challenges that they must have faced. Um, do you remember. Doing things as a family, you, your sister and your brother, or was it difficult to do that?
Given a situation?
Stephen Drum: We did. It was difficult too. Especially as he got older. Right. It became more difficult to go certain places like as a, you know, cause he couldn’t let you just as going to do what he’s going to do. Right. And that’s not always, so, you know, if people around don’t necessarily respond well to that, But when he was younger, we would do things as a family.
And of course we would do things, you know, he would go to restaurants with us. It wasn’t like some kid we kept in the, in the attic. Right. I mean, he would come out at just certain things. We’d have to be mindful of, of where we would go, where we would take him to some things just wouldn’t be suitable for him.
David Hirsch: So, um, How do you think having a brother like Collin has shaped your outlook on life, or maybe even your sister’s outlook on life?
Stephen Drum: I want to say it’s given me, I think fundamentally more empathy. I’ve certainly, you know, as a kid, when you see people that, that are faced with challenges, you know, thank goodness.
I I’d say. That now society is definitely more, I think, more open towards compassion for people with needs like that, and hopefully for the family members as well. And I think that’s what it’s definitely given me empathy, compassion for others. And I think I would say the same for my sister.
David Hirsch: Okay. How about from a father’s perspective know now being a father yourself, do you think that’s impacted your fathering
Stephen Drum: at all?
That’s tough to say, you know, I think it’s fundamentally, you know, there’s certain things that happen to us situations that we’re put in and it’s tough to say how that really shaped us. But the more time goes by, right. They always say that, you know, when you’re a teenager, you’re your, father’s an idiot.
Right. That’s just what people have told me. And then as you get older, as the kid gets older, they look and say, you know, my, my father was pretty a pretty wise, pretty smart man. And so that’s definitely how I look at my father’s, uh, parenting style is, you know, he did a, you know, just a fantastic job of, of keeping it together.
And I really think. Really shielding me from the stress as the, he was most likely facing
David Hirsch: testimony to your dad and your parents for that matter. So let’s switch gears and talk a little bit about your, um, Navy experience. Cause it’s a pretty extraordinary one. Uh, you joined the Navy, were you 18 or 19?
Right out of high school.
Stephen Drum: Yeah. I gave myself, I joined right out of high school. I gave myself the summer off because I wanted to be a seal. I was, and I was pretty much going to the gym, the pole and running every single day. And so I figured that would be nice to just dedicate a whole summer to that. And then I joined in a.
Uh, November actually of 1992. So was 18 still.
David Hirsch: So when you first joined, did you have a, a vision for how long you’re going to be in
Stephen Drum: yeah, four years. Something like that? Five, maybe.
David Hirsch: Okay. How would you describe your training? Um, not the training that you’ve been doing, but when you were first. In the Navy that first year, that first couple, three years,
Stephen Drum: you know, I was just thinking about this.
Cause people always ask me, you know, what, when it comes to training was the hardest part. Well, there’s, you know, I don’t know what week of training it is now, but. Yeah, I want to say it was the sixth week is known as hell week, and that’s a pretty famous for our training where it starts off on a Sunday night.
And you pretty much go all the way till Friday after for noon, with very little sleep, a couple of sleep breaks costs and physical activity, cold water. It’s where we lose. The most amount of trainees in terms of attrition
David Hirsch: pointing that out, it’s attrition not lose them as lose them, lose them.
Stephen Drum: Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s interesting that you had tried. It’s you know, people would ask me, is that the hardest part? And I’d say actually the hardest part for us, for me was the first week, which was because, you know, in many cases, like in all of the things that we do, sometimes it’s the enormity of it. Right. It’s it’s the, you know, okay.
We’re losing people. Like we lost 25 people, I think in the first couple of days of training. And where they were just hammer though. Like, we’re just going to get ready. We’re going to just cut the, uh, the low hanging fruit, the people that really aren’t, aren’t committed. We’re going to get rid of them by, by just hammering the heck out of you the first verse week of training.
And, and for those of us that couldn’t step back and look and say, okay, eventually they’re going to actually have to teach us some stuff. We can’t actually just keep doing this right. For those of us that couldn’t do that for those ones. Couldn’t stop. Pump the brakes and look at the big picture and look at the distant goal and really reflect on or revisit that, yes, this is important.
I can do this for those that couldn’t do that. Then they, they went away. Uh, and so for that training, as much as all of it, it’s a matter of okay. Let me just focus on and succeed in what I can control right now. I can’t control all the stuff that’s going to happen two months, three months, four months I can control and I can get through the next meal I can get through the next day, the next week.
And so just breaking it up and just being focused and present on the things that are in front of you. We’re still looking ahead and we’re using things ahead that could, uh, could further motivate us, could further inspire us. Um, but, but we’re not. We’re not letting that cloud, what’s getting away of what’s going on right in front of us.
David Hirsch: Thank you for the insights. So I’m sort of curious to know how many, uh, tours and combat missions that you experienced. So, you
Stephen Drum: know, lots of combat missions, uh, I don’t know how many, but, uh, in, in, uh, several deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, deployments to Europe as well. And I was actually on deployment right up to nine 11, but I got hurt on a parachute jump and I had to go home and get, you know, get surgery.
David Hirsch: Well, thanks for sharing. One of the questions I had was whether or not you sustained any injuries and you just made reference to one. And what was the extent of that or any others?
Stephen Drum: Yeah. So, uh, check, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been lucky in combat and unload Rocky and training. So yeah, that was, I was actually a jump master on a, you know, we were supposed to free fall parachute in meaning like a typical skydiving where you hooked to a line, it actually pulls your parachute for you.
And so we’re doing that as a jump master. And I don’t know exactly what happened with her. I kinda got my arm caught in the static line, but as I exited the aircraft, I just felt like a pop, like a tour, my, uh, my pack and separated my shoulder.
David Hirsch: Yikes. Is that pretty common? Do all seals get injured to one extent
Stephen Drum: or another?
I’d say it depends depending on how long you’re gonna, you’re gonna stay. You’re you’re going to be very hard pressed to do more than 10 years in the seal teams without some injuries. And a lot of it’s going to be the accumulative effects, shoulders back, you know, the impact of parachutes, uh, your, your falling, the constantly, all the running around with body armor and gear on and helmet and stuff like that.
That’s gonna. You know, a lot of it’s going to zero and zero to a hundred miles an hour. You’re in a truck it’s winter time. And all of a sudden you pull up to a wall somewhere and you get to all of a sudden you’re sprinting and manhandling people, and you know what, your body’s not warmed up for it. That all that can really can kind of take a toll on wear and tear on your body over the longterm.
David Hirsch: I’ll take your word for it. I can live vicariously. So I’m wondering now that you can look back on your, um, seal experience over the 27 years. Was there a one or perhaps a number of people that were. The greatest influence on you?
Stephen Drum: You know, again, a start, you know, start with my uncle that I already mentioned, uh, in, throughout I was, I was fortunate.
I always, you know, there’s a lot of people, even in the seal teams with, you know, an elite organization. And so I taught assault training, which was close quarter combat and urban warfare. And one of the guys I worked for there is senior chief that I worked for. There was this guy was a workaholic. He was humble.
Um, he was very experienced and just a solid guy. And I just learned just so much on how to, how to lead people in terms of how to actually get down there, get your hands dirty, uh, lead from the front. While also sitting there. And despite the fact that you have more experience than someone else, much more, sometimes you’re really going to take their input, not just like, what’s your input and then do what you’re going to do anyway, but really take that and consider it and talk about it and really let the people at the very bottom of the organization really kind of, um, implement strategy or policy, whatever that’s going to be for us.
It was training tactics and things like that. Um, so he taught me a lot on really how to, how to. Kind of lead people.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. I’m sort of curious to know what’s the process to become a seal master.
Stephen Drum: Yeah. And that’s uh, so the Navy has, uh, the master chief is a Navy rank. It’s a master chief petty officer, which is an , which would be comparable to a, uh, Sergeant major in the army or Marine Corps, chief master Sergeant for the air force as the senior enlisted ranks, right.
We’ve come up through the ranks. So we know we have expertise at the technical level, but now we take that and we lash that to advising our senior commanders. You know, we provide that pulse to say, sir, or ma’am your policies, your, your strategy. Here’s how that’s going to translate to the actions on the ground.
Uh, and so we, we prove out where those critical advisers. And so that’s a matter of, uh, you know, in the Navy you take tests and your evaluations, you know, to make , which is the chief petty officer in the Navy. And from there it’s, it’s based upon, have you met certain wickets and have you, uh, has your performance, your leadership performance been that, that, that a board is going to recommend you for promotion?
David Hirsch: Okay. Thank you. So what was your scariest moment as a seal? You
Stephen Drum: know, it’s, there’s things that come to mind. And, um, I would say maybe, yeah. You know, we always wonder as we train, right. We always wonder, okay, this is just training. I’ve never actually been shot at yet. Well, how will I perform. Well, I will, I do it right.
And I think it’s the first combat operation that I was on. You know, I knew that were probably get a good chance of, of engaging with the enemy. Was I going to perform? And I think was that operation, or maybe it was a couple of, yeah. After, when we actually started, you know, I was a team leader for sniper operation and we started taking heavy fire.
Um, and I just remember not fear. But just a second of just like, this is not good. We were in a non, we were not an advantageous position. We’re pinned down by heavy fire and was up to me to make the decisions. And so it was really quick that moment of all right, this is not good. We’ve got a good chance of being messed up in this situation from that moment of, of kind of a fear.
It’s not that I wasn’t. Fearful anymore. But at that point I tell the story sometimes about how I had a flashback to, to training. You know, people have flashbacks to traumatic experiences, right? I had a flashback to trail where, you know, the instructors as we’re patrolling down these mock urban cities, and they start to really dial up the stimulus with heavy machine gunfire and yelling and explosions going.
It kind of. Makes you, it kind of teaches you how to see through this fog and still be, make some intentional and composed decisions. Yeah. So I have that flashback and what that gave me that reminded me of a performance statement is that yes, you’ve been trained. You know what you’re doing? Again, you’re well trained, but so are the people to the left and right of you, and you’re going to figure this out and it’s going to be all right.
But then also as I start to do things where I’m attached to a leader where it’s up to me to make all the tactical decisions, there’s an element of anxiety. Before going in which you know, I, I differentiate anxiety and fear. Anxiety is, is being worried about what’s to come. Fear is right now you’re scared of that thing right in front of you.
Okay. You’re, you’re getting your, the moment what’s happening then that’s fear. Uh, so I, I don’t know if I have fear because I’m already. Preoccupied with what I need to do, but there’s definitely anxiety as, as we go into a situation and there’s a lot going on, there’s a high element of danger. And am I going to make the right decisions that keep my people safe, that get the mission accomplished and bring home everybody alive.
And so I definitely anxiety for that.
David Hirsch: okay, well, let’s switch gears. Um, and I’m thinking about advice now. So what advice can you share with other dads or parents about overcoming the challenges associated? With raising a child or because we’re talking about the special father’s network, raising a child with disability specifically, what advice can you offer a dad for overcoming fear or anger or frustration?
Stephen Drum: You don’t want, I’m very, I try to be very transparent with this. And, and I look at like the high stakes environment that I operated in, in the military, in, in combat and where I felt like, you know, and, and not to say that I sure, I sure made my fair Sarah mistakes as, as a leader for sure. But generally speaking, I felt like I, I, you had a high degree of competency when the bullets were flying.
Right. My problem was is I wasn’t and enabled to, to be consistent and. For whatever reason I didn’t parent, like I did lead in combat, which I should have been like, there’s a famous scene. I think in the Mel Gibson movie, we were soldiers there at chapel. And I think one of his young second lieutenants, one of his junior officers asks them about.
How he can be in the military. How can you, he can be a good father as, as a soldier. And he kind of says, I like to think that one makes me better at the other. And so one of the things that I didn’t do that I failed to do be justice focused and engaged as a parent, mother-in-law actually pulled me aside once and said, you know, you need to calm down your, your, you know, I would just, I would get angry and I would, I would lose my temper.
You know, and raise my voice to my kids. And sometimes my wife and, you know, she took me aside and, you know, cause we’re very close and she was like, look, you’re not modeling the type behavior that your children need. And, and not to say that I was perfect after that, but it was a big aha moment for me when I really was like, look, when you get scared, when you get angry, when you get frustrated, when you face doubt, your brain does certain things.
And it does very similar things, too, whether you’re scared of being killed in combat, whether you’re scared of taking a stage in front of a couple thousand people, or whether you’re angry, when your kids set you off, you’re in traffic, it’s the same type of thing. You’re you’re reptilian and Migdal a part of your brain.
It starts to spike. Okay. Now, if you’re not focused and engaged and you’re not mindful of that, and you’re not self aware, the right words are not going to come out of your mouth. The right actions are not going to happen and you will no longer be in the driver’s seat emotionally. And so my recommendation is, is to be very structured and deliberate about how you approach fatherhood the same way you would approach other high stakes endeavors, because it is being a parent is a high stakes situation.
It’s one of the things that you’re going to, when you years to come, I would imagine w when I’m old and I’m looking back, it’s like, all right. That, what was important to me was how well I effectively parenting my kids. And so to me, it’s be, be mindful, be present, but really be thoughtful. Say, what am I really committed to as a father?
And it’s, it’s really sitting there ahead of time as, as, uh, as, as someone who’s, who’s now had a special needs child. Right. And you, you look forward and you’re like, you know what? I’m going to be tested. I’m going to be frustrated. I’m going to be angry. I’m going to be scared. And, but, but I know this going ahead and here’s what I’m going to do about it.
I’m going to write down, this is who I am. This is what I stand for. And this is what I do when things don’t go the way. I’m hoping.
David Hirsch: Fabulous. Thank you for sharing. So is there any one specific word or words of advice that you can offer about. Developing better mental fitness
Stephen Drum: when you consider mental fitness it’s I think you need to consider one of the things that I talk about is based on the program, warrior toughness in the Navy that I helped develop and really.
That was about the body mind sole approach, to being tough with resilience, obviously being a key component of that, which means that if you want mental fitness you’re mistaken, if you don’t think that your physical fitness plays a role, your, your physical fitness in terms of, uh, you know, running or cardio or weights, just being strong is, is definitely helpful.
But the very least getting out there and getting walks and doing things physically, also the things that you put in your body, the things that you don’t put in your body, uh, the sleep that you get, or don’t get, those are all critical, uh, you know, components to, to the mental fit, uh, piece as well. And when it comes to specifically, you know, being focused, being engaged, I’m a big opponent of mindfulness or meditation.
You know, in high stakes moments, there are definitely things, performance, psychology techniques, and strategies that we can use to make sure that we’re at our best. And I fully believe, you know, that we can learn a lot from military special operations and you’ll eat athletic organizations where people have to perform at a very high pressure situation.
We can take those same things and use that when our kids are driving us crazy snap. Uh, and then lastly, it’s, uh, I would also put in their character. Your strength of character, how you lean in what you lean into in terms of relationships, maybe it’s, uh, it’s faith that you lead into when you’re tested.
Part where you find that strength and, you know, in the military, you know, we need people that can be tough under fire and make decisions and be, uh, take the fight to the enemy when they’re injured. But we also need those people to be people of good, uh, moral and ethical character. And so that’s, that’s another critical component.
I don’t know if that’s, that’s a part of your mental fitness question, but that’s, that’s my take on it.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for sharing. So, uh, can you, uh, Sure. A word of advice or two about the importance of teamwork.
Stephen Drum: Yeah. I think a team is, is, is a, again, it’s a very broad term that gets bandied about, but you know, the team, the sum of the parts is, is greater than, you know, the individuals.
Right. And so, you know, we, we. Put a team together because together we can do more than a group of people. Right? So, so we make sure that we have complimentary skills that everybody shares a fair share. The load that people are on that team are gonna contribute. And they’re going to be held accountable to contribute.
Not maybe they don’t belong in the team and that’s not a bad thing. Maybe not everybody fits in the team, but when we are in the team, we always have to make sure that no matter what happens, the strength of the team comes from the fact that you’re willing to do for the person to the left and right of you, you’re willing to say, all right, you know, here are my needs.
But let me stop for a second and get to where we consider other people’s needs, because you’re not always going to like the direction that you’re being tasked with. Even in the seal teams, there are missions that we were given that we didn’t like that we didn’t want to do. And so it became time. Well, you know, no matter what, we’re in this, we’re doing this together.
I care for you. I’d rather do this mission with you guys right here. Then do that sexy mission over there with that group of guys over there. So, and when you build those, when you forge those strong bonds, that can only be found through trust and shared experience. You can do great things together, but it’s gotta be about the people to the left and ready.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well-spoken thank you. So, one last question about advice, and I’m wondering if there’s any advice you’d offer a dad whose son or daughter is contemplating joining the military,
Stephen Drum: I guess it’s, you know, when it comes to joining the military, it’s a good question of why are we joining the military? Well, we joined the military because we want something specific out of it.
For me, that was, I want to be a seal. I want to learn how to fly helicopters. I, to there’s thousands of different jobs don’t involve combat. Yeah. The military he give you, uh, sometimes there’s something to be said for going into the military and getting some structure. You know, and I think there’s so many people that if they had just joined the military, if they had spent, you know, two, four years being held accountable, knowing how to work with people, uh, to work with people that don’t like work with people that are very different from them, uh, and being able to accomplish a goal together, I think there’s something to be said for that discipline.
You know, people think that discipline’s all about, you know, the guy in the smokey, the bear hat, yelling at you and making you do push, but really it’s about like, it’s about making sure that you’re, you know, the military gives you the structure where you can say, yeah, here’s what it’s like to get up and be at work on time and I’m going to be held accountable if I’m not.
Um, and so those things are good. And so I just say w why, why to join the military and, or why not join them? I just think if there’s a, if there’s a purpose, just to have a purpose in what you do, just be thoughtful and deliberate, intentional. Well,
David Hirsch: let’s give a special shout out to a couple of mutual friends.
Uh, Larry Kauffman, I call him mr. Lincoln, then Jim basal Opolis, who does a lot of leadership work and our mutual friend, a rooster Rossiter who retired from the Marines after 24 years. And as a cofounder of Ainsley’s angels and a special father network, dad to dad podcast. Number 29
Stephen Drum: three. Great guys, you just mentioned.
Three. Good man. Good fathers.
David Hirsch: Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Stephen Drum: I think we’ve covered it all for once. I’m not gonna try to leave something with some pithy comment.
David Hirsch: Okay. Thank you. If somebody wants to learn more about peak performance training to have you speak to their group or to simply contact you, what’s the best way to go about doing that?
Stephen Drum: Oh, you get me through my website. Steve@stephendrum.com, S T E P H E N.
David Hirsch: Okay, we’ll be sure to include that in the show notes. So it’ll make it easy for people to reach you. Steve, thank you for taking the time and many insights. As a reminder, Steve is just one of the dads. Who’s part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21stcenturydads.org Thank you for listening to the most recent episode of the Special Fathers Network dad to dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know, the 21st Century Dads Foundation is a 501 C3, not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free. To all concerned, would you please consider making a text deductible donation? I would really appreciate your support. Please also post a review on iTunes, share the podcast with family and friends and subscribe. So you’ll get a reminder when each new episode is produced.
Steve, thanks again.
Stephen Drum: Thank you, David. This is a pleasure.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast presented by the Special Fathers Network.
The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs. Through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers, go to 21stcenturydads.org. That’s 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help for we’d like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad. Also please be sure to register for the Special Fathers Network, biweekly zoom calls held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.
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Stephen Drum: If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen. The Dad to Dad podcast is produced by Couch Audio for the Special Fathers Network.
Thanks for listening.