On today’s podcast, we are speaking with decorated combat veteran Deric Keller about anger, healing, and moving past trauma. One of the goals that Russ and Mika have for this podcast in 2019 is to invite people who have had an impact on their lives on to show to share their own stories. Russ...
Episode #45: Battling Trauma and PTSD with Deric Keller of Battlefield Boardroom
One of the goals that Russ and Mika have for this podcast in 2019 is to invite people who have had an impact on their lives on to show to share their own stories.
Russ met Deric Keller through their work with the Warrior program, and when we heard Deric’s story we knew we wanted him to share it with our listeners.
Deric is a decorated combat veteran, husband, and father of seven children. He is also the founder of a personal coaching and accountability program called Battlefield Boardroom.
After returning home from serving in the Iraq war, Deric was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and struggled with adjusting to everyday life.
Deric joins us this week to share his powerful story about his experience serving in the United States Marine Corps, working through trauma, anger, healing, and committing himself to a life of coaching others.
In this episode, you will learn:
• Why Deric joined the US Marine Corps and his experience as a member of the armed forces.
• How combat experience changed Deric and why he had trouble adjusting to life at home.
• What made Deric decide that he needed to make a change.
• Why Deric has committed his life to coach other veterans.
Mentioned in this episode:
• Russ Perry on Instagram
• Mika Perry on Instagram
• The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
• The Russ Perry Show
• Deric Keller
• Battlefield Boardroom
• Battlefield Boardroom on Instagram
• Wake Up Warrior
• Deric and his daughter on a “Thrift Store Photo Shoot”
Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!
Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I make a Mika Perry, and you’re listening to Good To Be Home.
Russ Perry: Good To Be Home as a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety, and how we balance our business and life.
Mika Perry: From our family to yours, thanks for joining us, and welcome to our home.
Russ Perry: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home. I’m your co-host, Russ Perry.
Mika Perry: And I am Mika Perry.
Russ Perry: And today, we are bringing you another interview. It is something I’m really excited about. And actually, though, I gotta give credit where credit’s due. Mika, our interviewee today was your idea.
Mika Perry: Yes. So today we are interviewing Deric Keller. He is someone that has now a very close bond and relationship with you Ross. But I chose Derek as someone to bring on to this podcast because he has an incredible story as a veteran and working through trauma, the stigma that is associated often with the military coming out of service, and the struggles that they face. And the reason why we’re doing interviews is because we want to not only share people who have had a direct impact in our lives, Russ, working with Derek, but people that have these incredible stories, moments of pain in their life that they’ve overcome, and just incredible helpfulness just in the story alone that I know can help many of you listening out there.
Mika Perry: So that’s why when we thought about who do we want to bring on to the Good To Be Home podcast, we’re not an interview podcast, still going to remain Russ and I, but there are people that we know will help other people in ways that we are not able to. So Derek is one. So Russ, can you tell us a little bit of a bio on Derek?
Russ Perry: Yeah, so Derek and I met actually through the program. Him and I are both certified trainers in Warrior. We are both coaches and we had connected off and on throughout events. And then finally, when I wanted to launch my training and coaching programs this year, they were large enough that I needed help. And I was magnetically attracted to Derek. I don’t know why I like him and I actually never really … We never attended a Warrior week together. We hadn’t had any of the deep experiences like I had with my other friends inside the program. But there was just something about a man, couldn’t be happier. We’ve actually now done I think almost half dozen events together, coaching men and women side by side, and it’s been fantastic. But Derek, he’s a father, a husband. He has seven kids ranging from a couple of years all the way into the 20s. He lives here in Arizona now, and actually is a thing that you mentioned is a retired combat veteran from the Marine Corps. So he has the craziest stories, some of which we’ll get in today. But I’m excited for this interview. It’s a heavy interview, but covering just a real topic about anger, frustration, detachment, and where do you go? What do you do with that? How do you handle that inside of a family and how do you move past it?
Mika Perry: Yeah. And I had heard about Derek from Russ working with him and his coaching program, but actually hadn’t met him for a while. And when I did meet him in person, it is the nicest, kindest, gentlest, smiley, friendly guy. And then you Russ, hold me some of the stories of his combat experience, his military stories. And I was you’re like, “You’re kidding me.” And, “How can he end up this person having had gone through all that and be this amazing father and this coach?” And man, he must have worked through a lot. So we wanted to bring that to you guys. And in this episode, you’ll hear these stories. And I have to tell you, I don’t get emotional often, but sitting on the other side of this table, I got emotional several times listening to him. You can see that he’s worked through it. And that is wonderful. The joy that’s there on the other side. But I could hear and see what he had to do to get through that. And it was really touching and sad too.
Russ Perry: So let’s get to the interview. Everyone, Deric Keller.
Mika Perry: Well, we are really excited to have you at Derek on at the Good To Be Home podcast. Thank you for being here.
Deric Keller: I’m excited to be here. This is a true honor. It really is. You have relationships and you feel like you may have some influence on some people, but then for somebody to think that you had an influence enough to bring them on and share a story, that it’s an honor. Truly.
Mika Perry: Yeah. And I know you and Russ now work together a lot through your coaching program that you do together partly with Warrior and then what you do now as trainers through Warrior. So you guys have gotten to know each other really well. I don’t know you very well, Derek, but from what I hear from Russ, you are just incredible in so many ways.
Deric Keller: Thanks.
Mika Perry: And you’ve been a really good friend to Russ in the time that you guys have gotten to know and work with each other. So I will let Russ kind of start us off here today.
Russ Perry: Right. Yeah. Derek, you’re a combat marine, and you served. So let’s just go there. Mika was sharing before we got started that I think for a lot of people, and I will admit that this was true for me for a while, long time, that the military and Marines or just veterans in general, you’re influenced by either the media, you’re influenced by nothing. You just only really think about it during days off because everyone’s off and you’re frustrated, the banks closed. And this was your life. And I want you to start man, because you told me you’ve been wanting to be a Marine since you were a kid. So share that. You’ve had clarity of vision of where you’re going, and got your wish. And it’s took you on a very interesting journey. So let’s just kind of go back and where that started.
Deric Keller: Just as a young kid, it was kind of crazy because you hear about kids wanting to be … When you look at kids who are like, “Oh, army.” That’s what everybody associates the military with is Army or Air Force, or Navy. But nobody really like, “Oh, Marines.”
Russ Perry: It’s a very specific …
Deric Keller: It was.
Russ Perry: … Vision.
Deric Keller: I was a young kid. And as a matter of fact, my aunt Karen had went to the Marine Corps. And I was like, “Holy crap. That is cool.” I think I must’ve been six or seven years old. And I just decided at that point that that was what I was going to do. I was going to become a marine. I was going to be the best of the best. I was going to go do that. And throughout high school and things that, I had a couple of things that could have derailed me from that, but I ended up …
Russ Perry: Like what specifically?
Deric Keller: What specifically? Okay. I got in a big fight …
Russ Perry: Which I imagine is kind of a good prerequisite for combat.
Deric Keller: Well, you would think. But they don’t like felony charges.
Russ Perry: Okay.
Deric Keller: So a guy was actually picking on a good friend of mine. It was kind of a crazy scenario because the guy who was picking on my buddy had actually stole my buddy’s girlfriend. So I was like, “Hey man, you already took his girlfriend. Leave him alone.” Well, I ended up hitting this guy, and broke his jaw. And he filed felony charges, assault on me. So I was going into court, and I walked into the recruiter, right, before I went to court and he was telling me that I couldn’t go to the Marine Corps if this was on my record. I was like, “Well, wait a minute. What do you mean I can’t go?” And he’s like, “Yeah, no. You can’t have this stuff on your record.” So I was like, “Oh shit.”
Deric Keller: I go into the DA’s office and I was talking with the DA prior to court. And I had told him like, “Hey man, this is where I’m at. I can’t have this on my record. I’m going to leave town, Yada Yada Yada.” And I ended up getting in front of the judge, and the judge was like, “Well, okay. If you’re leaving for the Marine Corps, you get out of here within the next 90 days, I’ll drop all charges.”
Russ Perry: Oh really?
Deric Keller: I was like, “Okay.” So I went to the recruiter and the recruiter was like, “Okay, you’re gone in two weeks.” I was like, “Okay.” And then …
Russ Perry: And how old were you?
Deric Keller: I was 18.
Russ Perry: 18.
Deric Keller: And yeah.
Russ Perry: And you were living where?
Deric Keller: I was in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Russ Perry: Okay. The metropolis of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Deric Keller: Right. The city, the big city.
Russ Perry: So you joined the Marines at 18, which again, I was getting ready to go to Arizona State University. And I mean, dude, your dream has come true. Your childhood vision for yourself is now manifesting. What was that initial experience like?
Deric Keller: Going to boot camp was everything that I thought it was going to be. I showed up. Everything was physical. You’re all about aggression. Everything’s just exactly what I imagined. Drill instructors yelling at you, trying not to laugh when they’re telling really funny jokes. There was a lot too.
Russ Perry: Like cleaning boots with toothbrushes?
Deric Keller: Oh yeah. The funny thing is, they make you strip down your boots with a scrub brush, a real of core scrub brush. You scrub down your boots and take all the color out of them. Then you have to die them. And then you have to polish them. I still don’t understand the method behind it, but we had to do that.
Mika Perry: Just because they knew they could make you do.
Deric Keller: It was like picking weeds.
Russ Perry: Yeah, yeah. You just keep busy.
Deric Keller: Busy work. So in boot camp, I almost got derailed again. I had dislocated my shoulder on an O course.
Russ Perry: Which is what?
Deric Keller: Obstacle course.
Russ Perry: Obstacle course. Okay.
Deric Keller: And …
Russ Perry: YOu’ve got a lot of millennial moms. Millennial and moms that listen to this, so I got to make sure we’re dialed in.
Deric Keller: Right. Obstacle course. Yeah, I’ll try to, I’ll try not to use too many acronyms. So I’m going across the monkey bars, as a matter of fact, an my shoulder dislocates. So I go to medical so they could pop my shoulder back in. And the doctor had given me a chit to take back to my drill instructor. I had no idea what the chit it was, but my drill instructor said, “You’re being dropped from our platoon. You have to go to MRP,” which is medical rehabilitation platoon. So instead of spending three months in boot camp, which is a long time, I had to spend four months in boot camp. I had to go to medical rehabilitation platoon and Rehab my shoulder to get back into boot camp.
Deric Keller: So then I go from boot camp to school of Infantry SOI. And we are on all of our forced hikes. You’ve got all your equipment, and you’re out hiking. We had our final hike, the final week of SOI. And we’re coming down and I felt this pinch in my quad. And I was like, “What the heck is that?” And I dropped the weight off, and it felt okay. I got through the O course. And then I couldn’t walk. And I was like, “Oh my God, not again, I can’t go to MRP again. I can’t be dropped down to training.” And they were like, “Well, you have to go to medical.” So I went to medical. They did an X-ray, and it turned out I had broke my femur. It was fractured, going vertical instead of horizontal. So it was slivered off and poking me in the muscle. And he hands me a chit, and I was like, “No way dude.”
Russ Perry: Because you knew what they meant at this time.
Mika Perry: Not a again.
Deric Keller: I said, “Not going to happen.” And he’s like, “No, you need to give it to him.” So I go back to the sergeants at that time, because they weren’t Drill instructors. And he’s like, “What’s wrong with you?” I was like, “Nothing. I’m good.” And he’s like, “No, are you sure?” I was like, “No, really.” He goes, “You know if you don’t follow what the doctor says, it’s disobeying a direct order from an officer.” And I thought about it for a minute, and I was like, “Nope, I’m good.” So …
Russ Perry: Was he reading between the lines, like, he knew what you were up to?
Deric Keller: Yeah. He knew.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Deric Keller: And …
Russ Perry: Kind of you’re all in on this if you’re going to cross this line.
Deric Keller: Right.
Russ Perry: Right.
Deric Keller: So I tear up the cit, and I finish SOI, and we have a final 13-mile hike at the end.
Russ Perry: I want to actually pause because I do a lot of hiking, I do trail running, and sometimes I have my Lulu lemon bag if it’s a long one. And I’ve put some granola bars …
Mika Perry: Lecroy’s?
Russ Perry: No, no. Lecroy’s are too heavy. Can you just paint the picture of what is with you during this hike?
Deric Keller: It’s a full combat load. So you’re between 100 and 150 pounds.
Russ Perry: 100 and 150 pound. Carrying more than what weight on you.
Mika Perry: Of what?
Deric Keller: So what we have is … So I was a tow gunner when I came out of boot camp and went to SOI. We had a tow missile system. So you’ve got a traversing unit, a Tripod, a missile guidance system a launch tube, all these different pieces that your optical sites, all these different things you had to carry with you. And it was a three-man team. But I mean, the whole missile systems pretty heavy all together. So you got your whole missile system plus whatever …
Mika Perry: Casually [inaudible 00:14:25].
Russ Perry: What about your camel pack with your water?
Deric Keller: Yeah, you had that. You’ve dad some water. You had canteens. You had all of your whatever clothing or they gave you a loadout for your bag, which was all this different stuff that you had to put out and make sure that it was going into your bag. They’d inspect you to make sure you had all your weight in there. So we go to that last hike, and I finished the hike. It was excruciating, by the way.
Russ Perry: With a broken femur.
Deric Keller: Right. Well, and that was the thing that the doctor was telling me. If this thing completely breaks, you’re in deep, deep, deep trouble. You’re gone. You’re done. So we finished the hike, and I get a week of leave to go home and visit my family. Oh, it was 10 days. We had 10 days. So I went home, visited my family for 10 days and then went straight to the fleet. And when I showed up into my first platoon was CAAT platoon, which is a combined anti-armor. It’s …
Russ Perry: More acronyms.
Deric Keller: Right. I show up to that platoon, and we immediately go to [inaudible 00:15:33], which is a desert warfare training over in 29 palms. We immediately go over there and it’s a whole lot of hiking and everything like that. And I was like, “Man, I just don’t know.” We were getting ready to leave for Japan when we got back, and I dislocated my shoulder again.
Russ Perry: So timeout. You were just getting … You’re not even done with training.
Deric Keller: I’m not even a year in. Well, I’m done with training, but I’m out.
Russ Perry: You do more training.
Deric Keller: You’re always training in the Marine Corps. Everything’s training.
Russ Perry: This is the first thing I want to understand, is what’s driving you through all of this time because you’re … I mean, it’s not glamorous. You and I have shared stories offline, joking. We took a flight together on First Class, American Airlines. And you’re like, “How’s the military?” And you’re like, “No.” So I mean there’s clearly something inside of you. I mean, was it patriotism, was it just your word and your commitment? Try to get us back. Was is it stubbornness, and naivety cause you’re so young and you just don’t have another plan?
Deric Keller: I felt it was my purpose. That’s where I belonged. I belonged to be there. That was … I had this vision of dying for my country. That was everything that I wanted to do at that point was just be that. And it seemed everything was trying to stop me from being that. So my platoons getting ready to leave for Japan, we’re all getting ready to deploy, and my shoulder dislocates. So they send me to get surgery. I had to go in for emergency surgery. And I thought I was going to be able to make it back before we deployed. And I go into physical therapy, and they start making me do lat pulldowns right away. When I’m doing lat pulldowns, the anchor that was in my shoulder holding ligaments together, shot out and up into my armpit. So my arm was stuck, raised up. So I had to go back in for emergency surgery on my shoulder.
Deric Keller: I mean it was hectic. So then I get back from that, and the doctor’s like, “No, you can’t deploy.” So I was like, “Oh shit. All these guys that I just went through all this training with and now I can’t deploy them.” So they moved me over to tank battalion. I’m like, “A tank battalion. I’m not a tanker, I’m an anti-tank guy. I blow tanks up. Why did they stick me with tanks?” And then I found out that they had a tow platoon and a scout platoon. I started out with tow platoon and then initially and then moved over to Scout Platoon, which was Forward reconnaissance for the tanks. So it was a …
Mika Perry: Does that mean you go on foot in front of …
Deric Keller: We do some on foot stuff. We do in the Humvees, but we’re all in thin skin Humvees. Not the Humvees that you see today. All these … I get amazed and wish that I was kind of still there because they’ve got all this armor now. We were in regular sheet metal side Humvees. I literally hung out in the turret from my waist up all the way through Iraq from bottom to top.
Russ Perry: Yeah. And I don’t know if we mentioned, but we’re talking the Iraq war here.
Mika Perry: So what year?
Russ Perry: What years were those?
Mika Perry: That was beginning of 2003. We got back in July. We left in January, got back in July.
Russ Perry: So getting finally deployed into combat, I mean we could … There’s … You’ve told me so many insane stories. When was the first moment for you that you’re like, “Oh man, this is real”?
Deric Keller: Dude. We breached the border into Iraq. And we come across and I’m literally having to guide people on through my night sights onto our track because people are getting out of line because its dust and all this. So I’ve got thermal sights on the tow missiles, so I’m on the radio and guiding people on to where we’re at because they crossed the border. And we start going in an RPG hit.
Russ Perry: What’s an RPG?
Deric Keller: Rocket-propelled grenade. So it’s like the ones you see on TV, the cheap version of the bazooka. It hit right in front of our platoon. And I was like, “Oh my God, this is real.” And then you got this whole story that you make up in your mind, right, about how war is going to be like. Oh my God, everything’s going to be coming, and we’re all just going to be in this big firefight, and it’s going to be crazy. And then nothing happened.
Mika Perry: So one …
Deric Keller: Yeah. One RPG. And we’re like, “Oh, what the heck was that?” So then we stay up all night, and we go into this, what we call a screen line. It’s basically a roadblock. We set up this roadblock right before the bridge, and the sun starts coming up. And I remember looking out, and you could see for miles, miles, and miles of Iraqi soldiers with their guns above their heads surrendering. And I was mad. I remember feeling angry inside. I was like, “What the heck is going on? These guys aren’t fighting for their country. What is going on?” I was pissed. And it was just, I was completely lost, completely confused. Didn’t know what the heck was going on.
Russ Perry: So how long were you in the military for active duty?
Deric Keller: Four and a half years.
Russ Perry: Four and a half years.
Deric Keller: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Russ Perry: So this continues. You have deployments orders, combat. And what would you say is … How were you changing as a person throughout all of this? Because it’s indescribable to … People like Mika and I, who have been there but yourself, are you … You’re obviously growing up real fast, you’ve seen a lot of stuff. You’ve …
Deric Keller: Oh right. I mean, just think about all these different people talking about how you shouldn’t be able to buy guns till you’re 21, or all these different things that they come up with. And I was a 20-year-old kid in charge of people and their lives, making split-second decisions all the time. I mean, I don’t want you guys to think that the Iraq war was just people surrendering because that was just the first day. It got a lot more intense as we got north, and it went more into the stuff that you imagine in your mind.
Deric Keller: But we lost some people over there. It was tough. But I mean there are the things that you have to deal with as a 20-year-old kid. You’re dealing with all these things that you’re taught how to deal with in the moment to where you can still react and not let the whatever happens affect your decision making. It’s when you get home that everything starts to come around. And the toughest thing for me when I came home was not being under that pressure, and not being able to make them decisions. Not having my life threatened every day was tough for me. I was like, “Oh my God, I need to go back this.” I have to be there.
Mika Perry: Was that, do you think, conditioned over those four and a half years?
Deric Keller: No. It’s easier. So over there, you don’t have everybody asking you questions. You don’t have time to think about the things that happened over there. The decisions that you made, the people that passed, the firefights that you were in. I mean, it was really easy to not think about it when you were there. But then when you come home and you’ve got dead time, and then everybody’s asking you about it, and there’s newspaper articles, and people are talking about these newspaper articles, and it’s tough. And then before I went to war, I had handed my dad and my will. And made the decision I wasn’t coming home. I had this thought that that was it. I’m doing what I was meant to do.
Deric Keller: I’m going to war. I’m going to die. Here’s my will. I Love You, dad. See you later. And I got to Iraq and I didn’t write anybody, really. I’d write a letter here and there. But for the most part, I had disconnected from everybody. I didn’t want to be connected to anybody because I thought it would make it easier for them. And so, when I came home, it was all on uncharted territory. I didn’t know where I was going to go. I didn’t know what I was going to do, how I was going to do it. I was very confused. I was lost. I felt I hadn’t fulfilled my purpose.
Mika Perry: So where did you land physically, and emotionally, and mentally when you got home? It had been four and a half years, you were done in your home. Did you go back to Wyoming?
Deric Keller: First, My grandpa talked me into going to Mesquite, Nevada. And he was like, “Oh, come down here, we’ll get ya on security and you can start trying to become a cop.”
Russ Perry: I’m laughing because I remember a fantastic story that Derek told me.
Deric Keller: Oh, when I was in security with all the …
Russ Perry: Yeah. Can we go there for a second here?
Deric Keller: Sure.
Russ Perry: In your first job post-military?
Deric Keller: My first job post-military. So I’m straight back from Iraq. I’m used to tackling Iraqis and cutting them up.
Russ Perry: Let’s get clear. You’ve killed people before close combat?
Deric Keller: Right.
Russ Perry: So I mean, this is not just behind sites and with missiles. You’ve been in the thick of it?
Deric Keller: Right.
Russ Perry: So you getting out of that, and get to Mesquite, Nevada.
Deric Keller: Yeah, I get to Mesquite, Nevada. And I roll into this casino, and there’s literally these guys are retirees. They are anywhere from 70 to however old. They can barely walk, let alone patrol anything.
Russ Perry: Are you’re talking about the security force or the clients or both?
Deric Keller: Both.
Russ Perry: Yeah.
Deric Keller: But there’s, of course, the younger crowd, there’s a reservation down there, there’s a lot down there that that brings in some of the younger crowd. And I’m standing there at the security station and across the pit where all your card games are, there’s what they call the long bar, and there’s a guy standing over there and they’re one of the security guys was complaining. He’s like, “Oh man, this guy. He’s always in here. And he never he’s been 86. He’s not supposed to be here.” So I look over at him and I’m in a security uniform. I mean, I’m security. But I’m in a different security. I’m wearing … I got my everything pressed, everything’s … I’m different. I mean, I even wore shirt stays to keep my shirt down. And it was intense.
Russ Perry: The nicest looking …
Mika Perry: The most serious …
Deric Keller: Well, I was the typical, almost that guy that never made the police force that he really wanted to. That’s how I looked. And I look across, and this guy is … He locks eyes with me. And you could see the oh shit in his eyes. There’s somebody young here. And he turns and takes off running down the long bar. Now, the pits in between us. And then there’s a row of slot machines, and then on the other side of the slot machines, there’s this little area where they do little concerts and hang out and drink and do whatever. I don’t know. So I take off running after him, I step on the stool, I jumped on top of the slot machines and I tackle this guy into this concert, sliding across the dance floor, and I’m cuffing up.
Mika Perry: It’s like in the movie.
Deric Keller: Oh, it was. It was.
Russ Perry: Like Ocean’s Twelve.
Deric Keller: And so I cuff him up, and I’m like … The old guys, when they finally make it over there, oh my God, what was that?
Mika Perry: And who are you?
Deric Keller: They’re like, “Who’s going to write this report?” I was like, I’ll write the report. What’s the report?” And they’re like, “Well, you got to write everything up for the cops.” I was like, “Oh, no problem.” Five paragraph order. I just put it together. And I remember when the cops come in and I handed him the paperwork and stuff, they’re like, “Wow, dude. This is the most impressive paperwork I’ve ever seen come out of here.”
Mika Perry: Military?
Deric Keller: I’m military, right? But in the time where I’m doing the security job, making nine bucks an hour, by the way. So it was really equivalent to my military thing. I’m trying out for Metro in Vegas. And I’m going through all the security clearance and going through their police academy, and doing all that stuff. And they come and drop me right before the end and tell me, “Hey, you’re a risk with having PTSD.” Because the Marine Corps evaluation had come back and labeled me as PTSD.
Mika Perry: So tell us about that. How does that come about?
Russ Perry: Right I want to add. I think that’s a term you hear, but very casually sort of ADHD. Like it’s just, “Oh they have it.”
Deric Keller: Post-traumatic stress. So something that that really irritates me that I didn’t even realize irritated me, was the new question for this generation of the guys that are coming out of the military is, “Oh, you served? Oh you must have PTSD.” Instead of, “Oh, you shot somebody,” or, “Oh, have you killed anybody?” That’s not the question anymore. “Oh, do you have PTSD?” Is the new question. So it’s like well. And the problem with PTSD with military guys, it’s labeled as were broken. You can’t be fixed. You’re screwed up. You’re going to be that guy hiding under tables, and not being able to function in society.
Mika Perry: So that’s become a stigma?
Deric Keller: Oh yeah. So my first … instead of going and getting treatments and things that, and trying to do anything with it, I just, I denied it. I was in denial. I was, like, “Well I don’t have that. I’m fine. I’ve got this.” So I did nothing to deal with anything that I had to deal with besides drink. I would drink nonstop. I remember at this point in time, I would literally wake up in the morning and take a drink to function throughout the day. It was tough. And that’s when I could still kind of sleep. Then I got to the point where I was only sleeping three to three and a half hours a night. And that lasted for about 14 years.
Russ Perry: So it sounds look, it’s just this crazy cycle of a tense situations from a young age thinking 18, 19, 20, 21, 20 22, then kind of put back out like, “Hey, you’ve been in this high pressure, do or die, live or die situation. Quite literally.” Not just for your own life every day, but people around you. So even if you’re not in direct harm’s way somebody, you hear a story that someone you trained with, there’s all of this connection to trauma. You come out, “Hey. where do we go?” And you come out with a stigma, and not to say PTSD is just a stigma. There are some legitimate, it is a legitimate spectrum of something. But there’s another part of this where it’s like you as a man and as a husband and in the relationship, because we fast forward today, you’re married, you have seven kids right? You’re open.
Russ Perry: I’ve seen you cry, seeing you laugh, you have almost the complete exact opposite personality of the stressed drinking trauma affected person. Granted, it’s been a long journey since there. But where was the point for you as far as … You’ve gone through kind of phases of wanting to hide, wanting to suppress, and then finally feeling like, “You know what? This isn’t the life I want to live anymore.” And how did you get to that point?
Deric Keller: So a couple different incidents happen where … I guess, let me go back to all the way through that 14 years since I had separated. I was angry. That was the only emotion that I knew how to fill was anger. I was just frustrated and angry with everybody. I didn’t.
Mika Perry: Why’s that?
Deric Keller: I don’t know. I could not figure it out. Everything was anger. Your child being born is supposed to be a happy moment. I was angry. My daughter going and playing in the park, I’d get angry. Whenever I’d get sad, if somebody died or anything like that, I was angry. That was the only emotion that I felt. Now I guess I do know why. The reason why I was feeling that way is because, in the Marine Corps, you’re not supposed to react off of emotions. So you’re constantly being aggressive, right. You’re going aggressive. You’re being aggressive. You’re going in this certain way. So that’s really the only emotion that’s okay.
Russ Perry: It’s a proactive emotion to get to your next objective.
Mika Perry: So you don’t feel anything else?
Deric Keller: No. You’re suppressing all these other emotions. And when I got out, I continued to do that. There’s no transition from when you get out on teaching you how to readapt and you start to deal with some of the stuff that you had dealt with. So the only way you know that how to deal with anything is anger. So I was just angry all the time. All the time. I remember faking laughing. We’d be sitting there hanging out with people, and everybody’d start laughing because I’d be like, uh-ha-ha. I didn’t feel happiness. I didn’t feel any of that. I was just angry, and then I’d get even more angry when I wasn’t feeling the emotions that everybody else was, and I didn’t understand. So there was an incident where my daughter had woke me up in the middle of the night, and I came flying out of bed and slammed her up against the wall. Not knowing who she was. I didn’t do it out of anger at that point. But at that point I was like, “Okay, I needed to get some help.”
Mika Perry: It was a reaction?
Deric Keller: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mika Perry: Yeah, before you realized …
Deric Keller: Because if my kids can’t come wake me up for protection, and I’m actually the one that’s hurting them when they’re looking for protection from me, a nightmare to a true nightmare. I was like, “Okay, I need to get some help.” So I started checking in with the VA, and started getting into some of their training. That’s veteran’s affairs.
Russ Perry: They’re in the news quite a bit. I think a lot of people miss,
Mika Perry: Yeah. Right there when that happened, what was your family’s reaction? It sounds they were supportive? What did that look like?
Deric Keller: I was so disconnected, nobody really wanted to be around me. There was a lot of disconnection. So no, they weren’t supportive because they didn’t know how to be, and I wasn’t letting them know how to be. And I started to go through these courses in the VA, and I remember the first people that they stuck me in front of, I was like, “Man, I don’t want to talk to you. You guys don’t even have any idea what I went through, where my head’s at. What are you going to do for me?” Was the mentality that I went into it with. So of course, even if they did do something that would have helped. I wasn’t buying into it. So a little bit longer it goes by, and I get stuck with this one lady who I decided, “Well, okay, I’ve got to sit here and figure this out.” And she told me that I wasn’t allowed to feel anger, that I had to fill all these other emotions. I can feel anything but anger. I can feel sad, I can feel this, I can feel that. And I remember just getting so frustrated with her and …
Russ Perry: Angry?
Deric Keller: Yeah. I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me? I’m angry. That’s what I feel. You’re supposed to help me not feel angry, not just tell me I can’t feel it.” And I was so frustrated. And I guess, in some way, shape, or form, I had intimidated her in that meeting. I don’t really know what had happened. I mean, just my aggressive tone, my posturing, I don’t know. But after that, they moved me to a virtual experience, where I had to see a doctor on telehealth, is what they called it. So I’m in front of a Webcam, he’s up on a screen, like a zoom meeting or go to Webinar or …
Russ Perry: FaceTime?
Deric Keller: Yeah, I guess we got FaceTime and all that. So I go and start doing that, and they put me in this deep dive course where they want you to relive your experiences over and over and over again. Now their theory behind it is, you get numb to the experience. Well, I’m pretty good at being numb. I had no problem being numb. So that just intensified everything. And I was completely just lost. And I started to get these nightmares of my dad coming to me in my dreams telling me, “It’s okay. You can let go. You can go ahead and end it,” which was a big deal for me because my dad … All my life, I had buddies that had committed suicide when I was a kid and things that. And my dad’s like, “Oh, that’s the weak way out. You never do that.”
Deric Keller: So my dad coming to me in my dreams was like, “Whoa. What’s going on?” And I’d come home from work one day, and done my normal … I brought home the money. I’m going to set up on the recliner, kicked my feet back and drink my glass of whiskey, and call it good watch TV. So I didn’t just have one sedation, I had many, all in one. And my wife had told my son that he needed to eat dinner, and he turned around with that, that he didn’t it. And growing up as a kid, my dad was always like, “Well, if you don’t dinner, you go to bed without dinner. You don’t tell your mom that you don’t what she cooked to this, that and the other thing.” And something triggered in me and I jumped up. My son was three or four at the time.
Deric Keller: I jumped up, I grabbed him by the back of his shirt, and ripped him out of his chair, threw him on the ground, grabbed his bowl of food and started stuffing it in his mouth. He’s crying, screaming for his mom, his mom’s crying because she can’t help him. She’s frozen in the corner staring at me. I’m having this out of body experience, looking at myself, stuffing the food and looking around the room and seeing all my kids up against the walls. My wife panicking. It was a crazy experience. And that moment was like, “Okay, I’m broke. I can’t be fixed. Hey, I am broke.” So I had made the decision that I was going to make it through Christmas, and then I was going to commit suicide because I didn’t want them to associate Christmas with my death. I didn’t want them to have that.
Deric Keller: And so I got through the holidays, and a buddy of mine had showed me a video of Garrett White. And I was like, “I don’t associate with this guy. I’m a marine.”
Russ Perry: Right. And so for those, listeners that don’t know, Garrett White is a founder of Warrior program that me and Derek is, how we met and we’re certified trainers in that. And if you’ve never seen his videos, it’s very much not Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Deric Keller: Right. Yeah.
Russ Perry: Las Vegas fast cars.
Deric Keller: He’s talking about fast car … We’re driving race cars, snorting coke buying hookers. I’m like, “Huh, what? What are you talking about? Why would you even bring this to me?” And he’s like, “No man, you got to really Watch it.” For some reason, something spoke to me, and I started watching other videos. I started googling him and watching other youtube videos. And this one that came across was about anger, and how it was okay to be angry. And I was like, “Whoa. Wait a minute. Everybody’s telling me I’m not okay to be angry. And he’s saying it’s okay to be angry, what’s this all about?” So I’m diving and diving in and diving in. The funny thing is is that videos nowhere to be found. I can’t find that video anywhere. And I’ve asked Gareth about it and he’s like, “Dude, that video was never supposed to be published.”
Mika Perry: No Way.
Deric Keller: Yeah. So it’s crazy experience, right? So I immediately get on the phone and text Sam, he sends me back the text to be ready for my interview at this certain time. And I immediately start to panic like, “Oh my gosh, what if I don’t get accepted? I’m not these other people. What if I don’t get accepted?” So I go through the lead up to Warrior week. And the way that they depict Warrior Week is go punch people in the mouth, do all this stuff. And I’m like, “Okay, I got this. This is no big deal.”
Russ Perry: Log PT.
Deric Keller: Right.
Russ Perry: YOu’re all set.
Deric Keller: I’ve done all this. So I’m training physically and ignoring everything else in the lead-up. I’m doing it, but I’m not doing it. And we show up to Day one of Warrior Week, and a whole bunch of stuff goes on there. But I was standing. I remember I was standing there and Sam had called for a leader. And I was like, “Me, of course,” I stand. As I jump out front, he’s like, “No. You can’t lead.” I was like, “Wait a minute. What do you mean I can’t lead? Of course, I can lead. This is me you’re talking about. This is my area. You have no idea what you’re doing. You haven’t been through any of this. I did this for real. You guys are doing it as a Weekend Warrior.”
Deric Keller: So they pull me out, and put somebody else up front and make them leave. Well, he had no idea what he was doing and not listening. So I’m relaying him instructions because he’s got everybody in a panic. So I’m telling him like, “Dude, they’ve got time hacks. Just relax. They can only do this for so long.”
Mika Perry: What was the activity for lack of other …
Deric Keller: Well, at this time we’re in our underwear diving in and out of a trashcan.
Russ Perry: We don’t want to spoil too much of Warrior Week for our pretty husbands out there who might be considering this transformational experience.
Deric Keller: But I’m telling the guys, “Things are going to hurt, things are going to suck, but it’s only going to last so long. Don’t worry about it.” So I have this calming presence to everybody, so everybody starts to calm down a little bit. And Sam comes over and yanks me out. And he’s like, “Man, you’ve come with my stuff.” And pulls me over and tells me to stare at the mountain and scream at the mountain. And I’m like, “What?” So he’s trying to put me in chaos, not make me … So I’m screaming at the mountain, right? Screaming, screaming. I was like, “What do you want me to screen?” He’s like, “Just scream.” Screaming, screaming, and on. This is where I got sideswiped with the emotional crap. I was screaming at the mountain and he comes up behind me and whispers in my ear that I’m not broken. And all of a sudden, tears are rolling down my face. I’m still screaming. I don’t really know why. I don’t know what’s happening. I hadn’t cried in I don’t even know how long. It wasn’t the manly thing to do. And that was a big shift for me. And then he explained to me, he come around to me and face me, and he’s like, “I was from Iran. These are the things that I seen growing up. You’re not broken. Stop thinking that you’re broken. Stop saying that you’re broken.”
Deric Keller: And inside of that experience, he did some other things and asked me why I thought I was broken and all the things that I had told him that I was broken with. He turned into powerful things and just shifted my perspective on some of the things. And it just completely blew me away. So now I’m not even paying attention to the physical. I’m all jacked up in this emotional stuff. I literally cried for three days. I sent my dad a voice message or a video message of me balling. And telling him what my experience had been, and where I was at and holy shit. I remember after I hit send, I went into this straight panic, like, “Oh my God. I can’t believe I just sent that to my dad.”
Deric Keller: And then we had to put our phones away. You can’t look at your phone because that was at midnight or one o’clock after day one or whatever. And I was busy and all the other stuff and not checking my phone, not checking my phone. And I come back to my phone on graduation day, and I’m looking at my phone and my dad has sent me messages like, “Are you okay? What’s going on? What are they doing to you? What happened?” And he just keeps going. “I’m worried about you. Answer the phone.” Giving me all this because he didn’t listen to the message at all. He just see me crying. And during this four day period. He finally goes back on the last day and listens to the message, and then he sends me this long text of explanations for everything, where he was at, and why he wasn’t there, and different things like that.
Russ Perry: In terms of your upbringing and your relationship?
Deric Keller: In terms of my upbringing, in terms of me coming back from Iraq, in terms of just being a father in general. He didn’t understand it. He was brought up the same way that he brought me up. In his message, he told me he did the best he could with the tools that he had. He didn’t know any of these tools.
Russ Perry: Well, I have a questions, just in terms of your process because we … Again, you and I share a common experience of several Warrior Weeks that we’ve gone through and trained on. And listeners who may or may not know that, that experiences is a massive pattern interrupt for anybody. And it’s designed, and the results that you’ve had have been the results of hundreds and hundreds of men who never ever cried and gone through it. But I don’t know if everyone has the luxury of it either from a financial standpoint or a time or … Right now, that program specifically only works with men. So there could be women who have this disconnected state to them, emotionless state to them. What do know that is reflecting on your process and advice or something you could tell to somebody who … What would you tell your other self prior to going through this on how to get help or how to get unstuck from there?
Deric Keller: Well, the big thing is that pattern interrupt. I’ve coached many of veterans now through … By had another business, The Wolf Project, and right now, Battlefield Boardroom that I take a lot of veterans through the same experiences that I went through. And some of the first things that … I guess I get a lot faster results with them because I know what they’re doing and what their response is because I did the same thing. So when they start going down the same road as I did, I can cut them off at the pass and get them a little bit deeper right away. But the first thing is, just Sam told me, you’re not broken. There’s ways out there to find power inside of what you’re doing. And forcing that connection and forcing the connection with people and forcing yourself to step outside of the walls that you’ve put up around yourself is imperative.
Russ Perry: Right. Now, for maybe a wife or a spouse that is on the other side of the situation that your wife was in, what advice would you give to them? Because I know there’s two sides of this story. There’s your side. But then there’s a side of having to raise a family, try to power through all of this, which is just amazing, and I know was so challenging. So what advice would you give to her if she’s experiencing this on the same side that your wife was?
Deric Keller: Don’t let them win.
Russ Perry: What do you mean by that?
Deric Keller: One of the big things that my wife did for me inside of this was that, that she didn’t even really mean to do, was not letting me win. For instance, our daily messages, right? Sending daily messages to my wife, she didn’t answer for six months.
Mika Perry: And this is something that you’re not made, but it’s part of Warrior, that’s part of habit you adapted?
Deric Keller: Your daily deposits, right? She didn’t respond to me for six months. Had she responded to me right away, I would have regressed very quickly because I would’ve got immediate gratification of “Oh, I won. Now I don’t have to do the work.” But by having to do that for six months and live through kind of the pain that she was going through on the other side before everything where I wasn’t giving anything to her, it gave me a whole new appreciation for her and what she had went through. So let them know that you’re there, but don’t give into and give them the immediate gratification that they’re all better, like everything’s okay.
Russ Perry: Well, I remember post affair, for you and I Mika, who’s two years of work. I mean, this was before I had a framework Warrior too, pre-warrior where I wasn’t sure if I was winning or not. There was up emotional ups and downs. So what was that mindset for you?
Mika Perry: Yeah, I’ve never thought of it in the way that you just put it as don’t let him win. It’s not that you’re being a shark wife, and you’re like, “Look at him. He’s trying to resolve things, and why aren’t you letting it go?” I think …
Deric Keller: Oh absolutely. My wife challenges me daily.
Mika Perry: It’s actually beneficial.
Deric Keller: Even to this day, she still challenges. Yesterday, for instance, I had got back from the gym and I’d went through this class, and I was like, “Hey, you should come with me.” And she’s like, “Oh, well I don’t want to go.” And then goes upstairs and gets in the shower and comes back down, and I’m just getting done with my stack, which is another tool that we have. And she’s like, “So, what’d you stack about?” I was like, “Here we go.” I was like, “Well, I stacked you.” She goes, “I know.” And I was like, “Okay, where are we going with this?” It was an amazing experience because it was a collision, but it was a collision that I was prepared for because of the stack. And I was able to talk through everything with her. She felt … Because in our past, she has this stigma of the reason why I wanted to go to the gym alone is because I wanted to be with other women because I had also had an affair.
Deric Keller: And by she kept telling me that she wanted to work out with me back then. And through all that I kept telling her, “Oh, I don’t know how to work out with women. What am I supposed to do with you?” That was my thought process. And she brought up an experience where I had went to the gym, and joined a class at the gym back home. And I had another woman that I had worked with, set me up with a bike because I was going to do a spin class. And then we went to a yoga class, and I had her set me up yoga stuff cause I had never been to any class that, and I didn’t really know anything about it and I felt uncomfortable like when you get in any class. So like yesterday for the first time, I was I exposed my emotions and my insecurities of walking into these classes. When I walked into that class yesterday, I had the same insecurities of like, “Oh my God, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t …
Mika Perry: You have the tools.
Deric Keller: I feel stupid. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel out of place. And letting her know that I was insecure, she sent me a message yesterday saying, “Thank you for telling me you’re human.” Because the way that I operate is in fear. I kind of go through the fear. And she doesn’t understand that mentality. So it was a big experience for her to realize that I do go through them emotions and I do want her to work out with me. I’m not embarrassed by her. I want her to be with me. I want her to … So we had a big long conversation, but it was great that she challenged me and put me in a spot where, “Okay, yeah, let’s go through this. Let’s go through the true emotions and let’s be honest about the fact that yes, I did just stack you.”
Russ Perry: Which is like Tino. I’m bring it around full circle from the beginning of the story. It’s incredible dude. And it’s like you had no emotions years ago, and now here you are sharing that you get nervous going to a yoga class.
Deric Keller: Right?
Russ Perry: And having a heart to heart with your wife about your insecurities being in tight pants. But I think, Derek, you and I, we talk to a lot of husbands, not so much as many wives. Mika, you talked to a lot of wives. I think though for all of the conversations that we have at the forefront of these tough conversations is, they’re so common where couples are unwilling to have the necessary conflict of challenging conversations, to get to the end results of what they want.
Mika Perry: Or even just the next step.
Russ Perry: Yeah. Well, right. Just to push it forward.
Deric Keller: Or just having in mind what they actually want, and not just arguing to argue.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Russ Perry: Yeah because it can happen. Yeah for sure. It’s impossible to get what you want if you’re not even clear on what you’re doing. Actually, there’s a couple famous arguments between Mika and I where I’ve started the conversation I had at 11:00 P.M. with the zero clarity of why are even arguing with her. And then it just goes for an hour and she’s like, “Stop talking.”
Mika Perry: I say, “Just stop talking.”
Russ Perry: You don’t even know why …
Mika Perry: … This is not going to work.
Russ Perry: We don’t even know why we’re arguing.
Deric Keller: That sounds like my wife. She’ll let something stew up all day, and then I’ll be going to bed, and I’ll have an early morning plan in the next day because that’s what we do. We wake up at 5:00 or 4:30. And at 11 o’clock she’ll shake me, “Hey, we need to talk about this.” And I’m like, “Yeah, now’s not the time.”
Mika Perry: Yeah. And what had happened with your kids as you’re working through your trauma, and recovering through that? What did your wife and maybe even your kids, did they have to address and work through any sort of trauma themselves? And the reason I ask this is because I’m just becoming more aware of the different ways that trauma can look for people. For example, Russ and I just recently shared again our story of the affair. And I had never heard of something called betrayal trauma until this happened. And I got messages of women saying, “Yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me. I knew that that’s what happened to me or someone had told me or I had no idea.” Or I’m working, this just happened to me. What are you guys talking about? And so, is there any work that your wife did as you journeyed on your path?
Deric Keller: She personally has on went got any kind of different help. We’ve tried to get her in to something to process some of the stuff, but yeah, there was definitely some trauma from the stuff that I had with cheating, with just being angry all the time and being disconnected for so long with trusting me to not explode in the way that I would.
Mika Perry: Did that take a while?
Deric Keller: For the trust?
Mika Perry: Yes.
Deric Keller: Yeah. The explosions almost stopped immediately. I very rarely have a big blow up anymore. But the crazy thing is, is when I do, I realized that I’m feeling disconnected, and I’m pushing myself away and I’m back in this scenario where I’m not all miss date nights or something that, and then all of a sudden I’m feeling disconnected, and the world’s out to get me, and everything sucks.
Mika Perry: But you’re recognizing that you’re falling into old patterns?
Deric Keller: Right. My kids were very resilient, actually. I mean, there was some trauma in the beginning to where they were like, “Yeah, right. Whatever. What’s dad doing? He’s doing some crazy weird shit.” And then just getting deeper and connecting with them. My daughter who’s 20 now, she had changed her name to my last name. She’s my stepdaughter. But when she turned 18, she changed her name to my last name, which was a big honor to me, showing the transition that I had made in the and the effort that I had put forth.
Russ Perry: What do you think they were also resi- I mean, I don’t mean this in a joking way, but men are often the main problem. So it’s just like, fixing you fixed a lot of it, but what has kept you? But what has kept you out of it with your relationships with your kids and your wife in terms of their healing process or just keeping you guys moving forward?
Deric Keller: I think addressing the issues and not being afraid of it, like, “Hey, this is … Yeah, that happened.” And talking about them, talking about the issues and then continuing to connect and continuing to help them in their journey and give them insights and things that. My daily deposits with my kids or a lot of my insights and revelations outside of the stack. So I’ll take my revelations and I’ll share them with them as a lesson, and give them some knowledge and some different things with the older ones. And then the younger ones, it’s just connecting.
Mika Perry: You have seven. So do you bunch your daily deposits together?
Deric Keller: Nope.
Mika Perry: No. Seven everyday.
Deric Keller: Seven individuals.
Russ Perry: Deric is lives the highest form of integrity inside of his personal development game of Warrior.
Deric Keller: Sometimes. I mean, there’s weekends that I’ll take a weekend off of sending everybody an individual message. But for the most part, at least five days a week, I send a daily deposit, individually to every person, including my wife. So eight daily deposits.
Mika Perry: And that’s in the form of a text.
Deric Keller: Yeah. So I send my wife a video message. My wife gets video messages. My kids get voice messages. And my younger two get, after Russ showed me the Emoji guy, that you can make your own guy. One of my daughters, which I mean, this is going to seem kind of weird for any military guys listening, but I’m good with it. My daughter is really into Unicorns. You’ve seen the Unicorn guy?
Russ Perry: That emojis. Yeah. On the iPhone X. Yeah.
Deric Keller: She had this Unicorn cereal, and she’s looking up her name on there. She’s like, “Dad, what month were you born? Because it’s the first letter of your name.” And so my name’s Rainbow Spirit Dancer. So the Little Unicorn on there, I sent her messages say, “This is Rainbow Spirit Dancer. Just want to make sure that you’re having a fantastic day. I love you so much.”
Mika Perry: How old is she?
Deric Keller: She’s 12.
Mika Perry: That’s too cute.
Russ Perry: I think I should take advantage of that.
Deric Keller: Yeah. And then my son I sent him the little dragon or the lizard or the dinosaur, and just talk in a deeper voice, and try to just have fun with it because I mean, we’ve talked about multiple times, I mean, love plus fun, connection, doing fun things and then also recognizing the things that they’re interested in. I think that was a big deal for my daughter because the first one I sent her and I guess many of them afterwards, my wife gets really annoyed because my daughter will be down in the living room playing it over, and over, and over again. And I think it’s because I paid attention.
Deric Keller: I was aware of something that she was interested in, and I showed equal interest in it, or put myself in a situation where it could be embarrassing and work through that. This is the same daughter that I did the thrift shop photo shoot [crosstalk 01:04:00]. Yeah, we’re out on date nights, and we got this … We have eight bucks that you can spend, and you go into the thrift shop and you pick out outfits for each other.
Mika Perry: Oh, Reece would love that.
Russ Perry: Yeah, yeah.
Mika Perry: That’s a really great idea.
Deric Keller: Yeah, it was fun. So we were going out, and I was like, “All right, where are we going to pull over and take a picture?” And she’s hidden. So we did the first couple of kind of incognito, and then I like, “All right. Here’s the deal. You got to stop giving a shit what people think. we’re out having fun. I don’t care what anybody thinks.” So by the end of it, just to give you guys are how much she had process through there. She decided that we were going to go in the middle of a pet store and take pictures with the animals with our stuff on. So we worked through a lot there, so she had a lesson inside of it and grew inside of it. And also got just some connection.
Mika Perry: Have fun.
Russ Perry: Some fune.
Mika Perry: Yeah.
Deric Keller: Got a dressed dad. I had some baby pink sunglass goggles.
Russ Perry: Man.
Mika Perry: It’s probably good color for you.
Russ Perry: From Iraq to the pet store.
Deric Keller: Right. Yeah. I’ll show you some pictures, so maybe I’ll send them to you. You can …
Russ Perry: I’ll put them on the blog, show notes.
Mika Perry: That will be the one that promotes this episode.
Russ Perry: Right.
Mika Perry: Perfect.
Russ Perry: So Derek, dude, I want to just thank you man for coming in and just sharing stories with us. I want to Echo Mika’s sentiment, and kind of close the loop that I think a lot of people, including us, we talked to folks or our grandparents were in the military or whatever, but there is a huge community out there, military combat, non-combat actually have brothers who are active right now in the Navy, Marines, and Army. But your story to me I hope inspires people, especially that are going through some conflict in their relationships or have had conflicts with either disconnection, anger, trauma. What would just define all advice or thing you would say to someone who is really resonating with your story today, might be in the situation directly or indirectly.
Deric Keller: Tell somebody. Don’t hide it because the longer you hide it, the worse it gets. The problem is, when you get to the point where you feel you can’t get it fixed, then you end up in the same spot that I was as far as suicide. And most of the guys in that situation don’t have the peace of mind to even think about the holiday. So thank God that I had thought about the holiday, and I didn’t want them to associate Christmas with that because I mean, 22 veterans a day kill themselves.
Russ Perry: Wow. Is there a hotline or anything that of or just …
Deric Keller: Yeah, there’s all kinds of crisis hotlines out there. I mean, shoot man, I don’t care. I’ll put my phone number. You guys can put my phone number on there. Any veteran can call me in the middle of the night. I don’t care. I’m all in to make sure that we get that number down.
Mika Perry: Thank you, Deric.
Russ Perry: Cool dude. So where can people find you? What’s your social media? What’s the best way for people to follow what you’re doing?
Deric Keller: Battlefield Board room on Facebook. Battlefield Boardroom on Instagram. You can just go to derickeller.com. You can find me there.
Russ Perry: Thanks so much, man. Good to hear it.
Deric Keller: Oh, thank you.
Russ Perry: There was even some new stories that I didn’t know in all of that.
Deric Keller: See, it’s like an onion.
Mika Perry: When I first met you, you’re the nicest guys. Smiley and so kind looking and not that you should judge someone by their look. But I mentioned that just because part of doing this is sharing that you never know what someone has as their story and their experience. So to put down that judgment or thinking that you are alone in that. Because even though you may not have a military experience that you can relate to here with Deric, you can feel that either anger, or lack of emotion, or trauma, or disconnect, or suicidal thoughts, or loss of hope. So many things that we all do have in common that we are here to say that you can get help.
Deric Keller: Oh absolutely.
Mika Perry: 100%. As hard as it is to say to tell someone it’s very hard. But we have all experienced the positivity and overcoming that fear of telling someone, and getting that help. So I hope we can reiterate that here. So thank you, Deric.
Deric Keller: Thank you.
Russ Perry: So thank you, everyone, for tuning in. You can catch these past episodes and a few interviews now over on our website. Goodtobehomepodcast.com.
Mika Perry: And you can find us on iTunes anywhere you’re listening. We love if this episode resonated with you or helped you for you to share with others, maybe someone you know that could really benefit from hearing Deric’s Story and what we’ve shared today. And also if you feel inclined, leave us a review and let us know what you thought of this. So really appreciate you being here. Thanks, guys.
Russ Perry: All right, thanks. Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.
Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.
Russ Perry: See you next time.