Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, Author, Public Speaker, and Founder of two non- profits benefiting Veterans and First Responders is originally from Detroit, Michigan. Ryan enlisted in the Navy after watching the Twin Towers fall on 9/11. Parrott served eight years as a U.S. Navy SEAL attached to Team SEVEN, completing three combat tours to Iraq before being assigned to Advanced Training Command as an Instructor. 

In 2005, while serving in Iraq, Ryan was riding atop a Humvee manning the gun turret in enemy territory, when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), causing a flash fire and throwing him from the Humvee. Ryan regained composure with his face and hands burned and witnessed his fellow team members suffer devastating burn and blast injuries. While Ryan’s burns were only first and second degree, his teammates suffered lifelong injuries. 

In 2012, Ryan established Sons of the Flag to help burn survivors and their families find the support and medical attention that they deserve. 

Ryan shares his personal story of transitioning from military life back into everyday civilian life as a retired veteran, and the difficulties he (and many other veterans) face when navigating the complicated and difficult journey back into everyday life again. I so appreciate his vulnerability in sharing his struggles with alcohol after he came back from Iraq and walking us through how complicated it is to go from a life “on mission” into one where you are responsible for every decision you make. He does a wonderful job helping break down why it is so hard for veterans and their families to navigate the transition from military to civilian life and shares what he believes to be critical parts of making that transition successful. One of the reasons I really wanted to have this conversation is because I think there is so much more we can do to support veterans through this transition.  Ryan really helps break down what it looks like to help one veteran at a time, and the role we play in making life easier during their transition back to civilian life and beyond! 

He is also the founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, who’s mission is addressing the extreme needs of Veterans and First Responders through extreme sports. In his book, Sons of the Flag: Real Accounts from the last 100 years of American Service “Ryan brings together the veterans of American wars from WWII to the present and the veteran firefighters of 9/11 who served during the greatest attack on American soil. Each contributor tells precisely why they do what they do – putting country and brotherhood before their own safety.” His dedication to helping civilians understand and appreciate the dedication and self discipline of the men and women who selflessly serve our country is something I deeply respect and appreciate about him and I know you will experience listening to this weeks show. 

My prayer is wherever you are, this conversation serves to remind you of the role you play in supporting a veteran in your life. If you are a veteran listening, I just want to say THANK YOU and tell you that your story, and the stories of your teammates are not lost or forgotten. 




Give yourself the gift of time and peace of mind!

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