This article mentions suicide. If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at no charge and in confidence 1-800-273-8255, or write to HOPELINE 741741.
APPLETON, Wisconsin – Years ago when Ryan Lonergan was in the military, one of his team leaders nicknamed him “Talkabout”.
Because Ryan Lonergan was always talking – about something.
As it turned out, this team leader was on to something. Today Ryan Lonergan talks about many things in his Fragout podcast, which started at his mother’s kitchen table and has now reached people in all 50 states and 40 countries around the world.
Well, you can talk about that.
It is a broadcast that focuses on military veterans and aims to educate, educate, and help those who have served and are returning to majority society.
Lonergan covers a plethora of topics with guests ranging from a former soldier who attended D-Day, a former Navy Seal, County Veterans Service Officers, politicians, to a mortgage company helping veterans find the difficult home loan Veterans Administration process to deal with.
He is a veteran himself who served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard for six years and served a mission in Iraq. There he worked in an Iraqi prison and searched new inmates, including the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS and jihadists. Therefore, he partially understands the challenges and wanted to help those who tried to re-enter majority society.
And while he knows there is a 30,000-foot view – yes, many veterans struggle in that area – he is focused on the micro part of his mission, which is helping on the ground and helping one veteran at a time.
“I thought I was going to put myself out there,” said Lonergan. “I’ll talk about my suicide attempts. I’m going to talk about my depression. I will talk about my problems I had with the switch. “
“I don’t care what people in the military did or didn’t do. All I care about is how they use their military experience to improve and enhance the quality of life of their friends, family, community, and themselves. That’s all I’m interested in. “
It takes about 30 seconds for Lundergan’s passion to help veterans to become all-encompassing. The podcast is just part of his business, Wisconsin Veteran LLC. Having worked in the veterans community in a variety of capacities for 14 1/2 years, he uses his knowledge and connections to advise local businesses looking to get involved in the veterans community.
“They don’t know where to go. They don’t know where to find information, “said Lonergan,” so companies hired me to say, ‘Hey, if you guys want to get involved, this is the best way to go. These are the people you have to work with, or I would do it because it best suits the audience you want to target. ‘
“I think companies generally want to get involved. You really do. I just don’t think they know how, and they don’t want to be cheated on either. ”
One of those companies was Mortgage Nerds of Appleton, a sponsor of the podcast, which also provides the space that the Fragout podcast comes from. They also fit the profile of Lundergan’s advisory arm.
“(Ryan) was the way we were looking to help,” said Mike Cox, co-owner of Mortgage Nerds. “Because I’m not a veteran. I want to help veterans, but I’m not in this community. He was the door that could lead us into this community, introduce us to the right people so that we could really start helping this community and giving something back. “
Initially, von Cox’s company wanted to help with the many misunderstandings surrounding the VA home loan program. So Lonergan put him in touch with several of the county veterans service officers.
“We believe we have a very important message to convey and convey and to keep people informed, and we would never have met the CVSOs from each county who are making contacts and giving presentations,” said Cox. “It’s not about the presentation. There are 100 people in the room responsible for thousands of veterans. We would never have had this opportunity before if I hadn’t known Ryan because I didn’t know it existed. ”
And now it has expanded beyond that.
“When he’s doing a podcast for someone who comes in and I’m often free and able to hear their story, and a lot of these people are veteran advocates and they’re doing something we can go with and” support them through ours Marketing activities, sometimes we donate money and sometimes you get your hands dirty helping them with an event, a dress campaign or whatever it is.
“Ryan offered all of these opportunities, but I would never have had that before. When I knock on a door and say, ‘Hey, I want to help veterans.’ I didn’t even know which door to knock on, to be honest. “
Sam Rogers, the Wisconsin director of Concerned Veterans for America, found out about Ryan’s podcast from a friend who heard him in Turkey.
“He said, ‘This guy is in your back yard, man, you have to listen to this,” said Rogers, who was an intelligence officer and interrogator on three tours in Afghanistan. “He’s got people from all these different industries, countries. It ain’t no Hollywood fool, brother. It’s very nice in Wisconsin. ‘”
When Rogers took up his organization’s cause of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan to the masses, he chose two channels; Wisconsin Public Radio and the Fragout Podcast.
Since then, he’s seen how Lundergan’s podcast has impacted the veteran community.
“The range is considerable,” said Rogers. “Sharing stories is critical to engaging our communities in meaningful ways with veteran issues.
“The amount of topics he can share and the amount of perspectives he has been able to connect our Wisconsin community with is just amazing. It is so important. And there aren’t really many places for that. “
On the one hand Lonergan is looking forward to the future of his podcast, on the other hand he knows that he has already succeeded.
“That could fail tomorrow and guess what? I will still wake up with a smile on my face, “said Lonergan,” because I can say for the rest of my life that I have influenced the lives of people all over the world. “
That’s something to talk about again.
To listen to other Fragout podcasts, click here.
Story idea? You can reach Mike Woods at 920-246-6321 or: [email protected]