“Never shall I fail my comrades” and “I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy” are moral truths that every special operations soldier lives by. They are part of a creed, a promise, and a guarantee that we all live by, regardless of circumstances. When you think about this promise, you may conjure up images of fighting the enemy to the death, maybe a vision from the movie “Blackhawk Down,” or even a platoon of Rangers going to rescue some Navy SEALs. Sorry my trident-wearing brothers, I couldn’t resist. You know I love you.

These promises and many others are some of the reasons special operations soldiers are different, and one of the reasons most civilians can’t understand our mindset. If you buy into these promises—and if you are in SOF, you’d better—then isn’t it a logical extension to follow these promises not just while wearing a uniform into battle, but for the rest of our lives?

Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide. Every day, every week, every month, and so on. Maybe this number does not grab you. Think of it this way: If you served in a Ranger battalion and had a company formation every day for a week, at the final formation, there would be no one there. If you served in a Special Forces group and did the same thing, you would be down a battalion in about the same time. Now the number should have your full attention.

If you asked a stranger why the number is so high, the immediate answer would likely be because they saw and did so many horrible things in war. This thought is not uncommon, but PTSD is not the only issue faced by so many veterans today. Don’t get me wrong, PTSD is an issue, but it is by no means the only issue. One of the main issues that leads to veterans contemplating or committing suicide is their inability to transition from military service to civilian life. How many of us have sat in a job interview knowing the job we are trying to get requires nowhere near the responsibility or talent level we are capable of? Compared to what we might have been doing only months ago, it may even seem insignificant.

If we are going to put a dent in the number of veteran suicides, we can’t only look at trying to interject when the situation reaches crisis level. You only need to look at basic military strategy to know this. If you are going to conduct a raid, you don’t want to wait until the enemy has had months to fortify their position. When it comes to attacking veteran suicide, we must look at solving the problem well before it comes to a desperate Facebook post or text in the middle of the night. The way to attack veteran suicide is to start with veteran transition.

This strategy or theory led me to Karl Monger and GallantFew. Karl is one of the founders and leaders in GallantFew; he was gracious enough to sit down with me and talk about what GallantFew is all about.


Karl, thank you for your time. Tell us a little about your military career.