A journey to overcome PTSD

Mark Clifford is a Marine veteran, police officer with 25 years of experience and author of the book, “Typhoon Coast.” He joins The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast this week to offer tips on overcoming PTSD.

The episode is timely as this week The American Legion launches a special series focused on its Be the One initiative, which aims to reduce the rate of veteran suicide. Starting this Friday, Sept. 1, a monthly Be the One podcast episode will be released on the first of each month. Amy Forsythe, a Marine Corps combat veteran and award-winning journalist, will be the host. Forsythe appeared on Tango Alpha Lima in this earlier episode.

Clifford, who was a staff sergeant, received Special Operations training while in Okinawa and was operating in the Philippines in 1991 during the historic eruption of Mount Pinatubo. As a law enforcement officer, he rose to the rank of sergeant and served in many assignments to include SWAT and undercover narcotics.

“When I left law enforcement it was a real tough time,” he explained. “In the military, when you’re out, you’re out. But I always had a passion and wanted to advocate for my fellow veterans and my fellow first responders, predominantly my fellow law enforcement officers. My mission is for our veterans and first responders to tell their stories.”

To achieve this goal Clifford hosts his own podcast, Heroes for Hope: Driving Beyond Trauma. “It’s been rewarding, unbelievably rewarding.”

His book “is my journey of discovery through my post-traumatic growth. It’s a story that incorporates elements of me growing up and goes to 1991 during my Desert Storm deployment,” said Clifford, a member of American Legion Post 105 in Redwood City, Calif.

He learned to alleviate his own PTSD. “Your traumas aren’t going to limit you. They are there to make you a richer person.”

Additionally, co-hosts Jeff Daly and Ashley Gutermuth riff on:

• A special project involving living Medal of Honor recipients.

• Celebrating valiant women.

• Planes vs. helicopters.

Check out this week’s episode, which is among more than 190 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.