She’s tough as nails and races pigeons

American Legion member Lia Mort joins The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast this week to talk about winning a reality show, her military background and more.

“’Tough As Nails’ is just an absolutely wonderful television reality show that is a competition between people who have skilled trades,” said Mort, a member of American Legion Post 25 in Selinsgrove, Pa., where she also is a member of the post’s Riders chapter and Honor Guard. “I’m not sure how I got on the show at all. I have a familiarity with skilled trades. I love the challenge of making things work.”

Mort was in the Marine Corps from 1986 to 1990 before becoming a firefighter. After 9/11, she felt compelled to serve again and joined the Army Reserve as an enlisted soldier and is now a chief warrant officer 3. She deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2009.

She won season three of the Tough As Nails show, which started with a dozen participants. “It was a great experience,” Mort said. “Going into the show, I didn’t go to win. I went in to get a new experience, meet new people and do things I’d never done before.”

Now, Mort is creating an obstacle course, called Tougher Than Tough, a series of themed challenges that participants will try to conquer. Her vision is to give people a challenge outside of their comfort zone.

“There is so much joy for me in going through those challenges to see what you are made of,” she said. “It’s not just about physical strength, it’s about mental strength. It’s about putting yourself out there.”

Mort, who lives in rural Pennsylvania, has dogs, horses, alpacas, bees, and pigeons that she names after superheroes and also races them.  Follow her journey at her website.

Also on the podcast, co-hosts Jeff Daly and Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado discuss other topics, including the first woman to become a general, an Army vet who was preparing civilians for civil war and more.

This episode is among more than 110 Tango Alpha Lima podcast for veterans, servicemembers and others. All episodes are available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available for viewing at the Legion’s YouTube channel.