Overcoming opioid crisis through fitness

After serving two tours in Iraq, former Army Intelligence Officer Dale King in 2007 returned to Portsmouth, Ohio, to find the opioid epidemic has devastated his hometown. At that time, fatal drug overdoses were the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, with nearly 80% of cases resulting from fentanyl.

King starts PSKC CrossFit gym and offers job opportunities to those in recovery, an unorthodox strategy that takes on fentanyl with fitness. The result is one of the biggest comebacks in small-town America history.

On this week’s American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast, co-executive producers King and Chase Millsap talk about “Small Town Strong,” their documentary film about the small Ohio town’s battle against opioid addiction.

Millsap, who co-directed the film with his brother Spencer, and King are the executive producers of “Small Town Strong.” The documentary, which debuts Oct. 3, “chronicles the comeback of the town of Portsmouth from being Ground Zero in the opioid epidemic by using how several characters used CrossFit to emerge from addiction.”

Millsap and King, who are both members of American Legion Post 23 in Portsmouth, are driven by their post-service mission.

“My mission after leaving the service was to be a storyteller,” said Millsap, a 10-year veteran of the Marine Corps and Army Special Forces. “The big thing for me was always the authenticity. The goal was to show what life looks like for Dale and others after service.”

King says his mission after separating from the Army is “to build competent and capable people through CrossFit in my hometown.”

Also in the episode, topics include:

• The world’s toughest sandwich.

• Special Forces and bathroom breaks for women.

• Share your Buddy Check Week plans with us, via Legiontown.

• Give your walking routine a boost with rucking.

Check out this week’s episode, which is among more than 200 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.