A Navy SEAL’s new mission

Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Capone finally found relief in psychedelics for his post-service transition issues. After numerous post-9/11 deployments, Capone retired in 2013 but went through a “downward spiral” for seven years before working it out. “It was a challenging time,” he says.

Marcus and his wife, Amber Capone, are this month’s guests on The American Legion’s Be the One podcast. Through this series, The American Legion aims to continue to raise awareness about its mission to reduce the rate of veteran suicide through Be the One.

At his darkest point, Marcus felt he was a burden and that his family would be better off without him. “I was really struggling with depression. I don’t know where it came from. It just showed up one day and didn‘t want to go away.”

Their relationship was at a crossroads when Amber’s research led her to suggest that Marcus try psychedelics as an alternative therapy.

“Initially, I thought it was crazy,” Marcus said. “Once I did the research, I became more comfortable knowing that I was just doing their medicine, quite powerful medicine that needs to be taken carefully under proper medical supervision. There is no more powerful medical treatment in mental health care.”

He “regained a will to live,” Amber said after they were reunited after the first wave of treatment. “It was mind-blowing.”

Their success led to the couple co-founding VETS: Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, Inc.

VETS helps veterans access safe, clinically guided psychedelic therapies. These innovative treatments are capable of addressing deep psychological and physiological scars, and therefore hold unprecedented healing potential.

Neither Capone sought out a role to be a public speaker. They are both driven by the purpose to help military members and their families who may be struggling.

“When you know families who have been impacted by suicide and you know how close that felt for your own family at one point, the conviction is too great to not do something about it,” Amber explained.

This episode is the fifth in the Be the One series. The others:

Part one: Marine Corps veteran Waco Hoover, who oversees the Be the One strategy, talks about its next phase. “We’re doing an extensive amount of research and also looking for suggestions from our community about who we should be aligned with,” he said. “We have to have a conversation about this issue, this topic.”

Part two: Air Force veteran Dr. Regan Stiegmann discusses how lifestyle medicine can play a role in the reduction of veterans who die by suicide.

Part three: Dr. Ruth Moore is a survivor of suicide, which she attempted after leaving the Navy in 1987 following Military Sexual Trauma assaults. After earning her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine, she now helps veterans and others dealing with trauma and related issues.

Part four: Former Army Apache helicopter pilot Adam Marr, a member of American Legion Post 12 in Dothan, Ala., shares how he has helped organize, operationalize and advocate for innovative solutions to the veteran mental health and suicide crisis since 2015.

There are more than 210 Tango Alpha Lima episodes for veterans, servicemembers and others.

The next Be the One episode will drop Feb. 1. All episodes are available in both audio and video formats here as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel