After sixteen years in the Coast Guard, on October 1, 2013 Brandon Saiz achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Hating the tradition of initiation, he decided not to go through the voluntary indoctrination process and was ostracized by other chiefs. We talk about the military’s history of hazing, the social and mental health implications of going against the system, and how twenty years in the service impacts his life as a civilian.
Trigger warning: This episode includes a candid conversation about mental health and suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know needs help, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and if you are veteran who needs to talk to someone, contact the VA’s Crisis Line.