Cherokee native focuses on military veterans

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Former Navy SEAL podcasts 'Warrior Mindset'

Brad Nagel - Navy SEAL

Brad Nagel has taken his experiences as a Navy Seal and turned it into a podcast where he and his co-host, Dannie Strable, share stories about war veterans, matters that affect veterans, or about veterans. They also share stories about athletes.

Nagel, a Cherokee native, joined the United States Navy in October 1991 and retired in September 2012. Of his 20 years of service in the US Navy, 13 of those years were in the US Navy SEAL Teams.  During his career in the Navy, Brad has served on two aircraft carriers (USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Kitty Hawk) and three different SEAL Teams. Brad is one of the first members (plank owner) of SEAL Team Seven which was commissioned on March 17, 2002, the day of his grandmothers birthday.  Brad is also a plank owner at Naval Special Warfare Center, Advanced Training Command Detachment Little Creek.

After retiring from the military, Brad went on to graduate school at the University of Iowa, Executive MBA program.  After that he was hired by Donald J. Trump as a political advisor to the Presidential Exploratory Committee  in April of 2015.  From June 2015 to February 2016, Brad was one of Iowa’s Senior Political Advisors for Trump for President.

In August 2015, Brad competed in a Ultra triathlon with six soldiers from the Polish Special Forces to commemorate and honor the 5th anniversary of the Smolensk plane crash victim, Lt. General Wlodzimierz Potasinski.  The Ultra triathlon consisted of a 13-mile swim across the Baltic Sea, 440 miles of biking from the northern part of Poland to the southern most part, and then finished on foot by climbing to the highest peak in the Tatra Mountains near Zakopane.

Brad started his podcast with friend and partner Dannie Strable when they met by chance at a cafe. He was listening to Brad tell his stories of his experiences to another friend when Dannie asked if he could join them. Dannie was somewhat timid as what he could ask the veteran, but Brad was open to all his questions.

Then the tables were turned and Brad asked Dannie questions. An Iowa native, Dannie’s first talents started on the baseball diamond. He was a Division 1 baseball pitcher in Nashville, Tennessee and then brought his winning and spirit back to Iowa to launch Warrior Mindset.

He earned his B.S. degree in Kinesiology from Lipscomb University.

New endeavors and fresh challenges appealed to Dannie who at 27 years old is balancing three self-started businesses and co-founding Warrior Mindset.

Warrior Mindset focuses on the stories of athletes and veterans in Iowa. “We just completed a pod cast on Jason Hall who was the screenwriter for “American Sniper”. He debuts his first director role on the movie “Thank You For Your Service” which is in theaters now.

This film follows a group of U.S. Soldier returning from Iraq who struggle to get back into family and civilian life while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield. "This is an ongoing issue in the veteran community that has yet to be addressed,” said Nagle.

“One pod cast was done on what they call The Spartan Pledge. This is a pledge that a veteran takes to not take their own life, and that they will talk to a battle buddy first. There is a break in our system and the great warriors of the country are starting to take note, and make a better system. The largest problem we have is 22 veterans taking their lives every day. That is a huge problem. We may never know why this is. This movie attempts to get into the life of the veterans and tell their story, and hopefully, that number can be taken to 0.”
 Nagle not only speaks of the current dilemmas the returning soldiers face but also of stories of past veterans. He said Cherokee County is a wealth of stories for WWII vets. How do they find these people? Most of it is word of mouth or referral from one vet to another.

Although these veterans are more than willing to share their stories, not so with Vietnam and Korean vets. To date Warrior Mindset has only had one Vietnam vet speak on their program. Nagle believes this stems because of the way the vets were treated when they returned home. WWII vets were met with parades and such while the Vietnam vets were booed and spat on as they came back. They were not feeling welcome and wanted to just be left alone. They held in the horrific memories and one of the worst of the memories was coming home.

Some of the pod casts subjects on PTSD as it relates to veterans. It appears in different stages in some guys while others suffer different degrees of it. The vets have different experiences and each handles it a different way. The majority that vets have PTSD in one form or another. Interviewing these veterans in many ways is cathartic.

Brad Nagle and Dannie Strable feature a different pod cast each week. You can view them at

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