Veteran Voices Episode 14
“I want kids to know about him. I want kids to know about all of my heroes, but one of the reasons why I was organizing the Pat Tillman Run here was to have not just kids, but kids predominantly, because I want that story to go on forever. To know what people do, what sacrifices people make. I don’t say every day, or on a regular basis but hopefully, more people will know about him, because he is such a great American and great human being. It’s worth knowing that he should be in our history books, in my opinion, and just revered for what he did for my kids. My kids weren’t born yet, but he sacrificed for my kids, even though he didn’t even know them.”
-Seth Deitchman, speaking about Pat Tillman, and his reasons behind establishing the Pat Tillman Run in Metro Atlanta
In this episode of the newly re-launched Veteran Voices series, Scott welcomes veteran advocate Seth Deitchman to the podcast.
Scott Luton (00:05):
Welcome to veteran voices, a podcast dedicated to giving a voice to those that have served in our country’s armed forces on this series, which is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming, we sit down with a wide variety of veterans and veteran advocates to gain their insights, perspective, and experiences. We’ll talk with many individuals about their challenging transition from active duty to the private sector, and we’ll discuss some of the most vital issues facing veterans today. Join us for this episode of veteran voices. Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you on veteran voices. Thanks for joining the show here today. Today’s show we’ve got an opportunity to talk with a huge veterans advocate, different Amman, all about taking action, not words, but taking action to serve the veteran community. So stay tuned as we learn a lot more quick programming before we get started here.
Scott Luton (01:09):
If you enjoy today’s episode fund and subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts from veteran voices is powered by the supply chain now family of programs, and it’s part of our, our give back programming. So, uh, please do it as an air force veteran. Uh, it is just been an outstanding awarding aspect of our journey. So with no further ado, I want to bring in my dear friend, husband, father, huge veteran advocate. Like we talked about Seth. [inaudible] good afternoon. How you doing? Fantastic, Scott, how are you? We’re great, man. We miss doing these things in person. We were just talking about a moment ago, but Hey, this too shall pass and we’re going to get through it. And um, and we’re going to learn a lot from these challenging times. Aren’t we
Seth Deitchman (01:58):
From your mouth to God’s ears
Scott Luton (02:00):
For today’s conversation. You know, I’ve enjoyed collaborating with you and just our friendship, but also your service. And it just, it, it stood out from the frilly the first time we met and, uh, w I want to dive into that. Cause our veteran community is so dependent upon fierce veterans advocates that know the value of action. No, the need that’s out there and, and they go out there and do it. And, uh, that’s, you know, if we looked up Seth Dutchman in the dictionary, that that’d be one of the definitions there. So I admire that. I really do well, you know, we’ve had a chance to rub elbows while you do it. And, and, um, there’s just a huge need. So, um, we’re gonna talk about some of these things and we’re gonna, we’re gonna be offering some of your perspective and insights with our audience, um, to give them maybe some ideas of ways that they can, they can, uh, get involved in helping support. But for starters, let’s get into Seth a little bit better. So, you know, Seth, tell us where, where did you grow up and you got to give us a story or two on your upbringing.
Seth Deitchman (03:04):
Oh, no, no. Derek. Uh, so I, uh, I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, uh, and far from that now in Johns Creek, Georgia, uh, you know, with me and my two brothers and my parents, and then below us was our, our grandparents at different times different shots. We had two family house and I gotta say it was really, truly an awesome upbringing and not, I don’t want to say the hard streets of Brooklyn, um, but there were some great, uh, horrible opportunities to go the wrong way. And, you know, your circles are so important and obviously parents are so important leadership around you, so important. And I talked to some of my friends and they’ve all done well for themselves, and they’re all moving forward in good places. Uh, and it’s great. You know, unfortunately now my high schools shut down because things aren’t as good as they used to be right back in the day. Uh, but it was wonderful opportunity growing up there. I, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t imagine changing it for the world. Right. Uh, sometimes I want to put my kids there and say, this is how you should grow up, but it is what it is today.
Scott Luton (04:08):
So what I, I think if I heard you, right, you grew up and in the same house with at least one set of your grandparents, is that right?
Seth Deitchman (04:16):
Two family house, meaning there was no stairs or open door to the, the, um, the house downstairs, but grandma’s like, Hey, set up, can you go to the grocery store and get me so she could scream it? And she was deaf. So she was screaming and I was screaming and she couldn’t hear me. So it was great. Um, but it was, we’re always with our grandparents, one set of her, neither, my grandmother or my grandparents on my father’s side. Uh, so that again, I, you know, the opportunity was unbelievable. Just the stories and what have you. Um, it was nice and they weren’t around long enough in my opinion, but it was, yes. Thank you. It was definitely very special
Scott Luton (04:54):
What a great advantage to growing up and, and having, um, you know, extra sets of parents that love you and you can learn from, and, and, and I bet they had plenty of stories. I mean, what an enriching, um, you know, aspect of your childhood, but what else, when you, when you think of growing up in Brooklyn, New York, what else is like one thing that you wish your kids had the opportunity to do?
Seth Deitchman (05:18):
So my kids are young. They’re 10, 12, uh, one thing that I loved about growing, it was diversity. It was so, so diverse. Um, you know, in high school I played football. I was not big, good to go play college. If I did, I wouldn’t have gone very far. Uh, but you know, with all that, it was different stories from different areas and different socioeconomic and kind of everybody coming together. That’s you hear about new Yorkers, the melting pot, and then when you grow up and you see it, not that it’s not diverse where I am now, it’s just ultimate diversity. You hear kids with accents and like, well, you’re not from here. Oh, you up in Russia. And now you’re here in high school with me. Oh, you’re actually from Jamaica. And you’re, it’s really amazing. Black, white, Asian, uh, you know, um, the Hispanic yes.
Seth Deitchman (06:09):
Is who was involved was yes. Um, and that went into sports as well, that went into giving, give them the weekends, getting got into, um, you know, in a sense, going to the movies with different sets of friends and walking around and not, not being judged in a sense that, Hey, you’re with someone Hispanic you’re with someone Lakia with someone white and it was great. It was, it was just something I feel like different than this today. Maybe, maybe I’m just missing it. Some, uh, that was tons of fun. And one, one fun story, uh, that growing up, playing football, I was one of my few friends, cause I hung out with the nerds. I was not a nerd. I mean the smart kids, right. Cause I wanted to be smart and they wanted to be athletes. I smear as bigger. I don’t know if I was an athlete.
Seth Deitchman (06:52):
So on Friday nights before football games, we used to walk around and uh, my kids get sets. A track is left out of this is I used to shave half my face and just get my game face on. And I used to have my friends pushed me around just to get all psyched up and ready for the game. And I’m like, alright, eventually got enough. Cause I wanted to hit him back and I don’t want that. So that was one of the fun things we can do on Friday nights before football games, just to get my mind going and then ready for the next day. Uh, it wasn’t Friday night lights like it was in Texas or in Georgia, but it’s still football and we still have to do on a little rituals, which was fun.
Scott Luton (07:25):
Absolutely. Uh, Oh man, what position in football
Seth Deitchman (07:29):
Nose tackle. And it was brilliant. Got to be really hard to say,
Scott Luton (07:34):
Uh, Stan stance. I don’t see you as the me that surprises me,
Seth Deitchman (07:43):
You know, so I would consider myself more of the 12th man, because I was coming to the, I would say maybe a motivator on the field. Um, and I say, I’m proud to say I was probably the, uh, almost definitely the 11th best player on defense. We had a phenomenal team. We had a, we had a really, it’s such an outrageous team, uh, that I was glad that we, you know, in the starting lineup, which was just a marriage or play at all for that matter. Uh, and, and I was just glad that I, my edge, I think, was just a pump you up motivating and Hey, I did my job and my two tackles next to me made me look small. So they were awesome. Right. So anything they would do up, like I was with them, I helped, I did something. I don’t know. I sat there,
Scott Luton (08:25):
Me that 0.2, five, uh, of the SAC, right. That, that quarter of the sat give me that, that I earned that statistic.
Seth Deitchman (08:32):
I grabbed this shoelace. I swear it, I got a shoelace.
Scott Luton (08:37):
Alright. So before we talk about a lot of the cool things you’ve been doing over the years to support the veteran community real quick, let’s talk about what you do professionally. So share that with us.
Seth Deitchman (08:47):
So I, uh, work with Morgan Stanley. I am a financial advisor, um, and then, uh, alternative investment director there. And I work with, uh, individuals, families, just helping them plan for whatever their goals may be. Often it is retirement, as you might imagine. Um, sometimes won’t transfer, uh, and it’s hopefully keeping them protected sometimes from themselves as we just saw, uh, just recently and, uh, in March where the market got scary, uh, but really helping them manage their investments and, um, setting up a plan for them to be successful and hopefully for their kids and grandkids and be successful and leave a legacy as well. So it’s kind of an honor to do that, uh, and to support people and places where, you know, they, they want the help and they need the help and they’re excited to, to be a part of it. Um, and, um, again, I’m grateful and honored to be able to do that for my clients and friends.
Scott Luton (09:40):
Outstanding, outstanding. Um, alright. So, uh, as I mentioned on, on, on the front end huge advocate, uh, for veterans, uh, and you know, it reminds me of our buddy John Phillips, and I’ve stolen this phrase of his, uh, time and time again. Cause I love it. You know, deeds, not words, it’s just that simple, right? It’s just that simple now, perhaps more than ever before, we don’t need any lip service leadership. We got to have action. And that is what I admire about you. So let’s talk about, um, let’s talk about with all that you’ve done and contributed and, and led and coordinated. Um, where does this love and, uh, admiration and duty sense of duty come. Uh, and what’s your why for doing that for the veteran community.
Seth Deitchman (10:33):
Thank you for asking that question. I guess there’s several wise, but really, so go back to just a one quick step. So my father never believed in guns, right? And listen, we were in New York. You can’t have a gun anyway, if you do, it’s illegal, but it was like no peace to the world, which I’m pissed at the world as well. Right. We all want peace. That’s a, that’s a given. Um, however, my, my uncle was in the Marines, his, his older brother, um, that, that wasn’t really the Y uh, I didn’t know better than I can tell you now. So I’m, I don’t know if you mentioned I’m not a veteran, uh, I’m very much a civilian civilian civilians. Um, and you know, my, my why really, really, really spurred, um, when I had children, right. I’ve always been a fan of veterans. I mean, how do you, and I’m military, how do you, how are you not right.
Seth Deitchman (11:26):
I didn’t grow up in Vietnam era anyway, when there was some negativity, but when I had children, I, you know, we see hopefully the best of the world, right. And my kids get to walk around, run around free, not having to worry about, Hey, Chad, anywhere bombs going off for being shot at or anything else. And I’m like, lo that’s, that’s what I think about world of such freedom. That’s unbelievable. You don’t get them anywhere else. Right. I mean, it’s really is amazing. And who does that for us? Not me. I mean, I protect my children in a different way, but that’s our amazing military and our amazing veterans. Right. Who’ve done that as well. And it started really clicking there. They’re the ones that they are America. Right. I mean, think about it. I mean, we were just watching Hamilton and like yep. The war before Hamilton, before the Reed became, you know, the United States of America it’s they were all fighting.
Seth Deitchman (12:26):
Everybody had a fight now there’s not the fight. Right. Which, listen, I wish I was there. I was in better man for it. If I went in however, and my two brothers in particular, they would definitely be better off say one. And, but, uh, in, in, in general, it’s just, we, I don’t think we can do enough or thank them enough because I’m free. You’re free. You’re one of the great veterans, but so many others who I think sometimes I hate to say, take it for granted, but don’t even think about it on a regular basis. I think that I can’t do it.
Scott Luton (12:55):
Yeah. I’m with you. And look, I was a data analyst and air force. I wasn’t a combat veteran. I think, you know, we had, um, Jared Turner on the last episode, uh, and he served two tours in Iraq. Um, and to hear him talk about those experiences in combat, um, you know, the things that they, that, that these combat vets that boldly and fearlessly, you know, serve our country in war, uh, and what they deal with and, and continue to persevere through on behalf of all of us. I mean, it really, it is eye opening and, um, you know, there’s so many aspects of the veteran community that don’t get enough attention from my humble opinion, the folks that serve in combat and what they deal with and then come back. And then of course, they’ve got to make the, the, um, they got to kind of switch over to, to working in the private sector and compartmentalize all of those experiences. And that’s, if they don’t have it suffered, you know, all types of injuries, it’s, these are, uh, very brave, very brave, uh, individuals, and that doesn’t do them justice. But so I I’m, I’m like you admire, um, these folks that, that they give us the sense of freedoms and the, when, the way we live and, and, um, allow us, allow us to go out and do, um, you know, pursue what we want to pursue.
Seth Deitchman (14:23):
I can’t agree more. Let me just say something on that, Scott that’s okay. So I can agree. I mean, boy, you can’t list them on your shoulders enough. I totally agree with that. However, I’m talking to you and all the other veterans and current military out there and the spouses, et cetera, you raise your hand, you didn’t know what you were getting into, right? I mean, so yes, I listen. I will preach to them and I want to do more for them. I agree. However, a veterans are up here. You can’t see it, but here, right. They’re there because they, you all raise your hand, you all say, you know, please take me. I need to protect my country. If you want me to type in, send letters, I’ll do that. If you want me with a gun in front, I’ll do that. You don’t know what you’re getting into when you sign up for summer. Am I right?
Scott Luton (15:11):
Yeah. I’m with you. Uh, sometimes you do. And sometimes you don’t and at the bottom, the bottom line is the bottom line and that’s whatever uncle Sam needs at that time, you know, everything can change. But, uh, you know, the, the other thing that really sticks out and we’re going to shift gears here, here in a minute, we’re gonna talk about the Tillman run, especially in Atlanta, which is really where we worked a lot. Um, well, I followed, I just followed it again and I admired a lot, but you know, in this, you know, we’ve been at war forever, as we all know, um, you’re approaching 20 years. And, and so, you know, during portions of those years, it’s been front and center day in and day out. And unfortunately in other points in time, you wouldn’t even know it and that’s a crying shame.
Scott Luton (15:58):
But one thing that does never change, never changes is the need and our responsibility to take care of those that have served and have sacrificed so much, including as you called out, um, wonderful call out the spouses and the families to enable and in sacrifice so much as well. Um, and including those of national guard and reserve. So, um, I love your perspective, no surprise there. Um, and I love your action, which leads us to the Tillman run in Atlanta, which you live for nine years, but let’s, let’s, let’s make sure folks know about Pat Tillman. So tell us a little bit about Pat Tillman,
Seth Deitchman (16:38):
Heroes hero. Uh, I mean, if you don’t know Pat Tillman, this is going to be that much of what you need to know. Please go look him up. He is a heroes hero in a sense. The first thing I’ll say is he had the American dream w was living it literally. Um, he was an NFL football player with a wonderful life, a beautiful wife, uh, and he said after nine 11, you know, my team needs me. My country needs me more. And he left that a new contract on the table. Uh, he went and became an army ranger and, um, to make a long story short in this span, he went off to Afghanistan on a mission and was unfortunately killed while, um, you know, often doing, performing his duty, unfortunately chilled by friendly fire after everything came out. And I mean, and this is, I’m going to say this.
Seth Deitchman (17:35):
Like I knew him, right. I didn’t know him exceptionally well. We had a few classes together at Arizona state, uh, you know, more so I revered him more than he knew me. Right. It was cause he was a Holy cow. I tell him if you saw him play football in college, he was animal. He was just, he was like, I wanted to be who I thought I wanted to be when I played football at all. Like it’s, again, I can’t put it in the same sentence. So it was, I don’t know, football or anything else for that matter. Uh, but, uh, he was always passionate and there was nobody that would tell you anything different. And he was clearly very passionate about freedom and about our country. I mean, he got to play football, we’ll get to play football. I mean, we, the only country that, but regardless his freedom was amazing.
Seth Deitchman (18:19):
And, and his passion for country, as well as his brother who, um, was enlisted with him as well, just an amazing family. He was amazing. He was an amazing man and, and truly a legend. Uh, and again, I hear it. He is selfless. That’s such a great way to put it. Um, and you know, just, I guess, knowing him and, uh, being used for my Almada, uh, Arizona state and for what he did. I know one of my goals or my dreams for the run when I was organizing, it was to have as many kids there as possible because he’s a hero amongst so many others in the military that, you know, again, he gave up every, he had everything and if do another thing, he could’ve retired then, and just lived a great life, been wealthy, et cetera. He’s like, Nope, I need, we need more here for this country.
Seth Deitchman (19:10):
Right. And I know that I’m more, I think I’m more needed on the battlefield, in the football field. Unfortunately it didn’t work out the way that anybody would have liked. I’m sure any American would have liked. Um, but you know, now I, I want kids to know about him. I want kids to know about really all of my heroes, but one of the reasons why I was organizing the Pat Tillman run here was to have not just kids, but kids predominantly. Cause I want that story to go on forever, to know what people do, what sacrifices people make. You know, I don’t say every day, but you know, on a regular basis and we don’t know about, and hopefully more people know about him, um, because he is such a great American, great human being, uh, that it’s, it’s worth knowing he should be in our history books, in my opinion, and just revered for what he did for my kids. My kids weren’t born yet. Right. But he sacrificed for my kids, even though he didn’t know them and your kids, et cetera, like you sacrifice my kids as well. So
Scott Luton (20:08):
You such a tremendous story there, what he left to serve his country. Um, uh, you know, and you’re right there. Um, we can’t do it justice in the, in the short amount of time we’ve got here, but the, the really neat thing and, and the good news here, uh, if we really look for it is, is a really neat stuff that the folks behind the Tillman run, that the isn’t it, the national somewhere around there, there’s a, well, let’s say, well, let’s ask the experts. So tell us a bit about the organization. Cause I think as runs in a lot of major cities and the States, how does it work? And then tell us about where, um, you know, all the funds that are raised, where that, where those go.
Seth Deitchman (20:50):
Sure. So I’m not part of the Pat Tillman foundation, uh, volunteer for them, you know, organizing this previously. Uh, so the Pat Tillman foundation is, uh, I think it’s still based out of Chicago. Big presence in Arizona went to school. The first one was done in, uh, Arizona in Tempe. And one’s up, uh, ending on Sundevil, um, you know, some devil’s stadium, which is on the 42 yard line. His number was number 42 while playing at ASU. And that run has, I think it caps it 31,000 or so just because of capacity. And then every year it sells out, which is amazing. I wish I can say our one was big enough, but I couldn’t handle this. It was, uh, but so it stemmed there for four years, I think it was. And then they, they called the shadow runs where they brought it to Atlanta, which Atlanta was one of the first cities.
Seth Deitchman (21:44):
Again, I say Atlanta, but Metro Atlanta, where it started among others. And now I think it’s in 35 cities across the U S and then there are some other virtual runs, uh, you know, throughout the world, right? If they do enough Ghana, Stan, you would run on a basis and things like that. Um, and so what the foundation does is they raise money to provide scholarships, academic scholarships, uh, to veterans and or their spouses to, um, to further their careers and better their communities. Now why I say better their communities, because they have to be involved and have to, again, we’re talking about not giving back. They have to give back and want more. Maybe they’re becoming a doctor, maybe they’re becoming, you know, a wall street, some of, but they’re giving back and they’re bettering themselves. And you know what, like other people, they’re probably making more, doing more than they’re giving back and they’re sharing more.
Seth Deitchman (22:38):
And these are usually just amazing, amazing people. Right? And they’re there, I mean really bright. I just am passionate. And you see that with all the Tillman scholars. I mean, and I gotta tell you, I know some people who applied for the scholarship and didn’t get it and I’m like, that’s impossible. That person needs to get it. So I have to imagine how unbelievable some of these scholars really are, if that person or that person didn’t get it, I’m like, so they’re doing great stuff. And again, uh, for a spouse, cause listen, spouses give a lot when their spouse goes off to, you know, to war or just to be in the military at all, just to serve. Exactly. Thank you for that, that word I’m looking for. Uh, so it’s well deserved on all sides and it’s, it’s a wonderful organization that these are people that did great for us, and they’re only going to do greater for our country while they’re in civilian clothing. Right. And they’re going to give back to civilians and, uh, veterans, uh, without, without question, I don’t know if that answered the question. Well,
Scott Luton (23:39):
It really does. Uh, and, and so we encourage folks to check out the, the Pat Tillman foundation. Glad you, you, you, you shared that disclaimer, uh, should have thought about that before I put you on the spot.
Seth Deitchman (23:50):
Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay.
Scott Luton (23:51):
Are both well, not parts organization, huge fans of what they’re doing and, and huge fans of similar to run. And while, while I think a buddy of yours founded the Atlanta Tillman run, you, you served as chair court main quarterback for nine years. That is a ton of work, Seth
Seth Deitchman (24:11):
Bad hair. When I started, I had hair and I don’t have any now, so that’s one of the reasons it’s gone. Right. Alright. So no gray either.
Scott Luton (24:20):
So tell us a little bit about when you look back at those nine years, um, what are some of your favorite parts of that? And then in a minute, what I want to find out kind of the logistics behind the run,
Seth Deitchman (24:32):
Lots of wonderful memories. And it started out like a, um, alright guys, you know, let’s sing the national Anthem. Uh, you know, I wasn’t saying nobody wanted me singing, uh, but we, you know, so great. Uh, one, two, three, let’s go nice. And it was great. It was wonderful. I want to being fantastic. We’ve had some great leaders, Kaylin Robinson, who’s a ups employee, he’s the founder, right. And he’s starting to hit great passion behind it. Again, I went to Arizona state as well. Uh, and, and it, it grew slowly but surely. And I’m like I, to me w my thought behind it and getting people who know Pat, I don’t know, Pat want to know more about getting involved. So I just try to spread the gospel of who he was. And, you know, it started out from 40 people, you know, to 70 people, uh, to a hundred people and kept going.
Seth Deitchman (25:22):
And I’m like, you know what? Let’s see if we can get a vendor here without the ship. So we have some food come out, right. A vendor, which is cool. We had Coca Cola is an awesome to us. They gave us water, which they didn’t have to cause they’re local here. They were just wonderful. And they’re big advocates of veterans as well. And then we’ve got a few more. And so one of my highlights I thought was that if you’re a football fan too, I’m in Atlanta, uh, you probably know Dan Quinn is the coach of the Falcons. And if you don’t know him at all, he’s a very, not outspoken because he doesn’t like to talk about it. He is deeds, not words, right. Is that the phrase, right. He’s not words. And he is all over it. And so I reached out to the Falcons cause you can’t reach out to Dan he’s, you know, big time.
Seth Deitchman (26:11):
And then he eventually came back and I asked him if he would be our grand Marshall, which we’ve never really had one before. And he said, yes. And I was like, wow. And it was, it was great. And he knew Pat, he, uh, I think not, not played against them, but coach against him at some point. So he was, I think, more honored to be a part of it than anything else. And he came back, uh, it really, every year, every year he asked, it was three years in a row, uh, that he came and one year off the blank came as well as you recall, meeting him and, and that a kid taking a picture with him, which was just awesome. And we had some, you know, greatly, you know, we have like a radio station there. So it became something more than just a run that we were putting on. It. It wasn’t because I’m not so popular. It was listen, I want, it was past the worry, right. It was, why are we doing this? And it’s past story, but it’s also the story. Moving forward, his legacy about supporting veterans and supporting great things. And it became relatively easy to organize if you had it down. I say that to an extent, cause that’s not totally, that’s not really true. It’s just that you had things in place. And that was,
Scott Luton (27:18):
Yeah. They had a game plan after a couple of years, you probably had the game plan. Uh, so you, you kinda knew you had to plug this in here, this in here, but you still had to go to find the things that you plugged in. Right? Yeah.
Seth Deitchman (27:31):
It’s very much, it was not done. It says that the fingers let’s make over. I know it’s not that that doesn’t happen. But, uh, yeah, it game plan was, was right. You know, we, we did this, how can we make this a little bit better? Let’s tweak it this way. Um, you know, but, but, and it grew, it grew, we had to find different venues because to fit more people, which was pretty cool. Again, not that we’re, we’re not Tempe, we’re not 30,000. Never will be a note, but I want it to be for that matter. I didn’t want to raise the money, but not that, uh, another big thing was, uh, getting ups as our primary sponsor. They, they, they are unbelievable organization among others who are our sponsors, but ups was our lead sponsor and was just so awesome to have. And because again, talk about no vegetation that supports veterans. Woo. They are unbelievable. And I know, you know, that firsthand as well, so super cool. Just mean to get the foundation involved. Cause I’m just, I’m a small run and get the foundation of all get Arizona state involved because they’re a good sponsor. It says we’re really doing something right here and getting the right parties involved. Super fantastic.
Scott Luton (28:38):
That was really neat to see both Dan Quinn and mr. Arthur blank, who also does a ton, uh, for a variety of causes, um, around Atlanta, but certainly the veteran community. Um, he really supports that. And, and from an action and a financial standpoint, so very appreciative there, uh, so nine years, uh, and then you pass the Baton, of course in 2020, COVID-19, uh, challenged into much of those things, but they, they, they found a way to kind of do it virtually. But what, what is, um, what’s one thing that nine years of leading that event, um, really illustrated you, w w was there your Eureka moment that you had that might be universally applicable? What, what really sticks out in terms of the lesson learned from all that work?
Seth Deitchman (29:29):
I mean, this is a life lesson, but in a sense, not towards me, but leading by example, it came and brought other people out, like, and I asked him, Hey, would you help? And then some people said, no, and that’s okay. Right. I don’t, they visited different and different challenges, but when you show that you are doing something and then you have this person and Scott Luton was helping and Boyd Knight was helping and this and that, Oh, okay. It’s worthwhile. And then you got them to action. And they somewhat like, you know what, I’m going to get my company involved. You know what I’m going to show them the snowball effect in a sense that really occurred was just, it was beautiful to sing, right. And that’s community coming together and something bigger than you and me. Uh, and that that’s was my era.
Seth Deitchman (30:16):
Cause it started off as it’s so small. Right. And I thought it was worth spreading the gospel about, Hey, this is just a great organization. This is why I’m passionate about it. This is why I’d like for you to learn about who Pat Tillman was, what the foundation does, what it does for our community here. Cause we have scholars here, you know, in this area and all over the country and all over the world for that matter. And it, it, that part, the snowball effect, the community involvement became super. And that was the part. So it wasn’t just me leading by example, right. Then all the people who took the ball and, and Ryan as well, right. You, you did that. You became a sponsor, right. Which is awesome. And you volunteered,
Scott Luton (30:54):
I loved why to your point, you had all these different groups and individuals that would come out and participate or volunteer or sponsor or, or, or, or you name it all kinds of different things. Um, and a lot of active duty folks came out and run and they’d run, um, information and stuff. That was really just, it was a great event, home run event for a great cause that did great things, you know, raise funds and, and going back and, and, and helping those scholars that you’re mentioned. Um, so, so nine years at the helm of that and, and, and more, um, equally as important as you, you grew it, so you could, you could help more and, and the event helped more so admire that. Um, so let’s shift gears as we kind of move into this final segment here and to our listeners, you know, um, Seth and I both really enjoy the Metro Atlanta business community and the, and the veteran community and doing business here.
Scott Luton (31:52):
But, you know, one of the things we talked about prior to going live here was about how much, you know, diff different cities, different initiatives can, can learn and benchmark, as we’re all trying to serve this, this massive group that has so many different needs and some different ways. Um, so this next topic about vet Lanham, um, uh, it’s, it’s really as much as it is about Atlanta. It really isn’t. So I really want to preface that on the front end. Um, so let’s define it first. What is, you know, uh, you and I both have volunteered, you were on the executive committee for three years with a group called Atlanta. What is Atlanta?
Seth Deitchman (32:27):
The reasoning behind it sometimes are words behind us sometimes change. I just like to put it as again, based in Atlanta is Atlanta’s here to make Atlanta the top destination for veterans and their families. Right. And that encompasses everything you can imagine to make it a top destination, right. The place to live and work, et cetera. Um, and boy, they are unbelievable. And I say, they, and they is the people involved because the organization has always built up of people. If they’re an organization with no people, it’s just a shell. Right. So, uh, it’s such a worthwhile organization. And I love to say, which I would love to say, we don’t want your money. Right. There’s no money really having to do with that. Right. And so
Scott Luton (33:11):
You’re referring to the Lloyd night, one of the cofounders and the current president of Atlanta.
Seth Deitchman (33:17):
Yes. He’s a left one person. I’ll try to get out of him one day when ain’t going to happen. Uh, but, uh, yes. And that makes it so easy that he can’t even sell it like you give away and people, I hope grab it, like give me, I, I just, that’s the piece it’s, it’s give that’s the word I’m looking for is people you want people who want to give right. Give back, share, right. Help. That is the key collaboration. It is, you know, Lloyd and John Phillips, uh, another co-founder they, you know, collaboration on steroids, right. As what John likes to says often. And it is right. It’s, it’s community collaboration. It’s two wonderful nonprofits working together. Wait, I have this, I’m trying to veteran’s health and I’m doing veterans homelessness. Well, let’s work together for veterans. And then boom, one plus one equals five. And it’s amazing. And that’s what happens. It is just such a phenomenal organization.
Scott Luton (34:14):
Yeah. Very holistic around all the different needs. I mean, as you and I both know, there’s a ton of groups that specialize in certain aspects, uh, you know, job assistance, which is really important. And we need a lot of that, um, healthcare, which is also really obviously really important, need a lot of that, but that, to your point, that Atlanta really created this, this, this, uh, community, this clearing house, this veteran organization that helped folks network, it helped to your point, potential partners find each other. And I love that one plus one equals five left. That’s my kind of math stuff. I liked that that was the potential. And that was what has been realized in so many different ways since bet Lana, uh, open for business, even though they didn’t want anyone’s money, there wasn’t a membership. It, that was the beautiful part about it. And that was also one of my favorite parts of being involved is you never, you didn’t have to fundraise. You didn’t have to, you know, get encouraged folks to sponsor or become members. It was all about the mission. And, um, alright, so now hopefully folks have a sense and vet landed.org, I believe is a URL. Folks can, can learn about it there.
Seth Deitchman (35:23):
V E T L a N T a, because sometimes the Atlanta, Atlanta, what is it? So, yeah. Sorry,
Scott Luton (35:29):
Vet lana.org. That’s a great call out. Um, so now that folks have a sense, let’s talk about, you know, what, what do you think you having been on a senior leadership council and being a part of, you know, standing up some of those initiatives or supporting them, you know, leading certain pillars of the organization and just absorbing it all. What are some things that stick out that you think other cities or other similar groups to be potential groups, uh, might could learn from
Seth Deitchman (35:58):
The number one thing you have to think outward? Not in, we’re going to, if you’re thinking out where you’re ready to give, like I have a reason to have a purpose of something there that I want to do. Scott, you appreciate veterans too. Right? Okay. Let’s get together talking about what can we do and this organization I volunteered or I’ve given to this, putting it together. So go back to collaboration, go back to community and then go outward thinking and you know, wanting to give right. And just talking about our freedoms. I told them how blessed many of us are here in the U S and in our communities, the opportunity to be able to give back and think differently, thinking that, and this is not the way I want you to think, but you can think of it this way is that I’m getting back.
Seth Deitchman (36:41):
I know what’s going to benefit me. Right? Because it’s having people in a better place is going to make my place better. Right. And the story, no offense. Right? So it’s a selfish way to thank if you want to be selfish, that gives you, you can get. And I think that’s what happens when you see a veteran who they’re in my world. Now they’re a civilian, right. And this is why I wanted to talk about this as well, if it’s okay. That’s why I think that Atlanta wanted me on, on the executive committee because you know, I’m a civilian, I’m not a veteran. I don’t know their language. And you guys have a language that I don’t understand. Right. And you’re coming back into my world. Right. And to civilian world, which I’ve only been in it, you’ve been a civilian as a teenager. And then you went into the military and now you’re back again.
Seth Deitchman (37:29):
And you have to learn to speak my language. And, you know, I used to stop the guys like [inaudible], what are you talking about? What is he, you know, essentially it’s learning. No it, and talk about these different things that they’re mentioning. You’ll never get a job talking about. [inaudible] in a, in an interview, you got to break it down. And there’s many wonderful organizations that handle that and help that. But coming from my perspective and my world, which all veterans are in our civilian world now, uh, it needs to be communicated. It needs to be now we’re on the same level. I, you know, I think you’re a Viagra a level, but you have to feel great about being revered. This is me in my, where I’m coming from. I would love to say to all civilians come there, but I think it’s collaborating and big thing for me that I think veterans need to, to understand is they have to be able to one accept, help, and to ask for help.
Seth Deitchman (38:24):
Because often we’re not mind readers because in the military, it’s got your back. Don’t worry about it. You just go forward. I got your back. You don’t have to ask for help. Right. And this world in the civilian world, you have ask for help. And that was one of my things I pushed as much as possible. I kept saying it was a broken record. Like you guys need to ask for help you veterans, but we want to help me really. I really, really want to help. Right. Just ask me, I’ll ask you and say yes and say this or that. And, uh, so that was a big piece. Just come from, I know when a little bit of a tangent, but that was something that I felt was very important about
Scott Luton (38:57):
You don’t know. And for pho, and there’s so many folks out there that do want to help, but if they’re unaware of the need, they don’t even have the opportunity to make the choice to help. Right. Right. Right. One of the things I think it would be really super relevant for folks in other cities that, you know, kind of want to stand up a similar organization or initiative, or what have you. I think one of the things that’s really served Atlanta well is finding those, you know, just like the Tillman run in Atlanta, you find those corporate sponsors, you don’t need them to write checks. You know, that that’s the beauty of it, but if they could offer up, you know, venue space for a lunch or dinner event and better yet, if they’ve got a great corporate kitchen or, you know, and they can throw that in, at no cost to them or if they came doesn’t matter, but starting, you know, getting access to, to, to, um, to venues and facilities, oftentimes corporations want to help.
Scott Luton (39:52):
And that tends to be an easier way that they can help, even if you’ve got to go through the security protocols, this, that, and the other, but that’s seemingly was really helpful on the front end. Ups obviously offered up a lot of space at their corporate headquarters here in Atlanta. I think that’s one of the things that if you’re listening to this in other cities, you know, take a page out of that playbook and, and find an early corporate supporter that, you know, doesn’t need it right yet, yet, but can support what you’re trying to do in a, in a, in a, maybe an easier and very powerful.
Seth Deitchman (40:24):
Yeah, that’s beautiful. I’ll say so. Not, not to give my organization a plug, but Morgan Stanley, we were a sponsor, uh, one, a one quarter for one of our summits and we don’t have a big venue, but we, one of our leaders, max Hillsman is a military veteran and he’s awesome. Uh, he went to EPS, uh, air hangar and mr. Ellis is a veteran as well. He’s like, you’re going to have my anger. And we supplied the food Morgan Stanley, which usually the sponsor does. It was if not the coolest. And I’m not saying because it was ours, it was such a cool venue. It was just like, man, I can’t wait so great. And it was, and the food was great too. And the atmosphere was just fantastic. Everything was actually one of yeah.
Scott Luton (41:12):
Home run stuff. And I think you, I think you had the founder or at least one of the senior leaders of bunker labs speak at that same event, right.
Seth Deitchman (41:20):
The founder, the founder. Yes. And, and that’s where we kind of broke the champagne bottle on the ship to say, Hey, you know what, Atlanta now is an official chapter of bunker labs. So it was a very, you know, big momentous, you know, experience, I think for all of us. And we had some great speakers and it was awesome. I wasn’t one of the great speakers. I was a speaker, but I didn’t.
Scott Luton (41:42):
You’re great, man. You’re a great speaker. You’ve got a great sense of humor. I’ve always enjoyed. So, and as a quick sidebar for folks that maybe needed bunker labs, it’s a great veteran focused incubator for entrepreneurs and business ideas and they’re expanding and a lot of cities and that, as Seth mentioned, that was, um, that event kind of, uh, was there a formal launching or announcement that they’re, that they are alive and well in Atlanta, which is really, really neat. Okay. So Seth, uh, I’ll tell ya. I’d love to sit here for next couple of hours. And then we get an adult beverage and we just enjoy each other’s company, but I know you’ve got work to do and, and kids to see, and I do as well, how let’s make sure folks that listen to this, know how to connect with you, whether they want to pick your brain around a Tillman run in their city or vet Atlanta, or just being a meaningful results oriented veteran’s advocate, which in and of itself is, is something we need a lot more of from people. How can folks connect with Seth?
Seth Deitchman (42:43):
Uh, you can show me, reach out to me on LinkedIn. Um, our profile is linkedin.com/atlanta financial advisor. Or you can probably just look up Seth Seitzman. I don’t think there’s two of us anywhere. Uh, I like to meet the other me if there is. Um, but, uh, so LinkedIn, uh, slash uh, Atlanta financial advisor.
Scott Luton (43:03):
Can I ask you about something Seth? I’ll suppose I was going to ask you, I was curious about this group T a B H technology group. I don’t know. I think you serve on the board as an advisor or a volunteer or what have you tell me more about this?
Seth Deitchman (43:18):
Uh, so it’s, it’s again, another wonderful organization. So, uh, uh, technology group, uh, BH stands for brain health and it’s really today, it’s just, it’s so needed. And I mean, right now, especially because we’re all so isolated and we are providing education, it’s a nonprofit we’re providing education, uh, technology education for, uh, seniors to use their iPhone, iPhone, iPad, you know, Samsung smartphone, any which way, computers, et cetera. So my mom can, which she now is in her height. She knows how to use an iPhone. Now she can call my, or forget exactly Gabby. She can FaceTime my, my daughter or, or my, my son on his iPad. Uh, it’s so key. They can go to the bank on their computer, or they can check the Morgan Stanley account on the, on their phone, if I need to all these things that are so critical and being connected.
Seth Deitchman (44:11):
That’s the thing, if you’re isolated and you don’t have a phone, which is fine, but it’s great to see you here on, on zoom, right? It really is. It’s nice to see a smile around and just nodding and not knowing you’re responding. And it’s key. My mom knows it. And all of that, we get such great responses from everybody. We have a wonderful Karen board, um, that the essay everybody either had has, or had a parent or grandparent who could or could have used this and a friend and do the same thing. And it’s just so the great, you know, good things that have come out of COVID-19. Uh, it’s, it’s crazy to say, but, but now we’ve gone from just the, you know, Georgia. We’ve actually, we’re in New Zealand recently, we’re in Florida. So we were just here, we’re in several different States and we’re in, uh, other countries now doing, uh, virtual classes, which is turn on your zoom and we’ll catch everything else. I’ll turn on your phone and we’ll keep it’s really great. And it, it does help with literally health and the physical mental, because mentally it’s physical and everything else. So, uh, it just something I’m passionate about as long as
Scott Luton (45:16):
It’s easy to get isolated in this environment. Uh, and I would imagine it can be easier, even easier, unfortunately for, um, older citizens that maybe they don’t, they don’t quite have the family. A lot of folks do, um, you know, younger generations and whatnot, and they have less, maybe less of a network around them. So what I hear you describe is, is this nonprofit, BH technology group helps make the world a more connected and a smaller place and, and, and give folks, and it helps pull them out of what can be really isolating situations and better yet, not just to connect, but to learn new skills and make life more convenient. And, um, I mean, I hate to be too dramatic, but live again.
Seth Deitchman (45:58):
Yeah, I totally agree. It is. I mean, you see your, your, your, my mom or you see your mom or you see a grandparent, you see your grandchild. It’s just, you know, we want to have many stories to say, I remember when, you know, grandma did this, or grandpa did that. Or, and I saw them do it even, I wasn’t going to be there. And then when you get a, Hey grandma, are you great with the phone now? And it just gives them that much more than they can talk with a friend. My mom’s a Facebook junkie now, which is kind of fun to see, like what you couldn’t even take a picture before, forget about posting a picture. Right? So that stuff makes her feel great. She was like, yeah, I love this. I show my friends at Brighton beach bath. I’m like what you saw anywhere. I’m amazed. So it was, it was, it’s fun to see. And from the year,
Scott Luton (46:38):
Love it. Uh, again, well, I should not be surprised that you’re involved in any other, uh, another service oriented nonprofit order. That’s helped them folks on Marla Boucher. I certainly admire all that you’ve done for and continue to do for the veteran community. And, and, you know, it’s, it’s great to reconnect with you. Speaking of connections, this is, this is overdue. You know, we, we talked about this long ago as we were breaking bread over healthy salads right now it’s closed. You heard it’s called it down, right. That’s right. The restaurant that Seth and I had lunch in last, unfortunately what’s claimed, uh, with, with, uh, economic and COVID-19 trends in recent months, but Hey, we’ll break bread again. Soon. We’re going to, we’re going to break through all this stuff and, and, uh, get to a much broader spot in the months ahead and again, set Dykstra and really appreciate folks connect with him on LinkedIn at a minimum.
Scott Luton (47:37):
And if you can’t find it and Seth, I’m gonna, um, we’re gonna make it really easy. We’re going to have some ways that folks can connect with you directly in the show notes. So, you know, make it real convenient for folks, but really appreciate all that you do. Uh, Seth doctrine. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you. Absolutely. We’ll do it again soon. All right. So to our listeners, hopefully you enjoyed that conversation and Seth Seth perspective and kind of point of view, as much as I did, of course, I’m partial. He’s a dear friend and someone I admire. So, but hopefully you enjoyed it. Hey, this is Scotland and wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And Hey, we’ll see you next time here on veteran voices. Thanks everybody.
Would you rather watch the show in action? Watch as Scott introduces you to Seth Deitchman and Veteran Voices through our YouTube channel.
Seth Deitchman was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and now resides in Johns Creek, GA. Professionally he is Associate Vice President, Financial Advisor and Alternative Investment Director at Morgan Stanley, based in Metro Atlanta. His practice focuses on “Needs Based Investing” in helping clients meet their needs and achieve most important goals. Prior to his 13 years in in the field of Wealth Management, he worked for Fortune 500 Hundred companies like Hewlett Packard, BF Goodrich, Marvel Entertainment and Viacom as well as some smaller companies. His career also consisted of running a small business as a Life, Career and Business Coach. Seth earned his Bachelors of Science in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University as well as his MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix in Santa Carla, CA.
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