Who Are You Carrying? With Navy SEALs Stephen Holley and Clint Bruce

May 26, 2021

In this special episode, we are joined by veteran U.S. Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley. Tune in as we honor and celebrate our nation’s heroes on the 10th anniversary of Carry The Load, a nonprofit that provides an active way to connect Americans to the sacrifices made daily by our military, veterans, first responders, and their families. In part two, we share legal insights nonprofit organizations should consider.

Listen to the full episode using the player below, or by visiting one of the links. Below is the episode’s transcript which has been edited for readability. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, email us at info@byrdadatto.com.


Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. Legal issues, simplified through real client stories and real world experiences. Creating simplicity in three, two, one.

Brad: Welcome back to another episode Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto I’m your host, Brad Adatto with my cohost Michael Byrd.

Michael: Thanks, Brad. As a business and healthcare law firm, we meet a lot of interesting people and learn their amazing stories. In today’s episode, we’re going to spend some time with some of our friends, Stephen Holley and Clint Bruce.

Brad: Yeah and today I thought we could share with our audience before we bring in our guests. We have spent a lot of time with this organization, energy wise, financial wise and law firm wise, and it’s been a lot of fun. But before we jump into today’s episode, throughout the last four seasons of this podcast, we’ve been slowly sharing some more personal information with our audience.

Michael: It’s been a real struggle for you to share, Brad.

Brad: Yes. You know, [00:01:00] I’m very quiet. So something our audience might not know is both of us have spent many weekends on camp outs with our kids at the YMCA adventure guides program.

Michael: Yes, we have one year of overlap. My kids were older and so I got through the program and I was just finishing up when you started it now many years ago.

Brad: Yeah. And so my first camp out ever that was a decade ago. About this time I met one of our guests today and learned about an organization that he had started with a college friend.

Michael: Brad, I think you need to get a little bit more detailed for our audience other than just college friend.

Brad: Okay. Well, it is true, they are college friends. Although the college is the United States Naval Academy where they both played football for Navy, graduated, and then they went on to serve in something called the Navy SEALs. [00:02:00]

Michael: Well, there’s our first vocabulary word for the day. Hopefully they’ve heard our prior episodes and know, but for those who don’t know from last time, we’d had a SEAL on in season two. SEALs, stands for Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams.

Brad: That’s right. So thanks for the clarification for audience who hadn’t heard it. So on this camp out, I spent some time with one of our guests and learned about this nonprofit that he had started with another fellow SEAL and it captured our attention and many others. And so we’re super excited and grateful that they decided to stop by our show today. Can you bring on our guests, Michael?

Michael: Yeah. So we’re going to have Stephen and Clint and I can’t wait to hear their stories and hear about Carry The Load. Both are from Dallas, served in the US Navy on SEAL Team Five, where they completed multiple deployments overseas. They are the co-founders of Carry The Load. Clint and his wife, Amy have three [00:03:00] daughters and live in Dallas. When he’s not helping with non-profit boards he is a serial entrepreneur with several companies, including TRG, Holdfast, and WindiJ. Clint has mentioned that his daughters are not impressed that he played football, was drafted by the Saints, or was a Navy SEAL. Stephen and his wife, Molly have five active children. When he’s not coaching the kids and helping with the nonprofit, Stephen is an active real estate commercial broker and a longtime client of the firm.

Brad: Gentlemen, welcome.

Clint: Great to be here.

Stephen: Thanks for having us!

Brad: Well, yeah, absolutely. We’re again, thankful that you guys can stop by. Clint, you know, coming up this weekend, we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Carry The Load, which is crazy to think about. We are excited to talk with our audience about Carry The [00:04:00] Load, but again, we want to give a little background on the two founders. So can you first please share with our audience about what made you want to join the military and become a Navy SEAL?

Clint: Yeah. Oh man, potentially it’s probably one of the questions I get asked the most often is like, Hey, when did you want to become a Navy SEAL? And for a long time, I couldn’t. I just kind of don’t remember not wanting to be one. I couldn’t ever point to like the genesis of when it was until really just recently, you know, with the COVID quarantine and all this other stuff. There’s no silver lining, it’s tragic and it’s horrible and all these other things, but one thing that has been a blessing is the impressive amount of time probably most of us have spent with our families. And I remember how my daughter came up to me and my oldest son, three daughters, my oldest said, Hey dad, do you want to watch Magnum, P.I.? And I’m like absolutely, I’d love to. She brought on a new one and I’m like, Oh, stop. When I’m [00:05:00] watching that, like that doesn’t exist to me, it’s dead to me. I took her all the way back to 1980, we started watching the original Magnum, P.I. it was actually a pretty forward thinking show. It was really one of the first shows, a positive representative of Vietnam veterans. It is one of the very first shows that really took on racism and took on the relationship that the characters have with each other and their dependency on each other is really pretty progressive show. But there was a scene in, I think it was in the second season where it kind of reveals that the lead character Thomas Magnum had played football at the Naval Academy and became a Navy SEAL. And all of a sudden I had this like super lucid memory of me growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, watching Magnum, P.I. on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM with my dad. And I just had this hyper clear memory of when they revealed it, I remember turning to look at my dad and saying, dad, I want to play football at the Naval Academy and become a Navy SEAL. And my dad looked at me like, all right. [00:06:00] And it was massively influenced by popular culture. And I just never didn’t know what I wanted to do. And there were things that kind of eclipse that, and some of these other things, but this desire to serve was really informed at a very early age. Playing football at a great high school back then was given opportunities to maybe play at other schools as well, but my father passed away my senior year and as the oldest son, you know, just knowing I needed to take care of my family and I knew the service academies just kind of made a reality available that other schools could only hope to promise. And I just remember, you know, I told my dad I was going to do this. I’d always loved the Army Navy game. The Army Navy game was a really, really powerful game for me. I remember I got interviewed one time for the Army Navy game and they were asking just about rivalries and all the sports [00:07:00] and I said, well, tell me what y’all think. And they talked about Texas OU and all these other great games. I said I love all of these games, but Army Navy stands apart. They said why? I said, will you show me another game where everyone playing is willing to die for everybody watching, and I’ll tell you that we have company. And I just always want to be a part of something like that. And I remember telling my coach like, Hey, I want to be a Navy SEAL. You just told me you want to be a Navy SEAL. That’s incorrect. That is not true. It’s harder than that. And so I never knew I could go to the Naval Academy and become a Navy SEAL but I was very fortunate to just kind of lean forward into that space. And by myself, you know, surrounded by these amazing men that Stephen and I call teammates both in the Navy football brotherhood, and then in the SEAL team after that. It was what I told my dad I’d do when I [00:08:00] was really young.

Michael: That’s amazing. I will have to admit, I did not predict we’d be talking about Tom Selleck today, but.

Clint: Well, it’s always right to talk about Tom Selleck. The last part of that story is not particularly a great part of the story. It was when Matt and I were watching that and my middle daughter comes in. Hey dad, when did you look like that? And Amy, my bride was in the kitchen, she shouts unsolicited, no one invited her to this conversation. She said, your father has never looked like that. I thought it was pretty hurtful. It’s not true I just didn’t want to be reminded of it.

Michael: All right, Stephen, let’s hear your story about how you came to want to become a SEAL.

Stephen: Well, it all started so young age watching the season two, (laughter). [00:09:00] In all seriousness, I had two grandfathers, both served in World War Two. One of which landed on Normandy, on D-Day and fought all the way to the battle of the bulge. I had a brother-in-law that graduated from the Naval Academy when I was in eighth grade and married my sister. So I always had an awareness, but it really wasn’t until I went and visited the Naval Academy on a football recruiting trip. And actually that’s where I met for the first time. And, you know, at the time I thought it was a real long shot, but I’ll never forget getting back on the plane, coming home on a Sunday and really taking it all in. I just thought to myself, there’s really no better opportunity to go play football and get a phenomenal education and to have [00:10:00] the opportunity to lead men and women ultimately, and have an experience in the military that money can’t buy. All of that kind of flashed through my head as an 18 year old kid. And I thought, I just can’t turn it down. That’s when the decision was made. And ultimately when I got to the Academy, going back to my brother-in-law, he was stationed on Coronado as a service warfare officer and had several good friends in the SEALs. Once I got there, it was always in the back of my head of what I wanted to do, and lucky enough, I was able to get a spot to go to both. So that’s the nutshell of how all that comes out.

Clint: Well, just to add to that, I don’t think Stephen knows this, but the two guys that Stephen visited with, Ben Fay and myself, we were both pulled aside by the coaches being Dallas Fort worth kids and they were like pavers. And they were like, hey listen, he is probably one of our top recruits. [00:11:00] So Stephen was, we really wanted him at Navy. And so it’s fun to hear him talk about, Hey, I think I got a chance while I’m here on the other side of this staff, hey, we’d really like to get this kid here. So it’s fun to have that kind of thread of continuity too, in our stories.

Brad: That’s awesome. Well, as Michael referenced, we did have a SEAL that you both know very well, Birdman on a while back. So he did give us a good explanation of what buds was like for him. But one of the things he did share that on the fun side of the SEALs life was, his first call sign when it started off, and then eventually what it became. For our audience, would you feel free to share your original call sign, and then eventually your call sign when you left the SEALs?

Clint: We’re more of nicknames than call signs and I think we iterated the moment. Like the one that kind of landed on me was a Silverback. And [00:12:00] physical similarities were probably influential in that, but there was also a minor incident with some monkeys in the Philippines.

Stephen: Which is one of the funniest stories you’ll ever hear.

Clint: Don’t stare at the monkey isn’t a metaphor. It’s like, any one monkey is not a problem. It’s just when all of them. I don’t ever really get mad until I do, and then when I do it’s a spectacular bit of rage. Now just go sit down because anger is cardio and I’m not going to do cardio. That’s the nickname that I found myself hearing the most.

Brad: And for our audience that has never seen or met Clint, he’s a big man. Played linebacker for the Naval Academy, was [00:13:00] drafted by my Saints a million years ago, so big guy. That’s a good title for you. Mr. Holley, what was your nickname as a Clint says it?

Stephen: I’ve kind of ran through a few of them. There was sunshine, there was Holleywood, there was Steve-O, there was a few of them that kind of rotated through based on the group of guys that I was serving with.

Brad: Hollywood, now I liked that one because for those who have not met Mr. Holley, he’s a good looking boy, Navy quarterback. So maybe he could have played that Magnum, P.I. guy.

Michael: Let’s hear and learn the story about Carry The [00:14:00] Load. Clint, you go first. Tell me what made you want to start Carry The Load.

Clint: Yeah. I mean, like when people say I started Carry The Load, I tend to say like, Hey, I started walking on Memorial day. That’s what I did. But Carry The Load is now so far beyond the design or idea of certainly me and I think maybe any one person. It’s very much a collective, but for me it started really after red wings, after we lost a bunch of friends in Afghanistan, there was that story with Marcus and I just remember that following Memorial Day, we’re at this great friend’s house. And for me, when I use the word civilian it’s kind of a neutral term when I say citizen that’s a complimentary term like civilian is someone who just doesn’t generally mess up. A citizen is someone who takes [00:15:00] this gift that being an American citizen is and does something with it in their community and their neighborhood and in their own family. They just do more than they have to for people they don’t know. And these people are wonderful citizens. They’ve never served, but they’re amazing citizens and really dear friends. And I just was not there. I mean, I was in their backyard, we were having a party and I just wanted to be anywhere else but there, but I didn’t know where I wanted to be. And my bride came up to me and she kind of pulled me aside. She said, hey, you’re scaring everybody. She was trying to show me a picture. I’m a bigger guy and I had my glasses on and she pulled me to the side of the house and she said, Hey, I love you and I know you hate this and she just, she didn’t gesture to anyone, she just gestured kind of to the weekend. And then she said, I’ve never known you to not do something about the things you disagree with. So do something or get over it. And so I went [00:16:00] put a pound for every person I lost in my backpack and I just started walking. I was around white rock Lake and it was super-hot and I remember it was pretty busy. I remember coming around the corner, there was a World War Two gentlemen and I think the world loves that generation. I was going to say something to him as I got closer to him but he said something to me first, so I pulled my headphones out and I turned around, I looked at him and he said, son. And I said, yes, sir. He said, who are you carrying? And it just kind of took my breath away because he had kind of articulated that ache. He kind of put the words into what I was feeling, and I’ve always felt like I needed to be around people who get what I don’t know how to say, so I figure it out or I don’t have a say anything. And he did that in that moment. So that just became a thing that I did on Memorial Day. And I remember sharing that with Stephen and a few of the people, and I [00:17:00] knew Stephen would want to do something like that too, because we both had this same pain and anger and frustration. What was so amazing to me was seeing men and women like you that haven’t served, but they were just like, Hey, I want to do something. I need you to know that your friend matter to me. Because the calculus is kind of like this. Like my friends thought people were dying for, even though they didn’t know them. And when the people who they died for don’t remember them on the one day they’re supposed to, it does not make sense to me and I needed it to make sense to me. And so for me, it was amazing just really out of the healing started for me in that very first year when it wasn’t nearly what it is right now, it was almost a thousand people and like 200 or more later this year that wanted to remember their family members. I just remember even your family member that had boots around his neck the whole time. Jenny was there with all the kids [00:18:00] and for me, like the wound started kind of closing and every year it’s just incrementally gone. So it really started because a bunch of people said, Hey, I want to do something too. I think Stephens and my maybe greatest gift was listening to other people, telling us how they wanted to do it and just being a part of that whole thing. And then obviously as it kind of grew, and it’s really amazing now to watch you and Debbie and Todd and everybody’s leadership now kind of making what it is. It’s kind of this thing that becomes everybody’s version of saying thank you. And it’s really special. So I just started walking. Everyone else has made Carry The Load.

Brad: Well said. Stephen?

Stephen: I would tell you that my first memory of it, I remember [00:19:00] Clint sharing that experience, but I also remember Clint wrote like a white paper on it and I think just to piggyback on what you said, I think after that guy had articulated what some of those emotions that Clint was dealing with that triggered a flood of emotions on a piece of paper. And it was a white paper on what this could be and why, and it struck a nerve with me, obviously, because a lot of the same folks that he was remembering, I had known as well. And I just saw this vision around what this event could be. And there was a lot of emotion around it. And anyway, that was my first memory of it. And I remember reading it and I was actually, I think I was in my sister’s kitchen when I got the email or the text from Clint read that. And so we started [00:20:00] gathering with a group of people shortly thereafter, a handful of people and started socializing what this event could be. And one thing led to another, and here we are going into our 10th anniversary. And now we’re coming up on $30 million raised and dozens and dozens of nonprofits across the country that we’ve supported. And all the while raising awareness around Memorial Day and the men and women who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. So I don’t think in our wildest dreams, going back to Clint’s experience or my initial experience with it, we could have envisioned where we are, but we’re where we are because of people that came alongside us that really care. More often than not they didn’t have any military experience and who understood what we were trying to do and made the mission their own. [00:21:00]

Clint: To give you an example of how Stephen and I really say this wasn’t our idea, because I remember when Steve and I figured out what to do, he was like, no, let’s run for 20 hours. So who would want to do something for 20 hours? And then he’s like let’s run. I’m like, we’ll eat. We got to talking and I can’t talk and run. Like you can talk and run, you run if you want to, but I’m walking. And then we had this kind of vision, what it is. And I remember Rebecca being like I’m not coming to that. Like, we all want to do it, is this about y’all or is this about being inclusive and letting people come and do activities. And then when Rena Morris tells you to do something, I was just so dang scared of her. That first year was at White Rock Lake and then Steve and Rebecca were like, hey, let’s go to River stone. And I was really resistant. [00:22:00] In that very first year, when I saw the brilliance of it and we talked about this on the podcast, Todd does. Like first year, I mean, it was in a windstorm, watching Josh walk backwards and Jeff stall back and all these guys kind of guide him and I mean, it was just really kind of this intense thing, but you don’t pass each other. And that was the brilliance that I failed to see until that first time. There’s this energy for the purpose was to raise connection and increase awareness and connectivity and interaction. As part of that, the first time we’re on the Katy trail and you see someone coming forward, you’re coming to them. It was a piece of magic. Not only was it not my idea, I was resistant. Everybody’s got a piece of this thing. [00:23:00]

Brad: That’s awesome.

Michael: That’s amazing. Well share for the audience, Carry The Load’s mission.

Stephen: The mission statement is, you know, Carry The Load is a nonprofit that provides an active way to connect to Americans and the sacrifices made daily by our military our veterans, our first responders. We do that through our awareness events which are flagship events in Dallas, we’ve got four national relays that span the entire country that happen during the month of May. We’ve got our nonprofit partners that are part of what I call the continuum of care that support those constituents, military veteran and law enforcement fire rescue and their families in some way, shape or form across a broad spectrum. And then our third component, we’ve got an educational component that has [00:24:00] sprung out of doing a lot of speaking in different schools. And for me personally, having a couple of young kids at our first event, now that was three kids ago and they were very young, but I think they were four and six and of course, they didn’t understand what was going on, but as we did it year after year, seeing some of the stories and the pictures, I started getting very mature questions from young children. And so in educating them, we started speaking to schools. And so one thing led to another. We now have an educational arm called, Carry The Flag and Carry The Flag is essentially a curriculum around patriotism and service and sacrifice and what that means. And it’s an off the shelf curriculum. What we see in the schools across the country, in a program that continues to grow that we’re very excited about.

Brad: That’s amazing. And you know, you already [00:25:00] referenced the fact that Carry The Load for these nonprofits has already raised $30 million over 10 years, which is for a young nonprofit. It just incredible. So hat tip to you guys on that piece and when it comes to fundraising, as you said, the very first event was, for those not familiar with Dallas was a Lake, basically that you’ll walk around. And after that, it was a trail that people could go back and forth, but all of a sudden we need to find another way to impact Memorial Day. So what made you all of a sudden say, hey, let’s go take this nationally.

Clint: The very first relay, there was a gentleman named Jack. Jack is incredibly involved in boy Scouts. I think he just showed up at the first Carry The Load because it felt like something he should do. You hear him tell it and it’s pretty remarkable. And I remember Scott was like hey you got to talk to Jack and [00:26:00] I think only a few hours after we got done and I’ve listened to just how profoundly that effected Jack and his desire to kind of help us take that national. And he goes, Hey, I have got to introduce you to this guy names Bill Driscoll. And I think every once in a while, remember when we were growing up, there were like lawn darts and it had a little warning label on it, like it’s a toy, but at the same time, you know? So you just casually logged out like, Hey, I need you to meet Bill Driscoll. Like Bill is just any other human being on the planet. Bill is not just like any other human on the planet. Bill is a nuclear energy capsulated in a small man and Bill has his amazing genius of one capturing vision, and then to act on that vision. And he had [00:27:00] a history of doing the Olympic torch relays and some of these other things. And so it was really this kind of meeting in our office afterwards.  And he goes, what do you want to do? I said, I want to change how the nation does Memorial Day. And then it was just kind of this collective of really Bill and Scott and Jack envisioning something beyond the scope of us. Certainly I had thought of, and Stephen may have been there before me, I don’t know, but really, again, that’s why it’s so fun to say it’s everyone’s idea. And I remember that first relay, I said, Hey, we can step off from the center of Westfall and walk down the East coast. Cause that’s where I knew a lot of people on the East coast and I wanted to walk through there on Memorial day and show these people that their son and daughter, father, mother, sister, brother, friend, wasn’t going to be forgotten. And we ended up, we had the same goal, ground force. [00:28:00] And the other piece that I think really made that realistic was the availability of a guy names Coleman. And Coleman has looked like a 42 year old Tommy Lee Jones since he was 17. And Coleman’s going to look like a 43 year old Tommy Lee Jones when he is 90. He’s just one of the hardest working human beings I know and his wife, is amazing, and Coleman was between Stephen and me so a year behind me, highly decorated Navy SEAL Letter Theater, amazing collegiate wrestler. And he was just transitioning. Jack was generous enough to kind of fund this initial foray into this relay and I knew Coleman didn’t know what he wanted to do yet. So for me, it seemed like this perfect match. The availability of a mind like Bill and this incredible college, Abraham [00:29:00] agricultural college, and it was just like this perfect storm of talent and tenacity and desire. And I think once we did that first relay, he was so encouraging to us to go to where the hurt was and walk alongside people who miss their people. And Steve and if you ask me what my favorite stories from the relay are. And one of my favorite stories is your story of you walking through Memphis and the disgruntled construction foreman and I think there’s a magic that powered, the mission that we just never wanted to loose. [00:30:00] And because of that, it’s turned into this trying to rally and relay thing that Stephen and the team spearheaded that was just so incredible.

Brad: Stephen, can you share that story with our audience?

Stephen: Yes I’ve got tons of relay stories. There’s a lot of great memories of year one when we were up on cruise America RV.

Clint: Yeah. I was surprised he let us turn that RV back in. Frankly I was just like, hey, we need to be ready to eat the cost of this RV because I’m pretty sure it may not. We had no idea what we were doing.

Stephen: No idea what we’re doing. And it was Bill and Coleman and a medic and a driver just kind of winging it and making it up as they went and Clint and I, and others would kind of come on and off legs. Different parts of the country when they needed assistance or they needed anyway, there’s a lot of crazy stories from year one, but the story that Clint [00:31:00] referenced it was, I think it was year two. It was 2013, year two of the national relay. I had flown to Memphis, we’d driven a couple of hours and we’d met the team.

Clint: So the first time, you’re too dumb to know it. You don’t have any, you don’t know how hard it’s going to be used. You just kind of power through the next time. So the next time they’re like, hey, we’re in, we know what it’s like for the next seven hours. And Coleman was like, we need some help. And you mentioned that.

Stephen: Yeah, the year prior I flew out there last minute and walked through a couple of days. The experience was so powerful prior that year two, you said, I’m going back again. So we flew to Memphis and joined up and walked off and on through the night. The next day we got into Memphis proper and [00:32:00] walked on and off all day. And we were kind of getting into down leg that would take us kind of into downtown there on the river. And we’d been walking most of the afternoon and I think it was the four o’clock leg. I believe four o’clock in the afternoon. You got to a fire station and my plan was to get on the bus and to take a break from Seattle and meet him at the next leg. Well, you know, all of a sudden we had a last minute sign up, someone’s going to walk this leg. Well, all of a sudden this young kid and his mom walked onto the bus and I said, this young kid, he was probably eight or ten years old and he had on an Army uniform cap. And they turned out to be involved with snowball express which is one of our nonprofit partners early on. And so we [00:33:00] said, how’d you hear about us? They said, we’re  involved with snowball, we heard we should come out and meet you guys and she said, ultimately, my husband, this young man’s father was killed in Iraq and I just want my son to know that there’s people out there, there’s groups out there that are remembering their father in that service and sacrifice. And I want my son to be a part of this. We said to each other all right, we’ll walk another five miles and another two hours. And so we get out and start walking with them and we’re talking, we’re learning more of their story. And in that year we had a police escort in the front, a police escort in the back, and we had a fire truck on either end and it was quite the spectacle coming down the street. And as we’re coming down the street where I can see up ahead, we’re going to go through a [00:34:00] construction zone. And so I see this big old foreman kind of leaning out in the street thinking what is going on here? And so kind of the running joke on the relay was when people see you walking and you’re in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee and they say, Hey, where are you going? And you’re walking with an American flag and Carry The Load flag. Hey, where are you going? I say, well, we are walking to Dallas and they always think you’re kidding. No, we’re really walking to Dallas. And here’s why, and you give them the commercial about Carry The Load. As we’re walking through this construction site, big burly, gruff foreman, wearing a hard hat. He was like, what are you guys doing? And I said we are walking to Dallas, kind of somewhat being a smart ass. And he goes, no, really? And I said, this young woman lost her husband in Iraq, and this young man’s father, and we’re [00:35:00] walking in his honor. And so they know that service sacrifice is not forgotten and you could see this man’s face change. And he went over and he gave Natalie, who was the widow. He gave Natalie a big hug and a big embrace, and we just kind of stopped down and they had this moment there. And for me, it was extremely for everyone who was there extremely powerful, but just to see that connection immediately happened, and to see what it meant to her and the walker and see what it meant to this, this construction foreman. It was one of those memories that I’ll always have where you realize what you’re doing and what we were trying to do with the national relay was something special.

Brad: It’s a great story, Stephen, and thanks again for sharing. I know that between the two of you, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time hearing a lot of these stories over the years. I think if we had two or three hours to give, we would do it all because I’ve never had one of your stories that either Clint [00:36:00] or you have told that hasn’t impacted me and my family, just like your family about making sure we are good citizens and being out at that relay every year with you guys, either in Dallas or elsewhere, but one of the things we’re trying to accomplish this year in this season of our podcast is, a lot of times people don’t stop to ask, when should they ask for help? For our audience, we’ve obviously spent a lot of time with our audience on business or healthcare pieces, but every single person, there’s a moment in time. And especially when you’re starting nonprofits where you may have asked for help or you wish you would have. So when you started Carry The Load, maybe you could share and I think you already had some nuggets in there of when you stopped and asked for help.

Clint: I would tell you that I think Stephen, and I in some ways have been blessed by recognizing that as a requirement from maybe our earliest days, when you’re trying to do something so hard you [00:37:00] can’t do it by yourself, it’s more of a question of who do I ask for help than do I need to ask for help. And I think in our best versions of ourselves, we get into things, knowing we’re going to have to pick teammates. I think for me, it became really simple when people were asking me like, Hey, can I, can I do this with you? I just wanted to make sure I stewarded that Andrews and patriotism. So for me, it was really quick going. I don’t want people to do what I want to do. I want to do what people want to do in a way that makes the mission matter. So I came out of the gate when it came to something bigger than just what I did on Memorial Day. I think the ball was on the battlefield teaching pretty quickly that both of those things are [00:38:00] bigger than you. And if you don’t ask for help, fast, you’re not going to last very long on the ball on the battlefield. So I feel like we were advantaged in a lot of ways to be used to doing things that are bigger than one person could do. And it’d be more, who do I ask for help then? Do I ask for help?

Brad: Stephen?

Stephen: I can’t say it much better than that. You know, like someone said earlier, very early on, started a handful of individuals that Clint had been able to hoodwink or wrangle into this room. If you hear Scott Roman tell it, he thought he was coming to a meeting to talk about an event that had some legs and was well on her way. And it was after he’d been there for a few minutes. He realized it, this was the initial meeting on this idea. So [00:39:00] I think that it was important. The interesting thing about that is for those of you who don’t know Clint, you know, I always tell people that the best way for me to articulate and explain Clint Bruce is a great mix between a Texas high school football coach and a Southern Baptist preacher.

Brad: Stephen, I’m going to fact check you on that. Fact check, true.

Stephen: I said that to tell you, Clint in sharing this story had obviously such the nerve and move some emotions with some other people that that felt called to help. And those are the handful of people that were in that room.  We never could have pulled off what we pulled off year one without their participation and without their feedback and leadership on how we went about [00:40:00] putting this together. So going back to somewhat cliché, but in the SEAL community two is one and one is none. There’s merit to that, no matter what you’re doing in life.

Clint: Yeah. And for your listeners, I would add with that in my experience about the time I start asking myself, Hey, should I ask for help? I’m probably already too late. I’m probably already behind the curve, right? By the time it’s, the pain is such that I’m going, maybe I need some help. And there were precursors to that pain that I should’ve paid attention to that give me signals like, you know, ease up and get help man. And I’ve had hard conversations with guys who love me a lot. Like Stephen pointed out like, Hey man, you may need some help. You don’t know if there’s there shouldn’t plan hurt, playing injured and tough guys, whatever that is. We’ll think we’re playing hurt [00:41:00] when we’re actually injured. And so, you know, some of that is self-awareness and some of that is just around what people are going to tell yourself. But in, in my experience, a rule is by the time I think I need some help, probably missed a couple of signals. So creating a process of lets me know. And on the ball field it can be easy, just cause you know, those things are bigger than you. Anyway, the boardroom can be deceptive in the boardroom you can lead yourself, you know, what’s going on. And that’s why organizations like yours and stuff like what Stephen does now. Um, Hey, I’m going to find a great place to build my business where I’m going to ask someone like I’m going to think I know the law or I’m going to go out of the gate asking someone like you to help me avoid these paths. But as a rule, if you’re wondering if you need help, you’re a few hours late, maybe days and weeks.

Brad: [00:42:00] Awesome. And look, I am going to let Michael have the last word, but I just want to thank you both. You guys have been big influences on my family, not even knowing it, but from that day when Stephen talked to us about it, my kids know only one way to do Memorial Day. Because they were about the same age as yours, Stephen. To them Memorial Day is Carry The Load and remembering those who paid that ultimate sacrifice. But for meeting Stephen on that, I may not have ever known about Carry The Load. So I am obscenely appreciative that you guys had this vision, and more importantly, you were willing to not make it about Steve and running for 20 hours straight, because I know I definitely would not have done any of that either.

Clint: Yeah out of the gate, that wouldn’t happen.

Michael: Well, I can put a bow on it. You started talking about your gifts of being able to listen. And so whether it’s who to ask for help or when to ask for help, I think that the [00:43:00] listening has really enabled this non-profit to be something that’s grown, where so many people were able to emotionally connect to it beyond what Stephen would have done, which has run for the entire time.

Clint: And he can actually talk, like he can carry on a normal conversation with you at like a six minute pace.

Stephen: Normally on runs I’m thinking about, you know, statute of limitations on medical malpractice.

Clint: I do that on the heavy leg days.

Michael: It’s all fair play because Brad plays military guy when he’s at home and pretends like he’s in battle all the time.

Brad: And the sad part is that Stephen has seen me with the pistol before and knows that I would lose badly. [00:44:00]

Clint: That’s just a function of who you’re fighting. You’d be surprised.

Michael: Again, we’re so grateful that you guys joined us on the Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. We’re going to say goodbye, go into commercial, and on the other side, Brad and I will maybe touch on some of these hot topics that you guys think about when you’re working out.

Stephen: Thank you for having us/

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Brad: Welcome back to Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. I’m your host Brad Adatto and I’m still here with my cohost Michael Byrd.

Michael: Wow, man that was amazing to hear Stephen and Clint’s story. This special is a little bit longer than normal, but I was just transfixed listening to them the entire time.

Brad: It was amazing hearing what they said and why they built it. Its fun to have been part of something for so long and seeing the growth that they’ve had.

Michael: Having walked it myself that first time and connecting with the raw emotion of people who have served and those walking to honor people that have sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice for our country is, is just unbelievable. It makes you truly view this holiday in a different way. And it’s really cool to hear you talk about how your kids have kind of grown [00:46:00] up knowing that. So as we kind of wrap up Brad, our firm has been helping with the legal side of the growth of Carry The Load. And you have had an even bigger individual role serving with Carry The Load. Talk a little bit about when they starting doing these national relays and the types of implication that has just from a legal perspective.

Brad: Hopefully the audience who’s not going to tune out when they hear this it’s important in any business, whether or not you’re a nonprofit or for-profit. When their vision got so big and they moved just outside of Texas, that meant they were actually doing business in several other States and for a business entity that means that you have to do some foreign filing as a nonprofit it opened up great doors for fundraising, which was awesome as you heard how much money they’re raising, but it ran into that now you’re quite present in that state [00:47:00] fundraising. And not only do you have to let the state know you’re there, there’s a lot of filings that a nonprofit has to take on. So as we sat there as an organization and grew. We partnered with Carry The Load as a law firm and said, okay, we’re going to walk with you physically as best we can, and gratis wise help you form these different entities or filed the filings. And so there are a few people at our firm that are well-versed in all these different States and foreign filings with these nonprofit requirements and all the different registered agents you need to have. And the different secretary States or comptrollers or treasuries, groups that you have to file information from. So it was a great experience for Carry The Load to do that. But as you grow your business or in this case, you’re nonprofit and you start stepping literally into other States, you need to be aware of the impact that can have on you and a legal perspective. So I don’t know, after hearing their [00:48:00] story I almost feel bad even talking about the legal implications, Michael, and you said it too, but just as an organization, and by the way, for those listening, if you look in the episode notes, you will see the linkage to Carry The Load. So if you want to learn more about the organization is definitely an organization that we’ve been a part of for nine years now. And so we’re going into their 10th year and just been tickled that we’ve been able to participate in honored to help support this incredibly great organization.

Michael: Yeah. And I’ll say throughout this entire season, we’ve been talking about when to ask for help. And we’re always saying basically sooner than the stories that we talk about, I loved Clint’s que that it is when you start asking yourself that question. A lot of times it may be that it’s too late. And so to really start creating some discipline and some processes for your business on knowing when to [00:49:00] ask for help and, and doing so before it’s too late.

Brad: Yeah. He had some good takeaways there with the pain and understanding that the difference from playing hurt versus being injured and understanding how that hurts you. So yeah Clint dropped some good knowledge again, I don’t know if that was the high school football coach or the Baptist preacher, but either way I was spell bound by it.

Michael: It was awesome.

Brad: Thanks again for joining us. Join us next Wednesday, where we have another special episode, True confessions of a med spa owner.

Outro: Thanks again for joining us today. And remember, if you liked this episode, please subscribe. Make sure to give us a five-star rating and share with your friends. You can also sign up for the ByrdAdatto newsletter by going to our website at byrdadatto.com. ByrdAdatto is providing this podcast as a public service. This podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by ByrdAdatto. [00:50:00] The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Please consult with an attorney on your legal issues.

ByrdAdatto Founding Partner Bradford E. Adatto

Bradford E. Adatto

ByrdAdatto founding partner Michael Byrd

Michael S. Byrd

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