Live Inspired Podcast: Operation Enduring Warrior: A Veteran's Story of Redemption (ep. 200)

John O'Leary
November 07, 2019

John O'Leary

Inspiring Story of Overcoming Challenges

John O’Leary welcomes Army veteran Jonathan Lopez onto the Live Inspired Podcast for a raw + emotional conversation about embracing unexpected challenges in life.

There are many adversities we face in life. Some of outward-facing while many are scars we carry on the insides of our hearts. Today’s guest can speak to both.

Jonathan Lopez is an Army Infantry veteran + member of Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW). OEW is a veteran-founded non profit whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation's wounded military and law enforcement veterans through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.

Jonathan joins us for a raw, emotional and honest conversation about serving our country, learning how to accept unexpected circumstances + challenges in life and inspiring others to do the same.

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:

SHOW NOTES:

  • According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, more than 16 United States veterans die by suicide every day.
  • At 17 years old, Jonathan joined the Army seeking brotherhood + community, something that was lacking in his life.
  • During Special Forces Training, Jonathan realized the community he always sought was already in the barracks + quit.
  • Days later, Jonathan was involved with a head-on motorcycle accident that resulted in 17 fractures in his left leg, broke every rib on his left side + the amputation of his left arm.
  • Finding peace: “Not too long ago, I let go. It was one of the most liberating things.”
  • Jonathan’s focus + determination on rehabilitating his leg helped him cope with the loss of his arm.
  • Unleashing a monster: While rehabilitating his leg, Jonathan became addicted to opioids, which eventually led to a suicide attempt.
  • “Figuring out how to do things with one hand is not that complicated. Mental rehabilitation is hard.”
  • Redemption: During induction to Operation Enduring Warrior’s Masked Athlete Team, Jonathan’s mentor Jeff Farmer presented an opportunity for redemption.
  • “Face your obstacles, smile + get it over with.”
  • Jonathan attempted suicide not wanting his children to grow up with a “deadbeat father”. Today, he’s choosing to live because of his kids.
  • Learn more about Operation Enduring Warrior here.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Other Live Inspired Podcast guests have shared about suicide prevention + awareness.

  • Kevin Hines speaks of overcoming his “brain pain” + thriving in spite of mental illness on ep. 164.
  • Dese’Rae Stage speaks about sharing stories of other suicide attempt survivors on ep. 156.
  • Dennis Gillan discusses the loss of two brothers to suicide on ep. 46.

(Thank you to Live Inspired community member Martina for sharing her special relationship Jonathan, his connection her late son Thomas + the work OEW is doing in our communities. Share your guest recommendations with us at podcast@johnolearyinspires.com)

JONATHAN LOPEZ’S LIVE INSPIRED 7

1. What is the best book you've ever read? Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons by Dina Santorelli and Eric Davis.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I was never afraid of the unknown.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Nothing. Part of my evolution in life has to become a minimalist, be purer and not be attached to anything.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? My grandmother.

5. What is the best advice you've ever received? My grandmother taught me to plant a tree, write a book and have children. My friend Scott encourages me to leave my footprints to guide others.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Nothing. It would change where I am today.

7. It's been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Die first, then quit.

***

Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts!

Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.

The post Live Inspired Podcast: Operation Enduring Warrior: A Veteran’s Story of Redemption (ep. 200) appeared first on John O'Leary.

John O'Leary

Want John O'Leary for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
Recognizing an army of spouses this Veterans Day
John O'Leary
John O'Leary
November 11, 2019
They don't get medals, don’t march in parades"I don’t know what your destiny will be, but ...
Live Inspired Podcast: Operation Enduring Warrior: A Veteran's Story of Redemption (ep. 200)
John O'Leary
John O'Leary
November 07, 2019
John O’Leary welcomes Army veteran Jonathan Lopez ...
Our Greatest Teachers of Love
John O'Leary
John O'Leary
November 04, 2019
Listen to my conversation with Mitch about Chika on this Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moment. A lesson on love ...
Recognizing an army of spouses this Veterans Day
They don't get medals, don’t march in parades"I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." Albert SchweitzerAs we commemorate Veterans Day, let's pause to give thanks to a seldom recognized group who demonstrate true sacrifice, g...
Read More
Live Inspired Podcast: Operation Enduring Warrior: A Veteran's Story of Redemption (ep. 200)
John O’Leary welcomes Army veteran Jonathan Lopez onto the Live Inspired Podcast for a raw + emotional conversation about embracing unexpected challenges in life.There are many adversities we face in life. Some of outward-facing while many are scars we carry on the insides of our hearts. Today’s guest can speak to both.Jonathan Lopez is an Army ...
Read More
Our Greatest Teachers of Love
Listen to my conversation with Mitch about Chika on this Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moment. A lesson on love from new "family""The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." - Eden AhbezGrowing up, I loved when my dad came home from work.Like a loyal dog, each evening I'd listen for the sound of his car door, rac...
Read More
Live Inspired Podcast: One Mother's Uplifting Journey to Defeating Childhood Cancer (ep. 198)
John O’Leary welcomes Dr. April Jonesto the Live Inspired Podcast as she shares her uplifting story of turning her pain into purpose.How do we react when an unwanted diagnosis appears? Or when adversity arises with a child, a loved one or for ourselves? How do we move forward with compassion, courage, love, respect, possibility, and certainty th...
Read More
Live Inspired Podcast: American Idol's William Hung: Champion by Choice (ep. 196)
John O’Leary welcomes American Idol’s William Hung to the Live Inspired Podcast as he shares about taking chances and becoming a champion by choice.How do you handle situations that feel like massive setbacks? How do you react when you're told, "it can't be done," “you're not good enough,” or “you're destined to be a failure?”William Hung has re...
Read More
How to Change the World
Showcasing the Power of YOU"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher, can change the world." - Malala YousafzaiLast Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to spend a full day with my new friends at Gannon University in Erie, PA and what a full day it was!It started with a breakfast with the president, faculty and key staff,...
Read More
Live Inspired Podcast: Four Steps to Fail Forward (Monday Moments ep. 195)
On this week’s Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moments segment, John O’Leary shares four steps to help you successfully fail forward."Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie AndrewsSubscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:Life innately involves failures and miss...
Read More
Which One Would You Choose?
A New Lens for Old Photos "When I look at my old pictures, all I can see is what I used to be but am no longer. I think: What I can see is what I am not." Aleksandar Hemon If you had to summarize the entirety of your life in one photograph, which one would you use? The one with your scrunched up, round little face taken the day...
Read More
A Date That Changed Your Life
Photo Credit: Mike Coots What You Do Next Matters "No matter what sort of difficulties, or how painful the experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster." -Dalai Lama XIV Earlier this summer I shared an essay about how we all endure moments that drastically change everything that happens after it. A date that pivot...
Read More
Live Inspired Podcast: Bethany Hamilton: Living Unstoppable (ep. 178)
John O'Leary welcome professional surfer Bethany Hamilton to the Live Inspired Podcast showing us how to overcome challenges with faith and gratitude. Bethany Hamilton was just 13 years old when she became a household name after being attacked by a shark while surfing. She lost her arm and nearly her life, but just one month after the attac...
Read More