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Tactical Living

Oct 30, 2019

Ashlie: (00:18)

Welcome back to another episode of Tactical Living by LEO Warriors. I'm your host Ashlie Walton, and today I am joined by a very special guest named Melissa Watson. Melissa, how are you?




I'm doing well, thank you. How are you doing?




I'm good. Thank you for asking. Thank you for joining me today. You're taking the seat of Clint who is currently outside throwing around my nephew in the pool. I appreciate you coming on, Melissa, and the reason that I invited you onto our show was because you have such a rich history as it pertains to your family experience and relationships with law enforcement.


You also hold a story of what I believe to be an incredible hero who was lost and Iraqi Freedom. You are probably one of the only people that I know personally that has lost 145 pounds. I just blows my mind and you've even survived what I believe is an incredibly physically abusive relationship in your past and getting even deeper than that. You shared with me that there's a layer to your story, which involves you being married to a man adopting two children and then later finding out that that wasn't his path and having to let go of those kids.




Yes, that is all correct.

Ashlie: (01:38)

That's a lot, and it's even heavy for me even saying that and recounting that, and it's not my story. The whole purpose for the listener is for us to just be able to give a space to really show the transformation of how much strength a woman can have and how going through the journey of some of the most difficult elements of life could really transpire into something beautiful.


Which I believe is what led you to meet Kevin, who you're with right now. And we'll get to that in a second. Melissa, I just wonder if you could just take us back. I know you're 38 years old, can we go back to that space where you're 21 and you're just getting into a relationship with somebody who you would have never imagined, would have turned out the way that you would thought?




Um, okay, so it's 21. I met Miguel and we had a pretty good relationship and then he just started turning violent.

Melissa: (02:46)

I mean, the first time he was, he was violent with me was, when he told me he didn't ask me, he just literally ordered me to give him his glass of water, which was right next to him. And I was on the other side and I said, it's right next to you. Why don't you get it? And he turned around and he just slapped me and he said, if I tell you to do something, you do it. The breaking point was one night he was sitting on his doorstep. I was with him, I had my best friend with me and he was, for lack of better words, cleaning his weed. I just flat out told him, if you cared about me half as much as you cared about your weed, we'd have a better relationship.


He put everything down, he got up and He told me to stand up and I thought he was going to hug me and he punched me in the face. He knocked me down, he started kicking me and I thought I was going to die. I was in so much pain and I heard the, the unmistakable sound of a gun, you know the clicking, it was being cocked and I thought, this is it. I'm going to die. And it was my best friend. And he told, him that if you touch her one more time and I'll blow your head off.


Miguel said, go ahead and do it. I don't fucking care. My best friend said, you know what? She's more important than you. He picked me up, put me in his car, and he took me to the hospital. Surprisingly, regardless of what I told everybody in the Er, they were like, did you fall? Did you do this? And I said, no, my boyfriend did this to me.


I ended up having a concussion. I had two broken ribs. One of them was slightly fractured and law enforcement surprisingly didn't do anything. After that I did not see Miguel again. I stayed away from him and I just, I tried to live my life as much as I could.


On the dreadful day of September 11th, he showed up at my house and he basically just put me against the wall and he tried to choke me and I had one of my friends on the phone and I said, you need to get here, get here now. I had called 911, and they said, because of what's going on right now, we can't send anybody over there. So my friends showed up, he took off and I went to stay with my friends. He didn't know where they live so he couldn’t find me. But from what my parents say, he kept going to the house looking for me.

Melissa: (06:08)

After that, I just did my best to stay away from him. He finally forgot about me. His family did too, so I was okay. I was good, he did kind of stick with me a little bit. If I went out on a date, he knew about it, but after a while he just, he let me go and I found out a few years ago, he is now a registered sex offender. He tried to forcibly rape somebody and was abusive so they filed battery charges on him and rape charges and now he is his sex offender and I couldn't be happier about that because he has reported every year. And that means hopefully everybody else is safe from him now.

Ashlie: (07:14)

Melissa, I can tell the emotion as you're recounting this story and I couldn't agree with you more in knowing that at least when we have this title on somebody, as disgusting as it sounds like Miguel was. At least when they're in the system, they're traceable, they're trackable, he has to check in. There's something consistent about his whereabouts at all times. There's limitations on those things. I wonder if you could just share with the listener how it felt when you found out that he was registered in this system and at least there was some sort of container surrounding him in what he could potentially do to you or somebody else.

Melissa: (08:06)

I was relieved because he can be traced. You can be watched, but at the same time, some what I know about him and what I've learned as far as, you know, studying criminal justice, it can still happen and victims are likely to stay silent because they're just afraid. They're afraid he's going to come back. Me being a victim of him, I was very open about it, but nobody did anything and that really, really hurt. But knowing that he is registered now and he has to check in, it doesn't mean he can't hurt anybody, but hopefully it has just calmed him in a sense and he's not going to do it. But I do, I do hope that he doesn't because nobody needs to go through that. Nobody.

Ashlie: (09:23)

Yeah, absolutely. Melissa, what are some recommendations that you would have for anybody else? Being a man, a man, or a woman in a potentially physically abusive relationship who maybe feel like they are alone and don't have that courage to, voice what's really happening.

Melissa: (09:45)

The best thing I can say is find your strength and get out and know it's hard. I put up with it for over a year. There are so many resources out there. You are saved as soon as you reach out, you are saved. Law enforcement will help, hopefully you have people as a support circle that will help you just like I did.

Melissa: (10:16)

But the best thing to do is just get out because your life is infinitely more valuable than a relationship with somebody who is willing to hurt you.

Ashlie: (10:28)

That speaks right to the center of my chest because I think that a lot of people are still living in these homes and in these relationships. So silently because of that fear. And I think that message of just knowing that they're worth it and more important and to just get out is the best advice that somebody who has experienced this before will give. So I thank you for sharing that.

Melissa: (10:52)

No, definitely. I mean it was, it was hard for me, but knowing that I had my friends, I could definitely get out of it and it took a while, but at some point you realize your life is, worth it. The relationship is not, you know, if you have kids, if you're just dating, it's, it's not worth it to go through the pain. You can save your kids, you can save yourself. I mean, if I could, I'd reach out to everybody that's in that relationship and let them talk to me, let me help them. But I know there's so many relationships that are abusive, whether it's a husband, a boyfriend, a wife, a girlfriend, it's difficult to reach out.

Ashlie: (11:45)

Yeah, for sure. So at that time, when, when you were healing or, or at least starting to walk away from history with Miguel and growing away from that and building your independence as a young woman in your young twenties take us to that point where you came across private first-class Sean Tharp, what was that like? What was that interaction like? When that friendship first happened.

Melissa: (12:11)

That was back when AOL was a big thing.

Ashlie: (12:17)

Right. For you as you listen is if you do not know what AOL is, that makes both Melissa and I undoubtedly feel way older than we are, but all in all it was an instant messaging service. Very comparable to what those young kids today would compare to Facebook messenger.

Melissa: (12:35)

Yes. And he chimed in on somebody just being stupid on the Messenger. And I said, why don't you, you know, private message me? And he said, okay. And we just kind of started our friendship and I will never forget his handle for all. It's Merv engineer, M E R V engineer. I asked him about that and he was telling me about all this military stuff. He was, he was really into military.


His mom and dad were a retired military and man we just, we clicked, we became friends and there was so many times where we would spend hours on the phone, you know, just talking and laughing or he would share any kind of grief he was having. I would share it with him, what I was going through. We just knew that we were soulmates. He was undoubtedly the best friend I could ever have.

Melissa: (13:47)

He told me he wanted to enlist in the army and I told him, I said, considering what you've gone through, what you've done to yourself, I don't know if they'll take you, but I, you know, if that's what you want to do, then you know, I support you and then he called me one day. He said he spoke to a recruiting officer and he enlisted in the army and I felt just so down deep inside my soul that I was going to lose him.


I told him, I said, if that's what you want to do, then I support you but, you need to come back home. And he went through his training. He, he did AIT, he wrote to me from basic training through AIT. I have his last letter he sent me. Then he told me when he was being deployed and he deployed in February of 2006 and he would call me and his mom every other day.

Melissa: (15:02)

He would spend about 15 minutes on the phone with me and 45 minutes with his mom. The last time I talked to him, he spent 30 minutes on the phone with me and I said, you need to call your mom. And he said, no, I want to spend some time talking to you. He told me a few days before that he almost got blown up and I said, I don't want to hear that, please. And he said, it's just, it's crazy out here.


What's going on and at the end of our phone call, I told him, I hope you know me and your mom are very proud of you and I want you to know that I love you. And he said, I love you too, Melissa. And I said, you just be safe. Please come back home. And he basically said the same thing to his mom. A few days later he was shot by an insurgent and somebody from his unit told me, “I’m sorry,” and a fellow soldier told me that he held Sean while he was lying there and he told this soldier, please tell my mom I love her and I'm sorry. And tell Melissa I'm coming home, but not alive. And they had just sent out,

Melissa: (16:58)

I just sent a care package to him and a couple of weeks after he was shot, it came back to me. I still have the letter I put in there and it just, it killed me. I reached out to his mom and she said that all he ever did was talk about me and how much I meant to him. And his mom's pretty much become like another mother to me and we just, we have this bond. It was because of Sean. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. He, was this huge light in my life. And one of the favorite things that I remember about him, I told him I had, you know, a couple of guys that were, you know, kind of hitting on me and flirting with me. And he told me, I don't get why they want you.

Melissa: (18:10)

You're not like a supermodel or anything. And I hung up on him and he called me back and I said, what do you want? And he just started talking about like the Russian military, the German military, and that was his way of apologizing and that's something, you know, I will take with me forever because that’s his way of apologizing. It just, it makes me laugh now. But then I was really mad at him and every year, memorial day and his birthday, I have a milkshake for him. His favorite was strawberry, but I can't do strawberries. So I do chocolate and I call his mom and we just, we just share our times, our times with Sean. He was, he was such an amazing, amazing man and we had this really deep connection.

Melissa: (19:14)

One of the last things he told me was I will always be with you and I will always protect you. And after he was shot, I remember being in my room at my parents' house and I was crying and it looked like he was standing right there. He was just leaning against the wall. And I know he is with me there so many times. I just talked to him like I'm, for lack of better words, like I talked to the stars and I know he's there and it never fails. Whether it's summer, spring, fall, winter, there's always this green humming bird... I mean, this bird has been showing up since I lost him.

Melissa: (20:23)

I know it's him. I miss him so much. One of the things, sadness about him was just him being stoic, just so proud of what he was, but being very open with me about his depression. He was going through so much and important to me to always be there for him. And in turn, he's always there for me, even though he's not, he's not here physically, but I know he's here. He's with me. So many times I've just reached out to him and telling him, please help me. And somehow I find the strength, I find happiness. I find just a comfort with whatever's going on.

Melissa: (21:37)

I just, I don’t know, I will always love him. Yeah. And I know he will always love his mom. He will always love me. No, he was, he is. He is my hero and he is my soul mate. He's my best friend and I am so grateful that just by chance we met. you use so man some so strong just to get through what he went through fighting these demons and confided in me about his demons. Just being able to do what he did to enlist in the army, do what he wanted to do. He told me he was, you know, the fastest in the mile in his unit in basic training and he wanted to go to training for a paratrooper, but he got deployed and he was so close to home. He was, in Fort Hood and I wanted to see him. I wanted to go there and just, you know, see him one last time because I knew he wasn't going to come home and it's just, I don't know. He's my, he will always be my soul mate. There's no doubt about it and I will always love him.

Ashlie: (23:27)

Melissa, as you share this, the amount of strength that it's taking me to hold back my emotion does not even compare it to the amount of strength that it took for you to share everything that you just shared with us.

Ashlie: (23:45)

I thank you for that. As you listen, if we could just pause for a moment, pause for a moment to realize all of the gifts that we are given on a daily basis based on the sacrifice, the sacrifice of heroes like private first class, Sean Tharpe, the sacrifice of friends, of mothers, of fathers and siblings. Melissa, I am so grateful and proud of you for sharing that story, but I am so honored to be able to showcase a story like Sean's and I hope that you can share a message with his mom, his family, and just let them know how proud we are to live in a country that we do. To know that there are people that are just like Sean that are Sean, that have lost their lives, defending our freedom,

Melissa: (24:53)

His mom, knows we talk often and she always tells me, thank you for keeping this memory of life, but I wouldn't do it any other way. I was asked once, if you could go back and do it all over would you have any friends that you have enlisted? In a heartbeat. We weren't meant to know each other and there were so many times we both, we literally saved each other's lives and his mom, like I said, she's another mother to me. She was at my wedding. We had a little table set aside just for Sean. It was the fallen soldiers table and there's photos of us just standing there hugging each other crying because we miss him so much. He's such a huge part of my life, even though it was just a moment in the grand scheme of things because he's such a huge part of my life. She knows that he brought me and his mom together and we, we do rely on each other. Sometimes it gets hard and we just reach out and we're there. We're there for each other.

Ashlie: (26:41)

It's a beautiful misery to see what a special relationship came from something so tragic. And again, private first class, Sean Tharpe died in Iraqi Freedom on March 28th, 2006 and we are forever in his debt for his service and his loss of life. Well Melissa I know how heavy this is and if, if you want to stop here, I'm fine with that too. But if not, and if you want to continue forward a little bit past everything that had transpired in 2006 and your move to Sacramento and what had taken place when you started to uncover those emotions and try to move on after the death of Sean

Melissa: (27:43)

I'm totally okay with moving forward. After I was notified about Sean's death, my really close friend who was like a sister to me, I called her and I told her. She came up to my house, I was absolutely in no state to drive. And she picked me up and she just let me cry. I don't think, I don't think I will ever heal because that's just, that's a wound that somebody can't heal from. You know, you're, losing your best friend. His mother lost her oldest son, her only child. It's a wound you don't heal from, but you just, you just kind of put a band aid over it that you carry it you’re your life. A few months after his passing, I got engaged to a truck driver, which was not a smart move on my part, but I think I was just trying to get over the loss. This person, this man, I don't even want to call him a man because he's not, he apparently had a bunch of girlfriends along his route, you know, throughout Texas, Alabama and California. And he was engaged to I think seven other women.

Melissa: (29:43)

He drained my bank account. He left me with $24 and 17 cents. I never heard from him again after that. I was done. I was done with where I lived. I was done with dealing with people who were toxic. I contacted my then friend and I said, I need to move. And she told me to move to Sacramento, you can live with me

Melissa: (30:21)

She said to just pay me 300 a month for rent. I said, okay, I'll do it. Just give me a month to tie up loose ends here. Much later. It was the end of September.

Melissa: (30:39)

I packed up my car, put my cat in the car and I made my journey to Sacramento and I started my new life.

Melissa: (30:58)

Shortly after that I met my ex-husband. At the time he, he courted me. He just swept me off my feet. In 2009 I moved in with him. Our relationship just took off from there and he proposed to me in front of my grandparents. He asked my grandfather for his permission. He wanted my grandfather if it was ok for him to propose me. When he proposed to me, I was just beside myself. I was crying and I said yes. And my grandparents were so happy. Probably about a year, year and a half later is when we got married.

Melissa: (32:11)

Looking back at the wedding, I honestly regret it. I don't have many regrets in my life that I regret marrying him. We found out about six to eight months after the wedding that I wasn't able to conceive children. So we started the adoption process and he would go back and forth. He was like, I don't want to do it. Let's do it. I don't want to do it. The third time he said, okay, let's, let's go through with everything. I told him flat out, if you change your mind again, I'm leaving. You can't keep playing with my heart. You can't keep, you know, being a puppet master. I'm not going to put up with it. He told me no, he was sure he wanted to have a kid. He wanted to be a dad and it took about a year. We went through the whole adoption process. They do background checks, they do inspections of the home, they do interviews, they ask like really deep personal questions.

Melissa: (33:42)

It was in November, we got called, they told us they had a brother and sister or another child and they wanted us to choose the other child. It's that that kid's family was kind of vying for custody of him. We went through the history of the two kids that we ended up deciding on and it took a couple of weeks and we just, you know, we debated, do we want these kids who comes from an abusive home? I mean she was five years old taking care of an infant in. We just stated. Yes. That's,  usually the kids we went and we were told, you need to get down here or I'm sorry, you need to get up here to where they're at and you're going to take them home. And it was just like such a quick, just, I don't know is, it was almost weird, but we had to drive up to northern California, to pretty much the state line between Oregon and California.

Speaker 5: (35:17)
We met these two beautiful kids. They were staying with their aunt and she told us, you know, he's nonverbal, he's violent, he does this, you can't take them out into public. And I refused to believe that, you know, we met these beautiful kids and they look just like us and we took them out to go eat. We spent time with them. We took them to the beach and they were just, they were perfect, perfect angels. And we brought them home and they got to meet my mother. They've got to meet my ex husband's stepmother.

Melissa: (36:13)

Within a month we had the little boy talking. He was, you know, just extremely verbal. And he would tell us everything from what he wanted to eat, to what he wanted to watch. We were told that he would not be potty trained until he was six, if that, if we were lucky within a few months he was potty trained. We had to take we had to take him in to be tested as far as his mentality goes. And they scored him in the 98th percentile that he was extremely smart and his sister would help me with him. She would teach him the alphabet, how to read numbers, and both of them were extremely smart and I just, I love to be with them. They both had their emotional issues from what they had been through, but they were my kids there, my son and daughter. And when it came time to officially adopt them, I asked her, what do you want your name to be?

Melissa: (37:46)

She had been watching Grey's anatomy with me and she said, that lady is so pretty. I like her name. And she was talking about Addison and I said, well that can be her middle name, baby girl. And she said, I like that. So we, you know, we had filled out the paperwork, we were weeks away, two or three weeks from going to court to make it a hundred percent official. And I came home from the gym, it was the day before my birthday and my ex-husband said I needed to talk to you. And I thought the kids had done something because whenever they were alone with him, they apparently always acted up, never listened. And I said, what happened? And he told them to go to their rooms and watch TV and close their doors. And I thought, oh my gosh, they had to have done something really bad. And he looked me dead in the eyes and he said, I can't do this. I don't want to be a father. I never have and I never will. You need to contact the adoption agency and get rid of the kids. And it just shattered me.

Melissa: (39:29)

I hated him after that.

Melissa: (39:34)

I was berated and accused and yelled at by the adoption agency when we had our meeting with them after he said that it really hurt. They do not find fault in him, but they questioned me. They said, if your marriage was so bad, if he didn't want this, why did you do this? And they just, they, they accused me and I told them I love these kids. If I could, I would keep them. I would walk away from him if I could support them, but I couldn't because he would not let me work. And they asked if divorce was an option and before I could say anything, he said, no it's not. And I looked at our case worker and her boss and I said, it's on the table and they asked if I would be able to support the kids and I said, I can't, not alone.

Melissa: (40:53)

Eight days later, okay. They were there to pick up the kids and they moved them to Redding with another foster family who ended up adopting them the night before they picked them up, they were over to explain to them what was happening. My little girl, she came into the den and she said, Mommy, can I ask you guys a question? And my ex got up and left the room and I said, of course you can ask me anything. And she said, why don't you love us? And I fell apart and I hugged her and I said, I do. I do love you guys.

Melissa: (41:49)

For her being so young to look me in the eyes and tell me, why don't you divorce him and keep us, that just, that broke my heart. You know, she was crying, I was crying, her brother was crying and I hugged them and I said, I love you guys and if I could, I would keep you guys. I will always be your mommy. I will always be there for you. And I'm sorry this is happening. Then both of them looked at me and they said, we hate him and all I could do is hug them and I love those kids and I miss them, but I know they're in a better place. They're with a family that's going to take care of them. I know they’re happier because the fact that my ex was jealous of the attention I gave them there's no way they would've had a happy home with us and for him to tell me that he didn't like that I was paying more attention to them than him and for him to tell me a month later if they had been our children, if you had given birth to them, it would have been different.

Melissa: (43:36)

That's what I knew I was officially in. Totally done.

Melissa: (43:42)

I was done with him. I could not be married to a man who was that narcissistic that he would get jealous over a mother's love for her children and things went downhill really quickly. From there. He got even more so emotionally abusive. He would get basically to the point where he was about to be physically abusive, but because of what his job is, he wouldn't do that. He would back me into corners and yell at me. He would slam his fist on the counters. He would, he would just basically tell me I was worth nothing. And if it wasn't for my small circle of friends, I probably wouldn't be here today.

Ashlie: (44:59)

Wow Melissa. And going through what had happened and you moving to Sacramento and thinking that everything that had happened after Sean passed away and you meeting your ex husband and him sweeping you off your feet the way that he did. And then getting the opportunity to meet these two angels, the son and daughter, and having them in your home and raising them as your own for a year. And then the devastation of what transpired with your ex husband.

Ashlie: (45:34)

How did you pull yourself about that after the divorce?

Melissa: (45:42)

My friends helped a lot. My best friend Austin, my best friend that was here, um, my sister, I call her my sister Cathy. She was a huge role in making sure that I was okay. Her husband, her, her kids, my friend Becky and her husband, everybody just kind of rallied around me. My ex husband had called a bunch of people and told them it was my fault and I did lose a few friends, but they were also his friends and it just, it opened my eyes to who was really, really my friend and I had met, I had met Kevin and I think one of the pivotal points in me deciding to walk away from my ex was I have to fly to Texas because my, my grandmother had passed away and the entire time I was there,

Melissa: (47:15)

my ex would call me and just complain about the kids and you need to talk to them to tell them to listen to me. You need to do this. They're not listening. They're screaming and they're doing this. But Kevin checked on me. He asked how I was holding up. My ex never asked. He just called to complain. Kevin checked on me, my friends checked on me. They asked how I was holding up, how I was doing, if there was anything they could do, what my ex never did. All he did was complain in that. That was when I knew, you know, I had been thinking of it before, but that's what I knew I needed to divorce him and that that's what made my decision was he didn't care that I was hurting, that I had lost somebody so dear to me and all he could do was just complain.

Ashlie: (48:29)

So Melissa, let's fast forward a little bit. We were in 2014 to 15 you lost 145 pounds. Just from seeing your feed on your Instagram, seeing the pictures and the transformation, I can see the level of confidence and self ownership that had taken place during that time.

Ashlie: (48:50)

Talk to me a little bit more about how the relationship between you and Kevin, who you are still with today transpired since 2015.

Melissa: (49:04)

Kevin was his a rock for me. He um,

Melissa: (49:12)

yeah, him and a couple other people would cheer me up by telling me I could do this.

Melissa: (49:22)

I met him shortly after I had lost a hundred pounds and he was, he was blown away that I had done that in seven months. And then along the way I lost another 45 pounds and that just that totally change my mentality because it wasn't,

Melissa: (49:47)

I was almost 300 pounds. I was this woman who was just trapped in the shell and just assuming everything that came her way was because of her. I flourished. I had so much confidence and I decided I was going to become a trainer and my friend who's a retired marine, he was cheering me on. He said, you can do this, you're going to be an awesome trainer because you can definitely relate to people who want to lose weight. And Kevin was the same way. My friend Dee at the time, she  was cheering me on everybody, but my ex was supportive and I became a trainer. I was certified and that just made me so happy that I was able to help so many other people change their lives and lose the weight that they wanted to and just become happier with ourselves. And that was just so rewarding to me because people saw me, they knew what I had done and they realize that they're capable of doing it too and me helping them along. Just that, that's what made me happy, was being able to help other people and through thick and thin three people were always by my side.

Melissa: (51:49)

My friend who's the retired marine, my best friend, Adrian and Kevin, they were always by my side and they encouraged me so much and the three of them even asked me for advice on how they could lose weight gain muscle and I was wanting to happy to help them and I'm glad that the three of them are still a huge part of my life.

Ashlie: (52:21)

Oh, Melissa, I know as you listen, this has been quite a heavy show, quite heavier than most of our episodes, but I am so honored and proud and privileged to know you and to see the journey that you have come through really in such a short amount of time. And I just wonder, Melissa is as you sit there for the listener, if anybody is dealing with something like domestic violence or the loss of a loved one or having to cope with, with even the loss of a child or whether or not to adopt, there are so many elements to your story that are relatable. If you can leave the listener with one solid piece of advice, what would you give them?

Melissa: (53:08)

It gets better. You will make it through

Melissa: (53:13)
and if somebody needs to reach out, I am always there. They can definitely find me on, on Instagram

Melissa: (53:25)

I know there's a lot of people that are afraid, whether it's domestic violence, whether it's those in somebody's, whether they should adopt, shouldn't coming to terms with not being able to have kids. Yes. If they need to, they can always find me on Instagram and I will gladly be there for anybody.

Melissa: (53:53)

A veteran just recently reached out to me on Instagram and he had told me that there's so many times he wanted to take his life and then just talking to him, he's told me that he feels like there's something worth living for now.

Melissa: (54:11)

But for anybody out there that's going through anything, whether it's sorrow, whether it's pain, it will get better. It will. I'm living proof that it will get better.



Such an inspiration. Melissa, I just, I don't want to forget this, but if you could share with the listener what your Instagram handle is

Ashlie: (54:38)

It is @the_Camaro_wolf. Perfect. And I'll go ahead and I'll put that in the show notes too as you listen to, if you're interested in reaching out to Melissa with any questions, even sharing how her story might've inspired you or touched you, always reach out and just drop that comments. It means so much Melissa to us, for you to be able to come on this show and share this space with us and most importantly to share the story of your friend Sean Tharpe. We thank you for sharing that with us. We thank him and his, his family for his service and the sacrifice that they ultimately made in order for us to preserve our freedom. It's something that we are indebted for forever. And I think as you listen, if there's one piece of advice to take away from this is to know that as we live our day to day and we're privileged to drink a cup of coffee every morning go to work.


Enjoying time with the family and, and friends that we hold dearest. Even listening to shows like this popping on Instagram or Facebook, it's all because we have such heroes fighting for us and ultimately giving their lives to be able to have that freedom. And I think when you understand that and you live by that, and you're able to acknowledge that on a day to day basis, then you're really able to enjoy your Tactical Living. 

Balance. Optimize. Tactics. 

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