Touching the Dragon With Jimmy Hatch and Jack Schonely Episode 100!!
September 19, 2023 | Hosted By: Jon Gray
Welcome to episode 100 of The Hangar Z Podcast brought to you by Vertical Valor Magazine.
One thing that has been constant for The Hangar Z Podcast as we have grown over the last three years and 100 episodes is change. We have constantly worked to bring new and different types of interviews to our aviation community. Our hope in doing so is that the guest's stories will challenge you, motivate you, and work to strengthen our global public safety aviation community.
The guest we have in store for our 100th episode will definitely challenge and motivate you. This is part one of a two-part series.
During the Hangar Z Leadership Summit 2023, Jack Schonely introduced me to the book titled Touching the Dragon by Jimmy Hatch. After the leadership summit, I bought the book and found I could not put it down.
Jimmy’s story is truly inspiring, Jimmy is a former Navy Seal, master naval parachutist, he was involved in over 150 missions between Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Africa. Jimmy was also an expert K9 trainer and handler as a NAVY SEAL.
Jimmy writes about the battles he fought overseas as well as the battles he fought on the home front after being critically wounded while attempting to rescue ARMY deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl.
In Jimmy Hatch’s book Touching the Dragon as well as in our conversation, Hatch courageously discusses the ever-important topic of PTSD by opening up about his own battle as he worked to heal from the career-ending gunshot wound that exploded through his femur, requiring eighteen surgeries and twelve months of recovery in which he had to relearn how to walk.
Jimmy talks about the nonprofit K9 organization he developed to protect our nation's working dogs called Spikes K9 Fund. As a K9 handler on several deployments, James’ life was regularly spared by the work of K9s – one of the most memorable was Spike. And on James’ final deployment, the night he was critically wounded, a K9 Remco spared James’ life while losing his own. From that evening on, James oriented his life around the training, care, and preservation of working dogs. In addition to working as the founder and president of the fund, he works with local law enforcement to fine-tune their work.
Thank you for joining us over the last 100 episodes we look forward to continuing to bring inspiring stories and conversations like the one you will hear here with Jack Schonely and Jimmy Hatch.