Interview with Jeremy Locke
Finding Your Mission & Purpose in Life with Jeremy Locke
Today, I’m talking with former special forces military veteran, Jeremy Locke, who nearly took his own life in December of 2020.
Thankfully, through the love and support of his wife – Britnie Turner – Jeremy found a renewed purpose.
He is now the Co-Founder and Chief of Special Operations for Aerial Recovery, which is an international disaster response non-profit whose mission is to save lives, eliminate confusion, maximize support and accelerate recovery. Jeremy draws from his military background to plan and lead effective responses in the most difficult areas of the world.
Aerial Recovery has also established the Heal the Heroes Initiative which helps to heal and repurpose over 100 veterans per year to be able to utilize their skills in meaningful life-saving work in areas that need it most.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
✅ Jeremy’s unbelievable story from military service to battling inner demons to finding his purpose and living a meaningful life.
✅ Why vulnerability is not weakness, but a sign of strength, and is a critical component to healing past trauma.
✅ How business can be used as a force for good – and why donating to causes like Aerial Recovery are a critical component to making the world a better place.
Raising $100,000 for Child Rescue Operations
Aerial Recovery is fighting everyday to eliminate human trafficking through continuous reconnaissance and rescue missions. To date, they have rescued over 7,500 lives across 20 countries. But to continue this vital work, they need as much help as they can get. I’m asking my community to step up and support their cause. I’ve set a goal to raise $100,000 for Ariel Recovery to fund anti-human trafficking rescues in the next 30 days.
If you have the ability to give, please visit LifestyleInvestor.com/rescue to make a donation today! Every dollar counts, and any amount is appreciated!
Featured on This Episode: Jeremy Locke
✅ What he does: Jeremy Locke brings 20 years of U.S. Army Military experience to the Aerial Recovery Team. Serving his first 10 years in the US Army Infantry and the remainder as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant and Team Sergeant, Jeremy draws on his ability to operate in austere conditions to plan and lead effective responses in the most difficult areas of the world. Jeremy discovered his purpose in 2019 when responding to Hurricane Dorian with his now-wife, Britnie Turner. The couple saw how effective the military skill set was in these familiar environments and moved forward with transforming Aerial Recovery to be a veteran-powered non-profit. Jeremy has since led recovery & rescue operations as well as trainings across the world. Aerial Recovery has since established the Heal the Heroes Initiative which helps to heal and repurpose over 100 veterans per year to be able to utilize their skills in meaningful life-saving work in areas that need it most.
💬 Words of wisdom: “I’m a 20-year Army veteran, ten years in Special Forces. I’m 260lbs, I’ve got tattoos all up my arms, I’ve got a big old beard, and I’m telling you, it’s okay to be vulnerable.” – Jeremy Locke
Key Takeaways with Jeremy Locke
- A powerful husband/wife business duo
- Dealing with trauma and choosing to live
- What is Aerial Recovery?
- Heal The Heroes – a veteran-powered non-profit
- A mission to end human trafficking
- Raising money for important causes
Jeremy Locke on The Fight Against Human Trafficking
Free Strategy Session
The Lifestyle Investor Insider
Jeremy Locke Tweetables
- Aerial Recovery
- Jeremy Locke on LinkedIn
- Aerial BVI
- Heal The Heroes
- Kaelin Poulin
- Brandon Poulin
- Britnie Turner
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Christopher Petkas
- Codie Sanchez
- Love Justice International
- Tim Tebow
- Tim Ballard
- Jim Caviezel
- Sound of Freedom
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Read the Full Transcript with Jeremy Locke
Justin Donald: What’s up, Jeremy? So glad to have you on the show.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Thanks, Justin. Really excited to be here.
Justin Donald: Well, I’m excited because this is the first time I have ever officially had a husband-wife duo on the episode. We have one other husband-wife duo that is kind of in the lineup, in the queue to be on with the Poulins. They started a company called LadyBoss and I interviewed Kaelin Poulin and just spent some time on Lake Powell with them. And so, I’m going to interview her husband, Brandon, but that one has not been recorded. So, you and Britnie Turner are officially my first couple that has gotten recorded here with two separate podcast episodes. So, for anyone that hasn’t heard the Britnie Turner Podcast on the Aerial BVI and the island that she bought and all the real estate that she’s up to. And just the twists and turns of her crazy life of going from living in a car to being one of the most successful and wealthy real estate tycoons, not just female real estate tycoons, like of all people, I think number one in the Southeast, it’s incredible. And I have heard so much about you. I got a chance to go to Aerial Island, to the Aerial, and hang with her and hang with a bunch of the staff. And I’d heard about you. You were out of town. And so, it’s so nice to connect and just get to know you prior to hitting record.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Well, thanks, Justin. I hope we set a good precedent for the first husband and wife podcast as we move forward. But, yeah, I could not be more proud of my wife, Britnie. She’s a true staple of building and creating wealth so you can be a force for good in the world. And it was a no-brainer when I met her and saw the amazing things that she’s doing to team up with her, not just in life, but also in purpose. So, she’s a beautiful person, a beautiful soul on a beautiful mission.
Justin Donald: Oh, it’s so cool and it’s so synergistic the things that you guys are doing together, you know? So, I had the luxury of being on your island, just experiencing the most beautiful surroundings, having food that nourished my soul but is incredibly healthy. Just all kinds of, you know, just all the health hacks, all the biohacking hacks. Everything that’s out there, it seems like you guys have figured out. And then when I learned more about what you’re doing, I was just blown away. And so, before we get into what Aerial Recovery is and we’re for sure going to touch on that, I’d love to learn more about your story and just thank you publicly because you served our country for many years. I admire those that can serve. My brother served in the Army for seven years, a couple of different tours. I decided to go the business route and I think that was a much better fit for me but, I mean, my brother grew up. My brother is like a totally different person today in a very good and powerful way. And I’m just always impressed with those that can choose to serve our country first.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Well, thank you. And I’m always excited now, and this is something I had to learn to be able to share my story. Because as with all of us, we have different trials. We have good and bad in our life but I think more so for our veteran community, the highs and lows are way more extreme. And we come out of a culture that being vulnerable or talking about your feelings, I call it the F-word, is kind of it’s very frowned upon. And we internalize and we hold all this stuff inside of us and it really starts rotting us from the inside. So, any opportunity I get, this is an amazing opportunity to be on here on your podcast with you, Justin, to really tell my story. It’s therapeutic and healing for me, and I hope it inspires others that are listening to talk about the stuff that they want to talk about, to talk about the things that are difficult for them, and to really show vulnerability because there is strength in vulnerability. So, this is a huge opportunity for me and I appreciate it.
Justin Donald: Well, I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and to talk about the F-word, feelings. I mean, I think in masculine culture, for years it’s been frowned upon. You’re looked at or you feel like you’re weak if you express feelings or have feelings. And that’s just not true. I know that that is kind of even instilled in many of those that I know that have served. So, let’s talk about the military, especially Special Forces, which you’re part of. And so, yeah, I love that you can buck the trend and say, “No. Actually, real men are vulnerable. Real men can talk about it.” And in fact, in order to live a healthy life, you have to be able to talk about it.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think like you’re saying, it’s so frowned upon and to be masculine, right, like you can’t talk about it. And that’s absolutely something that I’m a huge proponent of and it’s something that I’ve almost recently discovered in what we’re doing now with Aerial Recovery. But I’ll give a little bit of background on me and I’m originally a West Coaster. I’m from Portland, Oregon. I grew up in a household that is very loving but there’s a lot of alcohol involved in it, which came into a big story of my life later on. And my grandfather was a World War II veteran. He came down to kind of assist with our situation when we were growing up, my younger sister and I, and I always respected him. He’s an Irish immigrant that came in and just tough as nails but he was always a gentleman, right? And that’s something that I really picked up on, on just being there to help people in need and opening doors and walking down the correct side of the street, all that stuff he really instilled in me. And I was inspired by him to join the military. I didn’t have it rough compared to a lot of people but like I said, I had a very protective instinct because of the amount of alcohol that was in our household when I was younger and I spent a lot of time protecting my sister.
And I think that kind of led me in to join in the military and I did that in 2001. I joined the U.S. Army and went right off to Fort Benning, Georgia. I went through infantry school. And before I knew it, I was out in Virginia and doing my first deployment to Africa. And it was a great time. I saw a lot of people that were in need, but there was kind of a theme that went through and followed me throughout my career, which was I’m a soldier so I have a mission that the army and that the military is imparting on me, right? And when I was out in Africa, that was to kind of protect these doctors and veterinarians that are doing work out there. But in doing that, I was exposed to new cultures, I was exposed to people that were active that are in extreme poverty. And there’s a lot of people that were there that I was not able to help just because it wasn’t my mission. It was kind of okay. I was younger. I didn’t really quite connect these dots until a little bit later. And then I deployed out to, I went out to Germany. I remember I got to this point where I was deciding if I was going to stay in the Army or not. This is about 2006 timeframe.
And my best friend at the time, William Fritchey, we decided to go out to Germany together, right? You can do these things where you can re-enlist and you can go to a duty station together. We went out there and I ended up going about a month later than him and him and his wife headed out and they went out and deployed out to Afghanistan. And myself and my wife at the time, we arrived about a month later so I went to a different theater than him. So, I remember I was out in training in Grafenwöhr, Germany, and there’s a newspaper that we have. It’s called The Stars and Stripes. So, I’m sitting there in the chow hall getting ready to train, and I open it up and on the second page, as you open it, they have a section, it’s called Faces of the Fallen. And these are tributes to those of our soldiers that have been lost in combat. And Ryan’s picture was right there. So, my best friend that I had deployed with had been killed in Afghanistan and this was the first I was hearing about it because I was in training. And that’s a real kind of a turning point in my life and this is one of those things that I talk about that we internalized because I had talked him into re-enlisting and I had talked him into coming to Germany and I felt this sense of extreme guilt. And it was a point in my life where, you know, I was raised well so I was always a good kid and I wanted to do positive things, but I started having a different fuel inside of me. I had guilt inside of me. I had rage. I had anger.
Unfortunately, when I deployed out to Iraq after that, that was something that I brought with me. I was out there for revenge. And in the culture that I was in, in the infantry and the army, it’s like that’s a fuel that they love you to have, right, because that’s what gets these soldiers out there and going. So, it was a very difficult period for me out there in that trip in Iraq. I saw many things that I didn’t want to have to see. I did many things I didn’t want to have to do. And a lot of it was just kind of from a very negative space. So, I get back from a 15-month tour. I always brush over that but that was 15 months that I did in Iraq. I get back in and when I get back, I remember going to my friend’s wedding. I was the best man at his wedding. And everybody keeps coming up to me. They’re like, “Jeremy, how are you doing, man? Like, are you okay?” I was like, “Is this about Ryan?” They’re like, “No, no, no. We’re just checking on you. Everything’s fine?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m okay, right?” And I find out later on everybody but me knew that pretty much the entire time I was deployed, my wife was cheating on me at that time. I was like, unbelievable, right? So, I get back. I lost my best friend. My marriage was crumbling, falling apart. It was all these this weight, all this stuff is coming in and I’m internalizing, internalizing, internalizing. And I remember thinking and back to my childhood and even though there was alcohol in my family, right, I remember my family members being happy when they were drinking.
And that’s kind of when I started drinking back then and it led to this whole series of events in my life where I was, looking back on it, was a functional alcoholic for about 12 years of my life while I was in the military. And that was basically a self-medication that I was using to suppress these feelings, the F-word, and all these anger issues that I was having inside of me. And it ended up working short term, but it affected so much of my life as I move forward. And I got to the point where I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was really kind of a lost guy. And I remember being out in one of my trips to Iraq and I had seen this group I was out with this sniper team around this rooftop. And these guys show up and they got these beards and tattoos and all these cool guns. And they’re sitting there like, “Hey, you know what’s going on up here?” We’re like, “Yeah, we’re doing overwatch, watching this. We can’t really see here.” And he’s like, “Oh, we’ll just blow a hole in this wall and we can send a sniper rifle there. You’ll have good…” And then it was like, man, these guys are pretty cool. Who are these dudes? You know, it turned out they were a bunch of Green Berets. So, I had that in my mind. I was like, “Man, I want to be one of those guys one day.”
So, that’s what I did. I had a lot of these negative things going on inside of me, but I still had that inspiration and I met some people that were doing great things, they had more, to me, what seemed like more of an ability to do the missions that they wanted to do. And I went out and I tried out for Special forces, and I was fortunate enough to get selected after our we call the two weeks in hell selection process, which is pretty terrible and miserable. But you know, anything hard in this life, once you do it and accomplish it, man, you feel great on the other side, right? So, I did that and that started my journey and I became a Green Beret in 2012. And I went and it was like the next ten years of my career in Fort Campbell and this Special Forces group was as a Green Beret. It was a great time in my life. I had a lot of deployments, a lot of time in the back but I still had that one habit and that was drinking. And I spent so much of my time deployed that I felt like six months of good equals six months of doing whatever I wanted to when I get back because I had all those accolades like I’m an elite soldier, I’m out there fighting ISIS, I’m doing all these elite missions and these great missions, right? And I was taking all this admiration and affirmation for people outside of me and ignoring how I was really feeling on the inside. And that led me to just kind of this path without purpose.
To everybody else, it seemed like I had this amazing life and everything was going great but I felt really terrible inside. And that’s where I connected and that’s where I met Britnie. I met her in an airport in Nashville in 2018 and that was a great story. And I heard back from her about six months later and that was in 2019, and I got a chance to start dating her. She introduced me to new things like Napoleon Hill and like all these Rich Dad, Poor Dad like all these like, I was like, wow, these are cool concepts, but that’s foreign to me. That’s not me. You know? She’s like, “No, there’s so much you can do in this world.” And she really kind of showed me what purpose was and that there is a mission and purpose and it doesn’t have to be assigned to you. And my belief is, you know, with mine it was assigned by the military, but I want my mission and purpose to be assigned by God. And that’s really and truly what she does. It was an amazing insight but I still had that habit and I still had the inability to express things that I was feeling, which was festering inside of me. And you kind of fast forward in 2019, there was Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, and this hurricane was pretty unprecedented, Category 5, and it sat and stalled over the Bahamas for about over 24 hours and it was just complete devastation. I remember going to Nashville right before it hit, and I could not get Britnie to go on a date with me. And I get up and I finally are like, “I’m coming to you.”
So, I went to her office and she had her whiteboards up there or it looked Lightboard. And she had looked like a mission plan to me and it had Grand Bahama and Abaco and all that in there and I was like, “What are you doing?” She’s like, “I’m planning on going to Bahamas to respond.” And I was like, “Well, that’s great. I think I could do that.” So, I went and requested for leave. I was an active duty Green Beret at the time. I took a couple weeks of leave. I went with Britnie to the Bahamas and I saw the devastation there. And I found a spot where like my skill set and my expertise, it was 100% applicable there. And that’s kind of where that mission really kind of made sense in my mind where now I have something that I can do post-military, which is the big struggle for a lot of veterans. And you mentioned veteran suicide and I really believe that’s linked to purpose. Right now, it’s every 84 seconds a U.S. servicemember commit suicide and the highest is in the Special Operations community. It’s unbelievable that that happens and it’s saddening and unfortunately after all of that that was going on and me still struggling with alcohol and making promises to my now wife and my family that I’m going to quit drinking because it was really affecting me, I had a really bad episode in the end of 2020 where I put my retirement packet in. I had started going to this whole year long program for this traumatic brain injuries I’ve had from explosions that I’ve been in. And in that program, I really got to kind of experience firsthand the breakdown in the system that helps veterans. Because when I went in, they connected me with a psychologist.
I never talked to a psychologist before and maybe blame a little this on COVID and everything being shut down but I was speaking to her every two weeks and the very first call I got to her, I talked to her, she asked me about to talk about some of these memories that I had some traumatic things to really think about and try to bring them back up. And I brought up this time with her where I remember having it, we had these reports of this mass grave and all these people that were ethnically cleansed. And we end up digging up these bodies that they are hands in their gloves and I remember seeing these like little kids’ hands there. And it’s this image that started coming back and how I was feeling and she’s like, “Okay. We’re going to talk about that, but our time’s up.” So, I wasn’t scheduled to talk to her for another two weeks, right? So, after two weeks, I call her and she’s like, “How are you doing?” I said, “I’m doing terrible. Like, I’m having my PTS is coming back. I have anxiety. I can’t sleep. I’m drinking again,” because these memories started popping back up and I didn’t know how to deal with it. And she put me on a prescription medication immediately that second call. So, then I was on Zoloft and I was on Xanax. Even at one point, they put me on Adderall.
And so, all of this medication inside of me combined with the drinking and in December 6th, I had stopped drinking. I thought again for the third time, I told my wife that I was done and I went out and I drank that night before again. I woke up the morning, December 6th, in Nashville, Tennessee in the bottom of downstairs of my duplex and I was going to kill myself that morning. I had a whole plan for it. I took my Glock 19 out of the nightstand next to me, and I rehearsed this in my mind many times. I was acting like I was cleaning it. I was going to shoot myself in the artery, femoral artery in my leg. And I was excited for it. Two things happened to me that morning. I didn’t close my bedroom door all the way and I had gotten Britnie a little Great Dane puppy that I was going to give her for Christmas. His name is Captain and he pushed his way into the door and he was looking at me and I was like, I was right about to pull the trigger. I was like, “Well, I got to do something with this dog. I can’t do this now.” So, I took him into the bathroom, closed it. I got back and was like, “Now, I got to talk to my friend like I need someone to come take care of him.” And I was thinking logistically, so I went and picked up my phone to message somebody to say, “Hey, can you come by and check on Captain?” I had a message from Britnie and that message read, you know, like, “I have a lot to do with my life. I have a lot of people I need to help but no matter what, I love you and I support you. I’m going to help you.” That doesn’t mean we may or may not be together but it was this message of love and it was that spark that I really needed and that was December 6, 2020.
And I went from, you know, about to end my life, like so many other veterans do, that was the last day I’ve actually drank. That was 995 days ago, and I’m 1,000 days sober and five days after from the day we are right now. And I’m living. It’s not easy but I’m living on mission and purpose now with my wife, helping veterans, working with veterans, inspiring them to get out of the darkness and come and work and helping a life in the light. And that’s what we’re doing with Aerial Recovery, which has just been such a blessing in my life and my wife has been such a blessing. Everything I’ve been through I now understand that easy or hard, it’s all shaped to where I am at today, and it’s given me the exact skillset to be able to move forward and helping these children and helping people after disasters.
Justin Donald: Wow. Your story is just incredible and there are so many elements of it that are such successes and there are so many elements of it that I just feel just deep down the pain and the anguish. And I know so many others that have struggled this way, especially those who have served our country, especially going through the traumatic experiences that they have. You know, I have no way to really relate. And so, I always think about the movie, Shawshank Redemption, and how the old guy was finally let out, like he didn’t know how to live life. It was a different world. He didn’t have purpose or the purpose was different, or he hadn’t found out what that was going to be. And for him, it was just easier not to be part of it. Right? And so, that’s my closest comparison with those that have served, that have lived this radically different experience of life than I have and what it’s like to have purpose, doing missions, helping people, rescuing, you know, supporting your brothers and sisters. And so, yeah, there needs to be a place for those individuals to heal and I think it’s really cool. So, I’d love for you to talk a little bit more about Aerial Recovery. So, like knowing your story, this is the perfect story to transition into it because Aerial Recovery is a place for those who have served in the Armed Forces served our country to be able to come and get the help that they need and to feel the love and to reestablish purpose and reestablish like a new life’s mission, not just an Army mission or a Green Beret mission or some other branch of the Armed Forces mission, right?
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. And I know that it kind of brings down and it’s a sad story but it’s still a story of redemption. It’s still a story I get to write. I get to write my story every day and it’s exciting. I talk to these veterans all the time and I tell them, “You know, like, whatever happens to you, we always are in control because no matter what someone tells you, what experiences you go through, you get the ability to react to it in the way that you want to.” So, we’re always in control, right? And being able to know and marry Britnie and be introduced into the whole entrepreneur community, really, I equate entrepreneurs as kind of like the Special Forces of the civilian community, because she recognized the problem. She recognized the problem that was happening to me, someone that she cared about and loved, and she said, “Let’s fix it.” I’m like, “Well, I’m okay. Well, who do we talk to? Who’s the expert in fixing it?” She’s like, “I don’t know. Do you know anybody that’s been working for it? Do you know any organizations that have been fixing the problem?” I was like, “No, none of them. They’re not effective enough, right? Every 84 seconds, we lose a soldier.” And she’s like, “Well, let’s do it ourselves. What’s going on with you? Why are you feeling this way? What makes you feel better? And then let’s do that and let’s replicate it.”
And that’s what we’re doing at Aerial Recovery and that’s why I love my wife, because that’s the way she thinks. She thinks like an entrepreneur, and that’s kind of what we’re connecting. The Aerial Recovery, I mean, we’re veteran-led, but we’re Special Operations-led. We have Rangers and Green Berets and Navy SEALs and we have all these with the expertise and the mindset to get things done now but we are blended in with the entrepreneur to make that now a long-term sustainable impact in what our second and third order effects. So, it’s a really cool concept. And our Heal the Heroes program is, I mean, I was veteran number one. We have 107 veterans now of the military and first responder community who are in the program. We do 25 veterans every quarter and it starts at this place. And you mentioned Aerial BVI. It’s a place of wellness. It’s a place of healing. It’s a place of repurposing. And not only that, it’s absolutely amazing. I think it was like Forbes’s top eight private islands to visit. It was just in Travel Leisure magazine. It is an epic place to go. If you really want to change your life, you’ve got to step away from your life right now, go somewhere else, get in that right mindset and space, and then allow yourself to heal and be in a spot that promotes being vulnerable for lasting healing. That’s what Aerial BVI is, and that happens to be the phase one of our program.
These veterans get to go out to a world-class private island in the British Virgin Islands and they get just everything right. They get the beautiful environment, the scenery, sound bowl therapies, equine therapy. They get all these amazing catered experience that are designed for healing and they get to grow again together as a platoon, as the 25. And then after that, they go into a 12-week program that I lead and mentor. I basically just teach them the stuff that has gotten me where I am and how to get out of that mindset of just like you said from I think his name was Brooks in Shawshank Redemption, right? He was institutionalized.
Justin Donald: Yes.
Jeremy Locke: And that’s what it is and that’s what the military does, right? It’s designed to keep you in it because it has a very important job. And once you’re out of it, it’s very difficult to realize that. I thought I was a special operator. I sit there and I’ve been in Syria when all these Russians came across the border and fought them off like I’ve done some cool things. And the moment I leave, boop, someone else is right there in my spot and the war machine keeps rolling. It gives you that sense of loss in purpose. And that’s what we’re trying to do is get out of this mindset of what I did before is me because what you did in the past, like we can’t live back there. The past is that’s a place of reference, not residence, right? We have to live in the now and we have to think about what we’re doing in the now is going to help us in the future. So, we get to redirect. And that’s what we’re doing in that program we do with the Heal the Heroes. It’s a year-long and we inspire them to find their mission, what they want to do in life, and treat their life as a mission, not what they did before as their only mission. I mean, it’s been great. We’ve had, like I said, 107 veterans in the program now.
Justin Donald: Wow.
Jeremy Locke: We’ve had five confirmed suicides saved out of the program. And these operators, like we call them humanitarian special operators, these are the ones that then go to our missions. These are the ones that just left from Lahaina, Maui, and helped after the fires. Aerial Recovery and Our Healed Heroes were the first outside Hawaii organization that was inside of there helping the Lahaina Police Department. We were in Ukraine. We rescued over 7,500 people in Ukraine. We take these operators, we do undercover missions, and we rescue kids from sex trafficking. If they need a mission and a purpose, we’ve got it here at Aerial Recovery but we have that space to be vulnerable and to process. So, no matter what we’re doing, when we’re done with it, we sit around in a circle and we promote that. I’m like, “You guys, I’m giving you permission. I’m a 20-year Army veteran, ten years in Special Forces. I’m 260 pounds. I got tattoos all up my arms. I got a big old beard. And I’m telling you, it’s okay to be vulnerable.” So, I think I finally give them that permission, man, because I’m like, I dare somebody to tell me to not be vulnerable, you know?
Justin Donald: That’s awesome.
Jeremy Locke: So, that’s really what we’re trying to do is inspire them.
Justin Donald: Yeah, I love it. I love what you’re building. You know, my neighbor and good friend, Chris Petkas, he was a special ops for Navy SEALs. It’s Codie Sanchez’s husband. And those two are just incredible. And so, I’ve seen him make just incredible transitions back into civilian life, working for startups in some highly skilled operation roles, having the opportunity to do some contracting work with the federal government, defense contracting, I mean, all kinds of stuff. It’s great to see what is out there but for a lot of people, that doesn’t exist until you kind of deal with your demons and kind of you have to work through a process of getting yourself straight. Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone experiences different situations or maybe internalizes traumatic situations differently. Right? And so, I love that you’ve had 107 veterans go through this. No doubt hundreds, if not thousands more are going to go through this program. And the mission you guys have and I just want to share this because I think it’s powerful.
So, your Aerial Recovery mission is to save lives, eliminate confusion, maximize support, and accelerate recovery. And I think it’s so cool. Not only are you healing on this side with the veterans, but you’re going out on missions on the other side to help equip them and give them purpose and fuel to be able to go do great things in the world. And I want to talk about some of the other work you’re doing because it’s really easy to just talk about the current catastrophe going on. And that is a shame. And I love that you guys are helping out there in Maui, in Lahaina, and you guys have done a lot of work like this for a lot of natural disasters and a lot of oppressed people, countries that are oppressing their own people or oppressing other people. But there’s another special group that you work with and that’s rescuing children out of sex slavery. Maybe it’s just, you know, straight slavery but it’s most certainly including sex slavery. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about that because this is a mission near and dear to my heart. I’ve brought on Love Justice International. I’ll be bringing on Tim Tebow and his foundation. And one of the things that our family loves to support is this, anything that fights and combats human trafficking, which I think is one of the greatest evils of the world.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Absolutely. And those are great organizations and thank you so much for supporting them. And while we do a few different things in Aerial Recovery, ending human trafficking is what we want to do and what we want to be known for in the end. And we’ve just spent a lot of time and effort in planning the way that we do it because we firmly believe that these veterans, the ones that are writing themselves off, they’re the ones that are really capable of conducting these missions in austere environments that you have to do undercover skills that we learn with some of the schools we go through and you have to be fearless. So, we’re getting the operators to go do them and we have been doing them. Tim Ballard is one of our board members, and he’s my mentor in this space. I’ve met him, you know, and we talk about that I nearly took my life in December of 2020. I met him about a month later in January and two days after meeting him, I was in Uganda chasing down a witch doctor who is committing these child sacrifice rituals and child mutilation. And it’s really heavy stuff but the reason we went there is we got an image while we were in BVI, and we’re talking to Tim that there are contacts out there who had sent us an image of the severed heads of four children. And this courier had found them and we took that and we were out there immediately because that’s where we need to go. That’s where we need to help and serve.
So, after meeting Tim, we’re in Uganda hunting down this witch doctor who’s committing these child sacrifice missions and going out there. And I started planning that mission, and I’m working with Tim, and he tells me, he’s like, “Jeremy, you’re like the most in-depth planner I’ve ever met. You’re a great briefer.” I was like, “Yeah. It’s how we do things in Special Operations.” And he’s like, “This is fantastic.” So, we’ve been working with Tim for the last nearly three years now, and we don’t even really announce it. But we’ve been out conducting child rescue missions. We’ve been all over the world doing that. And I was just in Colombia myself last month, and we did four separate operations in Colombia. We rescued over 20 women and children. Six of those were minors. We took down ten traffickers. And right now, I have this amazing opportunity because I’m currently in Mexico City right now with Tim Ballard. And he’s going around. He’s promoting the movie, The Sound of Freedom, which even though it’s been very politicized but at the end of the day, that movie is bringing awareness to a cause that people don’t talk about. They really don’t. It’s the second-largest criminal enterprise in the world.
People, number one, they don’t want to talk about it because it’s uncomfortable or, two, they just don’t know about it. And this movie’s been such a blessing because it has given us access. So, I’m here in Mexico City. We’ll go to a screening and then I get connected to all these amazing top officials that want to help more. And now we’re, hey, you know, Aerial Recovery is right here. We’re getting those contacts and leads and we’re opening up an enormous amount of potentials and operations. I’ve got two meetings with presidents in Central America coming up and I’m very excited about those. And it’s been such a blessing to be able to take a motion picture about an amazing man, a great near and dear friend and mentor to me, about him and seeing that impact in his life work and his mission and his purpose and how that’s finally bringing some more much-needed awareness to this cause. It’s great.
Justin Donald: Well, I love what you’re doing. I love that you’re with Tim right now. And definitely tell him I said hi and his movie has had tremendous and profound impact on me and so many others. I mean, if you haven’t seen Sound of Freedom yet, go see it. I mean, the movie itself Is incredible, but just the exposure of what’s going on I think is really eye-opening. I think most people don’t know how bad it is and don’t realize, like, that there’s more slavery today than at any point in human history like right now, today. That is pretty crazy to think about. And Jim Caviezel’s depiction of Tim Ballard in this movie was just wonderful. It was just so well done. You know, it’s neat at the end, kind of seeing some of the real photos and clips of Tim. But, yeah, these are real missions that are really going on with people like you, like your organization from Aerial Recovery, and you’re just out there doing great work. It’s interesting for me. It’s very humbling because I’m on the financial end of it and not on the activist or actually operator end of it. And it’s crazy to think about all that has to go into it. I can’t even imagine if I were doing what you do so I’m so appreciative for it. I mean, it is an operation in itself and you’re giving purpose to so many other veterans that can help create beauty in the world, creating real human life freedom for people that had it stolen from them. And, yeah, I just want to honor you and thank you for that.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. And thank you. In order to really make an impact on this, human trafficking, it’s just unprecedented. Like you said, there’s more people enslaved currently today than there was in all the history and all the transatlantic slave industry. More than that, we’re looking at over nearly 50 million people that are in bondage right now. And specifically, to human trafficking it’s over 25 million, and 25% of those are children. And while my team we have the expertise on the operations side, I always equate it to this and the people minimize the effect of financial, of the finances to get the operations done. But it is so needed and we thank you so much for it. And I always tell the story, you know, when I was a special operator, I had the United States government and the United States Special Operations behind me. I used to go to literally a window at one of the bases, whether this is in Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or whatever, they have a disbursement office. And I would go sign out a bag of like $100,000 and I would go out and I would conduct my mission to go get bad guys or whatever, and then come back with my receipts and give it back to them. Now, I’m out here trying to I’m like I’ve got 20 kids right now. I know where they are. I don’t have the funding to do it. I’m like, “Where’s the window with the guy with the bag of money? Like, I got to go rescue these kids.”
And that’s like being able to be on here and help promote what we’re doing. We are actively going out there. We sit down undercover in front of cartels in Mexico, in front of gang members in Central America, acting to be these bad guys and these pedophiles and these traffickers ourselves to get them to let us know where the children are. And then we do it working with the police and the government. And we do these elaborate sting operations and we physically get these kids out of there. And it’s very dangerous work, but we are willing to do it. And oh, by the way, in utilizing the skill sets we thought were all for nothing, now we’re making an impact on the most heinous thing that happens in this world right now. So, there’s no way my operators and my field veterans get me motivated to go do this type of stuff.
Justin Donald: Well, it’s a great partnership because I don’t have the skills or the courage or the know-how to do what you do. And you are in need of the finances because you don’t have the government backing you. You don’t have big bags of cash. And so, I just think this is such an incredible way to support charitable giving. I just believe that we’re all blessed so much here. If you are listening to this podcast, if you are watching this video on YouTube, then you’re in a position where you are a top 1% of the world. You are blessed beyond comparison. And most people don’t think about it that way or realize it, but any amount helps. And it doesn’t have to be a big amount, but big amounts help too. And so, I just want to say that this is where so all the proceeds of the Lifestyle Investor book, everything that that has ever sold and I would have never in a million years thought that this book was going to become as big as it has and become a number one Wall Street Journal bestseller and USA Today bestseller. And as of 2023, a top 1% of all books ever sold, which is just nuts to think about based on volume, based on revenue. And so, all of those proceeds have gone to fight human trafficking effort, 100% of them.
Jeremy Locke: Bless you. That’s amazing.
Justin Donald: Yeah. And really, it’s cool to see the impact that that can have. I just want everyone to know that your organization is one that I am donating to. And I just really would love to give anyone else a nudge or permission. I mean, go see Sound of Freedom if you haven’t seen it. If you have seen it, that operation is exactly what Jeremy is talking about, like that’s what he and his team do. And so, I just love to call attention to anyone that can donate any amount because there are kids waiting right now that can’t be rescued until they raise the money. So, a friend of mine, Brad Gaines, hopefully, you’re tuning in, and he and I have talked about helping to raise $100,000 for you guys in your efforts. And I want to give it out to Brad because he’s leading the charge. I’m just tagging along on it and trying to put a spotlight on you and Aerial Recovery and your program for the humanitarian special operators and Healing the Heroes initiative but the actual missions. And so, where can people go to learn more about you, to learn more about how to donate for these causes to help rescue these children, to learn more about just Aerial Recovery?
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. And thank you so much. And I love that you gave a shout-out to Brad Gaines. He’s an amazing human being. He’s really trying to have an impact to this. And if you’re donating that money from your book and that great success of it, I think that’s so impressive and much appreciated coming from my end on the operations side. Well, if you want to learn more about Aerial Recovery, you can go to AerialRecovery.org. We have all of our information on our three pillars there. There’s a way to donate there, too, and I think we actually have a special donation link that will be attaching to this as well to go and try to make it to that 100,000. I’m going to speak it. To make it to that 100,000 mark and more to fund the operations to save children that are being taken advantage of, raped, abused right now today. And you said it exactly right, Justin. We know where they are and we don’t have the money to go get them. And it breaks my heart every single day. It breaks my wife’s. We pray about this every night. And it’s difficult to know that they’re there. We can’t always go get them and this is a huge issue. And it’s grown, it’s outgrown our means as a Locke and Turner family and it needs to be as many people that are abusing and are taking advantage, we need to step into the gap and we need as many if not more that are standing in the way and saying no, like stop, we are protecting our children and we are doing that at our Aerial Recovery and support is so needed and much appreciated.
Justin Donald: Well, I am just so thankful for the work that you’re doing and honor you for really stepping up and getting into harm’s way to save lives. And I think the world of you. I think the world to Britnie for what you’re doing, for what you’re creating. The world that you want to live in, you guys are out actively creating it and it’s inspiring. So, I just want to challenge everyone. I mean, it’s very rare that I am doing podcasts where I’m trying to help raise money. Around Giving Tuesday, there are a couple of things that I have done, and that’s it. And outside of that, it’s this. And this is the mission that I pour my heart into. I walk the talk in this one and just really want to encourage everyone else to do the same. So, thank you for your time today and for sharing your story, being open, being vulnerable, and exposing us to the wonderful work that you’re up to, Jeremy.
Jeremy Locke: Yeah. Thank you, Justin. Thank you so much to you and your listeners and the great and amazing impact. And you really are, as my wife would put it, a force for good, utilizing success and wealth for the betterment of humanity. And I really appreciate what you’re doing as well.
Justin Donald: Well, thank you much. And I’d like to end every podcast episode with a question in the form of action. And I might tweak this question a little bit today because I, you know, and this is just to the listeners, to the audience, but my question to those of you tuning in here today is normally I ask you, what’s one step you can take towards financial freedom to like move towards that and move to living a life that’s truly on your terms, one by design, not default? And today I’ll ask that, but I’ll also ask, what’s one thing that you can do to help someone else move not towards financial freedom, but towards just living freedom, just having a piece of freedom back because it was stolen from them and helping them live a life by design and not by default? So, thanks for tuning in and we’ll catch you next week.
Jeremy Locke: Thank you.