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The Tragedy Academy
Nov. 1, 2021

Special Guest: SFC Brandon Lloyd - Beneath the Scars

In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we meet SFC Brandon Lloyd (Ret). Brandon is a multi-deployment combat veteran who has gained the willpower to overcome his PTSD that developed from the battlefield and childhood trauma. Brandon's story is one of courage and mental fortitude. He is a shining example that persistence, acceptance, and introspection are vital to conquering whatever life throws at you.


Summary: 

In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we meet SFC Brandon Lloyd (Ret). Brandon is a multi-deployment combat veteran who has gained the willpower to overcome his PTSD that developed from the battlefield and childhood trauma. Brandon's story is one of courage and mental fortitude. He is a shining example that persistence, acceptance, and introspection are vital to conquering whatever life throws at you.

Key Topics Discussed:

🤕 Trauma shaming

📚 Learning and paying it forward

💡 Pivotal moments

😓 Suffering through trauma

🥺 Learning being poor

💪 The will to continue on

✊🏼 Breaking the cycle


Timestamps:

[00:06:00] Brandon has a moment of introspection when he lands in special forces physician assistant with life-threatening wounds and six upcoming surgeries. He notes that although he has a high threshold for pain, it is still unbearable. Yet, he insists on letting other soldiers get treated before him. At that moment, the doctor makes it clear to him that their injuries will not downplay your injuries.

[00:13:11] Brandon wants to take his life lessons and pay it forward. He knows that all of life's answers lie in the struggles, and you either win at life or learn from life. The goal for his book is to be something anyone can relate to, not just a war memoir.

[00:22:11] Jay shares a pivotal moment of introspection. His friend was missing a front tooth, and Jay immediately judged his appearance. Years down the line, he recognizes that the judgment came from a societal perception and implicit bias.  

[00:27:03] Brandon shares a tragedy from when he was seven years old. His youngest sister was sitting next to him in an old van and their father on the driver's side. Suddenly, a car pulled out and t-boned them, causing his sister to fly out of the window. Brandon recalls seeing her lifeless body on the street, which traumatized him for decades. Shortly after, his father abandons the family, adding salt to the wound.

[00:31:55] Brandon remembers lying to his classmates in middle school; he pretended to live in a fantasy where his father was wealthy, and they lived a perfect life. He would also bury himself in books to escape his reality of poverty and bullying. Brandon recalls never defending himself until his younger brother joined the same school. He learned right there that he did not value himself but found it easy to protect the ones he loved.

[00:40:40] Brandon shares that he would still work hard and become someone despite his dad leaving. He earned a full ride to college as a football player, but he hated every moment of it. Nonetheless, he valued the free education he was getting and the pride that came with being a skilled athlete.  

[00:46:00] Brandon recognizes that he wants to be happy with who he is at the end of the day. People wear masks to hide who they are, but there is no shame in being a work in progress.

[00:52:12] Jay and Brandon agree that breaking the cycle of adversity takes bravery and courage. Being a victim is easy; it's getting up, facing the day, and pushing through what makes life so difficult. Yet, that is what's required to leave a legacy and lead by example.

[00:56:27] Brandon spent ten days in the hospital for his struggles with PTSD. In that time, he went around helping many patients, to the point where he was offered a job upon release. He did nothing for himself; he got so good at fooling everyone else that he fooled himself in the process.

Contact Brandon: 

Twitter | https://twitter.com/Oleblloyd - @oleblloyd

Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/oleblloyd/ - @oleblloyd

YouTube

Music Available for Purchase: 

Music & Lyrics by Eric Erdman: "Can't Fill It" from the album "Not Slowing Down" (released 2015) 

 

The Tragedy Academy is a show created to bridge societal divides in a judgment-free zone using candor and humor. 

Be cool. Keep Learning.

SFC Brandon Lloyd

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class

Sergeant First Class Brandon Lloyd served in uniform from 1998-2015. He operated as a Scout Sniper, and a Special Operations Combat Medic with the 101st Airborne Division and units in the Special Operations Command. Lloyd spent over five years on combat deployments on battlefields across the world. He was also an instrumental part of a Special Ops Task Force that conducted Operation Red Dawn, and captured former Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein.
Throughout his career, SFC Lloyd prepared HUNDREDS of Soldiers and then led them on the field of battle. He was a respected mentor that gave young men a desire to be better Soldiers and also better Men. He lived by the Ranger Creed and set the standard for others to follow by leading by his example 100% of the time. Brandon spent every spare second training himself and others and never stopped seeking ways to improve all aspects of tactical medicine to increase Soldier survivability. Even after being severely wounded and undergoing many spinal surgeries and various other surgeries he pushed himself to get back in the fight.
He completed many of the Army's toughest courses, including, the Special Operations Sniper Course, Ranger School, the Army Combatives Instructor Course, the Special Operations Combat Medic and the Mountain Medical course, just to name a few. He also managed to complete two degrees while on active duty. In 2005 SFC Lloyd was selected for a sniper/counter sniper team conducting security for President George W Bush during his inauguration events.
SFC Lloyd was presented with the Alabama Legislature Medal of Honor by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey for his actions after being severely wounded during an enemy ambush in Baghdad Iraq.
SFC Brandon Lloyd is decorated with many awards for his service and his actions under fire. Some of them include; The Legion of Merit Medal, 3 x Bronze Star Medals, one with a Combat “V” device for Valor, The Purple Heart Medal, 2 x Meritorious Service Medals, and 4 x Army Commendation Medals, one with a Combat “V” for Valor.
Some of SFC Lloyd’s decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Medical Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Freefall parachutist badge, and the French Foreign Jump Wings.