Episode 51: Featuring Kevin Kirk, Albie Masland and Matt Peace

Kevin Kirk - Make A Wave

Kevin Kirk, former US Navy Seal, entrepreneur, founder of Make a Wave project with Rise Up Radio hosts Jared Kelley and James Carmody to unpack what the project is doing and the lives that are being touched. Kirk who like many did, joined the military after the attacks on 911. The road to becoming a Navy Seal was rocky due to color vision problems, but after successfully becoming a seal and serving in Afghanistan, Kirk returned home for a visit. He explains how during this visit his brother Ryan passed away in his sleep. With a desire to keep his brother’s memory alive, the family asked people to go out and do something nice for others in Ryan’s name instead of giving flowers. They set up a webpage “Letters To Ryan” and asked people to leave their stories when they did something nice for others. Wanting to ensure his brother was not forgotten the idea came to use a coin that could be passed on to others when an act of kindness was done. A serial number is placed on the coin, and when they arrive at the Make A Wave page, that number opens up the message the coin they have been given holds. Kirk goes into details about how this amazing pay it forward platform is progressing and growing into being used to inspire, encourage and spread awareness to others. 


Albie Maslan and Matt Peace - Travis Manion Foundation

Albie Masland and Matt Peace, both of whom are part of the Travis Manion Foundation’s team, sat down with Rise Up Radio hosts, James Carmody and Jared Kelley to talk about this important foundation and how it is impacting the lives of others. In 2007 USMC First Lieutenant Travis Manion, while saving wounded teammates in Iraq was killed by a sniper. Shortly before being deployed for his final time, his cousin jokingly said, “If I push you down the stairs you won’t have to go back to Iraq.” Manion turned to him and said, “If not me then who?” After his death his mother created the foundation to carry on not only her son’s name but the legacy of service, leadership and character of America’s fallen heroes. Masland, originally from Carlisle, PA has been working the last three years with the Travis Marion Foundation. He is the Veteran Services Manager for the west coast and works with directly with veterans in transition as well as the family members of our fallen. Masland explains to Kelley and Carmody that the mission is to “Empower veterans and families of the fallen and to develop character in future generations.” Peace, also a Navy veteran after servicing in the navy for 10 years discovered the Travis Manion Foundation’s mentorship and advocacy program. The program helped Peace and he now works with 30 other veterans who mentor junior high and high school age kids. Peace and Masland raised money for the foundation they ran 1500 miles from Houston, TX to San Diego, CA during Operation Samalama in April 2016. Peace and Masland discuss how the foundation takes high school kids to the USS Midway on Saturdays where they experience the “Character Does Matter” presentation. The kids learn about leadership, integrity, service courage and learn what “If not me, then who?” means. The kids are then free to tour the USS Midway and check out the flight simulator. 

Take Action

1. Visit Make a Wave to learn how you can start your wave or learn more about the impacts of kindness they are having around the world.

2.  The Travis Manion Foundation has many programs to benefit  veterans and families of those who have served in the military. Visit their Website The Travis Manion Foundation to learn more about their programs.