Season 2 Episode #1:
Finding New Ways to Stay Connected with Benjie Manibog
Benjie Manibog served 15 years in the United States Marine Corps in the Special Operations Command. His career came to an abrupt halt due to his wife’s illness so he found himself in the midst of a transition 5 years before he expected. Benjie, who often has blue hair and loves skateboarding is not your typical Marine Raider, but it is this love of skateboarding and a dedication to living his purpose that led him to launch a skateboard and apparel company, Thrash N’ Raid and to serve as the Operations Officer for Six Feet Above, a non-profit that uses skateboarding to help veterans build connections.
Benjie’s first reaction was that he was only qualified to carry a gun and serve as law enforcement, so he immediately applied for a role with Customs and Border Protection. Along the way, he decided to purse his Master’s degree at University of Southern California and he participated in several programs such as the Honor Foundation and some therapy programs that helped him figure out what he wanted to do with his post-military career.
Benjie had a very difficult childhood, where he found himself involved with substance abuse and spending time with homeless people and addicts. He made a decision to join the military and found the inspiration he needed to change his life and take full ownership of his own actions.
Benjie shares the lessons he learned as a Marine Raider that have helped him achieve success since he left the military. Some of those lessons include:
- You can still be a veteran, even in the Special Forces, and show emotions other than anger. Learning to deal with, express and stop burying the experiences you have had, both in the military and in your private life is important to moving forward, being a better parent, sibling, spouse, etc.
- As a military service member, you learn how to overcome difficulties and achieve complex issues. You have overcome dangerous situations and it gives you confidence and motivation to keep moving forward.
- The planning, detailed analysis and decision making skills you learn in the military helps you analyze the big picture and make decisions strategically based on your research.
- The military helps you prepare to take risks, but teaches you how to take calculated risks.
- When someone says no, instead of accepting that look for a way to turn that into a yes by overcoming road blocks. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you hear no, then look for a way to change the answer.
Benjie is the founder of a skateboard and apparel company, Thrash N’ Raid, is based in Southern California. Many of their proceeds go back into the community to help veterans and at-risk youth. You can find more information about his company at www.thrashnraid.com. You can find and follow them on Instagram at thrash_n_raid.
In addition, Benjie is the Operations Officer of Six Feet Above, a non-profit that uses no-cost skateboarding retreats to help veterans connect with a new tribe. You can find more information about Six Feet Above, a 501(c)3, that can be found at www.sixfeetabove.org.
You can connect with Benjie Manibog on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/bmmanibog/.
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