Not too long ago, Marine Corps veteran Justin “Goose” Snodgrass was in a dark place. He attempted twice to take his own life.
Today he is happy those attempts failed.
Snodgrass is no longer living in the darkness. In fact, he’s become quite visible in the veteran community. For the last five years he has been growing an audience with Warrior Outdoors Entertainment, starting with a single podcast that has since grown to include video and spin off five other shows.
According to the California Democrat, Snodgrass knows he’s not the only veteran, not even the only American, who’s felt so hopeless that they couldn’t justify living. Especially during a year when people have been isolated for months, political tensions are running high, and riots have become an ever-present reality, optimism can be in short supply. But it can be shared.
Along with co-host Richie “Redneck Pimp” King and tech producer Carl “The Wizard of Odd” Albertson, Snodgrass hopes his shows will entertain their audience and lighten moods during those dark times. They intend to give listeners and viewers an alternative to often emotionally-draining mainstream news, while raising awareness of the invisible scars many veterans living with PTSD or TBI still face.
They’re going to set a world record in the process.
Snodgrass and team have planned what will be the longest uninterrupted video livestream, recording for 180 consecutive hours — eight straight days of content.
“At 22 a day, that comes out to just over 180 veterans that will lose their lives to suicide (during the stream run time),” Snodgrass said. “That’s why we’re pushing this 180. Not to mention, what do they call it when you do a complete direction change in life? You did a 180. So it’s kind of one of those things where we’re not doing a direction change, but we’re hoping that at least one person that sees this and sees our message will do a 180 and go away from becoming a statistic.”
The video will begin streaming on Halloween, Oct. 31 at 8 a.m. Snodgrass won’t sign off until Nov. 7 during the Warrior Outdoors fundraiser. The Warrior Outdoors team won’t be featured the entire time, however. They have a number of partnering broadcasters lined up to share the stream as the week goes on.
“There’s literally going to be something for everybody on this thing, whether you like to cook, maybe you like to study up about the paranormal, current events, listening to two Marines trying to make sense out of the world, you name it,” Snodgrass said.
The hosts have made their personal cell phone numbers public so veterans can reach out when they need someone to talk to. They’ve connected with hundreds of veterans, and Snodgrass looks forward to connecting with more.
“One thing that I’ve learned in the past five years, between doing my podcast, doing the stage shows that I do and everything like that, is everybody is impacted by suicide and everybody is impacted by veterans,” Snodgrass said. “I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t know a veteran, and if they don’t, the moment they meet me, they now know a veteran.”
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.