Podcast for veterans begins out of Foley

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 5/14/21

The mission at SkillMil is simple: help veterans get hired. In an attempt to further assist veterans worldwide, the SkillMil Diapers and Deployments Podcast was created.

“We noticed there was a …

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Podcast for veterans begins out of Foley

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The mission at SkillMil is simple: help veterans get hired. In an attempt to further assist veterans worldwide, the SkillMil Diapers and Deployments Podcast was created.

“We noticed there was a severe lack of knowledge on the employer side on what veterans can do,” said SkillMil President and podcast host Mike Hinkle. “There’s also a lot of unanswered questions on the veterans’ side on benefits and programs that are offered. It’s almost overwhelming the amount of information that’s out there. So we were like, you know, why don’t we start a podcast, bring on guests that help our veterans and will talk about these programs. We can entertain our veterans while we educate the employers about the value of veterans.”

Hinkle says that SkillMil is a family company, but not in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s a military family. Hinkle is a retired Navy CMDCM. His podcast cohost Serena Moyer is a former Navy ombudsman and military wife of 20 years. Between them, Hinkle says they discuss everything from deployment to the home front during the entirely unscripted show.

“I talk about the servicemember side of things, deploying, going downrange, doing all the things that service men and women do,” said Hinkle. “Then Serena brings the real-life issues on, as I call them, because we leave our husbands and wives at home to deal with all the “normal” stuff while we’re gone. And I say normal and laugh because nothing’s normal once you deploy. Your washer breaks, your dryer breaks, your kid gets hurt, you get a bill that’s late. This all happens to the military spouse while they’re back home, and you’re deployed and can’t do anything about it.”

There are currently ten episodes of the podcast. During the show, Hinkle and Moyer discuss different topics concerning all aspects of military life, guests make appearances to deliver advice on programs and issues facing veterans and their families, and special segments will take place, including “Drink of the Week” where the hosts try different drinks and rate them. Hinkle says the show isn’t aimed at a specific age group, with topics covering a wide range including issues facing those currently serving to those transitioning out of the military, all the way to benefits after 65.

“There’s a lot of podcasts out there that, honestly, can be just plain boring for veterans,” said Hinkle. “They just bring people on and talk about the same things over and over, and we didn’t want to be that way. We wanted to have fun, we wanted them to listen and smile and laugh because they need it, and also get some information along the way.”

Some episodes aired include special guest Robert Patrick, known for his role as T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day and FBI Special Agent John Doggett of The X-Files (Episode 3), retired Coast Guard Chief Boatswain Mate Anthony “Tony” Bennett of Elberta, who shares his experiences during his military career and returning home to Baldwin County (Episode 4), Sharleen Deary, US Air Force Veteran, who highlights the work of the Northeast Florida Women Veterans helping women veterans transitioning out of the service (Episode 5), and veteran and singer/songwriter Shannon Book who is working on a collection of original songs reflecting his time in combat, injuries, and living with the aftermath of war (Episode 10). Book also discussed the need of raising awareness of PTSD and suicide prevention among veterans.

The Diapers and Deployments podcast is gaining attention, and is currently listened to in ten different countries. It is free to listen to the show.

“It’s informative, it’s fun, and we want to keep doing this,” Hinkle said. “It’s not a job, or a business, it’s something we felt like we needed to do. We have a company that helps veterans, and this is just another outreach.”

Hinkle says more guest speakers are signed up at the moment than they have spots to fill. Future episodes are in the plans to include Hinkle’s oldest daughter to share her experiences growing up in a military family and moving during her childhood all the way to graduating college and starting her own business. Hinkle also hinted at the possibility of the show expanding to YouTube eventually. Until that time, he and his team are excited about continuing the podcast.

“If you’re just looking for something that’s entertaining and informative and a show that understands not only what it’s like to be a veteran but a family member of a veteran, give us a chance, listen, and then if you have any feedback let us know,” Hinkle said. “We just want to reach as many people as we can with a positive message.”

The Diapers and Deployments Podcast can be found online at www.skillmil.com/podcast. It can also be found on most podcast streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and Google Podcasts. You can learn more about SkillMil on LinkedIn and Facebook.