Episode #1

Meet “Heroes At Home” co-host Keni Thomas: Former Army Ranger, Squad Leader in the Battle of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down), country music artist, husband and father. Noel introduces Keni and they explain how hardship and struggle are key ingredients for creating a stronger you, which is required for you to build stronger relationships.

Stronger Families Podcast

Episode: Ep 1 Interview with Keni

Welcome to the Stronger Families Podcast, a space where we celebrate the heroes at home through candid conversations on the topics not glorified in the media. Host and CEO of Stronger Families, Noel Meador, introduces the first episode and today’s guest, Keni Thomas. Keni will serve as co-host for this podcast, but today listeners get to hear his story first-hand! In this podcast, we take a look heroes from all parts of life, and how they can thrive both at work and at home. Learn about the partners, families, and friends that come together to support them and together build a stronger family.

As the conversation gets started, Noel introduces Keni and asks him to provide a “snap shot” of his experience in the Battle of Mogadishu. Keni was a ranger for many years, then moved on to be a music recording artist, incredible speaker and storyteller, and inspirational author. Keni shares about Mogadishu—how the initial mission was a success, but then took an unexpected turn. Learn about the difficulties of making it out of combat when you know others did not. This podcast serves as a platform to offer the opportunity to push through the struggle and do something with their story.

Keni tells listeners what it was like when he came home and why a stage can feel like a safe place to share with others, but why the relationships at home can be a challenging two-way street. Learn how combat affected him and how he learned to put the hard work in. He works through emotional compartmentalization, vulnerability, and intimacy required in lasting relationships. Noel asks Keni to share what the journey looked like for him when he realized it was too late to save his own marriage, and having to walk through the transition of divorce. Keni talks about acceptance, going off the grid, and buckling down to come to grips with why he was afraid of a committed and passionate relationship. Through reading and counseling, forgiveness became Keni’s main focus.

People need to gain a skill set to equip them, so they are not stuck in a dark place that they brought home from a battlefield and never left. With the reality of moving on—ending on season and starting another—one has to take a moment to self-assess and gain awareness on what it looks like to do the hard work and become a new person. Learn why a victim mentality can be so dangerous and why Keni says it is important to keep it simple. The tools, skill set, and experience are all present, people just need to utilize them.

As the conversation draws to a close, Keni shares about his songwriting. Listen to the quick backstory of “Hold the Line”. The nature of this podcast is to look at various stories and communicate what matters the most—celebrate the victories seen in marriage, kids, and families. Share this perspective and encourage others to impact the larger culture at large!

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Timestamps:
0:44 – Welcome to today’s episode
2:30 – Keni is introduced as today’s guest
3:33 – Keni provides a “snap shot” of the Battle of Mogadishu
8:37 – What happened when Keni came home from combat
12:46 – How to put the hard work in and understanding vulnerability
16:59 – What that journey looked like for Keni in marriage, divorce, and transition
21:50 – The realities of moving on and victim mentality
25:49 – Keeping it simple and taking the first steps to do something
26:51 – Keni discusses his songwriting and story behind “Hold the Line”
30:30 – The nature and goals of this podcast
31:59 – Thank you’s

Links:
Check out the Stronger Families’ website.
Learn more about Keni Thomas.
Connect with Keni on Instagram and LinkedIn.