Militarily Speaking

Militarily Speaking

Ep. 22 Friends in Service of Heroes with Paul Chapa

February 08, 2023

Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Paul Chapa, Founder of Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH), discuss the myriad of ways that FISH supports veterans and first responders, events they host, and touching stories of a few of their members.

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are. 

Ep. 22 — Friends in Service of Heroes with Paul Chapa

Introducing Paul Chapa and Friends in Service of Heroes

Jodi begins by giving a background of Paul Chapa and how 9/11 was a life changing event for him spurring the founding of Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH), and then asks him to explain the history of the organization.

  • Paul tells the story of how 9/11 impacted him and made him want to do something to honor the military and first responders.
  • He then describes how he started his own publication rather than utilize the one he worked for, and the fortuitous events that surrounded FISH’s first event.
  • He continues by telling the story of how he was able to talk military leaders and Chef Rick to host a dinner to honor our heroes, and have hosted 30+ of these dinners around the country.

Tom asks Paul to discuss the three pillars of support of FISH.

  • Paul begins by describing the first pillar of Recognition, and how they aim to remind retired military members how much their service meant.
  • He then dives into their Health pillar where they provide individuals that need assistance with service dogs, mobility scooters, etc.
  • Paul explains their final pillar which is Support, where they provide financial assistance for veterans through rent support, utility payments, purchasing flights to see family, etc.

FISH Member Stories and Upcoming Events

Jodi notes that on FISH’s website there is a story about veteran Jerry Ingram, and asks Paul to share that story with the listeners.

  • Paul talks about Jerry’s history in the service, specifically how he was one of a handful of people that came back from Iwo Jima.
  • He continues by describing what made Jerry an incredible man and a true American hero.
  • He then describes a few of the conversations that he had with Jerry in his final days.
  • Paul adds that the service dogs they provide to veterans they name after members of the FISH family, to honor those that have served and passed away.

Tom asks Paul to speak about some of the events FISH has coming up on the calendar.

  • Paul describes their speaker series that they have on the third Thursday of every month, at the American Legion at 7500 W 75th St, and lists a couple of the speakers.
  • He adds details about a 5k/10k run in Fort Leavenworth, as well as their Armed Forces event that is coming up in May.
  • He finishes by describing their 10th Annual FISH Combat Golf Tournament, where on certain holes golfers will tee off while wearing full body armor.

To learn more about Friends in Service of Heroes, visit their website or check out their YouTube channel.

Military Minute

Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.

  • Last episode’s Military Minute: What was the success rate of transitioning veterans from homelessness to permanent sustainable housing in 2021?
  • Answer: 85%
  • This week’s Military Minute question: How many families did FISH surprise with Walmart gift cards in December of 2021?
  • Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
  • Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.

Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go to and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.