VRB’s weekly list of things to read, watch, listen to, and try that have helped us live better and be better. Brought to you this week by our Guest Jariko Denman.Jariko was born in Washington DC and as a military brat grew up all over the world. In 1997 he enlisted in the US Army. After basic training and Airborne School, he completed the assessment and selection process for the 75th Ranger Regiment and was assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Ft Lewis Washington. Jariko went on to serve in the Ranger Regiment for 15 and a half years. Jariko deployed to combat 15 times in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002-2012 as a Weapons Squad Leader, Rifle Platoon Sergeant, and Ranger Company First Sergeant amounting to 54 months of total combat experience as part of a Joint Special Operations Task Force. Jariko retired from active duty in 2017 after four years as the Senior Military Science Instructor at St. John's University in New York City and now lives in Salt Lake City. Since retiring he has advised on several major motion pictures, national ad campaigns, and television series as well as continuing to train and work within government and tactical industries. He now works for Black Rifle Coffee as a Content Producer. You can follow Jariko on Instagram @laidbackberserker.
The Rewatchables Podcast
Listen to The Rewatchables. This is definitely one of my favorite podcasts - It’s a form of entertainment I call a Cheeseburger – it’s just fucking good. It doesn’t give you anything you need - it’s just fucking good. It’s these two dorks that totally dissect “rewatchable” movies from pre-production onward. It's like insider baseball for movies you love and it’s super cool to get a behind-the-scenes look. And they only feature “rewatchable” movies obviously meaning movies you could watch again – think Heat, Tombstone, Forrest Gump. It’s a great fucking podcast.
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Clint's Flight Home
Watch Clint's Flight Home. Clint Trial is an inspirational badass and an amazing human and operator that lost both of his legs in combat. Before Clint’s injury, he was an incredible skydiver with years of experience, and he thought he would never jump again. This 10-12min YouTube video follows Clint as he makes an epic return to the sky and everything he has to endure to make it happen. If you don’t choke up a little bit at the end of this video, you’re a sociopath.
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Travels With Charley in Search of America By John Steinbeck
Read this classic John Steinbeck novel. I’m always hesitate to say I have a favorite book or movie but this is the book I read when I want to go somewhere else and feel good. Kinda nostalgic, but good. It’s what I try to emulate when I share my travels, or when I write or build media. Steinbeck was a Navy vet and obviously an incredible writer. He wrote this book towards the end of his career-long after he was already super successful and could do whatever he wanted. This book is exactly that – it’s about him in the early ‘60-‘70s buying a truck, having a carpenter build him a camper for said truck, and then rolling around America with his dog Charley writing about it. This book takes me away from everything and I love that.
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Try the sport of archery. First and foremost, It’s fucking fun. Also, it requires a ton of focus and presence so it acts as a form of ghetto meditation. I also love the gear aspect – you have the recurve bow, longbow, compound bow etc. – there’s all these dimensions to archery that make it really engaging. The last time I had shot a bow was back in middle school during gym class for one week and I was horrible at it. But if you get the right gear, you can be dangerous right out of the box – I was surprised how similar it is to shooting a pistol. You learn a few little things, and everything falls in place. You can even shoot in your backyard. Give it a shot.