Navy Veteran Ken Harbaugh grew up in a family of military pilots but never really thought about joining the military himself. However, in a moment of clarity while studying abroad during his junior year of college, he changed course. That led to him commissioning in the Navy and becoming a fighter pilot leading combat reconnaissance missions.

After serving nine years, Harbaugh left the Navy and later enrolled at Yale University to study law. But the transition to civilian life was not easy for him. In this episode, he talks about what it was like adjusting and processing his emotions after leaving the military.

Harbaugh discusses how his transition – and a trip to the Bethesda Naval Hospital – inspired him to co-found The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization. He also talks about his progress to help Veterans transition back to civilian life and assist those with mental health issues.

Harbaugh is a nonprofit entrepreneur who has been in leadership roles for many Veteran nonprofit organizations, such as The Mission ContinuesServiceNation and Team Rubicon. He talks about why he continues to serve in Veteran nonprofits.

Lastly, Harbaugh talks about why he decided to work in media and how he became the host for multiple podcasts, such as Burn the Boats and Medal of Honor at Evergreen Podcasts. He also delves into how he formed partnerships with various podcast networks and what steps Veterans can take to start a new podcast.

In this episode, Harbaugh also talks about:

  • What he learned from his experiences in the military.
  • Earning his law degree from Yale Law School.
  • His time as a human rights researcher in Afghanistan.
  • Working as a consultant for multiple Fortune 500 companies.
  • Running for public office and how Veterans can become active in politics.
  • Why it’s important to continue serving after the uniform comes off.

Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:


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By Michaela Yesis is a podcast volunteer with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. She recently graduated from George Mason University with a BA in English.

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Published on May. 2, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.4 min.

Views to date: 151

One Comment

  1. Willard Morgan May 5, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Not sure how you can share the VA Healthcare system is doing better, I’ve been enrolled with them for close to 40 years now, and I can tell you from past to present experiences it has not, it is my experience if anything it has gotten worse, not better. Community care is nice if a vet didn’t have to wait 6 months or more for approval to see a real doctor or specialist. The system. Is in a word,, broken, nothing has changed for the better and I don’t see it happening any time soon.

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