100 episodes

Patriot to the Core is a project where I interview patriots who serve not only our country but also their fellow man. This provides an opportunity to learn about everyday Americans who go above and beyond to protect us all and to help others. Many of my guests are military but not all.



We talk fighting terrorism, self protection, exercise, mental toughness, charity, parenting and occasionally pop culture and politics. Although we rarely talk deep politics, opinions are shared. I think all interviews are uplifting and positive.



Please follow and subscribe so we can have many seasons to come. Send suggestions and questions to me at thad@patriottothecore.com. Hope you enjoy!

Patriot to the Core Thad Forester

    • Government
    • 4.9 • 65 Ratings

Patriot to the Core is a project where I interview patriots who serve not only our country but also their fellow man. This provides an opportunity to learn about everyday Americans who go above and beyond to protect us all and to help others. Many of my guests are military but not all.



We talk fighting terrorism, self protection, exercise, mental toughness, charity, parenting and occasionally pop culture and politics. Although we rarely talk deep politics, opinions are shared. I think all interviews are uplifting and positive.



Please follow and subscribe so we can have many seasons to come. Send suggestions and questions to me at thad@patriottothecore.com. Hope you enjoy!

    Ep 099 | Yvette Sierra – Gold Star Mother to SrA Danny Sanchez

    Ep 099 | Yvette Sierra – Gold Star Mother to SrA Danny Sanchez

    On Sept 16, 2010, Yvette’s son, Daniel Ray Sanchez (Danny) was killed in Afghanistan by an insurgent who infiltrated the Afghanistan partner force.







    Today, Danny’s mom tells us why this “ball of energy” was made for Combat Control and what happened on his first deployment – how was an insurgent able to get on the helicopter with Danny and his team and then kill Danny when they landed. Fortunately, that guy was killed immediately, but only after injuring others, and of course killing one of America’s bravest.







    Yvette started the SrA Danny Ray Sanchez Foundation and holds an annual race on Labor Day weekend to raise money to provide scholarships to Montwood High School graduates, and hopefully to other schools in the district soon.







    Yvette and I have become friends since 2010. We’ve mourned together and attended several events together. I loved finally getting to have her on Patriot to the Core. Listen to this mother’s love of her son as she shares how she was notified and how she’s handled his loss since. We also discuss how Danny’s death affected her youngest son, Dakota, since he’s no longer being duct-taped to the door or being hung on the door knob by his underwear, compliments of his big brother.







    You can also watch this interview on YouTube here.







    Mentioned in this episode:







    Memorial 3 GunCombat Control Foundation







    Copyright 2023 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Ep 098 | Christmas from Heaven – Gail Halvorsen

    Ep 098 | Christmas from Heaven – Gail Halvorsen

    On this special Christmas Day episode, we hear from a legend from WWII – Gail (Hal) Halvorsen.  He has many names:  Uncle Wiggly Wings, The Berlin Candy Bomber and The Chocolate Flier.  He became popular for dropping candy from his plane to the children of Berlin, from 1948-49.







    His efforts gained support from many back in the states.  School children packaged candy in boxes with parachutes, and candy companies like Wrigley and Hershey’s donated items.  Thanks to his efforts he and his team had dropped 23 tons of candy by Christmas 1949.







    Today we talk of “Operation Little Viddles”, how he became a pilot, how to overcome trials and depression, freedom vs. communism and the importance of serving others.  This is an uplifting episode that you don’t want to miss.  He shares that these children in Berlin taught him about freedom more than anything else.  It’s amazing what 2 sticks of gum turned in to!







    Learn more about Mr. Halvorsen here:







    http://wigglywings.weebly.com/







    His book, “The Berlin Candy Bomber” here:  https://smile.amazon.com/dp/088290616X







    Special with Tom Brokaw:  https://youtu.be/QWbISrde2mQ







    Note: Mr. Halvorsen passed away in February of 2022 at the age of 101. This is an interview I did with him back in 2016.







    Copyright 2022 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ep 097 | Scott DeLuzio – Surviving Son

    Ep 097 | Scott DeLuzio – Surviving Son

    Scott’s younger brother, Steven, was killed-in-action in Afghanistan in Aug. 2010 at the same time that Scott was deployed just miles away.







    Not only did Scott (@scottdeluzio) have to receive the news of Steven’s death while Scott and his unit were outside the wire, his teammates had to engage in combat until he could get on a bird and to his brother’s body.







    Anger immediately ensued, almost a homicidal rage. Scott opens up about the next few days of getting home to his parents before Steven’s body, dealing with the media, using alcohol to cope and sleep, and how he got to a point where he had to make some changes. Thankfully he had a supportive wife and found the right people at the VA to help him out.







    You can learn more about Scott and Steven by reading his book, Surviving Son. His parents lost one of their two sons for the price of freedom. And in Scott’s words, speaking of Afghans: “The gift of freedom is priceless, even if the recipients only experience it for a short time.”







    Mentioned in this episode:Drive On PodcastScott on PUT6 podcastScott on HeroFront podcast







    Copyright 2022 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ep 096 | Special: Doug Cole on the Impact of Mark Forester

    Ep 096 | Special: Doug Cole on the Impact of Mark Forester

    Today, September 29, 2022, mark’s 12 years since my little brother, Mark Forester’s death in Afghanistan.







    Mark’s close friend and roommate, Doug Cole (@dcoleii), spends some time telling us what life was like living with Mark and watching him transform from a narrow-shouldered, pudgy, college student to a solid, chiseled man.







    No matter how serious Mark was about prepping for the military, he always made time for Call of Duty, Halo, Terry Tate, Saving Private Ryan, 24, Anchorman, 300, Gladiator, and maintaining the integrity of the handicap parking spots!







    This is one of those episodes I publish on Sept 29 (most years) to allow us to learn more intimately about Mark and to reminisce our times together. It’s important to capture these memories so that our loved ones aren’t forgotten.







    Doug, thank you for opening up and sharing your feelings. We all miss Mark terribly and his family and close friends will never take for granted his sacrifice for this country that we love.







    Copyright 2022 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ep 095 | Brian Jodice – Pick Up the Six Podcast

    Ep 095 | Brian Jodice – Pick Up the Six Podcast

    Brian Jodice is the owner and host of Pick up the Six Productions and Podcast, where he shares stories about the men and women among us who go above-and-beyond to PICK UP THE SIX through SERVICE, PURPOSE and IMPACT.







    He recalls many impactful interviews he’s done in the last few years, among them was the Commander of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2000. Also, the lesser-known pilot for Marcus Luttrell’s rescue during Operation Red Wings, Jeff “Spanky” Peterson.







    We also discuss F3 Nation – what it is, why they call him “Hello Kitty”, the benefits of F3 and Brian’s favorite workouts, including his recent 208 mile relay in the Blue Ridge Mountains.







    Mentioned in this episode:







    CDR. Kirk Lippold – USS Cole







    Jeff Spanky Peterson – Operations Red Wings







    Thad Forester – My Brother in Arms







    Jason McCarthy – Founder of GoRuck







    *PTC is on Patreon.  If you like what you’re hearing please check out how you can help the cause so I can provide quality content and keep on keeping on!







    Copyright 2022 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 59 min
    Ep 094 | Ish Villegas – 2-time Silver Star Recipient

    Ep 094 | Ish Villegas – 2-time Silver Star Recipient

    Ish Villegas is one of three people who have received the Silver Star twice, since 9/11.







    Today he walks us thru the battle in 2009 where he got his first Silver Star. It was a 16 hour fight that resulted in at least 32 enemy insurgents killed. During this fight, Ish ran 200 feet across an open, uncleared IED minefield to more effective position and returned fire with his M-4 and then directed aircraft (rotary and fixed wing) onto the enemy locations in a surgical and lethal manner. It’s an incredible story; one that he completed with two broken arms.







    He also trained my brother, Mark Forester, at FOB Cobra/Tinsley and we are forever grateful for his friendship to Mark and for showing him the ropes in one of the most active areas in all of Afghanistan.







    Ish is a great American and we’re lucky to have men like him on our side. You can listen to details of his 2nd Silver Star here on Black Rifle Coffee.







    *PTC is on Patreon.  If you like what you’re hearing please check out how you can help the cause so I can provide quality content and keep on keeping on!







    Copyright 2022 Thad Foresterhttp://www.patriottothecore.comemail questions to thad@patriottothecore.com

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

NatedogNasty ,

Amazing stuff listening to Thad and past and present heroes and their stories!

Thad, I close my eyes and hear that subtle Bama draw and can feel the genuine joy, sadness, and love you get and appreciate by interviewing your guests, just like Mark would have. My favorite part of this latest episode is you telling the story about climbing a tree and dropping the parachute men toys so they could fly. Just picturing you and Mark competing on who could get it to fly the furthest. So glad to hear another episode man, God bless your family over the holiday season! -VE

meanlx2001 ,

A Patriot, A True Friend, And A Brother..

I met Thad initially online, from Afghanistan, very shortly after we lost Mark on his final mission. Over the years since his loss 12 years ago now, I have had the blessing of knowing, growing close to, and loving the whole Forester Family…
I have listened to Thad’s podcast since the beginning and am LONG overdue to be writing this heartfelt review. Thad, my deepest apologies to you and my highest praises to such a true Patriot and Brother!
I encourage every listener to go back and listen to every episode. Enjoy Thad and his guests’ willingness to share their lives and worlds with you and share Thad’s passion and love for our Country and Citizens with all of your family and friends!
I have had the distinct honor to serve 26 years in the Army and serve alongside some amazing Patriots, many of them true modern heroes just like SrA Mark Forester. I am blessed to call the entire Forester Family friends that are also so selfless and loving as to have made me feel like family since I first visited them in Haleyville in 2011. With my deepest respect,

CW4(ret)Matthew Longanacre
US Army AH-64 Apache Pilot
1992-2019

CB CJB ,

Inspiring and Informative!

I thoroughly enjoy listening to this podcast. The guests always have great stories to share and are truly America’s heroes.

Top Podcasts In Government

Mike Yoder
Prologue Projects
Crooked Media
CBS News Radio
Central Intelligence Agency
The Daily Beast

You Might Also Like

Eric Davis, Aaron Davis, Brian Schilt
Scott DeLuzio
Mike Ritland
Andy Stumpf
Kifaru International
Jocko DEFCOR Network