Interview

Never Forget. Always Honor.

We spoke with veteran Mike Sarraille about Legacy Expeditions and his efforts to raise money and awareness for Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Mike Sarraille is a former Recon Marine and Scout-Sniper, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL with 20 years of experience and 10 combat tours in Special Operations, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command.

This Giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021, we are proud to support Mike’s efforts to raise money and awareness for Special Operations Warrior Foundation 
by donating $10 for every order over $100 placed.

SOWF provides fully funded college educations and additional educational opportunities, “Cradle to Career” (preschool-college), to the surviving children of Special Operations Forces lost in the line of duty, as well as children of all Medal of Honor recipients. You can donate directly here. This is heroic work for heroic families.

Full image of Mike Sarraille


Mike, first and foremost, tell us why you’ve chosen to put your energy and efforts into supporting SOWF?

I was humbled by the caliber of my sisters and brothers-in-arms that served to my left and right on the battlefield. These were some of the most amazing humans I ever met. And tragically, not all of them came home and that doesn’t sit well with me. For those of us that do make it home, we take on the responsibility of making sure their children and families are taken care of. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation specifically funds the education for the children of the fallen and I could think of no greater cause. While a daughter may not have her father to walk her down the aisle one day or a son may not have a mother around to attend his high school graduation, the least I can do in their stead is ensure their children have access to a college education.

Mike and group.



You’re raising money through a series of events you call “Legacy Expeditions.” It’s far from a typical fundraising idea. Where did this approach come from and what do you hope to accomplish with your expeditions?

I am bullish on this concept I refer to as the “legacy of leadership and sacrifice.” It is the greatest currency in life. These men and women who laid down their lives, for you and me, have bestowed upon us a legacy that we must uphold through our day-to-day actions and behaviors. Their legacy and the example they set is a reminder that we should never forget and always honor. So, I want to remember and honor them in a special way while helping myself and others grow.

Legacy Expeditions are daring adventures, in honor of our fallen, intended to push the participants (combat veterans) to their mental and physical limits, where true growth, learning, and healing takes place, a common training principle utilized in the special operations community. I know the men of Extortion 17 would have jumped, no pun on words, at the chance to skydive into the Mount Everest region.

Tent and a mountain range view.
Man on a runway
Group of hikers at base camp
Parachuting over a mountain range.
Skydiving and mountain range
Helicopter and group photo

So the first expedition is complete. Tell us about this incredible skydiving adventure, and tell us what you learned from the experience.

I don’t think words can truly express the spiritual, life-changing experience I just went through. That said, the one word that immediately comes to mind is EPIC! The overwhelming terrain and mountains of the Everest region can’t help but make any human feel small and insignificant...in a good way. A humbling realization that we are small, yet an important part of this earth and her story. It’s almost an invitation to do more, to live better, to help more people, and set aside time to breathe and take in Earth’s beauty. Jumping out of a helicopter at 20K to 22K feet, on oxygen, and over that terrain just amplified that feeling.

The one thing I would want to convey to the readers is to put Everest on your bucket list. Not necessarily climbing Everest but trekking the region.

Man skydiving.



Last but not least, tell us about your Truth + Tribe podcast. Why are the conversations you’re having important for others to hear?

My guiding principle in life is service to others. So, I stood up Truth + Tribe to be a raw, candid look into the true nature of human performance and life with the hope of helping others achieve their goals with balance and realistic expectations of the cost. All of us put a public-facing facade on and rarely let people in to see the dirty side. Social Media is a perfect example of that. People only post what they want you to see, never the bad stuff. What I learned over my 10 combat deployments is that high performance and victory come with a cost and it is almost always ugly. No matter what domain, profession, or industry you are in, that holds true.

I don’t want people to stop trying to achieve amazing things, actually the opposite, I want people to dare greatly, but I want them to achieve amazing things while maintaining balance, unlike I did in my SEAL career. To truly dive into this, it requires a great deal of vulnerability which is the expectation of all my guests. This isn’t a tough guy podcast, I’m tired of these self-declared tough guys. This is a podcast for men and women who have aspirations in life and I want to encourage them to do the toughest thing I’ve ever seen - be vulnerable and seek help.

I also try to dive into the sociology of Tribes. Everyone yearns for a sense of homecoming and belonging and quite frankly ‘Tribes’ are instrumental in the development of all of us. I am who I am because of the men and women I served with in special operations, a very close-knit tribe.

If people listen to the 10-minute trailer on apple podcasts, I think they will see this isn’t another SEAL podcast.


Mike and mountain range.


Thank you, Mike. Thank you for your service to our country, to your fellow service members, and for letting us be a part of your efforts to support Special Operations Warrior Foundation.


To our readers, we hope you will join Tecovas in supporting SOWF by donating directly here. Please note “Mike Sarraille” or “Legacy Expeditions” in your donation.

Everest Route sign.

Keep reading:

Ranch

Not The Cow But The How

Our friends at Modern Huntsman paid a visit to Matt and Sarah at their working homestead, North Bridger Bison. What started as a conversation about life on the open ranges of Montana turned into a conversation about where our food comes from and why that matters. If you eat, this is something you need to read. And don't forget to...

Read More

Photography

Mule Dragger: A Return To Wilderness

Nature is constantly changing, and the only thing we can do is surrender. Working against it never bodes well for anyone, but leaning into it is where the real magic happens.   While most will recognize Chris Eyer as his pseudonym ‘Mule Dragger,’ I dubbed him the ‘philosophical cowboy,’ as he uses the natural world and spiritual ideals as his...

Read More

Photography

A Few Winters

The mission of Heroes and Horses is to “un-program the programmed.” Founded by veteran Micah Fink, the program offers veterans an alternative solution for defining and approaching their physical and mental scars. A solution that does not include prescription medications, or traditional psychotherapy, but rather the opportunity to use tools to redefine their purpose, rediscover their inner strength, and maximize...

Read More