Chad Osinga Back From The Dead
Chad Osinga Back From The Dead
Summary: Chad Osinga has faced a lot of bricks in his life. He had a troubled childhood growing up in a drug house, his mother died from an overdose, and he never met his father. He spent most of his childhood in the streets, dropped out of high school, and as an adult, joined the army to become a sniper, eventually training others, including the FBI. Life, unfortunately, continued to be complicated. After being medically retired from the army, he would suffer from PTSD. Suffering from addiction, his 5-year-old daughter had a stroke, two sons were diagnosed with autism, and he suffered from two near-death experiences. He is now graduated from college and is sober. He is using his story to help others. He shares his story with us, reminding us that no matter what you are going through, you can overcome it.
Ari: Welcome to Wisdom bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun. I’m your host I have with me his very, very special guest Chad Osinga
Chad: Thank you for having me.
Ari: Chad is a high school dropout turn college graduate, Special Operations sniper, combat applications instructor for the military. Chad grew up in a drug house with a mother addicted to crack cocaine later died due to an overdose never knowing his father returned to the streets for the better portion of his early life. Chad joined the US Army becoming a sniper and eventually teaching combat applications to every branch of the military and the FBI. US Marshals DEA and SWAT teams don’t get in front of this guy. While stationed in Germany, his five year old daughter had a massive stroke caused by a rare disease. German doctors misdiagnosed her before transporting her to Hamburg, where she would undergo surgery and initial testing. During this crazy time, Chad’s pregnant wife would go into labor, complicating his family situation. Chad and his wife would have a fourth child the year after his daughter’s stroke, but life would again become harder as his two youngest sons were diagnosed with autism. after sustaining multiple injuries, Chet was medically retired in 2015. Once he exited the Army post traumatic stress disorder seemed to attack him as he had never experienced it. He turned to one of the drugs that destroyed his mother’s life alcohol. What started as a nighttime remedy soon became an addiction that would almost cost him his marriage and his relationship with his four kids. In 2015, Chad was taken the left turn on his motorcycle when a car ran a red light and plowed through him placing his body into a guardrail. Most throughout you would not make it through this incident, but God again at different plans. It took him almost a year to get back on a motorcycle, but he was determined not to allow fear or this wreck to control his future. shy of two years later in 2020, was riding with a group of friends when a van came into his lane. He was propelled into a construction zone as his motorcycle was pinned into a jersey barrier. Chad flatlines on the way to the hospital and again before his second surgery, though Chad’s last accident placed him in a position of hardship. It also spurred a change in him, and an understanding that God had a purpose for his life that was bigger than him. He quit drinking cold turkey quit smoking marijuana, and began unearthing the power within himself. Please help me welcome Chad. Oh, Singa. Chad, how are you my friend?
Chad: I’m excited to be here. honored. Thank you so much.
Ari: Wow, that is that that is absolutely amazing. I gotta tell you, I read that story sent chills down my spine. Unbelievable. Now as you know, the name of this podcast is whispers and bricks, the whispers are those voices telling us what the right thing to do is, right? They represent the good in life. And the bricks, well, they represent the bad things in life, you know, the stuff that we go through, and let’s be real, everybody goes through something in life, you know, life’s not a straight line. It’s not. There are ups and downs. And we all go through stuff. Some people get hit with bigger bricks, some with smaller bricks, some have more, some have less. But we all know that everybody goes through something in life. Now it looks like you’ve had a lot of bricks thrown at you, some of which you almost didn’t make it through. Um, it looks like they started coming you when you were quite young. Um, just start their tests. Tell us about that. You know what was going on?
Chad: Yeah, for sure. So when I was born, I was actually born with Erbs Palsy. And my mom, she she has always struggled with, you know, drug addiction from her early ages in life. But for whatever reason, when the doctors told her, Hey, your son has Erbs Palsy, his left side isn’t operating right? And you have this time frame to work on it or he’s not going to use it ever again. She took like a small hiatus from doing that. But once she got me to a place where I was functioning on, you know, on my left Sighs she went right back to those drugs. And, you know, it caused a ripple effect in my life. I wasn’t going to school I dropped out in the ninth grade. You know, I was involved with drugs and, and just a lot of violence and just not focused on anything positive, you know? It. It culminated at 14, when my house was raided by several different law enforcement agencies. She was sent to prison, I was sent to Oklahoma to live with family there. And it was just, you know, I was even anemic because I didn’t have the right nourishment, you know, she all of our money went to drugs. And a little bit I got from selling drugs, really, most of it went to the older drug dealers, and I just had enough to maybe go to McDonald’s and get a fish sandwich, you know, so it wasn’t, it wasn’t enough to sustain life. And so by the time I got to Oklahoma, I was just frail and skinny as a rail and anemic and so life was definitely rough in the beginning, definitely.
Ari: So, um, I think, then, you know, during our conversation, you mentioned that you ultimately, you ultimately looked at the Army as a, some sort of a refuge, so to speak, you know, away out of, you know, the streets, so to speak. Tell us about that. What was going on what was going on there?
Chad: Yeah, so I, you know, life turned for the positive for me when I met this girl in high school, and she was different. She, she gave me a glimmer of hope in my life, we ended up getting married. And after the birth of our second child, I was living in low income housing. And I looked around and I was like, Man, I do not want my kids to grow up, like I did, like, you know, but I didn’t have any skills I dropped out at ninth grade. I didn’t, you know, I was, from an early age, I was called dumb. I had a learning disability. And I was put into classes that, you know, basically perpetuated that disability, right? There wasn’t a lot of encouragement in my life to be better than that. So I really assumed that’s all I could be. So I didn’t know what else to do. My grandfather was a Marine. And I tried to join the Marines. And they wouldn’t allow me because I had dropped out of high school, and I had tattoos all over my forearm. But the army was like, hey, we’ll take you. And at first, you know, it was definitely a very hard mixed because I hadn’t had structure or discipline in my life. I never even had a father figure. So, you know, another man yelling at me, we would normally try to fight, you know, but in this setting, that that wasn’t gonna happen, right? They were gonna win each time and, but it ended up becoming just a perfect storm. You know, once I accepted that there was no way out, I burned that bridge to where I couldn’t go back, I was stuck in this thing. And once I accepted that, I found that I was really good at it, right. And for the first time in my life, this dumb Special Education kid, found something that he excelled at, you know, and, and I just, I fell in love with it. I really did. And that’s what spurred me becoming a sniper. And, you know, becoming an instructor. I just put all of my energy into that thing, because I loved it so much.
Ari: Wow. That’s great. So how long did that last?
Chad: So I was in the military for 10 years before I was medically retired. You know, and that definitely, the retirement part hurt me, because I wasn’t ready to get out. You know, I would have done 30 years happily. So,
Ari: so So what what happened? What was the medical issue that forced you out? Well, it
Chad: was it was several I went off a roof in Iraq, and I landed headfirst and so my neck was really messed up. And then I had the jelly around my retina is dented in still, to this day. It’s like blocked, I just see blotches. And but then I also had several other surgeries, you know, and they just the injuries kept compounding, right. And the army was just like, hey, man, you’re done. Right? Like you’ve had multiple surgeries, you know, and I wasn’t willing. The other piece of it is I wasn’t willing to take a non combat job. I think I might have been able to stay in if I would have taken a different job. But I didn’t want to I wanted to continue to do what I was doing. That’s what I love doing. But they weren’t having it. So retirement here I came.
Ari: Ah ha ha But Okay, so before you retired, right? There were other things that were going on in your life. If memory serves me correct, I think you’re having a lot of fun. You’re having too much fun. And God decided to throw a brick at you, in the sense that you had a five year old daughter, who, under the clear blue had this massive stroke. That wasn’t, it wouldn’t have been as bad as they diagnosed it properly. But they misdiagnosed that while your family was, was in Germany. And you were you’re, you’re still in the military. Tell us what the heck was going on,
Chad: man. So yeah, we were actually getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. So we were doing like two days to try to get in shape. And I’ll never forget this. I was at the gym. And we had a runner, and he was out of breath. When he got to the gym. He’s like stars and stars and stars. And you got you got to come back, you got to come back. And he finally was like something to do with your daughter. And so I was like, What in the world? So I get and no one’s really being clear. They’re just like, hey, come to the school. So I come to the school. And there’s an ambulance. They’re serving my my daughter in the back of it. My wife’s already in the back of it and they take off. So I I’m basically essentially following them. They actually the ambulance had to stop because she was convulsing, so heavily on the way to the first hospital. And they didn’t know what was going on. When we get there, they assumed she was having seizures. No one gave her an MRI initially, just Hey, she’s having seizures. And I’ll never forget almost wanting to fight a male nurse in that first hospital because they were trying to give her an EKG are an easy one of the other and you have to be still for him. And she was convulsing, right. And he was like, hold your daughter keep her still. And I’m like, Dude, this is not the time because this is your job. First of all right like this. I don’t even know what’s going on man. You know. Once a neurologist got there, the next day, he did an MRI and noticed that her brain was completely swollen she had had a stroke, and that it was really severe. She only had a few hours to really live so they had to do a craniotomy. We got sent to Hamburg, which is a specialty hospital for children. And they did the craniotomy to relieve the pressure on the brain. And I’ll never forget the the doctor just coming to me and my wife saying Hey, she’s probably never going to walk, talk or eat ever again. So you’re basketball for the rest of her life. At the same time, this is happening. My wife is pregnant, and she pops right she gives birth. So in one instance, I had my oldest son and my daughter who’s fighting for her life in ICU room. And I had my wife giving birth to a newborn son in a completely different room. And I’m skating back you would have thought I had skates on because I was just, you know, back and forth. It was it was an intense time. I remember being in the shower, just screaming and yelling at God because I didn’t know why he was doing this to me again. You know what, what what was going on? Why? Why us? Why my my baby? Why? You know why give us a kid in the middle of it. Like, you know, you can’t even enjoy a precious time because you have a life threatening time with another kid at the same moment. So it was it was very confusing and hard.
Ari: Wow. Wow. Now you mentioned to me that you basically stuck by her you did whatever you could you knew you knew your daughter was a fighter. Right? She took after her old man that we know. Right? Because you’re a fighter. And what is what is she like today?
Chad: Well, she’s 17 years old. She can walk she can talk she can eat on her own. She actually has a job. She’s about to graduate high school and you know she still has her her her issues right and she but she doesn’t let those things stop her man. She has the the mentality of a winner and I love it man. I’m so impressed with her. She’s my hero, you know. We stood her up and in the hospital because they separated me my wife. My wife was stuck in Germany. And I was stuck in Walter Reed with my daughter once we got transferred because the German hospital only seen what had happened to my daughter maybe two or three times. So they’ve like Hey, she’s got to go to America and go to a hospital there. But because of the pain To Work issue with a newborn, they had to keep my wife and my newborn in Germany. So we’re separated. And yeah, it was it was hard man, I was living in a hospital room. My, you know, my oldest son, I had to go live with family, we were all spurred apart. And but I’ll never forget, I told my daughter, hey, I don’t know how this is going to turn out. But I know we’re going to fight. Right? I know, we’re going to face this thing. And, you know, you were not going to be found guilty of not trying. So I would stand her up. And she had a plethora of like stuffed animals in the room that people gave her. And so she had the one arm that was working in our standard office and throw those stuffed animals against the wall. And she was just throwing them against the wall. And then I would take her legs and walk her back and forth in the room up and down the hallways. Little did I know that I was giving her faith, right. Like in her mind, she began to believe, hey, I’m going to be able to do this one day. And I think at three months after, right when we were released from Walter Reed to go to a intensive rehabilitation center, she was gonna take her first steps by herself. So power of the mind is amazing.
Ari: Absolutely, absolutely. So going back to that to those days. It was it was a year later you had another child. Yeah. Right. You had another child. So that makes for right?
Chad: Yes, sir. So you had another child you had, at the same time, you had two boys diagnosed with autism. All right, because of everything that’s going on, you become an alcoholic. You freaking hit rock bottom, okay. Because of second automobile accident, which almost killed you.
Ari: All right, you were you coded twice. Right. And then was after that, that you started to listen to the whispers. Okay. You realize that, you know, he was trying to kill you so many different times. And I think not that he was trying to kill you is trying to wake you up and tell you Hey, dummy, listen, you got to start listening to the whispers You weren’t listening. And he kept hitting you and hitting you and hitting you to finally one day you woke up and you were like, Alright, I think I got it now. Right. And you did the turnarounds? What was what do you think was the the deciding moment so to speak, that gave you that turnaround.
Chad: When I was in ICU when I was in the ICU because I was in ICU for seven days, the hospital all together 14 days. But ICU for seven, and I had no cell phone because it was destroyed on the motorcycle. My family couldn’t come see me because of COVID. And I was by myself, I can only watched so many reruns, right. And I faced myself in that hospital room like I had no alcohol, I had nothing to, you know, numb my mind, I had to look at the man in the mirror. And when I did, I went on this journey, right. And I began to realize that not only did I have a lot of things I needed to fix about myself, right, that I didn’t deal with along the way. But I also had a really great calling. And I think that I faced all of these things, to pull some other people out the fire, right to help, you know, those that are either going through or maybe hopefully help some people avoid going through at the same time.
Ari: Absolutely. Now, let me ask you this. And it might be a difficult question. But who is the one person that you could point to? That you would say had the most influence in your life and why?
Chad: My wife, my wife is my best friend. The only person at a very young age that believe in me, right? And despite my mess ups, my my struggles. I mean, she nursed me back to health on over three occasions, right? To the point where I mean, she had to bathe me she had I mean, I couldn’t do anything when I couldn’t even walk, you know. And so she’s always been in my corner. She has always loved me for me, but always saw something more in right and she was never that person that would say, oh, woe is you. She’s more like hey, this happened. It is what it is now we can do about it. Right? And that attitude in my corner always pushed me and motivated me to take that extra step forward. To find that that one more reason to live and and to be a little bit better from for not just myself for my kids and earth, and so if it wasn’t for her, I don’t know really where I’ll be.
Ari: Okay, so before we go, let me ask you this. Do you have any words of wisdom for my audience? Some of you like to share some, you know, words of hope?
Chad: Yes.The first thing I would like to tell everyone is that everything that you could ever need is already within. Alright, a lot of times this world tries to teach us to look somewhere else rather than inside. But when I looked inside, I found all the answers I needed. Alright. The second thing is, man, your your words matter, we have this, this conversation in our head. And a lot of times, we’re telling ourselves a lot of negative things, right? What we can’t do what we won’t do, you know, a lot of is perpetuated by other people in our lives or past experiences that we may have not knocked down as well as we wanted to. And I would just encourage you guys to even if you have to write the things that reverse it, right, make your weaknesses, your strength, say I am this, I am that and write it down, put it on a mirror while you’re brushing your teeth and say it out loud. And until that conversation begins to change in your head, and you begin to believe who you really are, because there’s greatness on the inside of each and every person listening.
Ari: That is fantastic. It is actually you. I feel like you’ve read my book. Because these are some of the things that I talk about all the time, put it up on your mirror, you know, whatever your your goals and dreams are in life, put it up in your mirrors, looking at it every single day. Likewise, it’s it’s brilliant. I’m happy that you brought that out. It’s terrific. One of the things that I would tell the audience’s Don’t be judge mantle. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The first time I saw you and I’ve done this, you know, a lot and a lot, a lot and a lot. I said to myself, Man, this guy must have been through something. All right, because, you know, I see the earring and I see the beard and the backwards cap and and the tattoos and it’s like, oh my god, what is this? What is this guy have been through whatever. But you know what? What I learned from you is you’re you’re you’re a freakin pussycat. Okay, you are the most gentle sweetest man I’ve ever met. Okay, regardless of what you look like on the outside, okay. You are an amazing individual on the inside. And you should never forget that and don’t let people forget that. Okay, you’re you’re an unbelievable individual. I am honored and proud to call you my friend. Okay. And I’m happy that we met. One more thing before we go. If people want to get a hold of you, what will be the best way for them to do that? You have a website, you have a email.
Chad: So Mr. tenacity.com is my website. Mr. Tenacity? firstname.lastname@example.org is my email. And then if you look me up on Facebook, it’s just Chad was single my name. My Facebook page will pop up. You can send me a friend request. And we’ll go from there.
Ari: Right now. Do you have Have you written a book? Are you writing a book or anything like that? Yeah,
Chad: I’m in the process actually meet with someone this Friday, about finalizing how that’s gonna work. And so yeah, I’m in the works. Nothing completely all together, but it’s definitely in the works.
Ari: Okay, I look forward to I look forward to reading it when it comes out that I will tell you what, right. Okay, great. So, Chad, thanks again for being for being on the show. You’ve inspired me I know that I’m sure you’ve inspired many people in my audience. Thanks so much.
Chad: Thank you so much for having me. It was an honor.