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The FourBlock Podcast

Feb 24, 2020

This week's guest is retired Army First Sergeant Patrick Abrams. Patrick was drafted and served in Vietnam in 1971 and then deployed again in 2003 to Iraq as a 55-year old infantry platoon sergeant with the New York National Guard. He was severely injured when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devise detonated at a checkpoint that he was supervising. While recovering at Walter Reed Hospital, doctors discovered a 15-pound tumor in his abdomen that was almost too large to remove. His surgeon told him that the suicide bomber saved his life.

Patrick discusses his time in service both in Vietnam and Iraq, his injury and recovery, the impact on his family, and what it was like to come back home from Vietnam and then again today. Full disclosure: Patrick is Mike’s father!


Welcome to the FourBlock Podcast, a show that examines veteran career transition and the military-civilian divide in the workplace.

General Charles Krulak coined the term "Three Block War" to describe the nature of 21st-century military service defined by peace-keeping, humanitarian aid, and full combat.

But what happens next? Veterans are often unprepared to return home and begin new careers. We call this the Fourth Block. 

FourBlock is a national non-profit that has supported thousands of transitioning service members across the nation in beginning new and meaningful careers. 

Mike Abrams (@fourblock) is an Afghanistan veteran, FourBlock founder, director of the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, and author of two military transition books. He’ll be representing the military transition perspective.

Lindsey Pollak (@lindsaypollak) is a career and workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of three career advice books. Lindsey will be representing the civilian perspective of this issue. 

Veterans, explore new industries and make the right connections. Find a career that fits your calling. Join us at

Over 77% of FourBlock alumni stay at their first jobs over 12 months. Sponsor our program or host a class to equip more of our veterans at

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