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The FourBlock Podcast

Feb 22, 2021

*Please note - trigger warning: sensitive topics are discussed during this episode, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), addiction, survivor guilt, and suicide.

“I’m not the only person suffering from this. There are many, many people – veterans and non-veterans – who are suffering from this who need to know it’s a real thing and that there is hope to get past it.”

This week, hosts Mike Abrams and Lindsey Pollak welcome U.S. Marine Corps veteran, award-winning photographer and writer, and licensed (FAA) commercial UAS pilot David Daly to the FourBlock Podcast. Deployed for four combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan for a total of 41 months at war, David candidly recounts his combat experience, the post-traumatic stress he experienced as a result, and how he survived "PTSD hell.” He explores the stigma of admitting that you’re struggling and shares how he found the strength to turn his life around, who helped him, and how he continues to spread the message of hope to others who may be struggling with their mental health. In this episode, David also talks with Lindsey and Mike about his post-military career, sharing how he got into drone aviation and how he started his company, Vigilante Drones.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer with a B.S. in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. Mike and David briefly served together in the Marine Corps during artillery training at Fort Still.

David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology. His work is published in numerous periodicals both in the United States and internationally.

David is the founder and owner of Vigilante Drones, a drone service provider and UAV consultancy company operating worldwide. David is also the deputy editor of Derailed Magazine, which chronicles the experiences of people who have survived the unimaginable and wish to share their stories and messages of hope and strength. He is most passionate about the nonprofit he started, Vigilante Cares, an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 whose mission is to use drones to help military veterans recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In his free time, David enjoys volunteering as a member of Search and Rescue teams and working with Team Rubicon.


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

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Podcast episodes are produced and edited by the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration.