Oct 5, 2020
Chris Stricklin ejected from the
F-16 he was piloting during a Thunderbirds air show. In this
interview, we talk about the crash but more importantly, we talk
about living life with intention. Furthermore, Chris shares how the
crash transformed his life. Consequently, he initiated a journey of
healing through gratitude, growth, and giving.
Chris co-authored the
Obligation with Joel
Neeb. Chris ejected from his plane. Joel was diagnosed with a rare
and often fatal cancer. Against the odds, both survived. Chris and
Joel met years after their individual life-changing events and
discovered they both had a desire to share their stories to help
Consequently, they resolved to
fulfill what they call survivor’s obligation—a responsibility to
live an intentional life—for themselves and their families, and in
honor of those who didn’t get a second chance. Finally, you can
apply what you learn by listening to this interview in your life
and live intentionally.
- First, Emily welcomes Chris and asks him to
explain how he met Joel Neeb.
Chris explains and why he and Joel co-authored the book
and Chris talk about the importance of sharing stories and how we
all can learn from each other's stories.
that, Chris talks about what it takes to be a Thunderbird pilot and
how they train.
explains that the week of his crash was one of those weeks where
everything went wrong.
explains why the Thunderbird pilots were nervous of the day of his
take off, Chris knew he did not have enough altitude to finish his
- Furthermore, Chris explains that he had trained
for this very moment and describes how his training paid
said it took him years to deal with the crash.
he and his wife didn't talk about it for 13 years.
Air Force did not require Chris to get counseling after the
didn't think he needed counseling and was confident counseling
couldn't help him.
soon learned that he actually did need counseling and he was
suffering from PTSD.
talks about his injuries and how he discovered he was over 2 inches
shorter after the crash.
does being successful mean to you? Chris and Emily discuss their
answers to this question.
all have a calling and we need to figure out what that
- Fighter pilots are taught to compartmentalize
so they can be on their game every day.
- Consequently, compartmentalization tends to
expand to other parts of their lives.
explains that the crash was pilot error and he made sure the book
Thunderbirds and Navy’s Blue Angels made changes to their
procedures to prevent a similar crash from happening
explains why he thanked his maintenance crew for changing the
ejection seat in his plane the night before his crash.
- Finally, Chris explains how the crash changed
his life and the importance of living intentionally telling his
story to help others.