Call of Duty – Mike Carroll
“When I retired in 1992, I didn’t need to stay in the Navy,” Mike says. “My AMWAY™ business gave me the ability to walk away.”
But the 9/11 terrorist attacks reignited the former Navy SEAL’s drive to serve, so he called to re-enlist. At first, he was turned down – two bad hips from previous missions made him a liability. But in 2004, surgical advances promised a complete recovery.
“After I had my hip surgery, I started training to see how well they would do,” Mike says. “The hips performed well, so I put in two years of intensive training.” Then he attended a SEALs team reunion. While most of his comrades were also civilians, Mike reconnected with some colleagues who were still “in,” rekindling his goal to serve again.
The journey back was daunting, including a medical checkup amid a maze of 17- and 18-year-olds. The verdict of the exam? “Reject, unless authorized by higher authority.”
Mike knew the most likely higher authority was Captain Jim Bowen. His recruiter discouraged him. “If you try it, they’ll reject you simply for bugging him,” the recruiter said. But days later, Mike’s phone rang. It was Bowen, who had seen Mike speak at an Amway Free Enterprise Day, and had heard of his desire to rejoin. They talked, and as they hung up, Bowen said, “You’re in.”
The higher authority had spoken, and Mike was deployed for a tour of duty in Iraq in 2006.
Mike’s wife, Robin, and their children, Kaitlin, Michael, and Christian rallied around their husband and father. Robin talked to their pastor, Tony Foglio, who advised that Mike’s commitment was short compared to a lifetime of regrets.
“I had to get behind him and pull up the bootstraps,” says Robin. “The biggest help was the Worldwide Dreambuilders organization, Paul Tsika, and Joe Foglio. They were there for us while Mike was gone, every step of the way.”
Mike returned home from Iraq and continues to serve as a Navy SEAL instructor today.