Meat America Podcast #2 – Jason Jensen: Terror, Trauma, & Coincidence?

Meat America Podcast #2 - Jason Jensen: Terror, Trauma, & Coincidence?

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Speaker 1 (00:04):

What about a broken escalator? And I saw the fireman just determined as all get out to get up there. And I just said to myself, who looked at them kind of mouth you're going into hell because it's hot as it was already getting in the stairwells. I couldn't imagine what everybody else would be experiencing at this time until we got out of the building and saw actually what was going on, started to run. But the first thing you do, human nature's battle your phone and look back up and it's not working. It's not working. And immediately just took off running.

Speaker 2 (00:36):

This is

Speaker 3 (00:37):

In America podcast presented by code three spices produced by red meat lover. And now your home,

Speaker 2 (00:45):

Joey and Mike,

Speaker 3 (00:48):

Welcome back to meet America podcast. We're shooting today, an old Harold distillery in Collinsville, Illinois. Um, I know it's a really tough time out there and I want to acknowledge those restaurants who are dealing with, uh, the coronavirus. I also want to acknowledge all those first responders who are on the frontline, doing their jobs, putting themselves at risk for the help of others. Now I just want to take and turn it over to my cohost, Mike, who will introduce our guest today. Yeah. So before

Speaker 1 (01:14):

I introduce our guests, I'm gonna read something. All right. Um, this is my buddy, Jason Jensen. Uh, we've known each other for quite some time. Uh, you're going to understand why I'm not only very happy and excited, but I'm very honored that you are our first guest on meet America. I appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you. So bear with me for a second. For everybody who's listening. Uh, the September 11th attacks a series of airline high Jackson hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group. Al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil and U S history. The attacks against New York city and Washington D C caused extensive death and destruction and triggered an enormous U S effort combat terrorism. Some 2,750 people were killed in New York, 180 fourth, Pentagon and 40 in Pennsylvania, where one of the hijack planes crashed after passengers attempt to retake the plane.

Speaker 1 (02:14):

All 19 terrorists died. Police and fire departments in New York were especially hit hard hundreds that rushed to the scene of the attacks and more than 400, 400 police officers and firefighters were killed. So I will never forget the day that this happened. Um, I was, uh, working at charter communications. I had about six months before I became a police officer. I'd already been hired at the department, but I wasn't able to go into the police Academy for another eight, nine months. So I was trying to make some money, you know, get out of my mom and dad's basement basically, and do something for myself. But, uh, I remember that morning, we're all sitting there, the room and sheriffs can be, I mean, we all, we all saw it, right. Um, for everybody listening, uh, I've known Jason for a very long time. And Jason, what is your connection with nine 11?

Speaker 4 (03:15):

I had come over from another investment firm, uh, came to the Illinois side to work and they have sort of this immersion program, which is about 30 days. And what's interesting is they really teach you everything about the culture and really kind of walk you through everything in New York. Um, unfortunately I got there on September the ninth and, uh, got into one day on Monday and was really excited. Uh, we're on the 61st floor of building two South tower, just having, uh, you know, just really excited about everything. I mean, it's just an amazing program. And then Tuesday morning, um, unfortunately in that fateful day, um, everybody that was on break got to go down, but I just loved taking in the view. And, and this was way before, you know, your iPhones and Androids where you can snap onto the cameras that are the disposable, but, uh, you know, I'm just taking it all in.

Speaker 4 (04:07):

And then all of a sudden the plane hit building one, uh, which looked like a ticker tape parade. It was just, I mean, it looked like, you know, all this confetti, and then after that, it looked like flaming balls of something, which I assume from what I was told pieces of the facade, um, knew immediately something was wrong. Did not know that it was a plane. It didn't know it was a plane for some time, but, um, told us to stay where we were, uh, looking back on it, I guess it's because of how, when something falls from such a height, by the time it hits the ground, it's wiped out crowds of people. But, um, eventually we just said, look, something's gotta give, we gotta go. And, uh, so we started to traverse down the stairwell and they were still telling people to stay where you are, you know, don't go out, it's, it's dangerous.

Speaker 4 (04:54):

And we got to, and, and, and the world trade center, I guess, their, what they call common lobby levels. And so you get in a stairwell when you can't just get back out of the stairwell until it becomes a level that has secure or non secure access. And when we got to 44, uh, the gentleman that I was with, he and I looked at each other and said, what do we want to do? Well, looking around, we thought to ourselves, this is a perfect time for them to bomb another building. And we, he looked at me and I looked at him. And as soon as that we said that, he said, I think we should get down to ground level. And I said, I think that's a great idea. And then bam, plane hits throws us to the ground, shakes everything. Uh, it's just complete mayhem at that point.

Speaker 4 (05:37):

Uh, which at that point we all got into the stairwell. I think I was the second or third person in there. And by that time it was just the heat coming in. The stairwell was pretty warm. It was getting hot quickly. Um, and then we knew this has got to, we got to go well for the first few floors. It was easy because we were the first ones in. But as everybody started piling in from other floors, you have this congestion and, uh, you know, you and I walking in there would be a tough, you know, gap. And so people just kept going and going. And then eventually you're just hopping on top of each other and stepping over everybody. And finally, we got, I think it was about 25th floor. They finally said we've got to have a system. And so they would yell up to the certain levels, you know, go, go, go, stop, stop, stop.

Speaker 4 (06:22):

Because we weren't getting anywhere. We were basically, it was like herds, you know, we were fighting each other, trying to get out. Um, it was just, it was surreal, you know, it was almost like, and of course, again, you're stuck in a stairwell. There's no access to a phone. You can try all you want. Um, again, this is 2001 phones were this big and batteries actually lasted more than four hours, but, uh, um, it was pretty difficult. Um, and when we got down, I think we went down two floors into a basement because they couldn't get us out on one level. And they said, we need to go down the stairwell. And I remember as we got back up, went up a broken escalator and I saw the firemen just determined as all get out, to get up there. And I just said to myself and looked at them kind of mouth you're going into hell because it's hot as it was already getting in the stairwells.

Speaker 4 (07:09):

I couldn't imagine what everybody else would be experiencing at this time until we got out of the building and saw actually what was going on. Um, and eventually I got over, I got outside and jumped over this one area, just a little wall area and, um, started to run. But the first thing you do, human natures, dial your phone and look back up. And there are all these people, you know, FBI or whoever, you know, all law enforcement, you're saying don't use your phone and run. And I'm thinking, and it's not working. It's not working. And immediately just took off running. And, uh, eventually had a phone call that went through and there was an album about nine or 10 blocks away,

Speaker 5 (07:51):

Like department, excuse me, Jamie Jensen immediately. She's not in, who's calling. This is Jason, the world trade center when they were in the fall and she's at home. I mean, I get a connection. Can you tell her that I am? I am all right, right now. All for networks and Jan and I can't get ahold of anybody because she's been trying to call you all morning too. I mean, it's utter chaos in New York city right now. So the police would call her home and tell her to call Michelle everybody. And we're trying to get through town right now. We're on foot.

Speaker 4 (08:35):

[inaudible] take us back to that very first moment you use the term bomb there. And so can you tell us, you know, what did you hear? I mean, it's clear that you maybe thought it was a bomb. Can you tell us about that first sign that something is wrong here? So when I was,

Speaker 1 (08:56):

When, when the first plane hit, it sounded like a large tin can with a firecracker, you know, and it, it was very, it was an unusual sound, but then you could just see just everything coming out of their building blowing. And, you know, I was always, yeah, I don't like Heights anyway. Right. But you know, I'm in the same place, but I'm thinking what's going on here. There shouldn't be this going on. They'd never told us anything about some type of, uh, you know, some type of party or whatever, you know, they weren't gonna have any celebrations. I mean, it's a Tuesday morning. So it was, I knew something was wrong. And I kept thinking about the 93 bombings and, you know, when they tried to buy them in the basement area. And what's interesting is that, uh, one of the gentlemen was the security guard that wasn't there in 93 and actually helps.

Speaker 1 (09:46):

My understanding is he helped redesign the escape routes for our building, uh, which saved a tremendous amount of people. That's incredible. Self-awareness that kind of be in the moment and recall that incident. Well, you know, so the other night, Jason, uh, I forgot what night it was. You and I were talking on the phone and we were texting back and forth. I said, I'm going to try to watch world trade center on Netflix again. And, uh, I was telling Joe before I made it less than 90 seconds in, and I, uh, I couldn't do it, um, for obvious reasons, you know? And your story is, it's incredible because I looked at it from a different side, you know, I got to see everything unfold on TV. You said earlier that, you know, you didn't know for several minutes or however long it was that it was an actual plane.

Speaker 1 (10:37):

Yeah. Until I was actually on the ground and out of harm's way, and somebody said it was a plane again. I never thought it was going to be this jetliner and I'm thinking of Cessna. And what was it? You know, what kind of plane and you know, to, to watch a commercial check. Yeah. Do what it did. The tower number one. And you're thinking, is this an accident? Is this on par? And then tower two. It was just, it was massive. Steria yes. Nationwide. Um, I will never forget how pissed off and mad I was that somebody well, and it was also the first realization that people really hate us in America. Yeah. And that's also the first time that solidified, there are some really evil, evil people in this world that don't like Americans. Well, and my grandfather, God rest his soul. He was in a world war two and did a stint in Korea. But what was interesting is he said to me, this is worse than Pearl Harbor. And I said, how can that be? And he said, it is to me because at least this was a military strike in Pearl Harbor. This was a coward strike against all nations. And I believe if the numbers that I've read 80 nations were involved in the death count. Yes. So, you know, it's a little bit different,

Speaker 4 (11:54):

Obviously. I mean, everybody has their own feeling about what they experienced, but this is coming from my grandfather about how it was worse to him as far as the act itself. You know, it was interesting that you said that because

Speaker 1 (12:07):

I was living with my mom and dad at the time before I went into the police Academy and I was talking to my dad about it. My dad's a us Navy veteran. And you know, when you're growing up, you, you know, when your dad's mad, especially you, right. Or whatever, usually within the first seconds of him speaking, I I'll never forget this. It was the first time I never heard my dad not speak for probably two weeks or two weeks. He didn't say a word. And my dad's a very massive personality, big guy. And for him to, I could, I knew what was going on. He was mad.

Speaker 4 (12:46):

Silence is definitely, he was, he was mad. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (12:50):

You know, and you know, I guess my question is for the people listening at home, me and Jason have known each other for quite some time. Um, me and him have had very in depth, talks about, you know, my trials and tribulations, uh, with overcoming posttraumatic stress disorder. Um, other incidences that I've overcome. And, you know, there's, there's so much involved with it. There's so many ways to deal with it. But one thing that I would love to hear from you, and hopefully I can deliver this the right way is to tell people, listening or watching, you know, it's there it's almost like timestamps. Yes. So if I had to guess the first time that you actually saw the footage, it was probably like you were dreaming and it was slow motion and there was no sound. It was just tunnel vision.

Speaker 4 (13:46):

Yes. In New York. Um, so eventually after running to 77th street, um, where I was staying, which was somewhere in the Surrey Surrey hotel area, I remember they said there was a way point. So our firm had a way point where I had to travel back and everything's by foot. At this point, transportation has shut down and you travel by foot. You get there. And the only thing they have on television is the plane crash. Now, remember, this is the only one they have is my building. You know, they don't know until the, these other gentlemen had a documentary later where they had, they were doing the gas, they were a rookie ladder company. I think that's eventually that that's when that one came out, but all it was was instant hint, you know, just, just replay of it, hitting the building, hitting the building, and then they'd show it coming in.

Speaker 4 (14:30):

And then they hit the building, hit the building and you play that in your mind over and over. And it's just like, and there, remember I remembered there were no commercials. Everything was just straight 24 hour news. And it's just really, like you said, it just hits you hard and you gotta, you gotta try to process it, but how do you get it out of your mind? And then being stuck in the city until Saturday was really tough. Yeah. You know, because it's just complete fear. Uh, you know, the jets flying it around overnight all night, uh, transportation at a very minimal, uh, capacity on certain streets is just way beyond, bizarre way beyond bizarre,

Speaker 6 (15:08):

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Speaker 4 (15:28):

I guess the closest thing I've ever experienced. Uh, and which is still a far cry from, you know, your experience was I had a house burn down on me when I was in college. And, you know, I was in 21. I was invincible, obviously. Like we all were at that time and I had a dog in the house. And so I had to go in and get the dog out. And of course, I didn't think it would be any big deal and you get in, and you're really overwhelmed with the smoke of burning couches of burning dry wall. And it really hit me, you know, in that moment, what that's like, what were some of the, what was that dust cloud? Like, can you tell us a little bit more about being in the moment, you know, as you're exiting that building and what you kind of smelled, uh, and we're surrounded by.

Speaker 4 (16:09):

So when I look back, it looked like just towering Inferno or both buildings. And what I actually thought was I was going to see a domino effect of the building. So my thought process was get to smaller buildings, hard to find in New York, but smaller buildings. And so that's why I just took off running as far as I could get, you know, to where I want it, or I thought smaller buildings. In the meantime, you're running over people, you know, that are on the ground. You're doing whatever you can when it fell. I was, I think, uh, I think he and I, the gentleman I was running with, I think we figured out, I think I was about nine to 10 blocks away is what we kind of gathered from a phone call that I had made and then where we kinda, cause we tried to replay it in our heads where we were.

Speaker 4 (16:52):

Uh, and I went back eventually a little bit later, which really funny story about that later now it's ironic. And, uh, but, but you know, I did not see the cloud because it just kept running. Uh, my shoes, by the time I got to the 77th street, I was, there were some blood sweat, just, I just, you know, running a business shoes is not easy, especially in New York city. Absolutely. Um, and, uh, you know, so I just, I just kept running. So the cloud really didn't affect me now, the smell. Interesting. You say that, because later that night, when I found, I ended up meeting with a cousin, a far off cousin that I had never met, we met each other and he sort of took me under his wing to try to make sure that I was going to be stable as much as I could be. And we were in the Chelsea district having what was, what I would consider a quasi dinner and the smell was horrible. I can't even describe the smell, a mix of everything. And that's when the smell really got to us and where we were sitting with the Ash, it still was blowing

Speaker 1 (17:50):

So that you had the Ash on your shirt just a little bit, just enough. And you thought, cause we were sitting outside, uh, and then you had a lot of the copycat people. And I think somebody said that there was a bomb at the, at the, uh, uh, empire state building. None of that actually was true, but it just, it was yeah. The smell, as you said, I didn't notice it until that evening as everything was burning and continued to burn, um, it was, um, you know, being a police officer, I was telling him, we were talking earlier about my first pursuit, what it was like having an adrenaline dump. Yeah. There's no way to describe an, any adrenaline dump of that magnitude, correct? That's correct. Um, it's almost like it's not, there's no way to describe it. It's just it's uh, until you've experienced it, there's really no way to describe it.

Speaker 1 (18:41):

It sorta overtakes your body. Yes. Your brain and all your senses. And whenever that adrenaline dump starts, um, decreasing, you know, as far as the levels go, it feels like an out of body experience because you are so deflated. And I remember the best sleep I've ever had in my life was the first time I had an adrenaline dump that was, you know, pretty large in magnitude. What's interesting about that is that w as you said, it was, the adrenaline was coming down. It was almost like a butterfly landing on your arm and it felt like five pounds. You can just sense everything. Uh, I was sore when I got back, a very good friend of mine came to pick me up, ended up being my best man at my wedding. And it was two weeks before my muscles. I mean, everything seemed like it just atrophied and swelled and atrophied.

Speaker 1 (19:34):

And it was, I was sore two weeks. I felt like I ran three marathons and I can't run one marathon. Well, and that's the thing about, you know, the situation is, you know, there's a physical side to it. There's a mental side to it. There's an emotional side to it. Um, you know, and looking back on nine 11, I mean, seriously till this, till this day, if I didn't see anything about it, I'm, I'm still mad. I'm still angry as can be, you know, this is America, this is our country. There were, um, a melting pot of so many different heritages. Yeah. You know, um, and to think somebody that could do that on our soil till this day, I'm still just floored. I am too. And it's, it's a shame that it it's a shame that, that innocent lives correct. You know, it's just, it's just awful. I mean, no life is only marijuana, but I'm just saying that that was just pure innocence. And, uh, I, you know, very cowardly. So, so you're outside of the building. You're running down the street. When do you realize, Hey, I'm now safe. And when do you begin to realize that you need make contact with your

Speaker 3 (20:48):

Family, that maybe family has seen this and they could be worried. Can you walk us through that thought process?

Speaker 4 (20:52):

I think, like I said, around nine, or I think I made a phone call right about ninth or 10th block. Um, we try to go back and piece the phone and all of that. And I think we were about nine or 10 blocks. I didn't feel safe until I got to my hotel area, which was in the 70th 77th street area or Avenue streets. I can never remember what it is, but it took a, it was a long way before I felt safe. Um, I just, again, I wanted to get as far away as I could, because I thought the domino effect, I never expected an implosion of the buildings. Uh, so I just kept running, kept running.

Speaker 4 (21:31):

It was, it was really bizarre because so her firm and another firm had a due diligence meeting and they said, we'd like you to come back. You're going to be, I think it was the only survivor out of 300 people to do this due diligence meeting. And it was to see it and they were going to do this due diligence meeting. And then after that, they were going to do a walkthrough of nine 11. And it was the week if I remember the week after nine 11, five years ago. Yeah. Five, eight years ago to this year. So I said, I can't come out there unless I bring my family. So what was interesting if I brought my daughter and I brought my wife, now we have to fly our families out, but they said, well, we already have the hotel. So stay in the hotel.

Speaker 4 (22:07):

What was interesting is after nine 11, after meeting with a very dear pastor, friend of mine who became sort of the spiritual director for me, kind of helped me understand some of the things about what you said, the post traumatic, you know, why me, what survivor's guilt, a lot of those things. But what was interesting is that during my wedding dance, my mother was dancing with my mother and she said, you got married on 1109. And I said, well, that's wild. It's the opposite. And then we never thought anything about it. Yeah. So fast forward my daughter, my wife and I go to New York and we're going to do the nine 11 walk through after the due diligence meeting. And we get there. And my daughter at the time she was eight or nine she's, eight or nine. And she says, Hey dad, how about that? We're going to be walking through the nine 11 Memorial. And our room number is 1,109. And he talked about it gives me the chills. Yeah. So that was pretty bizarre. Um, but it turned out to be a phenomenal trip. I will tell you anybody that can go to see the Memorial and honor, those are falling. It is that maintenance. It's beautiful. It's wonderful.

Speaker 3 (23:09):

Yeah. You talked about something there about the dates and the coincidence, and I just kind of want to, you know, I'm thinking back to how you said, you know, you're up there for basically some form of training and you got up there basically two days before the event. Do you ever think back on that and think about the timing of that and kind of wonder why me, why here, why now

Speaker 4 (23:31):

I have for many years still do to this day? Yeah. Still do.

Speaker 3 (23:36):

Yeah. It's gotta be a daily occurrence.

Speaker 4 (23:37):

I mean, it is, you know, a lot of people would really affect me a lot. Wasn't somebody who would say, Oh God, I've got a special place for you or okay. That's but what about all those great people that jumped? Right. I didn't have any children and I wasn't married, so let's face it. I was the one that should have been, you know, but what he said was to me is he said, no, just don't waste it. You have an opportunity. That's what you should be thinking. And that's what the pastor told me is just, don't waste it, enjoy it. And just make sure you understand,

Speaker 1 (24:06):

This is one of the reasons why I've always looked up to you and appreciated our friendship. Appreciate your time. You know, there's not a lot of people that I can tell my story to. And, um, you know, I think it, I think your experiences with all this cause allow it it's really helped me without you even knowing it. Um, you know, you know, I'm sort of out there and, you know, it's just, it's just how I'm built. It's just me great. But I mean, you know, it's allowed me and you to sorta get away from everything that's going on in her life and sit down and have a drink and talk about these things. And I'm one of those people that reflect daily. And I do it twice a day. I do it 10 minutes in the morning and at least 10 minutes before I go to bed.

Speaker 1 (24:51):

And that's when most of my, um, greatest personal growth happens. Sure. Um, you know, but you look at what you've been through and, you know, you can look at it as an experience. A lot of people would waste that experience. A lot of people will just say, well, I'm a lucky one. I'm gonna go on about my life. You know? Um, I don't believe in that mindset. Um, I know there's gotta be days where it, you know, it might be a daily occurrence for you to look in the mirror and be like, you know what, first of all, we're all lucky to be here again with just the whole process of it. Right. It's a privilege and it is a privilege, isn't it? Yeah, absolutely. Um, but I mean, do you ever utilize any of these, um, experiences you've had and had to overcome? How much has it changed your life in terms of how you directly communicate with people a lot?

Speaker 4 (25:46):

Yeah. Yes. It's actually, it's multifaceted, you know, obviously I appreciate a lot more, but I've also known, I, I think I've, I figured out that I now will also do things that I probably wouldn't have done in the past. And that is to broaden my horizons and experience things because, you know, you can, you can live in a tunnel, but I choose and I chose not to. And my friends and my family embraced it, they helped me. And it's, it's actually been a lot easier by doing that because the first two years it was all about, I don't need any help. I can do this and the nightmares and the tremors and all the different things, you know, that are the night terrors. Uh, people don't realize you really do need to at least somehow figure out what does that outlet

Speaker 1 (26:39):

Well, correct me if I'm wrong. Um, so I know our experiences are completely different. Um, you know, I've got a handful of experiences as well that I've had to deal with and overcome. The one thing I'm most grateful for is, you know, my, my journey dealing with adversity has been almost almost nine years. I'm 42 right now, and this is the happiest I've ever been in my life. I'm not a rich man. I've got everything I need. I've got a roof over my head. I've got two beautiful kids. I've got a dog, I've got a job that I don't consider a job. It's just something I love. And it has taken me eight years of going. I said it earlier, crawling through the mud every day, crawl through the mud, you crawl through the mud and you get to a point where your mindset starts changing. You start feeling happier and healthier and it doesn't feel normal.

Speaker 4 (27:34):

Well, there's a level of guilt because you're feeling like why should I really be enjoying all of this? Right. But I think it was Winston Churchill, uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but w if you're going through hell, keep going. Yeah. And negativity, negativity is not something that, you know, it's just, it's just, it breeds more negativity and hatred and misery loves company. So the way I looked at it is if I can continue to enjoy my life and help help people, or have people around me, enjoy it, then it's a complete success, you know, as far as what we're trying to accomplish that is enjoy life, because we don't know how long we're going to be here.

Speaker 1 (28:08):

Do you remember the day Jason, where I had my aha moment about, about 13 months ago, you know, with all the stress, uh, that I had going on in my life and everything else say one day, something just clicked. And I was like, you know what, man, everything's going to be fine. Everything's going to be all right. You know, I've got a good idea of where this thing's going. And I've got a good idea of what I need to do to get where I need to be to help other people. And since that moment, 13 months ago, I've taken on a whole different outlook on my daily grind as wanting to be the best I can be in all aspects of my life, not just business or being a great brother or business partner, it's I want to be, I want to grow daily in all aspects of my life.

Speaker 4 (28:56):

Yeah. I think mine wasn't just an aha moment. There were moments, um, whether it's, you know, about not just character in general, but just how I would approach certain situations. And it's still, I will be, I'll be honest. It's a learning process. I mean, it's not something that I can tell you that I got it all figured out because I don't, and that's where the friends and the family come in and say, you know, wake up, you know, there'll be a dork, you know, get out of this. Um, so I, you know, I'm still having those aha moments, which are great, because I will tell you that when you get into that funk, that aha moment comes back in. You're like, Oh yeah, that's right.

Speaker 1 (29:34):

I have a, really a dear friend. He's a, I actually a couple years younger than me. And it's, I consider him a mentor and he's a couple years younger than me. He's just a great guy. And we were having a discussion one day and he said, man, you look really happy. You seem really happy. And I said, you know what, man, I go, I really am. I said, um, you know, I made a point in my life where every second counts and I'm, I either taught myself by accident or, but whatever it is I'm, I've learned to live in the moment throughout every single day. And things just, uh, are a little bit more crisper. And you know, every interaction I have with another person is more important, you know, and what I'm getting at is I said, I said, brother, his name's Chris. And I said, brother, I said, uh, I said, for the rest of my life, I'm going to embrace everything that gets thrown my way. I don't care how shitty it is. I am accepting it with open arms. And he's like, that's what you got to do to grow. You have to embrace those olive branches of, you know,

Speaker 4 (30:36):

Well, I tell my daughter and she's only 14. She's semi outgoing. Some people may say she's extremely outgoing and I hope she will be. But one of the things I always tell her when we shoot travels, she's a tremendous traveler better than my wife, but that's because she's young and she doesn't have all the fears, you know? But one of the things I told her is that you want to try to meet as many people as you can. And she'd say why. And I say, because everybody's got a story and some people have great advice. You don't have to take it, but listen to it and listen to their stories because there are so many of them that are out there and we miss him by not embracing, talking to them. Now it's gonna be a little different going forward because we have to keep our social distancing. But at the same time, you know, that's something that we'll, we'll adapt and we'll still have that social interaction.

Speaker 3 (31:27):

Yeah. I want to ask you a question about that, a story and, you know, helping others. And you know, you both have talked about trauma here today. Again, the closest thing I can relate to is going into that burning house. And I went my life wasn't personally endangered because the fire was in the back, but I had my dog in there and, you know, being 21, invincible, the biggest surprise for me was that four years afterwards, I literally could not watch a fire on television without being affected by that. I was surprised by that. So here's my question for you, for others who are listening, who may be dealing with their own traumatic set of circumstances, um, is, you know, can you share a tip or trick to get to, to deal with that? There is research going on today that is indicating that trauma can actually change our DNA, um, very much in its infancy infancy stage. So what kind of tips or tricks would you share with those who are, you know, trying to get through or pass something right now?

Speaker 4 (32:22):

I mean, I think everybody's different. A lot of the people that know me, um, I'm a fairly outgoing person and I really like to keep busy. I keep busy. And I also like to share again in their experiences and then eventually share in mind because what I found was by talking about it, instead of holding it in, did help me sort of expose myself as in, Hey, you know what, I'm human I'm alive, but don't mess it up. But the same time, there's so many other things that I wanted to do. And then when I get with my friends, it's sort of that outlet for me that, you know what, I can embrace this. I can enjoy it. And new adventures, you know, whether it's education, whether it's a, you know, a vacation trip or just something, it's just one of those things. I think people can find their way there. They have to figure it out with somebody else though. It's very hard to just say, I'm going to go do this on my own because we have our own way of thinking. Right. Right. We all, we all have our own way of thinking. That's limiting. That's right. That's exactly right. So why limit yourself when you can utilize the resources of somebody else's advice, shoulder to lean on again, nobody's perfect. But I think everybody has their own way. Mine is to be sort of the outgoing and just find a way to just enjoy connecting. Exactly

Speaker 1 (33:39):

Well. And, um, you know, let's bring barbecue into the mix here. I mean, you just took up that hobby not too long ago. Right? Absolutely. And every time I talk to this guy, he's so excited too, about what he cooked the day before or what he's getting ready to cook at night, you know? So, you know, like my thing was, um, I've always been highly competitive in sports. Um, so whenever I was going through my adversity, you know, at first it was just surviving the day surviving the day was my goal. Um, and then as time went on, it was okay. Now I need to start being more goal oriented outside of just surviving the day. Now I need, you know, set points or benchmarks and I need to meet, uh, for me it was religiously, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, everything that ended with an L Y you know, I wanted some form of a benchmark in place, you know, because nothing happens overnight.

Speaker 1 (34:37):

Uh, when you're talking about something, uh, trauma of this matter, it, people deal with it in different ways, in different ways and there's different stages. And you know, I'll, I've shared this with you before, when I was first diagnosed with PTSD, I was like, gotta be kidding me. I was so embarrassed that I had these, these four letters attached to me. And I was like, you know, my buddies there, it was embarrassing. You know? So there was that little, I wouldn't say a little bit of time. It probably took me, um, a good three and a half, four years, almost 48 months just to feel comfortable with that stigma attached to me.

Speaker 4 (35:20):

Yeah. That, that is something that, again, like you said, it's, I can do it on my own. I can do it on my own. I don't need anybody's help. And then when somebody says, Hey, you know what, you might have this. And then I look up all the things associated with it. And I'm thinking, I know I have this, I don't have that. You know what? I need to start listening. And as they say, some people listen to respond. Some people listen to understand I was listening to respond. I needed to understand it. And then as I did, I was like, Oh,

Speaker 1 (35:45):

Well, and you know, my, my take on it, Jason was, I felt it was a form of weakness. Absolutely. I hated it. I hated it. You know, here I am, you know, six, four, 300 pound man that can lift up a house. And here I am weak, weak minded. And that's not how I always interpreted myself. It's just, I had never faced with any adversity of that magnitude in my life before. Sure. And now I'm just in a different playing field, you know? So back to what I was saying earlier though, I mean, we've had these discussions before where, you know, you, you have to embrace everything that comes your way because every day is

Speaker 4 (36:18):

Again, often is a gift. It's a new day. And like you said, you don't know what's going to be thrown at you sometimes. It's interesting. Sometimes it's not. Yeah. It's all in how you embrace it and how you adjust.

Speaker 1 (36:28):

So I want to bring up something real quick. What was the first year you were at Busch stadium? How long ago was that? When they did that for you?

Speaker 4 (36:36):

It would it be two years? This November or September 11th.

Speaker 1 (36:40):

Okay. So I was at that game and I had no idea you were going to be there and I had you up on the jumbo Tron. And I was like, dude, that's my buddy, Jason, what's going on? And then I saw a lady on it.

Speaker 4 (36:52):

Yes. She was in my group of all people. They somehow tracked her down.

Speaker 1 (36:55):

Can we please tell everybody what that was like, because I'm gonna tell you what I was balling, knowing that this, that you were part of it,

Speaker 4 (37:05):

It was, it was fantastic because, you know, again, I don't really associate with anybody from that group. I just don't see any of them. Most of them are out of the business completely. They changed their lives for one way or another or in one way or another. And of course, you know, the different things in the stock market. So people do their own thing as well. When I met her, I was like, Oh my gosh. And you know, she sat right. There were a couple, these rowers, you know, we had 300 people in the room or so big, big room, but she, yeah, she was, I was like, Oh my gosh. And so we lived through some of those moments, uh, you know, it was, it was very somber, very somber, but, uh, enlightening too. I was like, wow, you know what? Your family it's just life goes on. And yet you, like I said, you embrace it every day. And whether there are challenges, you know, or gifts, you just embrace it. Uh, but by the way, I did throw from the rubber, it was a little bit high and tight. Um, I think it was a plus Dalio said it's called chin music, so I didn't make it

Speaker 1 (38:02):

Well. And, you know, um, so [inaudible] mid sixties with a little downward action on it. Yeah. But like, um, what I wanted to say about that was, you know, he was for those lists and it was at Busch stadium and he got on, he got to, was it a coworker or just a survivor?

Speaker 4 (38:22):

She was a colleague no longer in the business. She was a colleague that was there that day, but no longer in the book.

Speaker 1 (38:29):

So, you know, one of the things that I wanted to sort of connect on was that that's a example of, um, one of my personal beliefs is that all of us are connected in some way. We're all brothers and sisters when it really comes down to it at the end of the day, you know? And I think that's probably a good analogy for that. It's definitely a small world. Correct? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Speaker 3 (38:55):

Um, I wanted to ask a question, you know, I know that, um, a large portion of Mike's followers are first responders. Um, can you share with us, just from that day, you talked about the fireman who was on his way up while you were on your way down. That's just so, um, it gives me goosebumps. Can you share with me like an us, a story of, uh, just the humanity of the day, a first responder people selflessly helping others? I know there was a lot of that. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (39:21):

Not knowing what they were really going into. Um, like you said, they were selfless, uh, determined the police officers as well. And the paramedics. I mean, it was just incredible to see, and we take a tremendous appreciation. Now we, we understand what they are putting themselves every day. They're putting themselves in harm's way. It could be an officer that makes us stop. Like we've seen on television just recently. And then in the up getting shot, the fireman that just goes in to try to save somebody in a house fire and the floor falls in and over, you know, something happens like that. It's amazing that they are selfless. And, you know, I think people started to realize that after nine 11, and it's a shame that we have to see tragedy to understand just how important they are in our society. And again, I go into the back earlier, just as much as we're seeing now, keeping the store shelves stocked very important, very important.

Speaker 1 (40:16):

I mean, it's amazing, you know, it's totally different, right? But this, this little thing's incredible. I mean, you talk about appreciation. It does take time like this. I mean, every time a truck driver comes to our dock, dude, we are so grateful. She is there to pick up our product because if he wasn't there to drive that to our distributors or brokers, no problem. You'd be sitting, you know, and we're, we're in a very, um, blessed situation because everybody's cooking now, you know, so we're staying pretty busy, but there's a lot of people that we're very close with. It just aren't right. You know? Um, so unfortunately, you know, it's just challenging times a lot of unknowns. Um, but I think at the end of the day, I think this is all gonna make us better and stronger and we're gonna learn a lot of things and, um, maybe reset and sort of figure out what means the most of us, um, which is family and priorities are going to be, they're going to move up, correct. We're going to know what really a priority is. And, uh, you know, what a want is. So I've never asked you this question. Um, the last time we were together, we had a bunch of buddies come and meet us. What did it feel like? I'll never forget the night that, um, they announced that bin Laden was killed. What was that like a bittersweet, you know, um,

Speaker 4 (41:34):

I wish there would have been a little bit more justice, you know, because of all the people that he was associated with as far as, you know, deaths, um, but pleasantly surprised and pleased, but I do wish that there could have been sort of that day of reckoning where he had to, um, go before the world. Um, but no, I would say that I'm pleasantly,

Speaker 1 (42:02):

Please. I'll never forget that, uh, that night, I believe the Mets or the Yankees were playing at home the night that bin Laden was killed, I think, yeah, I'm not, I'm not sure whether I think it was in New York. I think New York was at home and to hear the crowd,

Speaker 4 (42:23):

I can imagine

Speaker 1 (42:24):

It was, it gave me chills. It brought tears to my eyes. Um, and, uh, it was, it was amazing. Um, just to see that, and you know, this was the United States of America. We are, we, we are so fortunate to live in the greatest country on this entire planet, you know, and, uh, the good old red, white, and blue, the United States of America. I mean, we're, like I said earlier, we're, we're a melting pot of people that gave it everything they could just to make it here. My grandpa was 12 years old when he came over on a boat with another family, you know,

Speaker 4 (42:58):

It's amazing if I have had a tip it to them because you know, our military is I think the best in the world. And I mean, very determined. They won't quit. They won't quit success. There's no such thing as failure. Uh, so, you know, we are very blessed.

Speaker 3 (43:14):

Yeah. So, you know, you talked about America and, uh, the title of our show is meet America. And so, you know, you talked about, uh, cooking and grilling earlier that this is something you have a passion for as well. One of the things I'm always interested in, uh, from hearing from people is, um, you know, we all have our, our, uh, our story and how we got started in it. And for a lot of people that just inevitably means messing a lot of things up, you know, can you, can you tell us about something where it took you a few times to get it right? Something that you messed up, uh, as you were kind of learning your way around the grill to bring the meat into America here?

Speaker 4 (43:51):

One thing that I realized, and again, anybody that sees us today will say, Oh, that's right. I am a fairly energetic individual. So patience is something that I [inaudible],

Speaker 3 (44:03):

And when it comes to barbecuing

Speaker 4 (44:05):

And doing the right thing and smoking meets patients is something that's required. So I would say that, you know, doing a rib or doing ribs and a brisket, in my opinion, to me and not a professional, but I think a brisket can be one that can be easily screwed up, but it can be so good if it's done correctly. So I think that's the hardest, but again, it's all about time, time and pressure, you know? And it's like, you know, it's like, just watch it. You always want to look at that, lift that lid and look at it. And my wife's like, yeah,

Speaker 3 (44:34):

Stick the thermometer in there. Is there yet?

Speaker 4 (44:37):

Let's leave it, just leave it where it is. But, um, no, it's, it's amazing. I mean, between pork steaks and pork butts at the Boston butts and doing, uh, the st. Louis ribs and baby backs and, um, well you do a lot of seafood too. Yes. Yes, I do. I love crab legs. You always go across the river. Don't want you to go to Bob's and I'll wait, next time you're over there. Grammy's some moisture glaciers, believe it or not really good smoker. Would you, like I said, crab legs. Um, I've actually done scallops to, uh, that worked very well. So yeah. I love seafood. Uh, obviously shrimp skewers, you're just talking a matter of minutes, you know, and it's done, so I did bacon on it for my mother's day for baking or BLTs yesterday. There we go. You know, so I'm doing everything on it.

Speaker 4 (45:22):

Do you find that that's a therapeutic? Yes. Yeah, yeah. It first, like I said, it was, come on, come on, hurry up. You're done. And now it's like, Oh, it's just, you just enjoy like, Oh, that's looking really good. You know, we just filmed our first intro video for me to America. And we hit, we had just discussed that, you know, I, I told him, it's almost like a religious experience, you know, you're smelling the smoke. You're, you're, you're nourishing somebody with the food that you took the time to pay attention to detail, you know, and I don't have much patience either, as you know, uh, you should see me and him sitting down at a bar drinking beer. We go from talking about the stock market to, uh, pick something. I mean, we're all over the board, but, uh, that's why I like hanging out with you.

Speaker 3 (46:05):

When you talk about trauma, one of your tips tricks was, you know, the, one of the ways that you worked through it was connecting with people and barbecue and grilling just all connects. So many people, you know, going back to college Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right there. Food is right at the base level. And what we do over at red meat lover is we produce weekly videos and we publish them on YouTube. And those kind of make my day moments or those days where I get a comment from someone who's saying, Hey, I've messed this steak up 30 times, but got it right now, or get that email. And I know you get a lot of them to over a code three from people who are asking you tips and tricks on how to cook and grill, you know, what, what is your experience been? And it's that correct?

Speaker 4 (46:51):

So you were talking about the pictures and the videos. I mean, my wife always says, you've got more pictures of your pork butts in your,

Speaker 3 (46:56):

Do you have of your own children? I'm sure. Yeah,

Speaker 4 (46:59):

Of course all my friends and your loved ones, sending them him. They're like, what are you cooking? Where are you? You know, it's yeah, it's just dude, I'm single. So I have to start getting serious with somebody and started dating and they went through my phone. They're going to be like, you got a serious issue and it's nothing but my own little favorite album. And it's got all the different things on there. So I can prove that I actually have completed a brisket, you know, so, but, well, I tell you what Jason, I want to reiterate how thankful I am that you are our first story on meet America.

Speaker 1 (47:31):

Really appreciate it. You know, we've had so many conversations over the times we've met. And the one thing that I love about this guy is that you're, and I mean this in the nicest sense, and I think we share a lot in common in this regard, you don't give a shit what people think and you put yourself on a vulnerable level and you're just a loving person. And I think everybody in our human race needs to be more like you. I think there, there are a lot more Jason Jensen's, this world would be a much better place. And I'm just very grateful to be your friend. And this has been phenomenal. You know, Joe, you got, I just want to get a slew to that. I hear you're empty.

Speaker 3 (48:11):

Um, uh, no, I just want to reiterate my gratitude for being on the show, sharing your story, not only with us, but for the thousands of people that will be watching and listening to this. I believe that a, you know, a core component of who we are as people is our ability to, um, uh, impact those around us at a family level, at a neighborhood community level and everything else. I just want to thank you for having the courage to come out here, share your story. And, um, with those who might be able to benefit from it, um, in closing, I just want to thank you Mike, for being an awesome cohost. I want to tell people all around the entire internet, how to find you at code three, and code three barbecue You can find, uh, ni at red meat, or on YouTube at, uh, just by Googling just by YouTube red meat lover. And, uh, other than that, I just want to encourage everyone at home to follow us. As we continue to lead America,

Speaker 6 (49:14):

Subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel at red meat, and learn

In this video, we sit down with Jason Jensen. He shares the GRIPPING story of one of America’s scariest moments through his experience. He shares some truly remarkable coincidences and other life changing moments. He’s smart and humble. Jason has some thoughtful views on this thing we call life.

Nineteen years ago, Jason starting working with an investment firm. He arrived in New York on September 9, 2001 to learn about his new job. On September 11, 2001, Jason found himself on the 67th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. In this podcast, he recounts the exacts moments when realized the attack and the events that followed.

September 11, 2001 is a date that changed America forever. The World Trade Center was destroyed in a series of terrorist attacks and resulted in over 2,000 deaths. The victims and families affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center will never be forgotten.

The Meat America Podcast presented by Code 3 Spices will “meat” experts to discuss incredible stories, business and life advice, meat (of course), and much much more! Like a bunch of friends gathered around the grill, the meat brings us together but our unique lineup of guests will take the conversation in exciting directions. Are you ready for an adventure? Follow along every week as we Meat America!

To learn more about Code 3 Spices and shop the best BBQ spices and supplies, go to For more Meat America Podcast episodes and other Red Meat Lover content, go to


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