Former Police Officer and Afghan Vet Shares the Testimony That Saved His Marriage and Life

Chad Robichaux knows adversity --- and how to overcome it. In a powerful testimony, Robichaux shared his story in studio with Glenn on Thursday, recounting how he shot and killed a man as a police officer, returned from the War on Terror in Afghanistan with PTSD, but most importantly, brought his marriage and life back from the brink. As a way to help other vets, Robichaux and his wife began Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs to help other vets and families suffering from PTSD.

"Mercury One just gave a $25,000 donation yesterday to Mighty Oaks Foundation, and I want you to be involved. If you care about our servicemen and this issue, this is a great way to get involved," Glenn said.

Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs serves the brokenhearted by providing intensive peer-based discipleship through a series of programs, outpost meetings and speaking events.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: I want to introduce you to a new friend of the program. Met yesterday. And I've heard your story before. And I was so excited that you would come in today and talk to -- we -- we spoke yesterday about the Mighty Oaks Program, which is we have got to work together to find a way to save our servicemen because the rate of suicide is just off the charts. And the government is not doing much.

PAT: There's a 22 a day. Isn't that the statistic we hear?

GLENN: Twenty-two a day.

CHAD: That's the statistic right now. Kind of varying reports. But that's the kind of industry -- if it was an industry, the industry word is 22 a day.

PAT: Man.

GLENN: It's probably more than that.

CHAD: Yes. Yes.

GLENN: But it's really bad. And you were there.

CHAD: Yes.

GLENN: And can we start with you being a policeman and the day you shot a man?

CHAD: Yeah, yeah. I had already did four years in the Marine Corps. And I shifted from active duty to reserves. I was going to go back in as an officer. And so my college job was a police officer in New Orleans, and I had a wife and kid. And I was only a police officer for a short period of time, and I was involved in a shooting. I was a -- I'm not sure how you want to go into the story.

GLENN: Domestic abuse.

CHAD: But, yeah, it was a domestic violence call. And I got to the house. It was kind of the typical scenario where husband and wife were fighting. There was a large crowd of people, about 30 people outside of the house. And we had separated the wife. Got her into this crowd. People were holding her back.

And the man had barricaded himself into the house with a gun. My partner went to the window of the room that he was in, to make sure he didn't shoot out the window. And I stood in the main doorway.

And I could see catercorner across the room. There was a mirror. And so I could see him barricaded against the wall. And he had the chamber -- he was messing with the chamber of the gun. So I knew he was trying to load it or checking it to make sure it was loaded. So I was yelling at him, you know, not to come out. To put down his gun. First to talk.

And he said he was coming out, telling us to leave.

And when he came around the corner, he actually had a gun in a very weird way. He didn't have it like this. He had it over his shoulder. And I think he was maybe taunting me or seeing how far he could push it.

And I always say, if I was asked that morning, what I would have done in that scenario, I would have made a decision, clearly shoot the guy.

But I'm in this guy's house. His kids are outside. His wife is screaming. His toys are on the floor for his children. And family pictures.

I just felt like I could still control the situation. So, you know, I was yelling at him, you know, put down the gun, I'm going to kill you. Like, I wasn't talking to him like a policeman. I'm like, I'm going to kill you. And he's telling me to put down my gun. And I'm a little small guy. He was 6-3, 260 pounds. And I felt like I could disarm him. So I -- as I walked towards him, I grabbed the barrel of the gun and pushed it away from him. And I kicked him -- I kicked him right in the nuts.

(laughter)

STU: That's probably the right way.

CHAD: I thought I could pull the gun out of his hand. And the first time I kicked him, he just held the gun so tight. And the second time I kicked him, my gun came away, and he grabbed my hand.

So we're fighting for two guns now. And I realize that it really had escalated and I was going to have kill him and -- or shoot him. So I just broke, like his grip and came over and shot. Pow! And then I shot five more times. I shot six times total. Pow, pow, pow. My partner was -- my parter was -- he had shot -- I didn't even realize my partner came behind me, but he shot six times as well right over my shoulder.

PAT: Hmm.

CHAD: We hit him 11 out of 12 times. And as we hit him, he turned around, and he fell on his knees and he just -- he looked back, and he said, "You killed me."

And I just tackled him and pulled the gun out from under him and handcuffed him. And I think his wrist must have been in front of him because all of the shots hit center mass, but his wrist was blown out. So I got like blood like -- I was covered in blood. His wife was screaming. And --

PAT: Jeez.

GLENN: So you were cleared of any wrongdoing in that.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: But you went home that night. And the amazing part of this story -- and I got to try to condense this as much as I can. But you said your wife said to you -- just, you told her, I killed somebody. You were a wreck.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: And she just rolled over in bed and went back to sleep.

CHAD: At the time, I was just really angry about that. I mean, my wife very naive to that kind of world. And so I think that's what equipped her to -- my eight deployments to Afghanistan. And being a police officer because she just thought that's what policemen did every night, just went to work and got in gunfights. And so she went back to sleep. And I was very angry at her for many years. I felt like very -- I couldn't talk to her about those types of things. And eventually in Afghanistan, I just really didn't talk much about --

GLENN: You left the police force. You went back. You became Special Forces.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: And one thing that I've heard you say is that there's real darkness over there and real bad guys over there. And you felt yourself becoming one of the bad guys.

CHAD: Yeah, yeah. You know, when you go to a place like Afghanistan, you think you go with some patriotic sense of duty. I wanted to go after 9/11. But then you realize beyond America what the Afghan people endured from the Taliban people. The things that happened to these children. You start to learn about the culture and what had happened there. I lived in the community. And so it really just grabbed a hold of my heart in a bad way, where I just filled myself with anger and rage towards these people. And so really, it kind of -- you feel like you're going there to fight these evil people, and you kind of become that as well.

GLENN: You come home, you have all kinds of PTSD.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: You don't deal with it. You start to in a way protect your family by being a beast and pushing them away.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: At one point it's your daughter's birthday.

CHAD: Yeah. My -- I was just -- my home became a very like unhappy place or unsafe place for my children. I was like time bomb, angry, at the drop of a hat. One time I came home from Afghanistan, my daughter was just so excited I was going to be there for her birthday. But she's very opinionated and had a cake. And the icing was not the icing she wanted, and she said -- you know, she voiced that out. And I just got so enraged. I would lose control. And I grabbed her cake in front of all of her little friends and threw it against the wall and just destroyed my little girl's birthday. And that behavior was like very common. And I knew it was wrong, but I just felt like I had no control over it at that time.

GLENN: So I can imagine how this dog piles on you. And, you know, men know when they're -- everybody knows -- you know when you're wrong and out of control. And then it just starts to, "I'm a bad person." And you just spiraled out of control.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: How did you get out of the nose dive?

CHAD: Well, it was -- it wasn't until, unfortunately for me, rock bottom. I walked out of my marriage. We sold our home. We lived in two separate apartments, and I became one of those statistics that we talked about, the 22 a day. I decided I was going to take my life. And not because I wanted to escape my pain. Because I recognized I was the problem.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

CHAD: And so I thought my family would be better off -- maybe they'll be sad, but they'll be better off.

And I had decided I was going to take my life. And during this time of contemplating how I was going to do it -- I wanted to make it look like an accident -- my wife came to me --

GLENN: You sat in the closet for every day, trying to convince yourself.

CHAD: Yeah, for about two weeks. About two weeks.

I had heard a statistic that one in three children from a parent that commits suicide will as well. I didn't know where I heard that from. But I kept thinking of that.

My boys, you know, I've wrestled and did martial arts my whole life. My boys really followed me in that. So I knew they looked up to me, and I didn't want to leave that pattern in my family. So I was contemplating how I could make it look like an accident.

GLENN: An accident.

CHAD: And that's when my wife came to my apartment, and she asked me that question, the reason I'm sitting here in this chair. She asked me how I could be as successful as I was, as an athlete, as a (inaudible) marine. And she had seen the training I had done. We had been married for a long time. Seen all the workups to go to overseas and knowing the job I did.

She's like, "How could you do all of that, and when it comes to your family, you'll quit?" And that question for me, just -- it was like that time in my life just radically impacted me and challenged me. And, you know, she was right.

I quit on the most important things in my life. My role as a husband, my role as a father. That 17-year-old kid that raised his hand and said he wanted to do something important with his life, I quit on all the things that are the most important, including my health. And I made a decision that day that I was going to turn around and fight with the same work ethic and tenacity for the most important things in my life.

GLENN: Because you were not only a police officer, Special Forces, you were an MMA fighter. I mean, you have been at the top of the game on everything you do.

CHAD: I had 18 and 2 professional record. So I did really well. And so the whole time you imagine my wife is and my family is observing me being successful in the professional things, which I think many men are. And when it comes to the most important things, we don't put in the same effort.

GLENN: I know I've blown it for most of my life until really the last 15 years.

CHAD: Yeah.

GLENN: You know, we just don't see it until sometimes it's too late.

PAT: So did you save your family? You got it back together?

CHAD: Yes. We -- really -- I didn't know how to do it. I just knew I was going to. And so I was able to -- I had a lot of people following me because I was in MMA at the time. So I had 1,000 students. But I didn't have people that were holding me accountable to things. I had a lot of people enabling me. So I was able to align with this guy named Steve Tothe (phonetic), who became a mentor to me. And he really mentored me in a Biblical model of living. Manhood.

And at the end of that, I really -- like, I felt like I found -- like I was dying of Stage 4 terminal cancer and found the cure. Like I had to share it. And that's why I do it. I do it today.

I mean, I had went from having panic attacks still at night. Anger, anxiety, things that I felt were uncontrollable, to becoming back in control of my life by the choices I made every day.

It was really a realization of that, that regardless of what happened to me, whether it was heroic or destructive or a sad story, those things didn't put me in a situation I was in. The choices I was making was. And so when I realized that and realized I had control of my life, still, I was able to make different choices moving forward.

GLENN: Mercury One just gave a $25,000 donation yesterday to Mighty Oaks Foundation. And I want you to be involved. If you care about our servicemen and this issue, this is a great way to get involved.

CHAD: Yeah, Mighty Oaks wasn't an idea that started as a non-profit. It was me wanting to pay for it with the challenge my wife gave me, the second chance God gave me, and the mentorship Steve gave me. I felt like I had found the solution and I had an obligation to share it.

And so today, it's grown into this very large organization that runs -- we're running 30 programs a year. And those programs are -- is a week-long intensive to take guys through the same transitional process I went through and then equip them to pass it on to someone else. So it's taking a leader who fell on his face and raising him back town a leader again and a warrior again.

GLENN: How much of the 12-step program have you used? Or have you looked at any of the 12-step program?

CHAD: Yeah, we have. I would say some components of it are put into our methodology. But our methodology is simply contrast your life to the life you were created to live. Coming to the point to where you accept responsibility, that regardless of what happened to you, you're responsible for moving forward, the choices you make. And then coming alongside guys that could hold you accountable to that. All of our instructors are combat vets. So it's non-clinical. So they're able to share their story of what worked for them. And whether a psychologist is more qualified than one of our instructors is irrelevant because the combat veteran typically will only listen to someone that's been there before them. So the power of testimony.

GLENN: What's the website? Mighty --

CHAD: The website is MightyOaksPrograms.org.

GLENN: MightyOaksPrograms.org. Can't recommend it highly enough. If you care about making a difference and helping these guys who so desperately need our help, this is the way for you to get involved.

CHAD: And the US military sends guys to us on active duty orders, which we fund. So no veteran, no active duty military pays to come.

GLENN: And what is it? Like $2500 a person.

CHAD: So it's underwritten because we have so much great support. So $1,000 in scholarship, one guy into the program.

GLENN: That's amazing. So you want to change one guy's life, it's $1,000.

CHAD: Yes.

GLENN: And it really does change lives.

CHAD: I try.

GLENN: Thank you, Jeff. Appreciate it.

CHAD: Thank you so much, Glenn. Thank you guys. God bless you guys.

STU: Thank you.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.