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Borne the Battle # 236: Mikal Vega, Navy SEAL veteran, actor, founder of Vital Warrior

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Mikal Vega is an accomplished actor, Kundalini Yoga teacher and founder of the non-profit organization, Vital warrior. In this episode of Borne the Battle, Vega discusses her struggle with the military transition, finding a cure for her PTSD, finding alternative therapies, and forming a nonprofit organization with the goal of to share what he has learned.

Vega served 22 years in the Navy as an EOD and SEAL specialist. He found his purpose as a shield for people who could not protect themselves. During one mission, an IED struck his vehicle and the damage from the explosion resulted in severe neck trauma. This trauma changed the course of life in Vegas.

It was only later that he realized the extent of his injuries when he began to struggle in his civilian life and personal relationships. Instead of collapsing under the weight of injuries and PTSD, Vega has funneled her recovery successes to help other Veterans and their families. Vital Warrior is a nonprofit and therapeutic system designed to help Veterans and their families de-stress, heal and gain strength through their experiences without the aid of prescription drugs. His goal? Put a Vital Warrior brick and mortar studio outside of every military base.

When Vega transitioned to civilian life and faced post-traumatic stress, he began the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Now he shares the practice and other techniques that have helped him heal with his clients. Vital Warrior takes a disciplined and regulated approach to the practice of yoga, which Vega teaches in Venice, CA, where it offers free courses to veterans. Vega allows her students to reject the victim’s state of mind and take responsibility for their health.

In this episode, Vega discusses:

  • His experience of wounds and a path to recovery.
  • The reasons he left the military after 22 years.
  • How he got to where he is now.
  • His Hollywood career as an actor, director and producer.
  • Make a motion capture shoot for Activision during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Worn combat veteran of the week:


Mentioned in this episode:


Jabari Shakir is a Podcast Intern with the VA Digital Media Engagement Team. He is a journalism student at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

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