Veteran: Jason Van Camp
Branch of Military: United States Army
Honors and Accomplishments: U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret), Bronze Star With V Device For Valor, 2 Additional Bronze Stars, General Loeffke Award for Excellence in Foreign Languages, U.S. Ranger Tab, United States Military Academy at West Point (2001), MBA From BYU University (2013).
TickPick is proud to honor Jason Van Camp as the inaugural Warrior of the Week. Jason, a decorated Green Beret, world traveler, and entrepreneur heads up two outstanding organizations: Warrior Rising and Mission 6 Zero.
This past month TickPick had the great honor of working with Warrior Rising and Jason to organize a fundraiser for the organization and honor two Medal of Honor recipients: Captain Flo Groberg and Master Sergeant Leroy Petry. Over the course of Super Bowl week alone, Warrior Rising raised over $163,000 – money that will go entirely to helping veterans achieve success in their entrepreneurial ventures.
The Veterans Project did a full-length interview with Jason that highlights his time in the military and the incredible sacrifice he made for our country. Read on to learn more about Jason’s incredible journey in his own words:
Major Jason Van Camp
I finished selection and became a Green Beret. They assigned me to 10th Special Forces Group out in Colorado to 3rd Battalion, Alpha Company. They decided to put me on Mountain Team. The team that I went to hadn’t had a Team Leader in a really long time. I passionately wanted to go to a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) team and I really think I would’ve done well on an ASOT (Advanced Special Operations Techniques) Team, but instead I went to a Mountain team. I’d never really climbed a mountain before and never really had an interest in climbing mountains before that (laughs). I got to my team and we found out 1st and 2nd Battalions were deploying to Iraq.
I think 3rd Battalion was only taking 15 teams and we were one of the teams that they weren’t going to take. I was told that they were not taking my team because they did not have a team leader during the planning process. They were having us stay back and do something like White Cycle Tasking or something like that. We were going to be in the rear and that was going to mean that everybody else was going to combat except for us. A couple of the older guys on the team came up to me after we found out we wouldn’t be going to Iraq and they were like, “Hey man, we’re not staying in the rear with the gear while everyone else deploys. We are going to deploy. You get your ass up to the group commander and convince him that he’s going to take us or you’re not worth shit.” So, now I’m a brand new Captain walking into the team room now having to convince the group commander that our ODA needs to be deployed.
I put together a pretty solid proposal and my company commander said, “No way.” I finally convinced him to let me go to the group commander and present the case to him. I presented the case with passion and the group commander said, “Alright, instead of 15 teams we will be taking 16 teams.” I told my team and they were pretty excited. My company commander wasn’t too excited about it because he didn’t think I had a shot in hell to convince the group commander. He said, “Well Jason, I’ve got no place to put you over there so here’s a map of Iraq. Find a place to go.” I talked to the guys on the team and we found a location called Jalula (Ja-lou-la) that hadn’t been occupied by coalition forces in over three years. We were hearing a lot of rumors about that area because it was near the Al-Qaeda stronghold of As Sadiyah. I was on the PDSS (Pre-Deployment Site Survey) with Zach Loudy and Scott Hendrickson. We went with another ODA and this ODA (Operational Detachment-Alpha) had a FOB (Forward Operating Base) and they already knew where they were going so we traveled with them.
We took a trip up to our area to see where we could potentially build a team house and we found an Iraqi Army Battalion up there. We found there were some Australian contractors living with them up there. We talked to the contractors and found out they were getting mortared nearly every night by Al Qaeda. We thought that made it a good place to go because obviously there was a good fight there. We talked to the Iraqi Army and they showed us an isolated outpost on their base. They told us we could live there. The outpost needed a ton of work so we went back to the FOB that night to start planning how we’d build up that outpost. The next day, we prepared to go back to the outpost to continue our site survey. We left on a three humvee convoy. As soon as we left the wire, my company commander, Major Csicsila, called me on the radio and told me to turn around and come back. He told me he was flying to my location and he wanted to speak with me. I said, “Roger, wilco.” We turned around. I had Scott replace me in the Humvee and the convoy left again. I went inside, took off my body armor, set my rifle down, and I heard on the radio, “Troops in contact, troops in contact, troops in contact!” I went to the operations center and asked, “Who is it? Who’s in contact?” The guy on the radio said, “Dude, it’s your guys!” I was like, “How is that even possible? They just left!”
My guys were in contact so I threw my shit back on, grabbed some guys from the sister ODA, and we ran out to our vehicles. It turns out that my guys were about 6 miles from the base and my particular humvee had hit an IED. I believe it was a 105mm round in the culvert under the road and my humvee went over that spot and was completely destroyed. Zach, who’d been sitting in my spot in the Humvee, fell forward and tried to brace himself which ended up snapping his arms backwards. Both of his arms completely folded back and broke. Scott was in the turret and he got ejected about 100 feet down the road where he fell on his M4. He snapped his rifle in two and broke his back. When we got to him he was trying to put his rifle back together so he could fight the enemy. That was the second day of the deployment. After two days, we were down two guys. Thankfully, they didn’t die but two were injured badly and had to be sent home. In addition, the interpreter was killed, and the driver who was on the outgoing ODA lost his leg.
I called Major Csicsila when I got back to the base to let him know about the situation. I wanted to know when he was coming to meet with me as he requested earlier. He was surprised and said to me, “I didn’t call you.” I was like, “Sir, You called me, you told me you were coming in and that you needed to talk to me.” He replied, “I never called you Jason. That wasn’t me.” I don’t know how to explain that. I suppose it was divine intervention.
Warrior Rising is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping U.S. Military veterans achieve success in business through partnerships, mentoring and funding. Mission 6 Zero is an organization comprised entirely of combat proven Special Operations Forces operators that works with law enforcement, professional athletes, and numerous companies to achieve optimal performance.
If you’d like to donate to Warrior Rising, here is their website.
If you’re interested in taking your organization or team to the next level, here is Mission 6 Zero’s website.
TickPick – Warrior of the Week
TickPick is proud to announce Warrior of the Week! We would like to thank US veterans for choosing to serve our country with free tickets to live events all across America. There are never enough ways to thank our veterans and their families.
Every week we will be gifting tickets to a veteran. It is important to show these heroes how grateful we are for having the courage to serve. Each veteran will be gifted tickets to a concert, show, or game of their choice anywhere in the country. While one night is far from enough, we hope a memorable night cheering on their favorite team or singing along to their favorite artist will show our appreciation.