In our inaugural “Time to Head North” podcast, we talk about work life balance, protecting people while also protecting personal relationships. The blend can be challenging, especially for men and women transitioning from full-time military and law enforcement careers. This is a personal touch on the topic, diving into the family lives of four TNG leaders.

Vince Vargas balances his business development role at TNG with acting in Hollywood on the show Mayans M.C. Vince had a very successful career as an Army Ranger. “Going overseas, the only thing I had to worry about was getting shot in the face.” After leaving the military, coming home was a transition. A transition that proved difficult and resulted in divorce. From that, Vince learned a valuable lesson on relationships. “I learned to say yes to family more often and no to work.”

Steve Hernandez, TNGs CEO, talked about the difficulties of growing the company but keeping his family as a priority. It’s a hard lesson learned when the effort is put into work relationships, and they fail. “My family was just king of hanging off in the wind, and these people weren’t there. My family still was.” As a CEO, Steve doesn’t always have the luxury to say no to work, but he practices finding the season’s rhythm and just weathering the storm when it gets tough.

Choosing to say no to work isn’t always an option when there’s a defined call to duty. TNGs Chief Security Officer, Nate Von Uhl, was a Navy SEAL and talked about having his team’s lives in his hands. He admits when that responsibility is placed upon you, the thought of whether your family is safe at home is not at the top of your mind. The military dictates you to be away from your family, and that’s why the sacrifice is real. Nate reminisced over the vacations and family outings that could have been. “Is it something I regret? Yes, I know in my heart I did everything I could to make sure everything as a senior chief in the Navy, as a leader that everyone was safe on my wathch. My family suffered 100 percent, but I looking back in hindsight, I don’t know how to do that differently.” Nate concedes he should’ve taken a vacation here and there and breaks between deployments.

Natasha Ryan is TNGs Regional VP of Communications and Business Development. While she didn’t serve, her father did. Her experience comes from the perspective of the family. “It’s hard. I was always a daddy’s girl, and it was rough him being away.” She offered reassurance to the panel of veterans that she understood the sacrifice even at a young age. Natasha talked about her mother reinforcing the importance of the missions and the job itself.

Click on the video below to hear the entire episode, and be sure to check Blog – The North Group (tngdefense.com) for more episodes!