Dwayne Paro welcomes Donny O’Malley to today’s podcast. Founder and CEO of VET Tv and Irreverent Warriors, Donny O’Malley (Daniel Maher) was born in Queens, New York to Irish and Colombian Catholic immigrants.
After college, O’Malley (then Danny Maher) commissioned as an officer in the United States Marines in 2009. As an infantry officer he led his platoon through two deployments, one of which through the ruins of Musa Qala in 2012. Much like most deployed service members, O’Malley used humor to get through his experiences. He took the time to write his stories with a humorous light. His stories kept his family and friends back home updated and entertained. This was the beginning. He was medically retired as a Captain after 6 years in the Marine Corps.
In 2015, O’Malley organized his stories into a book, “Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant.” Topping the Charts on Amazon and selling over 25,000 copies, it was championed among combat veterans around the world. While writing his book, his biggest fan committed suicide so he rededicated his book and life to helping veterans.
In July, 2015, he organized an event in San Diego called The Silkies Hike that gained national news coverage and was replicated in dozens of cities throughout the country, thus turning into a national movement. He then started a nonprofit called Irreverent Warriors to manage the movement and ensure the mission, quality, safety, and intent stayed pure. Since inception, over 80 hikes have been completed around the country and have brought together over 17,000 veterans.
In effort to promote his book, O’Malley created videos for combat infantrymen that went viral among the veteran community. Enough of his fans expressed a willingness to pay for these videos that he decided to find a way to monetize short videos that parodied the military experience. In 2016, he created Veteran Entertainment Television or VET Tv - a subscription video on demand service with cinematic content made for veterans, by veterans.