Lessons from the C4 Ranch
Gratitude for Things Large and Small
By Dr. Glenn Fox, PhD
C4 Foundation Chief Science Officer
Gratitude is a pretty big deal around the C4 Foundation. I’ve written about gratitude in many past columns, and it is one of our core programmatic pillars. Research has shown that gratitude has benefits to pretty much every element of our lives, ranging from workplaces, family relationships, and personal health. Based on all these urgings to be grateful all the time, I think many people feel a lot of pressure to be grateful. This can create a downward cycle, unfortunately, as people feel like gratitude is too much work, or is too difficult. The thing about gratitude though, is that it varies, from small notions and gifts, such as someone sending us a card or a text message of support, all the way to the potential for us to form a broad appreciation of life itself. 

So, when it comes to practicing gratitude, I like to tell people to start small, work your way up, and don’t force it. Gratitude practice can begin or take place any time, on good days and bad days, but how we apply our practice makes a huge difference in whether we will get the chance to notice gratitude’s benefits. For instance, I like to think of gratitude every time I have a drink of water. If it is the worst day ever, or the best day, the same truth is there for every sip: it took a lot of people, engineering, and, well, the entire planet, to deliver the water. Noticing gratitude for that sip of water won’t solve all our problems, but it will remind us that even in the midst of all that is happening, there is still a magical infrastructure that is independent and supportive of us. I find that to be quite the stress relief in itself. From there, gratitude flows.

Take care and Happy Thanksgiving, for all things great and small.

Written by Glenn R. Fox, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, The C4 Foundation
Thanksgiving Every Day
By Jennifer Cooper, MS
C4 Foundation Director of Programs
Group of friends or family members giving thanks to God at festive turkey dinner table together. Thanksgiving celebration traditional dinner concept
There is some dispute as to the true history of Thanksgiving, but what cannot be disputed is that the celebration of Thanksgiving was conceived out of difficult times. We have all heard the history of the suffering and starvation of the earliest European settler’s and the decimation of Native American tribes. By the time Thanksgiving was confirmed by Abraham Lincoln as a national holiday in 1863, it was the middle of the Civil War. Certainly, these were not bright times in the history of our ancestors. Why on Earth would they name a Holiday “Thanksgiving” when the times around said "Holiday" did not call for such a positive label. Maybe they were on to something that can go unnoticed in these modern and fast paced times. Perhaps, stressful events and trials in our lives prompt us to look at what is truly important in life and compel us to be overwhelmingly thankful for those things. Maybe suffering can actually force us not to take the blessings in life for granted.

Thankfulness is definitely a choice. We choose to feel gratitude for that beautiful sunrise, or that morning hug from a loved one, or even that stress-free commute. We choose to see the beauty in another human being while forgiving the attributes that may not be quite as pleasing. If we are good at choosing optimism and gratitude over negativity and complaint, we can even make it through the most difficult of times with a heart full of thankfulness. It just takes a little practice. Gratitude and hope are what help us to cope amidst tragedy; and a grateful mindset helps us to look for positive outcomes even in the most negative circumstances. 

Melody Beattie wrote that “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Unfortunately, our society has been hard-wired with an “I’ll never have enough” mindset. Many of us start the day with feelings of inadequacy and lacking. Immediately placing attention on what we don’t have, instead of absorbing all that is good in our surroundings. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Let’s make a daily goal to practice gratitude instead of waiting just one day out of the year to appreciate what we have todayLet us not wait for Thanksgiving to express what we are grateful for.

Written By: Jennifer Cooper, MS Psychology, C4 Foundation Director of Programs
Upcoming Events

November 11, 2021

At The River Oaks
Country Club

Invite Only

for further details!
"GET LEI'D FOR KENNY" Event benefitting the
C4 Foundation is SOLD OUT!

December 4, 2021
at Shady Park
Tempe, Arizona

Thanks to FD Rover for all of your hard work in planning an
epic event!!!

NATIONAL WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA DAY is December 18, 2021. Join us at

Every December, Wreaths Across America carries out their mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach about the sacrifices of our American heroes by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at over 2,500 locations in all 50 states at sea and abroad.

Our ambitious goal each year is to place a wreath on every single hero’s gravesite. Everyone is welcome to join us at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on December 18th, 2021. 

The C4 Foundation proudly supports
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Our goal is to place a wreath on every grave in the cemetery.
SEAL Family Testimonial
Below is a Testimonial From One of Our SEAL Families
Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. This year has been a tremendous year of growth for our family. Like many we have been stretched quite a bit and this time away provided the perfect time and setting for us to explore, connect, relax, and recharge.
It was amazing seeing a piece of Chuck’s legacy. We got to open and close our trip with great conversation and reflection with our kids about service and sacrifice.
We appreciate everything you have done and everything you continue to do for our community. LLTB! 
In Great Thanks.

- A Navy Seal Family with three children (ages 5, 3 & 1.5) as well as a baby due in a couple of weeks!  
Foundation News
C4 Foundation Donor, Andrew Poulton Runs The Rim to River 100 Mile Ultra-Marathon to Help Support Navy SEALs and Their Families
Bodie, Andrew's German Short-haired Pointer was the catalyst to his new running career!
This Saturday, November 6th, C4 donor, Andrew Poulton, (IG handle @lonewolf1077), is running The Rim to River 100 and donating all proceeds to the C4 Foundation! This is a 100-mile ultra-marathon through the New River Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Contestants have only 32 hours to complete 100 miles with a challenging 16,000 feet in elevation. Andrew says, “I’m doing this because it’s going to be a great challenge and also to raise money for the C4 Foundation to help support Navy SEALs and their families.” Follow @C4Foundation on Instagram to track his progress and to cheer him on! You can also donate on our C4 website, C4 Instagram or C4 Facebook pages by pressing the donate button. We appreciate your support.
Here’s some interesting background on Andrew: He learned about the C4 Foundation about a year and a half ago from listening to Andy Stumpf’s Cleared Hot Podcast and felt compelled to contribute in some way. Additionally, he just started running in long races in September 2019 because his high energy bird dog, a beautiful German shorthaired pointer named Bodie, needed A LOT of exercise. When Andrew started running, he could only run about 200 yards before he had to walk. He and Bodie stuck with it, and mile after mile they kept running! In November 2020 while on vacation, Andrew was visiting the New River Gorge in West Virginia when he discovered the 100 mile race. It seemed like a great challenge to give back to those who sacrificed their lives for our great country. However, at that time, he was only able run about 4 miles, so he let it be. When he returned home from vacation, the race was stuck in his head, so he decided to go for it and started training. Since then, his training runs went from 2-4 miles to 6.5–30 miles. This year, he has completed 25K, 20 mile, and 50 mile races in preparation for this big day. He said he’s feeling confident, but this will still be a massive challenge. Good luck Andrew, we will be cheering for you!!
The C4 Ranch Receives a "Gratitude Bell"
From Our Friends at Body Glove
C4 President, Charlie Keating III (L) receives The Gratitude Bell from Body Glove President, Peter Maule (R)
Body Glove gifted us a unique bell called the “Gratitude Bell”. This bell was created from a decommissioned scuba oxygen tank that was repurposed into a bell. The spirit behind the bell is when you ring the Gratitude Bell, you are acknowledging a loved one that has passed.

Body Glove has been a big supporter of ours for the last 4 years, and wanted to create a new tradition at the C4 Ranch. When someone rings the bell, the sound represents saying hello to C4 and all of the other fallen SEALs.

The “Gratitude Bell" was inspired by the C4 Foundation and With Your Shield SEAL transitions program. Body Glove President, Peter Maule presented the bell to us in September at the C4 Ranch. A big thank you to Body Glove's Peter Maule and Billy Meistrell for this thoughtful gift that now hangs prominently at the front door of the C4 Ranch.
Brooke Keating and Tara Crenshaw Present "Gold Stars & Stripes" Podcast
Our very own Brooke Keating and our dear friend, Tara Crenshaw, have a new podcast named Gold Stars and Stripes! The name Gold Stars and Stripes originated from their personal history as military daughters and eventually military spouses. Tara and Brooke's fathers graduated together in the class of '75 at the United States Naval Academy and each served 25 + year careers in the US Navy.  The inspiration for their podcast derives from the daily American military newspaper titled, “Stars and Stripes” that is currently distributed worldwide and is fondly remembered from their childhood. Tara and Brooke believe the combination of the Gold Star wife, the Blue Star wife and all American patriots was summed up beautifully by saying Gold Star and Stripes. Not only military families, Gold Star families, but all Americans can find their place within the Gold Stars and Stripes Podcast. 

Both women have endured hardships in their lives that inspired them to create their podcast. Gold Stars and Stripes brings awareness to the challenges and nuances of military life as a spouse as well as everyday challenges as a civilian spouse. Brooke's late husband, Charlie, was killed in action on May 3, 2016 in Iraq, and Tara’s husband was badly injured while deployed in Afghanistan. Charlie and Dan served together on SEAL Team 3 and also deployed together to Afghanistan in 2012. They were close friends for many years.  
Currently, Brooke is the VP of The C4 Foundation that provides neuroscience based programs to strengthen and preserve Navy SEAL families at the C4 Ranch in San Diego, and Tara is highly involved in the political world alongside her husband, continuing to serve their fellow Americans. Their FIRST podcast will publish on Thursday the 4th of November, and it can be found on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

November 2021
Chuck Heavy GIVEAWAY!

This month's Chuck Heavy Subscriber Giveaway is an original C4 Foundation Flag!

Rules to play:

  • Must have a US based mailing address

  • Must comment on this post on Instagram

  • Must follow our Instagram account

  • A winner will be chosen by the end of the month and announced on @C4 Foundation Instagram!
Thank You
Thank You RGB Group Inc

We would like to thank Rich Gerace from RGB Group for his fierce leadership with the development of housing for SEALs and their families along with Blake and his crew at California Deck Pros for helping our vision become a reality. This deck is almost completed and has a 180 degree view of the Henshaw Basin. The beauty surrounding this space is breathtaking and we are so excited to have families stay with us once construction is completed. Thanks again Rich and Blake for all of your direction and advice!
Thank You Elston Hay & Grain!

For your continuous support of supplying hay to all of our ranch animals!
C4 Foundation Leadership
The C4 Foundation is a 501C3 national non-profit charitable organization. Tax-ID: 82-2075362.
It is a non-federal entity and is not party of the Department of Defense or any of its components.