A real American – born in Poland.
In this week’s Team Never Quit Podcast, Marcus meets with Drago Dzieran, a former political prisoner for his activism against Communism. After arriving in the United States unable to speak English, Drago eventually became a US citizen, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained to serve as a Navy SEAL. In Iraq, he fought in over 100 combat missions as the Naval Special Warfare Lead Breacher. Drago was awarded Bronze Star with “V” for valor, Navy Commendation Medal with “V” for valor, in addition to other various awards and decorations.
Following his honorable retirement after twenty years in the Navy, Dzieran began a successful career as a software engineer. Drago founded the Navy SEALs Fund, a nonprofit with the mission of providing support for all generations of current, retired, and former UDT/SEAL teammates, their immediate dependents as well as Gold Star Families. Listen in as Drago shares his amazing life journey from Poland to living life as a real American in service to others.
In this episode you will hear:
• I was born in communist Poland. It was actually a socialist state run by communists. My father was part of the evil system. (7:13)
• When the first Persian Gulf war broke out, I thought it was my moral obligation to support my country (8:35)
• I’m not Polish-American; I am not “Something”-American. There is no hyphen. I’m just American. (8:50)
• I could not build a job for my fellow citizens, but I could defend them. (8:56)
• I spent 20 years as a Navy SEAL. (9:22)
• For my father, it was first to obey the government. (10:28)
• [My grandmother] taught me how to pray, and what to pray for. (11:25)
• [My grandmother told me] “[The communists] kill people and imprison people for their beliefs. (11:52)
• I still remember her [grandmother’s] words: “Poland is not free. It will not be free until we get rid of these people. (12:01)
• [When my father found out] I was not allowed to pray with my grandmother alone. (12:45).
• Pre-war Poland had one of the strongest Navy’s in the Baltic Sea. (16:55)
• Prison time for me was education. A huge education about Polish history. (27:36)
• [My father] believed that we need to convince people to socialism, because it offers such great things, but if we can’t, we have the power to eliminate these people. We call them enemies of the state. (30:47)
• Even today, while Poland is free, some of them are being prosecuted. (38:17)
• I’ll be the best US citizen America can have. (42:11)
• American is built on goodness. (47:32)
• You can live in the United States without being a citizen, but I wanted to be American. (56:02)