Good Blokes – David Benfell from SSAANZ

Welcome to Good Blokes - the podcast I have been wanting to make for over 20 years now. This is a chat with David Benfell, an NZ and Bristish Vetren who faced the very real possibility of never walking again after a Parachuting Accident broke his spine.


We talk about his early career, dealing with the injury and rebuilding his life, the downtimes, finding the outdoors and hunting as a path to recovery, his new mission to help get other veterans out into the bush as well, family, life, gaming and a pile more.

It’s a great chat. Two guys dropping their guard a bit and just talking.

There is so much in here.

  • His time serving in the NZ and British Military in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland
  • ‘Spicy’ Tours and busy times ‘on the job’
  • Dealing with IED’s and the mindset it produces
  • Joining the Red Devils parachute display team and dealing with a fear of heights (really)
  • Separating the people on the ground and the politics that sent them there
  • Developing friendships post-deployment
  • Men’s search for meaning and purpose – the immediacy of combat and the abstract aspect of modern life
  • Finding the mission and the importance of finding the next mission to reintegrate
  • Going with the flow vs intention and direction in life
  • Dealing with massive injuries, recuperating surrounded by others with drive, finding the new norms
  • Instagram ‘influencers’, selling a ‘brand’ and selfies vs. creating content
  • Relationships and dealing with splits
  • Men’s groups – creating environments to have deep conversations with other men, beyond bravado
  • Getting back into hunting and the outdoors, munter hunters, respect for the animal
  • SSAANZ – the development of a new charity for Veterans

A couple of other things that were mentioned:

If you want to get hold of David – pop over to Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Association of New Zealand