When California, Missouri, native and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Justin "Goose" Snodgrass survived his second attempted suicide, he knew there had to be a reason he was still here.
Snodgrass, a host on the growing list of programs through his podcast on Warrior Outdoors Entertainment, has been, in his words, trying to figure out how to make an impact for five years. His podcast has grown from a humble radio show to including video and has now expanded to a network of six shows, all of which he's done for free on a volunteer basis.
The reason for the growing project, he said, was to give people a break from everyday news. Especially given the circumstances of this year and the ongoing pandemic, Snodgrass said he and his team, co-host Richie "Redneck Pimp" King and tech producer Carl "The Wizard of Odd" Albertson, wanted to use their form of entertainment to shift the focus to important issues that haven't been getting as much limelight.
"One thing that I've learned in the past five years, between doing my podcast, doing the stage shows that I do and everything like that, is everybody is impacted by suicide and everybody is impacted by veterans," Snodgrass said. "I don't think I know a single person who doesn't know a veteran, and if they don't, the moment they meet me, they now know a veteran."
The epidemic of suicide among veterans is a persistent and growing issue Snodgrass and his team try to combat, whether through their humorous interactions or by putting out their personal phone numbers so veterans struggling with PTSD can talk to someone who understands. However, the group decided to do something to make an even larger impact.
Snodgrass decided the team would set a world record, making sure it would be something everyone could be equally involved in and could serve as a vehicle to keep the focus on the cause. After some Google searching, he knew what they'd be attempting.
The record for longest uninterrupted video livestream, according to Guinness World Records, is 161 hours, 11 minutes and 32 seconds long. Snodgrass and the Warrior Outdoors team intend to shatter that record, aiming for 180 consecutive hours — eight days straight — of livestreaming.
With the attempt starting at 8 a.m. Oct. 31 and ending Nov. 7 during Warrior Fest in Blue Springs, an annual two-day fundraiser show for Warrior Outdoors, the stream is set to be live for at least the group's target time. However, Snodgrass said the plan is to keep the cameras rolling through the duration of Warrior Fest, potentially bringing the stream run time to even loftier heights.
The number of hours targeted as their goal, Snodgrass said, is symbolic.
"At 22 a day, that comes out to just over 180 veterans that will lose their lives to suicide (during the stream run time)," Snodgrass said. "That's why we're pushing this 180. Not to mention, what do they call it when you do a complete direction change in life? You did a 180. So it's kind of one of those things where we're not doing a direction change, but we're hoping that at least one person that sees this and sees our message will do a 180 and go away from becoming a statistic."
On the first day of its run time, the stream will bounce around the globe, taking viewers first to a Scotland castle Oct. 31 for a paranormal investigation. The same night, the stream will go to London for another investigation, then back home to Cameron, Missouri, to round out a trio of paranormal experiences in line with Halloween.
Later segments will vary, from cooking shows to playing video games to behind-the-scenes looks at the group traveling to Warrior Fest, with people around the country and world also lending a hand — more than 50 others will be involved, Snodgrass said.
"There's literally going to be something for everybody on this thing, whether you like to cook, maybe you like to study up about the paranormal, current events, listening to two Marines trying to make sense out of the world, you name it," Snodgrass said.
The planning process has been quicker than one might expect, resulting from an impromptu comedy show livestream thrown together earlier this year as a product of the pandemic. Snodgrass said the group has been planning the record attempt for three months.
The stream will go live on a pair of platforms — Periscope, via Twitter, and Twitch — for the entire run time, and on every other platform where Warrior Outdoors Entertainment can be found at the very beginning of the stream. On Twitter, Warrior Outdoors Entertainment can be found at WOEntertainmen1; and on Twitch, at WOEntertainment. Snodgrass said the group also hopes to have some sort of segment schedule and a list of platforms where spectators can find the stream posted on its Facebook page, WO Entertainment, in the days before the attempt goes live.
The current network was born out of the Warrior Outdoors Radio Show. Snodgrass is president of Warrior Outdoors' Missouri chapter and now calls Cameron home, with the overarching nonprofit organization based out of Jefferson, Georgia. The organization takes veterans and first responders on outdoor excursions, from hunting and fishing to monster truck shows, all to help cope with PTSD and stop veteran suicide. A veteran crossbow hunt is one event set to feature on the livestream attempt, tying into the nonprofit's typical work.
"It's going to be one hell of a show — the biggest show I've ever done," Snodgrass said.
With his roots in California, Snodgrass said he would never have expected to end up where he is today, essentially on the world's stage. His current career was foreshadowed in California, though, as his first job was at KREL — now known as KRLL. He credited former station owner Jeff Shackleford with giving him a chance to do something he fell in love with.
"I've got the deep voice that everybody expects out of a radio personality, and I'd always thought 'I'd love to do this,'" Snodgrass said. "But not just do it, do it to make an impact and be able to help people. That's really what WO Entertainment came from."
Snodgrass joined the Marine Corps right out of high school in 2002, but he has been able to reconnect and keep up with his friends and family who remain in the area via social media. He said though life took him in a different direction, California will always be his home.
"To the folks at Lebanon Baptist Church in McGirk, all of my family, all of my friends who have always pushed me to achieve my dreams and dream big, thank you, from the bottom of my heart," Snodgrass said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them and the good Lord above keeping me here. I've always tried to figure out what my purpose is and why I survived suicide twice, and I think finally I'm figuring out why I'm still here. That's to bring joy to people."