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Ep 6: Living to Serve | SEARCH ON

Ep 6: Living to Serve | SEARCH ON

You can never plan
for everything. There’s always a point where it’s time
to stop talking and start doing. I can’t imagine how anybody
passes a problem that they know that they can fix,
and doesn’t try to fix it. I feel an absolute obligation
to serve. Military service in my family
goes all the way back to the Civil War and World War II,
Vietnam. There was never a moment where I
thought I wouldn’t become a soldier. I did two tours in Iraq
as a helicopter pilot. But then I got injured. One day you’re a soldier,
and then overnight they rip off that tag
and slap veteran on your chest. And they don’t really tell you
what veteran means. What is a veteran, what is it
going to be to be a veteran? – He was an amazing pilot. He was literally pulled out of Iraq and dropped home, with three kids. Before I went in the military, math was the thing
where people were like: “Hey, you are really,
really good at this.” It’s the thing that helps me
understand the universe. I thought: “Okay, I’ll go get
a physic degree of some kind.” He couldn’t do it. The– the–
he couldn’t get the math right and he said things were just
getting jumbled up in his head. I was diagnosed with
traumatic brain injury. Some people call it
concussion syndrome. I missed math,
I mean I loved just doing math for the sake of doing math. And so, I retaught myself
a new way of doing math. I went back and started from literally
elementary school level math, addition and subtraction
type stuff. I applied to Pitt and was accepted
to the engineering program and I wanted to see if I could be
involved as an engineer in helping veterans, and helping
the people I care about. – A roast with potatoes and bacon. Is that my job? That’s your job for
the time being here. The fact that my son has autism
is just one little part of him. But almost his entire existence
is defined by that autism. – What do you want? Tristan is pretty much
non verbal. -What?
-Tristan. Okay, if you’re done buddy,
you’re done. But I’m sure that he has dreams and
aspirations just like everybody else. It’s hard to want so badly
to know what they’re thinking and to not be able to. I found there was a field
called rehabilitation engineering. It’s technologies that
improve people’s quality of life and their independence. I thought: “Man, if my son’s ever
going to be independent, he’s going to have to have
these kind of things around him.” If you look up
rehabilitation engineering, the first thing that pops up
is a place near Pittsburgh, and I thought: “Man, I got to
go be a part of that.” [laughter] It’s kind of like Willy Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory except for it’s robots
instead of Oompa Loompas. Our vision is a world
where everyone with a disability can participate
on a level playing field to their
greatest extent possible. The human, the right thing to do
is to make things not just able to be used,
but to be used with the same sort of joy
or ease as I do. We want to lift people up
to be at eye level with the person they’re
having a conversation with. Climb a curb without it being
this huge, drawn-out, dramatic thing because the curb cut
is not anywhere nearby. To create an arm that can
open a door, but also grab an egg. To help transfer someone from
a chair to a bed or to the toilet. I prepare the software
to support the research that we do. We were incredibly inefficient
on the computing side, so the biggest change I think
that I’ve helped to make is to sort of standardize
the technologies we use, so that they’re not a barrier. Android is this underlying platform
that you can just do anything with. It has such an active community
of people designing and innovating, so that we can bring in somebody
else’s tools to solve a problem, so that we don’t have to learn
a new technology each time, we can just start working. The type of person that I think
has a propensity to join the military, has a feeling of service
and commitment to something greater
than themselves. That’s it. Okay. All the way up? I just have to remember
to hit the right button. You ready? Let me know
if you need me to slow down. Sometimes you get so close
to the process itself. Everything is wires
and ones and zeros and all of a sudden
you get to the subject trials. You have a human being come in
and start using your product. You see the potential
for it to change their life and all of a sudden
it’s this big wow moment. I realized service doesn’t end
when you get out of the military, it just changes. They’re so tough, my children. They’re so much tougher
than I am. Every now and then, I’ll see them
solve a problem and I’m like: “Man, if they can do that,
they’re going to be just fine.” Those moments come to me
and I feel such peace all of a sudden. Will I ever get to
talk to my son? That’s something I think about
every day. Of course I’m hopeful. And that’s part of why
I became an engineer, it’s part of why
I got into this field, is that I’m not going
to sit around and wait for somebody else
to fix the problem. There’s not a minute
to be wasted thinking about anything,
but the good things that we can do. A lot of us, we live in two worlds. I love innovation, but my culture is heavily-rooted
in tradition. There’s this constant struggle where I feel like I’m walking this tightrope and I’m trying to figure out, who am I amongst this.

Reader Comments

  1. Matt, trying to locate you to get this to you. Please read a book called "Josiaha's Fire" written by Tahni Cullen… Maybe this could help you talk to Tristan as she found a way to talk to her son.

  2. This whole thing made me emotional, but when he said, "will I ever be able to talk to my son, that's something I ask myself everyday". Then I cried.

  3. It was great to stand with you in Detroit a couple of years ago. You will always be my brother-in-arms. I got your six.

  4. Thanks for sacrificing so many PRC citizens freedom by limiting what they can search so you can improve your profit margins

  5. আলামিন[email protected]জিমৈল কম.বিডি.অ-ঃ.88001714829625. বাংলাদেশ প্রতিদিন বন্ধু আমার.

  6. সুন্দর আল্লাহ আমাদের সবাইকে সঠিক পথে চলার তৌফিক দিন আমীন পরবাসী পরের ঘরে আসি কভু বাহিরে চাই না আমি বললাম কি করে সম্ভব নয়.

  7. Funny how on say RT ( Russia Times) vid there is a disclaimer that RT is funded in whole or in part by Russia Government. Why on Google videos is is not noted that they are funded in whole or in part by the American government ( CIA)?

  8. This guy is my hero. Like… I wish people would actually afford me these opportunities. Maybe one day perceptions will change. Until them I am asked to go into the back of the restaurant because I disturb people.

  9. Your outlook on fixing a problem is genius, Matt. And to speak with your son.. I will keep prayers that one day, he will. And you won't be able to stop him.. God does miracles. You've already proven some of them. God bless from a USN veteran and the mother of a Marine veteran. Stay safe.

  10. man i always skip the commercials when they pop up but i started watching this one and now I'm sitting here crying. There is good in the world. Keep doing you Matt Landis.

  11. Matt Landis you are AWESOME! May God continue to bless you with wisdom. You were created with a purpose to serve.

    How to Live on Purpose

    For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

    EPHESIANS 2:10

  12. Congratulations on your dedication to making the world more accessible, gratitude – Parabéns pela dedicação a transformar o mundo em lugar mais acessível, gratidão.

  13. Thank you sir for your service!Thank you for going above and beyond to help those in need after you were out.Amazing story!I hope you get to talk to your son one day!

  14. This is a man a good man with Heart. I believe that you will talk to your son and so will the other people who are wishing to also and I'm sure you will be able to make it possible for you and everyone else. Thank You for your service and God Bless

  15. always love and forgive and love one another grab someone you don't know or understand and give them a handshake or a hug and try to understand and bless them some way somehow

  16. Thank you Google for posting that on the search page!! But mostly thank you world over to those who respond when they see trouble – any crisis is a failure without them!

  17. Thank You to the Pittsburgh Police, SWAT, FBI, ATF, medics, Allegheny County Detectives , Pgh n all local firefighters, Pgh Public Safety Dept., Central Blood Bank, all staff of all UPMC hospitals, Mayor of Pittsburgh,
    Bill Peduto n Governor Tom Wolf n all other 1st redponders for ur Swift response & how all of u handled the Shooting @ the Synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Sat., Oct 27, 2018 . May those directly affected be lifted Up in Prayer by All of Us Right Now… Ty to all 1st responders ariund the U. S. Of A. 4 helping 2 keep us safe on a daily, even when we r asleep, & we know u r not!! YOUR brave, loving 💛's is what TRULY makes n keep Pittsburgh Strong! 💛🖤💛Prayers Up🙏, God Bless Pittsburgh, Pa, n God Bless America !!

  18. Matt Landis, I too believe in providing a service to the most vulnerable and at times, the forgotten people. Once a upon a time, I was a pure Capitalist ( with a capital "C"), but now I see myself as a Social Capitalist who manages an organisation that takes care of individuals with intellectual disabilities and Autism just outside Pittsburgh. Watching a video like this pleases me know that they are people and communities out there wanting to bring happiness and hopefulness to some of our individuals.

    People like you and your team are out there tirelessly discovering and developing ways to make our indidivuals feel and fit into our community and society. I salute you, and your team for the continued services you strive to assist and help those who desperately want to be part of the norm.

  19. When he talks about when the military was the last time he felt like he was good at something. I completely agree with him there. I didn't just feel like I was good at what I did. I know I was good at what I did and it showed when people appreciated my efforts and skills. I was in a military career most people either hated being in. Or just kinda was ok with it. Bradley mechanic. I loved my job. I loved working on Brads and even the M1 on occasion. But my favorite job was doing recovery work. Driving the M88a1s. The HMMT wreckers. I miss doing my job and being around the people I worked with daily. I now feel like theres a gaping hole in my sense of being now. I tried to get that feeling again in the civilian world as a mechanic. I went to school. I got my training. And when I went to work, I felt dead inside. I was really good at electrical troubleshooting. But I didn't enjoy the work I was doing. I didn't really like the people I worked with. I just felt empty. My disabilities from my service ended up causing me to be fired. And then I couldn't find work with other companies due to the meds I was on. If I didn't have my dad looking out for me. I would be homeless right now. I am at a loss as to what I am supposed to do now. My meds cause me to wake up sick every day. My body is in constant agony now and its hard to walk. I feel like a fool now for pushing myself so hard when I was younger and wanting to see what my limits were physically and professionally. Now I am in my early 40's and my body feels like its in its late 80's. I don't talk to friends much anymore and I haven't dated in years due to the constant pain and lack of self confidence I now have due to being this age but barely able to do much. lol WTF happened to me in Iraq?

  20. It's such a wonderful video that you made, and the ways to help others with disabilities of all sorts.
    The way that you made the wheel chair go up to be able to be eye level with a person you are talking to is marvelous . The creation of the arm that can do difficult tasks and yet, be able to pick up an egg is beyond words.
    To say thank you for what you have done in life, serving our country and making this place on earth is beyond words.
    I do want you to know how grateful I am for everything you have accomplished. To be a helicopter pilot, serving 2 tours, learning again what people take for granted, then going all out to invent these devices.
    I have never served, but both of my children do. You show how much can be done after an injury has taken place. I honor you for all that you have far in life.
    Thank you for serving. You are such a fine person that doesn't let what they have encountered and go on helping others.
    Thank you, sir.

  21. Trump and wife's Christmas eve Troops visit !2018! He is here for guys like you! Thank GOD I'm in Pittsburgh area also !thank you for your service.

  22. ℅ of people calculating our only thing break spy satellite s radiation in our space. How many and see how our earth we live on our earth. Loving lyrics all. God bless all of us I would like to contact future our future life rain sea…….
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    Radiation couses all disease and all economic problems only thing
    Break spy satellite s radiation in our space. That is good in our future life
    Nobody help and I have no money for living only
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