Harold Phifer – Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar – 423

Harold Phifer – Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar – 423

By Steven Miletto

Teaching Learning Leading K12 provides resources for classroom teachers and school-based administrators.

Harold Phifer talks with me about his memoir – Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar. This is episode 423 of the audio podcast Teaching Learning Leading K12.

Harold Phifer was living a life that he was hiding from everyone—including himself. Then he met a woman at a bar in Thailand who cracked that secret open. Finally listened to, and guided by the stranger’s on-target, thoughtful questions, Harold spoke for the first time of his near-death experience in Afghanistan while flashing back to his dysfunctional past.  

His inspiring memoir, Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace At A Beach Bar. does not shy away from the stark details of childhood bullying, family tension, being raised in poverty in 1960s Mississippi, a mother with schizophrenia, and feeling like an outsider even at home. 

Having spent the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as a contractor (air-controller), he survived a suicide bombing by the Taliban but feels more at peace amidst the war zone than he did during his shattered childhood. 

 Harold Phifer started his literary career with a single book, SLEEPWALKING OUT OF AFGHANISTAN, in 2018. He followed that with an updated, largely expanded memoir, SURVIVING CHAOS: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar, and he has an upcoming book FOOL ME THRICE, under the pen name – Dean Conan.

Harold was born and raised by a single mom in Columbus, Mississippi. He attended Caldwell High School before graduating from Mississippi State and Jackson State Universities respectively. He built his career as an Air Traffic Controller with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 23 years. After deciding to leave the FAA he started a second career as an International Contractor.

As a contractor he had numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Today we are talking about his memoir – Surviving Chaos: How I Found Peace at a Beach Bar.

Thanks for listening!


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Remember to take a look at NVTA (National Virtual Teacher Association) The NVTA Certification Process was created to establish a valid and reliable research-based teacher qualification training process for virtual teachers to enhance their teaching and develop their ongoing reflective skills to improve teaching capacity. NVTA is an affiliate sponsor of Teaching Learning Leading K12, by following the link above if you purchase a program, Teaching Learning Leading K12 will get a commission and you will help the show continue to grow. 


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Oh by the way, you can help support Teaching Learning Leading K12 by buying me a soft drink (actually making a donation to Teaching Learning Leading K12.) That would be awesome! You would be helping expand the show with equipment and other resources to keep the show moving upward. Just go to https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stevenmiletto


Have an awesome day!

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Length – 35:23

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