Gritty Apparel

What is grit?  To me it means forcing yourself to keep going even when everyone around you expects you to fail.  Tee Hanible embodies this quality.  In fact, I met her as part of the original cast of the John Cena – military inspired show American Grit.

Full cast of American Grit
Tee is one tough woman; a retired Marine, mother of four, political activist, philanthropist and one of the cadres on American Grit.  And, oh yeah, she’s a business woman too.  She recently sent me a T-shirt from one of her companies,
I laughed when I read the message, “Don’t Give Up.  You’ve Still Got a Couple of Motherf**kers to Prove Wrong.”
Gritty Apparel

Her story is pretty inspiring, so I thought I’d share it with you.  This is Tee, in her own words.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am Tee Hanible a retired GySgt in the United States Marine Corps, wife, mother of four and founder of Operation Heroes Connect and co-founder of About FACE Veteran Modeling Agency.

Why did you want to be on American Grit?

When I got the email asking me to be on American Grit I was excited to have the opportunity to show America a glimpse into military training and leadership styles. I was equally excited to represent females in the military, something that had never been done before on such a national level.

Do you have any advice this Mother’s Day for other single moms trying to balance conflicting responsibilities?

Great question, I was a single mom for many years and even deployed as a single mom. I think one of the biggest pieces of advice is to ensure that you have a great support system. Whether it’s grandparents, friends, or extended family, a great support system can and will always help to balance those conflicts. 

How do you push past obstacles?

Tee Hanible

I push past obstacles by understanding that any and all obstacles are just temporary. Once a person understands that then there is nothing they can’t conquer!

What is Operation Heroes Connect and how did you get involved?

I started Operation Heroes Connect in August 2011 while still on active duty. OPHC is an organization that partners service members and veterans with at risk youth as well as provide free summer camp programs for youth.

Operation Heroes Connect - summer camp
Operation Heroes Connect – summer camp

Why is this charity important to you?

This organization is important to me because as a child I was put into foster care and later adopted. Growing up I always longed to have someone to talk to or someone to give me a listening ear in regards to everything that I was going through.

Final thoughts?

Life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, it’s about collecting the scars to prove that we showed up to the battle!

Tee in Iraq

Thanks Tee for sharing your story and for your service to our country.  If you want to check out her clothing line, click here:

Lisa Traugott is a personal trainer, Mom’s Choice Award writer, original cast member of FOX/John Cena’s “American Grit” and has a monthly fitness column on  She won Ms. Costa Rica Sports Model 2017 and her transformation story was featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Good Day Austin, Great Day Houston and Texas Monthly.  She blogs at and is passionate about her clients.

Nicholas Irving (another American Grit cadre) holding each other’s book (c) 2012-2018 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

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