Zap2it: Did your son, Army Sgt. Track Palin (who deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year) or your wife, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, influence you to participate in a show (“Stars Earn Stripes”) that pairs celebrities with military operatives and first responders on simulated missions?
Todd Palin: No. 1 would be the cause, the military charity. Track was major, Sarah was major, and then my working experience on “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” knowing (producer] Mark Burnett puts out a great product.
Zap2it: Did you bond with your military operative partner?
Todd Palin: My guy was [former Marine] J.W. Cortes. Our common ground is he has a son with autism, and I’ve got a son with Down syndrome. Just being a father, you have a bond. With the additional challenge, there’s that extra bond. I’m a little older than he is, and I’m like, “We are blessed. There’s a reason why God put this child in our hands, in our family.”
Zap2it: How is your son, 4-year-old Trig, doing?
Todd Palin: He’s doing good. When we were filming, he said his first words. He told his older brother to quit picking on him, or something like that. And when J.W. went back to New York on one of the dark days, he said his name, so that was pretty exciting.
Zap2it: Did you get hurt?
Todd Palin: Our minds think we’re 20, but our bodies remind us that we’re not.
Zap2it: What was your charity?
Todd Plain: Armed Services YMCA Alaska. They make military-family lives better. They’ve been up there in Alaska for 70 years.