WHAT WOUNDED VETERANS TAUGHT ME ABOUT TRUE HEROISM

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Explaining where I was and how I felt this morning is complicated. I’ll begin with the basics. About four years ago I started making calls to a wounded warrior organization called the Wounded Warriors Family Adventures, which takes place in Breckenridge, Colorado every April. To my knowledge they’re one of the only veterans groups that work with severely injured soldiers and their entire families. In fact, just to qualify for this program you must be married, and both husband and wife need to be living together underneath one roof.

My many calls and emails to the program’s facilitators went unanswered for nearly a year as I tried to make the case that I had a set of skills that might be helpful to these soldiers and their families. But having no psychology background and no military experience whatsoever wasn’t exactly making anyone in that organization take notice. I understood that. Why would anyone want a middle-aged songwriter from Santa Monica to mess with the minds of these physically and psychologically scarred soldiers and their families? 

Eventually I did get to speak with a man named Bob Miller, a retired Colonel from the United States Army. I was able to convince him that through my music and a creativity development program I’d been working on, I might be able to add to his organization’s main objectives, which I understood as opening up lines of communication between the family members. It was a communication that had largely shut down; in many cases it had been deteriorating for several years.

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