background is this:
Saturday morning of the landmark Forum: a guy on the back row who had not shared
all weekend – raised his hand and said “ I need coaching. I am in the Army and
in May 2006, I got the news I was going to Iraq. I promised my wife two things:
I would come home and I would come home the same person.”
began to rub his face and cry. He said “I did come home, but I did not come home
the same person. And I am not really home. I live Iraq every day. It is really
hard. We were madly in love and now I cannot even connect with her. I came here
because I heard this could help me.”
stood there with his head down in his hands…rubbing his face and eyes. I stood
about 2 feet from him just listening and then I said “Jason, what happened”. He
said “Oh, I really can’t talk about it” and he cried. I listened and asked him
again what happened. He said “well, I was the leader of my platoon – 50 men –
and we got ambushed. I called for backup….no backup came…I called for backup…no
backup came. It was bad…finally backup came 5 hours later and by then two of my
men were dead. I was right there with them…they died. I let them die. I failed.
It was my fault. I have read every manual the Army has to figure out what I did
wrong. I cannot find anything.”
raised his head and turned around – the vicious circle was on the board behind
him…I said “what happened?” he said “we were ambushed, no backup came, two men
died.” And then I said “and everything else is interpretation.” He said “WOW!”
room erupted in a cheer. I said “what other interpretations could there be?”
Almost all of the participants raised their hands: I called on one at a time and
they said “honoring man, hero, integrity, loving man, brave man: he stood there
with tears flowing down his face: he said “Well, I did bring 48 men home.”
Sun morning, a participant who is a writer – raised his hand and said he had
written a poem for Jason and wanted to read it – he read to all of us, (sorry I don’t have the poem).
was dressed in full Army attire Tuesday evening and shared with everyone why he
came to the Landmark Forum and that the Landmark Forum had brought him home!
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