Courage in America: Warriors with Character grew out of my service project as a member of The Knights of Malta, a Roman Catholic service organization. I visited wounded warriors at military hospitals, where I spent my time with extraordinary young Americans who had volunteered for military service in response to the attack on America on September 11, 2001.
As a result of my visits to the wounded, I quickly realized that after traumatic injury, it often takes more courage to live than to die. It seemed that making a successful recovery from the traumatic war injuries borne by America’s young warriors was itself a measure of a man’s courage.
After meeting the wounded warriors, http://thecharacterbuildingproject.com/warriors/todd-nicely/todd-nicely-photos/
I wanted to know what gave these young heroes the courage to successfully rebuild their bodies, minds, souls, and lives? Could a warrior who displayed courage in battle, exhaust his courage and be defeated in rehabilitation? Was courage trained into him or is it in his genes? Was his courage shaped at an early age, or did it develop with maturity and military training?
My visits to the military hospitals brought another important insight. I quickly learned that medical care is increasingly able to heal a warrior’s physical wounds–the battered limbs but care that heal the psychological wounds of battle often goes ignored or neglected.
Yet post-traumatic stress is real. Warriors need to talk about their nightmares and describe to others the vivid images of the carnage they witnessed after suicide bombers detonated explosives. Too often, because psychological issues are ignored, the returning military bury deeply many unresolved emotional scars and flashbacks simply because no forum exists for them to tell their story and then walk away from it for good.
When I discovered that telling their stories of combat enables warriors to walk away from many of its aftereffects, my primary goal became to give voice to the survivors of traumatic war injuries to help speed up their recoveries, and secondarily, to share their stories of courage with others.
I hope you will consider purchasing Courage in America: Warriors with Character http://thecharacterbuildingproject.com/ and perhaps passing on a copy or two to an organization serving our wounded warriors.
At the outset of writing Courage in America, I wish to credit the ten wounded warriors who shared with me their arduous journeys from their traumatic injuries to individual greatness. I also wish to acknowledge Dr. Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer, not only for having greatly influenced my thinking by there book, The Adversity Advantage but also for their ongoing support to the Character Building Project.