Michael J. Kerrigan


This power message offering the warrior  perspective  on GWOT and PTSI is being widely read among my friends in the military and is circulated with their permission. Please see… http://www.oafnation.com/musings-of-a-grey-man/2014/3/10/when-the-music-stops



“I want to be dead with my friends….where the iron sharpens the iron.”-

I am bearing witness to the end of an era. I have the distinct blessing, or the agonizing misfortune of having front-row seats to the death throes of a creature that has defined a generation. This creature is what my buddies and I refer to as the Global War On Terror (GWOT for short). 13 years, thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and two presidents later, those of us who contributed our very being to this endeavor are left thinking, “What now?”

On May 23, 2013, POTUS Obama declared the GWOT “over.” Just like that. Done. Finished. It felt to my brothers… Continue reading

Dr. Bill Thierfelder, President of Belmont Abbey College, former CEO of York Barbell Company, Sports Psychologist, Olympian, and Knight of Malta, just published, “Less Than A Minute to Go.” The following excerpt taken from this important book has a great deal of reverence to our study of Post Traumatic Growth (PTG.)

“Pain without a purpose is intolerable to human beings. The greater the purpose, the greater the sacrifice you will be able to make and the more readily you will be able to accept the tribulations that come your way. Preparing your self mentally, physically and spiritually through each grace filled and virtuous act of your life is the only to become strong enough to endure and accept the pain and sacrifice that is asked of you each day. The stronger it is, the more pain and discomfort you can take, the greater your ability and desire to sacrifice. And… Continue reading

I am mad as hell that…

· 99% of Americans, who have never served in uniform would rather engage in social media, than recognize the sacrifices made by the 1% in uniform, the two million Americans who have served with honor in two wars for over a decade.

· The wars of the 21st century have been “outsourced” by our pinhead politicians to our “all-volunteer” armed forces. The result is a disconnect between civilians and our military.

· The post-traumatic-stress “disorder” label has been placed by pinhead psychologists on the brave warriors returning home from many tours of asymmetric warfare. What is “disordered” is the mindset of politicians who send the warriors to combat and then ignore their true needs for a dignified recovery when they return home.

· The mainstream media does not focus on the men and women of valor who triumph in their successful rehabilitation over their traumatic injuries.

On Veterans Day, my latest book, Courage in America: Warriors with Character will be available on Amazon (http://amzn.com/1604948728). Seven American warriors tell their stories of tragedy and triumph after suffering and recovering from traumatic war injuries. The book showcases the good character of these young heroes, their caregivers, and families. These stories will motivate newly injured to have hope during their own rehabilitation, and will give all Americans a better understanding of the sacrifices made by many military patriots.

You will meet traumatically injured warriors: Justin Constantine who was shot in the head by a sniper; Chad Ellinger who was crushed by a collapsing wall during combat; Sam Angert and Chase Cooper who suffered traumatic brain injuries from IEDs; Steve Baskis and Brad Snyder who lost their sight from IEDs; and Todd Nicely who lost his limbs from an IED. The warriors will share the sentiment that they did not… Continue reading

Today, Memorial Day, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander and leader of the NATO coalition in Afghanistan read a heart rendering letter from fallen U.S. Marine Sgt. William Stacey aloud during a Memorial Day service in Kabul.

He read it to honor Stacey’s memory, as well as all of those who died in Afghanistan since the war started back in 2001. “Today we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms,” Allen said.

Here is the full text from Stacey’s letter, courtesy of the Seattle Times.

“My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all,” Allen wrote. “But there is a greater meaning to it. Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child… Continue reading

In our last post we asked, what does it really mean to “support our troops”? Here is how the average American can give real meaning to those three simple words? Our troops are bound by the Code of Conduct, in which they pledge to give their lives in our defense if called upon to do so. By signing the Code of Support, we can show them that we, in turn, have pledged to give them our full support.

Code of Support

I am an American. I know that the men and women in our Armed Forces are prepared to give their lives to defend my country, my way of life and the blessings of liberty throughout the world. I am committed to their perpetual recognition, appreciation and support.

As they have sworn to defend me and protect our country, so will I pledge to support them in every way that… Continue reading

My friend Major Justin Constantine brought a recent Pew Research Center report to the attention of The Character Building Project.

The report notes a smaller share of Americans currently serve in the armed forces than at any time since the peacetime era between World Wars I and II. Just one-half of 1 percent of Americans served in uniform at any given time during the past decade — the longest period of sustained conflict in the country’s history. As the military shrinks in size, the connections between military members and the broader civilian population “appear to be growing more distant,” the report says.

Please contact the Pew Research Center (pewsocialtrends.org) for a copy of The Military-Civilian Gap, War and Sacrifice in the Post 9/11 Era.

Ten years on from the invasion of Afghanistan, America has grown weary of war. President Obama, having realized his long-held target of withdrawing from Iraq, is trying to wind down the war in Afghanistan with the aim of ending American involvement by 2014. As Washington has lost faith in the war effort, so too has the broader public. Skeptical of success and encouraged in their doubts by the political establishment, Americans increasingly want the war, like a tiresome, too-long movie, to end at last. This national resignation is fraught with peril – for America’s counterterrorism objectives, for our strategic allies – but perhaps most of all for the soldiers who did the fighting. The U.S. military has a policy of leaving no man behind.  But as the country turns its attention away from the warfront, it risks forgetting the servicemen who fought so valiantly on its behalf, and who have returned home bearing the wars’ indelible marks.

Continue reading

The Character Building Project readers have responded to our June 28th post by suggesting many more questions for consideration in our study of Courage in America. At this stage of our research, our inquiry has to do with how young Americans in the military learn about courage, character, sacrifice, and sadly, death. Later we will probe how the example of ten virtuous leaders might pass on these lessons to their civilian contemporaries. Here are the questions suggested by those readers interested in our continuing study of character. Continue reading

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Recent posts have addressed achieving extraordinary results through synergy and collaboration. Today’s post reports the true success of an African-American family with roots in our neighborhood. When our boys were growing up in Northern Virginia in the 1980’s Donna and I had the pleasure of watching Janet and Calvin Hill raise their son Grant. The time was well before Grant’s basketball stardom at Duke and later the NBA. In fact, Grant’s sports challenge in his preteen years was soccer not basketball. Grant’s size did not make him the most agile of players. From afar, we witnessed the many character lessons taught by Janet, the Wellesley mom and Calvin, the Yale and NFL star dad. Continue reading

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