If as much effort went into learning to slow down, as did to become fast, I would have avoided (or prevented) most if not all of the "Un-Winnable Wars" I have encountered in life. In the end, always on the losing side.
A significant aspect of my "slowing down" was reflecting on what got me into the head-on collisions in life. 100% of the time due to excessive speed. I am always asking, “What collisions in life today could be prevented or avoided by simply, slowing down?”
If I find myself in these "Un-Winnable Wars," shame on me if I don’t fight afterward to find the “Victory in the Ashes.”
As a result of attempting to slow down, I put some words together that resulted in more than a few sentences - and culminated in multiple pages—the product is what some would classify (to include Amazon) as a book.
I wrote, "Un-Winnable Wars: Finding Victory in the Ashes" to share the lessons I learned in graduate school and following nearly three years of commanding Charlie Troop of Task Force 300 against ISIS from 2006-2009. I published the book on September 11th this year, seeing the similarities in present times of division and struggle the U.S. experienced during Vietnam.
The book is in the same spirit of why I repeatedly returned to Iraq. The book centers on the (my #SpecialForces brothers) victories, hidden in the "ashes of defeat" following the attempts to move past (forget) the Vietnam War. Many of those lessons could have helped prevent some (if not all) of the 14 men I lost under my command of Charlie Troop, Task Force 300 in 2007. Every day I fight to find the lessons learned from that loss, by and through "Hard-fought Wisdom" in the development of “The Phoenix Project” (Spring of 2021).
The Phoenix Project shares not only my generation's lessons learned in the Global War on Terrorism but the lessons from another, much deadlier war as well. That war is the one we fight to come back to civilian society, and it is ongoing. It is the war that takes 22 Veterans a day to suicide. And it is a war that civilians, more than anything or anyone, can help us win. You can discover more about "The Phoenix Project" in the TEDx Talk at AM300's website.
Good-intentioned people ask me daily, “how can I support Veterans?". Or, “how do we mitigate the epidemic of 22 Veterans each day committing suicide (other than shirtless push-ups)?" Most of us that served will say we went to the war (and volunteered to go over and over again), so others would not. In the previous statement, the underlying message is that our service (and in many cases, sacrifice) somehow would make the world a better place.
The single most significant contribution to (us) Veterans is to show their (our) service was, in fact, not for nothing, by using our sacrifice to make the United States (and the world) a better place for our generation and the next. How is that accomplished? Learn from our "Hard-fought Wisdom," regardless of the justified (or not) nature of the cause we were fighting or what Commander in Chief (President) sent us in the first place.
Feel free to reach out to me (or any Veteran) with questions. Buy our books (feel free to reach out directly for recommendations if you are already offended by mine), listen to our Podcasts, and learn from our service, mistakes, and sacrifice. Just giving us the time of day to continue to be of "service" means more than one can imagine.
If you or anyone you know is searching for answers on how to find victory out of the ashes of the current situation following COVID, riots, high unemployment, election results, and record-high levels of bad attitudes, I would love to share with you what I have learned through Un-Winnable Wars and The Phoenix Project this spring.
If you don’t like it, I would happy to give you a full refund in cash, or optionally in a numerated amount of hugs equal to the cost of the book, your time, and your unending validation of many other military service members, going back to the Vietnam War, military service.
Links to Books: