This information was sent in by one of our community members. She writes: “Here is a link to a documentary that will come out August 12, 2014 at CNN. This program is so enormously beneficial for the healing of returning veterans. I would so much like as many warriors / veterans to know about this program so that they can participate too.” Please watch the video then read her story below. Thank you!
I was cordially invited by Jake to be at the first night’s dinner of Cohort 007. Ten guys were in the Cohort and it was indeed 10 individual guys I got to meet that evening. Not a group, certainly not a team, let alone a brotherhood. Being Dutch, I am used to introducing myself in a new group so I just went round the table to do just that, but got little response. Each of the guys were seriously not in the mood nor mindset to shake my hand. Their eyes downcast, all a bit tense and really more in keeping to themselves, hardly connecting. I understood instantly that these guys were suffering, they had just started this Cohort earlier the afternoon and were in the midst of taking everything in, trying to keep themselves together and just be. I realized then and there that Jake and his staff had some serious work to do and that the un-breaking of hearts is probably one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Tuesday I joined the Cohort as they set out to climb Point Dume near Zuma Beach. I was amazed by the difference in energy in the group. As the 10 Warriors arrived at the beach I saw them hanging out together, talking, smiling, and supporting each other. From being a separate individual on that first night I witnessed a group of guys connecting with each other. It actually gave me goose bumps, because something profound had changed just in over one day. I was the person taking the photos of each Warrior climbing the rock at Point Dume. I had the privilege to observe them up close and personal and it was a beautiful thing to do as I saw a spark ignite in each one of them. Still struggling…yes! Still sometimes a bit reserved…yes! But at the same time I saw this look of wonder and each one of them carefully began opening up. I believe their new meditation practice was key in this whole shift of energy and outlook on life.
“If your eyes are opened, you’ll see the things worth seeing.” ~Rumi
The next day the Cohort set out to Big Heart Ranch and the great Suzi Landolphi. A day filled with the Cohort connecting with animals (chicken, alpaca’s, little ponies and the giant horse Goliath). And there I saw something different again. From a group I witnessed and actually felt a new awareness and a new energy in the group…. a brotherhood in the making. Eyes clear, open and a lot of support towards each other. It moved me deeply to see this.
Un-breaking of hearts can be done, and much more than ‘just’ un-breaking them, but healing them and opening eyes to see the things worth seeing. The fun, love, support and cooperation between these 10 great Warriors as we all participated in a fun group exercise was just tangible.
My last day with the group was the day we went up to Camp Hess Kramer on top of a canyon overlooking the Pacific Ocean for the high ropes course. That day has changed me for the rest of my life for sure. I had the honor to see the Warriors walk on ropes high up in the air in pairs, walk across a wooden pole as if they were walking on the ground and the grand finale with the Leap of Faith. They were coached in such a loving way, explaining to them about anxiety and exhilaration how to move from one to the other. What to do when the adrenaline kicked in, how to take it slow, not rush. How to literally stand still and feel, not rushing but pausing and so much more. But mostly the mantra all day was: “We have got you, you are safe, you are safe”.
And there emerged this strong band of brothers, speaking to each other words of encouragement, of love of support of friendship. The words came down as whispering rain helping each Warrior to arise from his roots again and feel the exhilaration of literally transitioning and becoming again who they really are.
I have seen the difference, I have felt the difference and I know Save a Warrior makes that difference. Because each one of these Warriors have been given the tools to own their lives again, to start walking the path of healing and to have this brotherhood, a bond for life to ask for support whenever they need it. I honestly feel humbled and honored to have been allowed to be part of this group for a few days, for Jake Clark putting this out in the world and literally saving lives. What an extraordinary group of men I had the privilege to meet. They are all in my heart forever, because they so graciously allowed me to be there and be witness of their healing process. Beautiful strong men, who in softness, honesty and openness found a new way to own their lives and allow themselves to be happy again.
“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” ~ Rumi
Author: Clara te Velthuis-Vrielink