Andrew Marr is a medically retired Special Forces Green Beret who’s Traumatic Brain Injury trials and subsequent recovery through the help of Dr. Mark Gordon led him to co-found the Warrior Angels Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to help other veterans alleviate their TBI symptoms through the Gordon Protocol by way of treatment, outreach, education, and research. Andrew’s best-selling book, Tales from the Blast Factory: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back from the Brink came out in late 2017. Andrew is also currently working with Emmy award-winning director Jerri Sher to produce Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain, a full-feature Hollywood documentary about the groundbreaking solution that led to his recovery. Quiet Explosion is due out in late 2019.
The information below is discussed in greater detail in my book Tales From the Blast Factory: A Brain-Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back from the Brink. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now the best thing in my life, it can be the same for you. (I recommend we put in a link and enticing offer to sign up for our e-mail list here, please offer up your suggestion)
My wife, Becky, was six months pregnant with our first son (fourth child) during my last combat deployment. The plan was to come home for the birth and then go back to work, but sometimes plans change. Days before I was to return home for the birth of my son, my Special Forces (SF) team faced a major setback when one of our vehicles hit an improvised explosive device (IED) returning to our base after an intense mission and fire fight. Everyone in the vehicle survived, but the injuries sustained by our men would not allow them to operate for the remainder of that deployment. The team went from 11 SF Operators to 8 in the blink of an eye.
Life constantly presents us with choices. It’s the space between circumstance and response where our battles are won and lost. The duty to my team led to the contemplation of my roles as a husband, father, and leader. I understood there would be times I’d be faced with challenging situations in difficult circumstances.
Understanding the things in our lives that are worth sacrificing for provides a sense of purpose, meaning, and responsibility. Discovering our purpose allows us to better measure our focus and actions in pursuit of our goals.
The question we must ask ourselves is, “are the things we’re placing our focus on getting us closer to fulfilling our purpose or taking us further away?” If our thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships are not in alignment with our purpose it’s time to pause and reflect. Defining the principles, ideals, and values that are most important to us gives us ready-made answers to the many question’s life presents us with. We’re either getting closer or further away from fulfilling our purpose, there is no middle ground. The choice is ours and ours alone, it is the birthplace of personal responsibility.
After seeing our vehicle blown up and assessing the damage to my teammates at the blast site, I made an instant decision to forgo returning home for the birth of my son who was due in a few weeks, the lives of my teammates depended on it. Becky and my children were safe. They were cared for and provided for. They had shelter. They had running water. Air-conditioning. Indoor plumbing. Refrigeration. Hospitals nearby. No threat of imminent danger. In our position, we had none of the above. I knew my soon-to-be-born son would appreciate that decision once he was old enough to comprehend it.
The things in life that are worth sacrificing for are never easy, if they were everybody would do it. The right sacrifices can provide us a meaning that allows us to become greater than our individual circumstance. What in your life is worth sacrificing for? If you can’t answer that question, I challenge you to use the principles presented and commit to discovering the answer. A life of purpose and meaning is yours for the making.
De Oppresso Liber,