Michael, I met you when I was in the deepest emotional distress I've ever felt in my entire life. You accepted the challenge, and had an immediate impact on my spirit and soul. In only a week I can feel myself climbing out of the dark hole.
I've rediscovered my spirit. I've been learning about anxiety/ stress management, techniques for self-soothing, thought interruption, and the window of tolerance. I've confessed my wrongs, made my amends, and am now moving into a more positive future. The long hours you so humbly provided for me to discuss my own insecurity, guilt and stress, where life changing.
I've been staying as present and in the moment as I can. I've kept an active journal, with more reflection than I can remember at any time in my life. I know what kind of man I am -- I know who I want to become and am forging a new path. I have not touched alcohol, nor do I have any desire to do so. And I now believe I deserve to be happy.
You should be very proud of yourself. Your journey is uniquely your own. You are insightful, spiritual, and connected with the world. You love fiercely. You have honor. You are a man in every sense of the word. I admire how you help people, especially soldiers returning home after the trauma of combat.
I hope our paths cross again soon. This week you were not a friend, but rather a spiritual guide. Going forward, you will remain as such. From my heart and soul, I want to thank you.
Much Love Daniel 2016
Michael, I wanted to thank you for your valuable information during the SAW 031 Cohort.
I feel so much more confident that I'm not wrong for feeling the way I felt for so long, which in itself is a huge step forward. The other day I met an older couple from Quebec and we were talking about our travels and she said to me "You have such a great energy!" which honestly isn't something I've heard since before my accident last year. Some days I feel like I'll never be my old self again, but it was such a joy to hear the pain of what I've endured for once wasn't written all over my face.
I've continued to meditate and am really feeling a difference in how I feel throughout the day. I've also ceased all medications. I had been taking (anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, etc) and finally am able to wake up early and not feel groggy! I even had a lucid dream that was not going the way I wanted it to and I was actually able to control the outcome. There have been so many positive changes, but I realize I still have a long way to go. Thank you for being there for us during this amazing experience. You saved my life in so many ways. Rachel Cohort 31
Dr. Michael, I want to thank you for your support during cohort 031. You did an awesome job and thank you for being you! I gained so much knowledge and courage from your teachings. For a while I have been lost on how to be strong person, but your presence showed me how my true strength. You showed me that I could stand tall and not be afraid to be who I am, or who I will become. I have learned how to be genuine and authentic on my journey toward becoming my true Self!
Thank you and much love Michael! Love you so much. Brett Cohort 31
Dr. Mike, I wanted to take the time to say thank you for all that you do, and all that you have done for me! From our discussions about faith to just everyday life you where such a great teacher and breath of fresh air from all the diagnosis's and labels of the clinical world. I so happy you are involved in the SAW program and that I had the honor to meet you. I will never be able to repay you for your kindness and compassion, but will do my best to pay it forward. Karl Palmer Cohort 33
Mike,Thank you for directing your work, research and dissertation toward us Vets. Your analysis, though brief, of my back and spine was right on target. I am excited to follow through on your recommendations for specific thoracic core strengthening. I have followed through on my meditating and connecting. Again, thanks for being there and being you! Blake Cohort 34
Doc, You have been a motivator and inspiration to me ever since you first introduced yourself. Your humility and ingenuity are traits that I wish everyone in this world had. Everything happens for a reason and I am eternally grateful to you.
Your care and understanding during pre-trauma and Iron John discussion not only blew my mind, but also gave me the awareness to be the best I can be. The celebration of the dead, treasure chests and stones...WOW! I have never been so moved before in my life. SAW saved my marriage, my relationship with my kids, my active-duty career--most importantly, MY LIFE!!!!
I am forever in debt to Save A Warrior and just wanted to tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart. God Bless you...thank you for bringing me back home. Dan Scarola Cohort 35
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
Doc, I wanted to let you know life has been good for me since coming back to the "Known world." Reflecting back on The Heroes Journey, reading my letters, meditating faithfully and doing my bucket allowed me to overcome some many of my past challenges with greater resilience and emotional control. My multiple releases and forgiving myself, I am happy to say I have yet to have a nightmare or flashback since the Tuesday morning meditation at my SAW journey. Prior to SAW, I would have a nightmares and or flashbacks on a daily basis for so many years.
I would also like to acknowledge you for your love and support that I so desperately needed throughout the program, and especially for your loving support in the forest the night of our final visit to the labyrinth (leave no man behind). SAW was unlike anything I have ever sought out for my PTS. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the positive difference you have made in my life and the lives of so many others.
I love you my brother! John Langreder Cohort 36 Ltl John now known as big John