Posted on

4x4x48

Warrior Angels Foundation Presents

SPEC OPS & FRIENDS 4x4x48 CHALLENGE FUNDRAISER

Five Veteran Non-Profits are trailblazing;
“The New Frontier of Veteran Brain Health, Neuro-restoration, and Psychedelic Therapy”

A grueling challenge created by Navy SEAL David Goggins that champions all to exercise and raise funds for the charities that matter most to them for the event: 
4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48hrs non-stop.

January 5, 2022 – The WAF SPEC OPS & FRIENDS 4x4x48 Challenge Fundraiser (www.warriorangelsfoundation.org/4x4x48) will take place on the Marr’s ranch, in the Sam Houston National forest on March 4th– 6th 2022, to raise funds benefiting the Non-Profits on The New Frontier of Veteran Brain Health, Neuro-restoration, & Psychedelic Therapy; Warrior Angels Foundation, Heroic Hearts Project, Special Operations Association of America, Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, and FITOPS.

Promo Trailer: https://youtu.be/TS4QXkI2T4g

Who is participating in the 4x4x48 Challenge? 

Approximately 50 invited participants will assemble on the Marr Brothers land, to camp in austere conditions for the challenge with key leaders from participating Non-Profits and the Special Operations Community to include; 

Retired Army Special Forces/Green Beret & former Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller.

Retired Navy SEAL and U.S. Congressional candidate Morgan Luttrell.

Veteran Marine and Winner of Survivor Ben Driebergen.

What is the 4x4x48 Challenge?

The 4x4x48 Challenge itself in only its 3rd year, created and popularized by Navy SEAL David Goggins. David has competed in more than 60 endurance races, has placed 3rd at the Badwater 135 Death Valley- considered the world’s toughest foot race, and regularly placing in the top five in other ultramarathons. He created the 4x4x48 Challenge in 2020 during the pandemic as a way to get people off the couch, get them fundraising for something that matters to them, all while building up the challenge itself. To run 4 miles, every 4 hours, completing 48 miles in 48 hours.

How does WAF fit into the 4x4x48 Challenge?

In 2021 Warrior Angels Foundation had two individuals take on the grueling 4x4x48 Challenge while raising funds and awareness to support the WAF mission. Inspired by the grit and tenacity of these two individuals, Andrew & Adam Marr created the WAF Special Operations and Friends 4x4x48 Challenge to bring together and allow challenge participants a way to join the tip of the spear Veteran support organization and members of the Special Operations Community working to solve the standard of care issue for Veterans. Working in the Veteran support space since 2015, Andrew & Adam have seen the effects first hand of a medical system that is failing to pinpoint and treat the underlying conditions of Head Injury and Trauma for Veterans.

Andrew Marr talks about the current state of affairs for Veterans. “20 years of constant combat has taken an inordinate toll on the very few who bore the burden of service and sacrifice to this country.  We are in a state of emergency whether it is declared on or not, our Veterans and service members are taking their own lives at a rapid pace. This is an urgent matter that requires real Leadership and an urgent response.”

Adam Marr goes on to describe why they are putting on this event and what its all about. “This event is about letting the world know that members and organizations leading this fight on the front lines will be struggling all the way through this challenge while building a community of support for other challenge participants as a way to remember those Veterans that left home and never returned, celebrate those Veterans who came home and overcame their struggles, and raise funds to help those Veterans who returned but are still struggling. It’s time to bring everyone home.” 

What are funds being raised for?

The WAF SPEC OPS & FRIENDS 4x4x48 is a call to action to address the standard of care for Veterans who bore the burden of sacrifice to this country. It brings together the Non-Profits on The New Frontier of Veteran Brain Health, Neuro-restoration, & Psychedelic Therapy. The Marr Brothers state, “These are the organizations that have been holding this banner up while leading from the front.  They are not waiting for anyone else to solve these problems, with viable alternative lifesaving therapies, they are collectively raising the standard of Veteran care to the next level in this country.” This event allows participants to raise funds for any of these partnered non-profits:

How can someone participate in the WAF 4x4x48 Challenge?

Individuals or Teams nationwide that want to accept the grueling WAF SPEC OPS & FRIENDS  4x4x48 Challenge, can go to www.warriorangelsfoundation.org/4x4x48 to claim their prebuilt fundraising page that will allow them to raise funds for any of the event partnered Non-Profits. They are also recommended to join the WAF Discord Community where daily workout and training updates will be provided along with support and encouragement for all.

The Marr’s are encouraging the brave challengers to join the Veteran Non-Profits and members of the Special Operations community and start the challenge on 04MARCH2022 @2pm CST within their local communities. It’s about doing something bigger than self, just like the Veterans and the Veteran Non-Profits working to support them. For more information and support on best practices for challengers, join the WAF Discord 4x4x48 Channel.

Participating Non-Profits for the WAF SPEC OPS & FRIENDS 4x4x48 Challenge.

Warrior Angels Foundation Forged from Army Special Forces/Green Beret Andrew Marr’s personal road to recovery, the mission is to restore Hope and Healing through Treatment, Education, Outreach, and Research. WAF helps guide U.S. Military Service Members and Veterans to personalized treatment protocols that pinpoint and treat underlying conditions for those suffering from Brain/Head Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress caused by explosions and horrific injuries sustained during war.  

Heroic Hearts Project Provides education and access, to military Veterans struggling with trauma, to psychedelic therapy options in combination with professional coaching and integration. They restore hope and empower each Veteran in his or her own healing process. HHP also contributes to the growing base of psychedelic research, public education, and policy change to enable increased and equitable access to psychedelic therapies. 

Special Operations Association of America “A Voice for Special Operations” that advocates for all past, present, and future members of the Special Operations community and their families. Fighting for those who fight for us to ensure the mission success and lethality, of those that bear the greater burden. SOAA is the only organization that engages in policy and legislation advocacy on behalf of the men and women in the Special Operations community. They are committed to identifying solutions and making recommendations that best serve Special Operation Forces on and off the battlefield.

Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions Primary mission; “To end Veteran suicide. Once and for all.” VETS provides resources, research, and advocacy for U.S. military veterans seeking treatment with psychedelic-assisted therapies.

FITOPS A community whose mission is to empower Veterans and transitioning service members to discover renewed purpose.  We support our community and our shared mission 

through the power of fitness, community, and the continued ability to serve. FitOps is alumni of the University of Health and Performance at Camp FitOps and we have come together to empower each other, inspire our communities, and to create opportunities to serve again.

IT’S TIME TO BRING EVERYONE HOME
www.warriorangelsfoundation.org/4x4x48
PR Contact: Adam Marr
adam@warriorangelsfoundation.org
(817) 673 1844

Posted on

WAF Impact – Joe & Meghan

A Source of Answers, Hope and Healing

Warrior Angels Foundation (WAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for treating veterans who have suffered head injuries while in the United States military. Everyone that WAF supports has a unique story on finding Answers, Hope and healing, we will be sharing these incredible stories with you each month. 

Joe and Meghan

Lt. Col (Ret) Joe Barnard is a 33-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Pararescue and a Combat Rescue Officer. He is currently the Executive Director at the Forge School, a Short Term Residential Treatment Center for teen boys, and has been married to Meghan Barnard, for over 30 years. Meghan is a powerhouse and role model for women wearing many hats as the Director of Enrollment, Marketing and Outreach at the Forge School, a Yoga Teacher, Retreat Leader, Mother, and Military Spouse.

Through 2014 and 2015 after a successful career of putting his body on the line and in harm’s way, things began to change for Joe, and he was finding elements of life significantly more challenging as time progressed. Meghan had noticed changes in him too, particularly in his mood. He appeared to be a lot angrier and had high levels of intolerance and irritability often finding himself in a self proclaimed depressive state. Joe himself recalls how his mood had dramatically changed, and the impact it was having on him and Meghan and their marriage. 

Watch Joe & Meghan’s Testimony here

The Haunting of Night Terrors

As the situation worsened, Joe became unable to sleep, which only heightened the impact of his symptoms. He experienced dreadful night terrors that would haunt him continuously. Desperate to take control of the situation, Joe recalls wanting to get back to his old self again but knowing the symptom masking medication he was being given was not a long term solution to get better: 

“I felt like I was in a ‘funk’ that I couldn’t get out of. I started numbing myself.” 

Meghan recalls Joe watching the news much more frequently too, and how the negative impact of what he was seeing and hearing was impacting his condition even more. She had also noticed a significant difference in his drinking habits too. 

The Impact of Alcohol

The more Joe drank, the worse the other problems seemed to become. Positive activities in his life, such as going to the gym, were clouded with a desire to drink. Joe recalls a time where he was working out and having a thought and desire to buy alcohol, there and then, something that was completely foregin and alarming to Joe.

Knowing there was a problem, but wanting to approach it with care, Meghan was waiting for an opportune moment to discuss it with Joe, but this never seemed to arrive. She describes how it would breed an argument between the two of them, no matter how hard she tried. Approaching the topic “sideways,” so as not to cause a further confrontation, appeared to be the only solution at times. 

The alcohol on top of the culminating effects of head injuries sustained over Joe’s military career had a negative impact on Joe’s sleeping routine too. He describes how “dead buddies” were visiting him at night, telling him he was not good enough. This deeply affected Joe, but he lived with this torture himself, fighting a battle that he would not talk to anyone about, including Meghan. 

Searching for Veteran Support

Realizing that help was needed, Meghan began to research, and she listened to a Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Mark Gordon & Andrew Marr (Co-Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation) who was describing his symptoms that resonated with her deeply. His discussions mirrored what she had seen in Joe, and she knew this was the hope that she had been searching for. 

Approaching Joe to discuss the potential conditions that could be causing his behavior was always going to be challenging, but with his willing desire, they took the next step of contacting WAF.  

Support and Hope from the Outset

Even from the initial stages, Meghan knew she had discovered the guiding light that could finally provide him with answers, hope and healing. From his opening video conference to the questionnaires, Joe cannot speak highly enough of WAF and the treatment protocol that Dr. Mark Gordon of Millennium Health Centers provides:

“It’s just amazing…”

Joe was given clear guidance, which included routines for morning and night, and a personalized treatment protocol. The focus was now on maintaining the advice that had been given and following the routines that had been created for him as an individual.  

Changes and Revelations

It did not take long for the impact of the personalized treatment protocols to begin showing. It was apparent that the more discussions that took place on the program, the more the answers began to appear. It was revealed that Joe was living with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and this was only determined when completing some routine tests that explored certain elements of Joe’s history. 

With more knowledge came more answers and the impact of Joe’s protocols was beginning to develop a positive trend. Within a month, Joe was already feeling better in himself, and once he had been on the program for eight months he felt back to his “old self.” 

Meghan describes that when Joe was at his worst, he would not talk to anybody, but as the program progressed this all changed. Joe had regained his positivity towards life, including his approach to social aspects. He began to regain his stress coping capabilities and was able to take responsibility again. Summing up the program, Meghan says: 

“It gave him back his vigor and zest for life…”

Healing Your Injuries

If you have heard Joe and Meghan’s amazing story and realized that you, or someone that you know, is suffering the same way, please do not hesitate to get in contact. There are viable healing options for you that could change your life. 

For any further information on how you can help veterans, or if you would just like to get in contact, please email: intake@warriorangelsfoundation.org 

If you would like to donate to Warrior Angels Foundation, please click here

Posted on

Quiet Explosions: Healing The Brain: Special Veterans Day Q&A

Quiet Explosions Screens at The Texas Capitol in honor of Veterans Day 2021 and Makes Immediate Impact on Active Duty Major in the Audience

Austin, TX – Last week at the Texas State Capitol, State Representative Alex Dominguez hosted a screening of the feature documentary film QUIET EXPLOSIONS: Healing the Brain [Watch Trailer] followed by a Live Q&A Panel [Watch]. The cast and crew participating in the panel discussion included EMMY Award-winner JERRI SHER, Jerri’s Husband ALAN SHER, Author ANDREW MARR, Former Army Green Beret and Co-Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation, 9/11 NYC First Responder Sebastian Raspanti, and Dr. Mark Gordon of the Millenium Health Center. The impact of the work can best be summarized by the last question of the night from an audience member, active duty Fort Hood Army Officer Major Joshua Shaver.  Emotional, and overcome by the stories of hope & healing recounted in the film, MAJ Shaver felt compelled to share his own story at the end of the night to offer up just what this film and the work of those involved means to someone suffering and hearing about it for the first time. 

In this post we will explore the following about the screening of Quiet Explosions at the Texas Capitol:

  • Why it is important
  • What exactly in the movie is impacting so many people on so many levels
  • What does it mean for someone struggling to find this information (as captured by comments made from Major Joshua Shaver)
  • Whats next
  • How to get Involved in the movement

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? 

Quiet Explosions was originally set for theatre release just prior to covid last year for a planned premier in Hollywood with Q&A panel set to be moderated by Joe Rogan. Like many films, Quiet Explosions had to cancel the premier and pivot to a “streaming” only release. Over the last 18 months a ground swell behind the film continues to build and is now making its way to the doorstep of legislators, state governments, and military advocate organizations.  These entities have been looking for solutions to combat and implement against the Veteran suisicide epidemic, with much of the causality of these associated deaths coming from mistreatment or mis-diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury or Post traumatic Stress. Billions of dollars in funding has gone to programs, symptom masking medication, and talk therapy that do not properly address the root cause of a head injury, neuro inflammation and trauma.  

Quiet Explosions is helping to shape and reshape the conversation, allocate new funding, and drive new policy for Veterans, Athletes, and Civilian care.  For the first time organizations that have been leading in the New Frontier of brain health, neurorestoration,  and trauma care for the last 5 years like Warrior Angels Foundation, are being consulted to help drive this much needed change. Adam Marr Co Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation recounted just how their own families personally struggle has become the message of hope for so many, 

“from Andrew’s personal struggle, from our personal struggle, from the struggle of everybody that suffers from these symptoms, to the answers that come to the hope and ultimate healing that comes. And out of that came a book (Tales from The Blast Factory). And then out of that, Jerri, came a movie (Quiet Explosions). And out of that movie, Alex, came a bill (HB 1802)… And we are just getting started! We’ve got a lot of work to do, and the mission continues. And so we are just incredibly grateful and humbled to be here with these folks and share this room in this space and infinitely excited for what we collectively can do together.”

WHAT EXACTLY IN THE MOVIE IS IMPACTING SO MANY PEOPLE ON SO MANY LEVELS?

Qualified for OSCAR® Consideration for Best Documentary Feature and Music Score by Omri Lahav. The film is a story of healing and hope. It showcases a cross-section of civilians, athletes, and military members, 10 personal journeys who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury and or Post Traumatic Stress.  The film recounts the similar symptoms they all were experiencing and how that led each of them to the lowest point in their life where suicide seems the only option left to take the pain and suffering away. 

Director Jerri Sher recounted during the Q&A panel about the selection of the cast for the movie, and how to accurately portray the film as representative of just how far and wide the effects are being felt, “regardless of their geography, age, profession, socioeconomic level, all 10 characters in the movie had the exact same symptoms and everyone was susicadal – so it was very important to touch on the whole population.”

Quiet explosions doesn’t leave you hanging and feeling hopeless through these stories but rather continues through each character’s journey while showcasing the pioneering doctors on the new frontier of brain health, neurorestoration, and trauma care like Dr. Mark Gordon, who uses innovative methods to treat this silent illness that affects millions worldwide. Dr. Gordon himself the recipient of multiple head traumas recounted his own path to enlightenment and the eventual medical offering to help others,

 “I had multiple head traumas myself, which led me through a depressive pathway on antidepressants and my escape was with reading and in reading, I came across some articles that encouraged me to look at hormone assessment. I went and had my hormones done and I was deficient in three. Jumping ahead, I was working with NFL retirees and I didn’t really didn’t like that atmosphere and thought that if I was going to apply the science to any group of people, the ones who earned it the most were the military.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR SOMEONE STRUGGLING TO FIND THIS INFORMATION

The impact of this film comes from the interwoven stories told throughout that brings the viewer full circle; from injury, to answers, to hope, to healing, to finding new purpose.  This was made evident by the final statement of the night from Major Joshua Shaver. In his own words here is what he had to share after watching the film;

“…First of all, I want to just validate what all of you are doing by [sharing] my story. I was in Iraq 2020. I’ve been deployed eight times. I’m a conventional [US Army] Infantry officer and prior enlisted,  my wife and I were born and raised in Northeast Texas. We’ve been through the wringer, eight deployments, and my shortest ones were 9 months. My longest one was 15 months, and every day I wake up, I’ve got a TBI,  I’ve got PTS. I’m taking eight pills a day. I take two every morning so I don’t get a headache. 

All the stuff that you all just said up there. I go to bed every night thinking I’m dragging my wife through hell. But then I wake up every morning and I know she’s pushing me through it, and I give her hell every day. I can’t figure out why.

I go to the TBI clinic on Fort Hood. I get seen three times a week. They want to do rapid eye movements where I push a button every time they think of something I’ve been through for therapists. Nobody can figure it out. But what you are doing, thank you, I validate it. I need what you got. And there’s a lot of us out there. The Army’s doing great what they can. They’re being overwhelmed right now, but we need it. I’ve never heard of the stuff Dr. Gordon that I saw today. 

Just by chance, I’m volunteering as an intern for Dr. Brad Buckley, House District 54, and he’s the vice chair of the Defense of Veteran Affairs. I reached out after our son went to West Point and I said, hey, do you need help with the Veteran Affairs committee? He said, get on to Austin, TX right now. So I’ve been with him for about 8 months as I’m transitioning out [of the Army]. Of course, I get your emails and everybody’s. And they said, hey, there’s a movie on [TBI screening at the Texas Capitol in honor of Veterans Day], and I emailed it to my wife. She’s like, hey, we’re going no matter what.

I swear this thank you for what you’re doing. This is exactly what we’re talking about. I’m putting my wife through hell, my son through hell. He’s at West Point trying to do great and I’m bothering him every day. My daughter can’t figure it out. I can’t figure it out. And, yeah, I wanted to kill myself when I came home. That TBI, we got hit, I was in Baghdad when we killed Solomoni. I was in Baghdad when Iran fired back, and we got close to 107 millimeter rockets, and they rocked us. And I ain’t been the same since. 

I didn’t want to do this [tonight]. I just got overwhelmed by emotion and I love what you guys did, thanks. And, brother, I appreciate your sacrifices. And, Sir, God bless you.”

WHATS NEXT

Because of the Work of Jerri Sher, Andrew & Adam Marr, & Dr. Mark Gordon we are hearing more and more stories like this on the impact that their respective work is having on individuals. Andrew and Adam have been huge advocates for helping individuals so they can turn around and help the person behind them.  That night, Major Shaver got real answers for the first time, and hope, and a follow up schedule with Dr. Mark Gordon.  

Major Shaver is now working with his Texas Representative Dr. Brad Buckley, House District 54 and Fort Hood senior leadership to bring a screening of Quiet Explosions to Fort Hood, the largest military base in the Army.  It is amazing to see how the ground swell continues to build.  We can’t wait to see who will be impacted next and the doors that will open to true healing for the people.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

  • Host A Movie Screening Fundraiser – Help make an impact in your community and host a Quiet Explosions screening fundraiser to help raise funds and awareness for someone struggling. Help Warrior Angels foundation provide more support and treatment for these modalities: 

For inquiries contact: adam@warriorangelsfoundation.org 

  • Donate Directly to Warrior Angels Foundation Mission – Which provides answers, hope, and healing that returns proven leaders back to life by delivering brain injury prevention and care through proven nutraceuticals, personalized treatment protocols for U.S. Military Service Members and Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury education, and research for all who are affected. 

Donate Here

  • Have another idea to get involved

contact: adam@warriorangelsfoundation.org 

Posted on

Psychedelic Therapy in Texas – Houston Health Museum Event

Texas HB 1802: Landmark Legislation Passes in Texas, Provides Study for Alternative Psychedelic Therapy for the Treatment of Veteran PTS

In recent years, calls for the use of psychedelic drugs as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress or PTS have been growing louder. In response to this call, Texas House Representative Alex Dominquez the Champion of HB 1802 was able to get this Texas bill passed with almost unanimous bipartisan support in the Texas House of Representative – 87th Legislative Session.

HB 1802 establishes a clinical study by the Health and Human Services Commission in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine in partnership with a Veteran Affairs Medical Center into the safety and efficacy of psilocybin as an alternative therapy for the treatment of veteran PTS. Concurrent with the clinical study, HHSC will complete a literature review on the safety and efficacy of psilocybin, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and ketamine in the treatment of treatment-resistant PTSD, as well as veterans’ access to these therapeutics in the United States. 

Why is HB 1802 Important

From a legislation perspective, HB1802 is a first of its kind. With almost unanimous bipartisan support from the Texas Congress and representatives working across the aisle to approve this bill, Texas will now be the first state to have passed legislation to clinically research the effects of psychedelics on the Veteran population. This research may potentially open up a door for psychedelic therapy to be used in the treatment of other populations in Texas and across the United States.

HB 1802 represents a step forward in understanding how psychedelics can help treat psychiatric disorders, particularly PTS, which is estimated to affect 11-20% of Iraq war veterans [Texas Department of State Health Services]

What Does It Mean For The Future of Veteran Care in the US

Psychedelics can still be taboo for many, but Texas has shown incredible resolve here working with Dr. Lynnette Averill, Ph.D. of the Baylor College of Medicine to ensure that this study is done at a world-class medical facility behind sounds science, dosages, environmental considerations, and patients support mechanisms. 

HB1802 is a historic achievement in Texas for psychedelic research. It’s also an important win to have gained bipartisan support, which further shows the potential of using psychedelics as part of psychiatric treatment plans.

Texas hopes that this research will be the launching pad to open the conversation and finally put the legislative power behind The State of Texas while providing the clinical proof to elevate the conversations to the federal level. The VA and Military Medical systems have been under scrutiny for years for not doing enough to be proactive enough and provide these alternative treatments that have been extremely effective in treating Veterans who unfortunately have to go outside of the United States to legally get access to these medicines.

HB 1802 bipartisan support from across the aisle came from former Texas Governor and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Governor Perry & Representative Dominguez both know the importance of this study as the first step of many as they continue to advocate and fight for Veterans now more than ever with the recent conclusion of wartime activities in Afghanistan.

Who Are The Non-Profits Leading In New Treatments for Veterans

Continuing to lead the way and champion support for Veterans and these effective alternative treatment modalities for Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress are Army Special Forces Veteran Andrew Marr Co-Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation and Navy Seal Marcus Capone & Wife Amber, the Co-Founders of Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions. Andrew & Marcus themselves have been the benefactor of such psychedelic treatments for Traumatic Brain Injury a PTS after multiple combat tours overseas.  Knowing first-hand the effects of war, the current challenges and limitations of available treatments for TBI & PTS, and the power of these psychedelic experiences can have in helping to heal the physical and psychological brain; both Andrew & Marcus along with Amber were instrumental in sharing their story of hope, healing, and perspective on the Texas Congressional Floor.  A message that was well received and pivotal to the passing of this groundbreaking Texas Legislation.

What’s Next

HB 1802 was passed unanimously through both the Texas House and Senate. It’s now been signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott into law, which marks a monumental day in history as being one of the first states in America that will begin establishing clinical research protocols on how psychedelics can help veterans who are suffering from PTS & TBI.

Off the Success of HB 1802, Warrior Angels Foundation is now fundraising for a new clinical study with the University of Texas in Austin and Heroic Hearts Project to focus on the physiological treatment and repair of the brain through psychedelics & neutraceuticals protocols. Nutraceutical protocols help identify inflation and hormonal deficiency in the brain most likely as a result of physical trauma to the brain. A personalized nutraceutical protocol reduces inflammation and restores unbalanced hormone levels. This personalized precision approach helps to address the injury at its root cause and improves irritability, cognitive deficits, depression, insomnia, and anxiety which can manifest months or even years after the initial incident all without the need for opiates and symptom masking pharmaceuticals.

Posted on

TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: Dedicate

If you’re unclear on how to find inspiration and meaning turn to service. In my experience, you can find purpose, meaning, and fulfillment by serving something greater than yourself.

I recently gave a TEDx talk where I spoke about a time that my father unwittingly gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received at one of the lowest points of my life. He said, “Son, I can’t understand everything you’ve been through and I know you’re hurting, but if you could find a way to make your new mission about helping someone else, to attempt to put value in someone else, then I think you’ll find that will help you.”

I’ve found that the reason for living is giving. It’s really that simple. If you’re hurting and not sure what to do or where to turn, start thinking about what you can do for somebody else. From there a life filled with purpose and fulfillment is yours for the making.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons we’re paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. 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.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

Posted on

TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: DETERMINE

It starts by deciding to pursue a life worth living and then figuring out the why behind it. Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” In short when you have something to live for it gives your life meaning, and that makes the sacrifices and vulnerabilities of being human worth it. I’ve found in my life that the how can always be determined if you have a big enough why.

Challenging the status quo can be a daunting task, even more so when you’re navigating through uncharted territory. My why revolved around returning to the man of my pre-injury status. To come off the dozen plus medications I was on to be the husband and father my family needed me to be. After that it was to help others receive the same healing I received through Dr. Mark L Gordon. In Tales From the Blast Factory, we identify the steps to plan, prepare, and perform in the face of a desired outcome and then show how to measure the effectiveness of that plan against a desired outcome.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons were paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now one of the best things in my life, it can be the same for you.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

Posted on

TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: DECIDE

My suffering as it turns out was in large part self-chosen. When confronted with life altering information and circumstances it’s easy to get wrapped up in yourself. For me it was, “I’ve lost my purpose in life and I’ll never be a Special Forces Operator again, my health is failing, I’m being mistreated, and no-one understands me.” If you don’t know what a victim sounds like the previous sentence provides a good example.

I finally realized it was nobody’s job to take responsibility for my life, that was on me and me alone. I decided to take ownership of my life again. It occurred to me that absolutely everything that had ever occurred in my life was a result of my own doing, and if there was something going on in my life that I didn’t like it would be up to me to fix it.

If you want it you have to earn it, plain and simple. That realization is the birthplace of our personal responsibility and there is real liberation to be found in that. The freedom found in taking full ownership of your life is a decision. Life is really about decisions, every decision we make is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to serve, and to love or to do the opposite. If our decisions are not producing the outcomes we desire then it’s time to analyze what we’re doing and why. My transformation and healing sprung out of the decision to commit to live a life worth living again.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons were paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now one of the best things in my life, it can be the same for you.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

Posted on

TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: HOW I QUIT ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO

In 2014 I successfully gave up tobacco, alcohol, and the 13 different medications I was on, FOR GOOD. I was at a functional neurology brain treatment center in Dallas, TX where I was being treated for traumatic brain injuries incurred in combat. I was called out by their medical director at the time and my life has been forever positively altered. The following excerpt is taken from our upcoming book Tales From the Blast Factory.

“The doctor said, “You’re still on the battlefield and there are forces attempting to kill you. The next time you feel like you need a drink, ask yourself, Is this more important than my wife and children? Make up your mind right now. What’s more important: your family or having another drink? If it’s your family, then put the drinking behind you. At your current rate of consumption, it will kill you sooner than anything else. Choose to win the fight today and everyday hereafter.” Right then and there, I made the decision I would not consume another drink. That was in October 2014, and I’ve honored it. I was, and continue to be, grateful for the reckoning.”

I came to realize that the reasons that I had experienced any success in my life came from ability to create goals that were in alignment with my highest ideals. In my experience, a goal became real after a mental price tag was put on it. For me, the price tag always came down to a situation of life or death. Fulfill said task and live or come up short and die.

My job entailed one life or death decision after another. That’s how I handled everything as a Special Forces Operator. We can choose to pay the price and live or accept the fact that we’ve chosen the alternative. I’ve found when it’s life or death there is no alternative. Identify what’s important and then execute.

These types of decisions usually need to be made only once. So, when 5:30 am rolled around I didn’t allow any negative inner dialogue, I got up and went to work. That decision was made way before 5:30 am rolled around. When it came time to train it didn’t matter if I didn’t feel like it, that decision was made long before any feelings of procrastination got in the way. I made the immutable decision to win and to live for something, to contribute and perform to the best of my abilities in the service of others.

That was one of my epiphany moments. Find your why, and then make the pursuit of fulfilling it a life or death scenario. I could continue with tobacco, alcohol, and the meds and leave a legacy of failure and suffering to my children. Instead, I decided to make the changes that I deemed necessary in my life. The flip side of that decision would leave me facing certain death and the destruction of everything I love.

I gave them all up, and as of today I have not allowed those substances any power over me nor will I. It starts with why. You must find and pursue your why as if your life and everything you love depends on it, because it does.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons were paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now one of the best things in my life, it can be the same for you.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

Posted on

How Your Standard of Performance Could Save Your Life

As a Special Forces operator, 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. I wrote my Standard of Performance (SOP) to serve as a guide about how to live, love, contribute, and perform to the very best of my abilities—to make and be the difference. My combat experiences mandated that I’d default to my most basic level of training when confronted with issues of life and death. My SOP would serve as a blueprint for the difficult questions.

Below is my Standard of Performance. When I wrote it, I had no idea it would save my life. Do you have a Standard of Performance for your life? Are you living your legacy? If not, take the time to sit down and write out the things that are most important to you. This will give you a blueprint for living your best life. When the difficult questions of life are suddenly thrust upon you simply return to your ready-made answers and execute.

My Standard of Performance

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same . . .”

—Rudyard Kipling, “If”

The real measure of life is how the race is run. Triumph and disaster are only by- products. To run the best race, one must cultivate a process in which a laser-sharp focus results in the capacity to plan, prepare, and perform to the best of one’s abilities. 

British philosopher and author James Allen wrote, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” Whether you believe that you can or that you can’t, you’re right. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control what you will feel and do about what happens, and so, in one way or another, you can shape your circumstances.

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl said that our primary motivation in this life is our personal search for meaning. His experience as an inmate of a concentration camp was the catalyst for his discovery of meaning in all forms of existence— even the most horrific. History reveals the presence of a relentless search for meaning amidst great tragedy, suffering, genocide, and more. A conscious effort to perform at one’s best in all things at all times in the pursuit of meaning yields unlimited opportunity and fulfillment.

Furthermore, I believe purpose and fulfillment are ultimately realized through love and how we give to others. In this way, placing others’ needs ahead of our own in consistent acts of selflessness provides for the kind of meaning and success we can only begin to imagine. When things become hopeless, and even when they are not, find a way to make what you do about somebody else.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons were paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now one of the best things in my life, it can be the same for you.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

Posted on

Lessons Paid for In Blood: Sacrifice

 INSTALLMENT 1: SACRIFICE

My wife, Becky, was six months pregnant with our first son (fourth child) when I left 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 down to 8 in the blink of an eye.

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 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.

Life constantly presents us with choices. It’s the space between circumstance and response where our battles are won and lost. 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.

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.

More details appear in TALES FROM THE BLAST FACTORY: A Brain Injured Special Forces Green Beret’s Journey Back From The Brink. These lessons were paid for in blood, it is my honor to give them to you. What I once thought was the worst thing in my life is now one of the best things in my life, it can be the same for you.

De Oppresso Liber,
Andrew Marr, MBA
Chairman & Co-Founder | Warrior Angels Foundation
Author | Tales From the Blast Factory
TEDx Speaker | Defined by Action
Film  | Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain