“I thought it was just another “Hug Me” Event…”
We wrapped up our 15th Legacy Program of 2018 on July 20th at beautiful SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel, California. As the eighteen first-time attendees trickled in on that Monday, the leadership team for the week began to notice right away an air of anticipation. Sure, the Warriors were like so many that came before them: angry, bitter, weary, broken, nervous, and even scared; but they, as a group, also had a collective hunger to find answers, to find Truth.
This hunger became evident as soon as we kicked off the Program as each Instructor that presented noticed 18 pairs of eyes staring intently back at him. You see, it’s not unusual at all for a Warrior or two or more to stare off in space, lost in thought contemplating his life or whatever during instruction. But not this group. We had their undivided attention for every event. And as the lessons unfolded and the concepts were applied to individual lives in breakout sessions, emotions ran high. New friendships forged quickly and determination to make necessary changes became infectious.
God’s hand on this week was apparent to everyone. It was shared by one Warrior how a “chance” encounter with a MOWP alumnus during a moment of crisis led to the Warrior signing up for Legacy Program. And that alumnus said that if you get a chance to meet a Team Leader named Victor to talk to him because he’s a good guy. Well, the Warrior not only had the opportunity to meet Victor, providence placed him on Victor’s team for the week! Several other Warriors quickly found personal connections from their days of service. As we always tell them: It’s no accident or coincidence that each and every one of you are here. It’s no accident which team leaders are here. God planned this all along.
During testimony time, as the Warriors unloaded their ruck sacks of all the extra emotional weight they’ve carried with them for so long, several of them expressed how Legacy Program was not at all what they had expected. One said he thought it was going to be another one of those “Hug Me” events. Instead, he was challenged and stretched further than ever before. They all learned what we mean when we tell them we aren’t a “Hug-a-Vet” program, we are a “Poke-a-Vet-in-the-Chest” program. In other words, we don’t tell you what you want to hear; we tell you what you need to hear. We are about healing over feeling. We are about showing you a better way to live. We demonstrate how to live the life you were created to live: Authentic Manhood.