A couple guys I have just barely gotten to know are Dwayne MacDougal and Derek Anaquod. They are two of the force behind The W.O.L.F. Academy presently running a 5 day retreat that teaches soldiers a proven set of principles to take back control in their lives. These guys are fiercely following the leave no soldier behind principle. Much of what these men echo in conversation could easily have been my own words verbatim on peer supported healing and the need for a comprehensive approach to retraining. In their own words “We process the student’s result in these challenges and the student learns to create a new ‘Way Of Life Forever’ or W.O.L.F. They will come out of The W.O.L.F. Academy with the means to set goals and achieve them using the following principles: IDENTITY, STRUCTURE, DISCIPLINE, CHALLENGE and PACK.” It’s also very reminiscent of ex NHLer Doug Smith’s The Trauma Code and his 10 principles. I’m a big fan of Doug’s and I am proud to list him as a friend and mentor. For these two men to enter into a conversation which had already been initiated between 4 other Not For Profit’s and present themselves completely in line and in tune with the conversation and beliefs is no small feat.
They tell me their Academy instructors have gone through major hardships in their lives and have all found different methods to overcome their personal issues. They utilize their experience, knowledge, motivation, training and fundamentals to help guide others into becoming people that are focused, productive, confident and disciplined. I know exactly what this means, it is what I myself had to do to “recover”. My entire day, as I have mentioned in previous articles, is a set of disciplines from; diet, routines and even physical disciplines. Doug calls it performance driven; we old school military guys call it drive. I still picture my old Company Sargent Major (CSM) St Jacque at times when I get out of bed in the morning (even though I no longer shave daily) standing with an expectation of morning inspection. My morning routine does not and cannot happen without my being motivated to advance my broken brain. This mental picture forces me to do the essentials so I may continue to move forward.
Even here Dwayne and Derek’s words echo my own experience, “We develop complex training exercises that challenge soldiers to grow their minds mentally and train their body physically upon completion of the Academy”. Better yet is their understanding that we (the recovering and partly recovered) need to stay involved in the lives of our brothers and sisters by bringing challenges and training to them. How else can we expect someone in crisis and trauma to focus if we are not ready to meet them where they are? It is W.O.L.F.’s stated objective that through patience, leadership and guidance, their goal is to make every student part of the PACK for years to come and to one day see these changed soldiers take much larger roles within W.O.L.F. and in their overall lives.
From the very first time my brother Michael and I spoke about the concept of Veterans House this very idea was the core belief, as it was with Rally Point, Warrior’s Landing and Professional Insights/Muscle lines. Those that have received healing must be enabled to help others to heal. Failure to do this will cripple the healing process and limit the full extent of recovery. I believe this is the core belief of our group. And again I state openly that as astonished as I am that we (all traveling different rivers) find ourselves intertwined in such harmony, I am equally unsurprised. With such similarities of trauma, background and experiences, we all know at our core that instinctively these beliefs and activities must be nurtured and explored in order for any of our kind to recover from the trauma we have been exposed to.