As a veteran, you may think you can’t trust others, feel guilty about what you did in war, feel a loss of meaning and control, or think you can’t escape the PTS symptoms you experience. You may look at your family and feel a strong desire to love them, yet feel disconnected from them. You may feel unsure how to reconnect and show your love for them again. Jonathan Shay, in his book Achilles in Vietnam, said: “Time does not heal all wounds.” This is probably true. Yet, there are things we can do with the time we have to heal wounds as much as possible. Others can help guide that process. My name is Arno Ilgner, a rock climber, veteran, and Army Ranger. I had a tour of duty leading a platoon while patrolling on the Korean DMZ back in the late 1970s. As an officer, I was expected to commit to making the military a career. I never intended to do that; I now know why. All the chapters of my life brought me to you, to build a mental training program using rock climbing, my military experience, and the rest of my life experiences to teach the warrior mindset. I started developing The Warrior’s Way ® mental training program in the mid-1990s. In the last 25 years, I’ve published two books on the training program and taught thousands of students across the globe. It’s been a long learning journey, but learning anything well takes time. For a while now, I’ve been looking for a veterans’ organization that understood the value of our programs. I’ve found such an organization: Mission 22. In 2018, Magnus Johnson, a fellow veteran, climber, and Army Green Beret reached out to me. We investigated working together and have now developed this program for veterans. We’re excited to serve you and your family through our joint partnership. Time does not heal all wounds, but Mission 22 and The Warrior’s Way can give you the experiences and practical tools to help you and your family heal. Climbing is a unique medium for revealing our mindset, which determines what we believe about the world. With an effective coach, climbing teaches practical tools for turning ineffective mindsets into strengths. Through this program, you’ll experience the lessons climbing provides and translate the lessons into living the warrior mindset in civilian life. Programs are available across the US. Come yourself or with family members, to learn, challenge yourself, and have fun.
The DetailsWho is Honoring Our Warrior Spirit course for? Combat veterans and their families who are able to walk to crags and participate in rock climbing. Course Structure: The general structure consists of two 8-hour days of rock climbing, with the first day in a climbing gym and the second day outdoors, although this structure may vary from location to location.
- Day 1: Get familiar with rock climbing and The Warrior’s Way material in a climbing gym. Learn skills for climbing and belaying to keep you safe as you engage the climbing experience.
- Day 2: Go outdoors to apply everything you learned in a beautiful and challenging setting.
- Evenings: Some program locations provide lodging so the whole team can stay together. Evenings provide time to reflect and discuss what you experienced. Together we’ll investigate what it means to have a warrior mindset in civilian life, how to create meaningful experiences, and how to develop a relationship that builds resilient families.
- The Warrior’s Way: Arno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mission 22: Devan Walsh (email@example.com)
“We should care about how soldiers are trained, equipped, led, and welcomed home when they return from war.” —Jonathan Shay (Achilles in Vietnam)
“Are there helmets or flak jackets for the soul and for the character?” —Jonathan Shay (Odysseus in America)