Our Stories


Watch our warrior storytellers in action. The stories below are glimpses into the experiences of our skilled coaches. Discover how you can turn your own journey into a powerful narrative to share in service of others.


Ret. Lt. Col. Scott Mann

“I’ve experienced trauma as a former Green Beret and combat veteran. I went through my own struggle with depression and transition challenges. In fact, I almost took my own life six years ago. After two decades of service I came home to a world I didn’t recognize, inhabited by people who didn’t seem to know the first thing about me. When I reached the lowest point in my struggles with transition, I turned to written story as a form of therapy. I realized that although the story was mine, I was talking about the frustrations of hundreds of thousands of transitioning military members. I found story as a way to close those transition gaps and help heal the wounds of war.”


Eric Hodgdon

“As an element of the human condition, we will experience loss regardless of our income, social status, or educational background. But, what happens when the loss is a loved one? Where do we start our journey back to living life? In this compelling talk, Eric Hodgdon shares why survival is keeping us from living and what it takes to get up after life’s biggest losses.”


Holly Higgins

Holly Higgins is a Gold Star Mom whose son, Danny, was killed in Afghanistan. Holly completed The Heroes Journey storytelling workshop series, and now serves as a coach. She speaks at events across the country, sharing her journey to healing and peace.

“When my son was killed in Afghanistan, my greatest fear was that my beautiful boy would be forgotten. I wanted to make sure that everyone who knew him and those who never had that privilege to, would learn about a very special young man who was willing to and ultimately did, die for his country. Somehow, I intrinsically knew that stories were crucial to my healing. However, at the time, I didn’t have any framework or scientific explanation for this. It just made sense to my broken heart.

Nine years into my journey with grief, I met Lt. Col. (Ret) Scott Mann. I had received an invitation to Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret and went to the play. That play opened the flood gates for me. It validated all my pain; it brought a comfort to my broken heart that there are no words to describe. And it encouraged me to continue with storytelling.

The storytelling workshops put on by The Heroes Journey taught me how storytelling heals the brain and the heart. The workshops gave me the framework, the scientific explanation, and the tools to help find purpose, meaning, healing and hope again.

One of the greatest and most important keys to how this amazing tool works, is that it is in service to others. That concept is made clear in the title of the first level Warrior Storytelling Workshop: The Generosity of Scars. Once you understand that by sharing your scars through storytelling, you can help others heal their wounds, you are on your way to the most amazing, purposeful, healing journey imaginable.”


Chris Vetzel

“As I worked through my story of hitting the massive IED, I felt years of suppressed trauma start to unwind. I found that not only did sharing my scars help me work through my own pain, but it helped the people who were listening as well. Learning to share my stories in the service of others was a major turning point in my recovery. It gave me my life back. Now, I teach other veterans and their families the amazing power of storytelling. I no longer feel like I have to be a warrior or suffer in silence. I finally get to be myself.”