Former U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell and Outlaw Platoon author recently stopped in the Charlotte area as an ambassador with the Boot Campaign.
In writing the book with John Bruning, Parnell relives the experiences of being commander over the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. The writing process proved to be a powerful catalyst in unearthing his war trauma and personal healing.
(Read more about Outlaw Platoon.)
Travels with the Boot Campaign and other speaking engagements gives Parnell the opportunity to talk to America. To the veteran he says, “Don’t let war trauma destroy you from the inside out.” His message to civilians: “America needs to own these wars.”
Boot Campaign Ambassador
It’s a way to usher in a new era of patriotism by buying a pair of boots. Sean Parnell
The Boot Campaign started as a grass-roots initiative by five Texas gals and has grown exponentially.
Here’s the concept. Buy the officially-branded Give Back Boot for $130, and $25 of that will be given to a partnering veteran charity:
- Marine Recovery Fund — administered by the Boot Campaign
- Lone Survivor Foundation
- Military Warriors
- Wounded Wear
- Not Alone
- Special Ops Survivors
- Armed Forces Foundation
Celebrity supporters, like actors, musicians, business professionals, politicians, athletes and even NASCAR drivers, are putting their boots on for awareness and support for our troops. In fact, Parnell was in the Charlotte area for a photo shoot with Ray Evernham — racer, NASCAR crew chief, car owner and businessman. Evernham’s photo will be released shortly.
America Needs To Do More
It’s not just the VA, American society needs to be there when they (troops) come back. Sean Parnell
Day one of combat experience changed his life forever:
We were targeted by enemy fire. A rocket overshot our position and landed in a playground in the midst of children. The girl I picked up died on route to our base. That moment, part of me died, too.
The 485-day combat deployment for the 10th Mountain Division goes on record as being the longest, dating back to World War II.
Parnell credits the brotherhood and love, leaning on each other to make it through.
When he returned stateside and started talking about his war experiences, he found it made those around him uncomfortable. “I could see it was hurting them — those stories can be depressing.” Yet, he knew if he locked it away inside, it would destroy him from the inside out. “Ultimately, that’s why I came to write the book — part of why I joined with the Boot Campaign.”
Parnell speaks to veterans, colleges and universities, rallies and corporate functions underlining and emphasizing America’s role in helping the returning troops.
The burden of war rests with the American society; those that don’t fight need to bear the burden and help. Sean Parnell
Parnell adamantly conveys his message. “I don’t think Americans do a good job at sitting down and listening. Civilians need to make an effort. The burden rests with the society that sends them.”
The social component is “huge” in unearthing combat trauma and initiating healing. Parnell says veterans need to tell their story unflinching, and American society needs to listen.
Here’s a tangible way to give back to our troops. Go here to get your boots on!