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Ex-Green Beret reveals how he saved his own life with play set to be staged in NYC

WASHINGTON, DC – Former Green Beret Scott Mann knows how to tell a war story – in fact, that skill saved his life.

The 23-year-old Army veteran returned from Afghanistan in 2013 and quickly found himself in a “spiral,” lost without the daily adrenaline rush of special forces work with Afghan villagers and consumed by guilt for being left behind by the United States.

“It was kind of like living in purgatory where I felt like I didn’t want to live and I couldn’t die,” the Florida father recently told The Post.

Former Green Beret Scott Mann returned home from Afghanistan in 2013. The 23-year Army veteran struggled to readjust to life upon returning home. The Heroes’ Journey
He wrote a play aimed at comforting veterans suffering the consequences of the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Heroes’ Journey

This feeling of deep despondency came to a head 18 months later, when Mann’s young son discovered him crouching alone in a closet with a gun in his hand – about to do the unthinkable.

“If it wasn’t for my son coming home from school at that time, I don’t think I would be here,” Mann said.

The former soldier realized he had to find a way to deal with all his experiences if he wanted to re-enter suburban civilian life. It was then that he discovered his creative voice and wrote a play aimed at comforting veterans suffering from the fallout of the chaotic and deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as helping families who love them.

“Last Out,” presented Tuesday at the St. George Theater in Staten Island for a one-night performance, tells the story of the heartbreak and healing veterans face as they return from war, often feeling alone and detached from others.

“In the years since I separated from the military, I found it extremely difficult to know my purpose and passion in life. I slowly disconnected from the outside world,” Mann said. “I also discovered that many civilians had no idea what it meant to serve in modern warfare.

The play, “Last Out,” comes to Staten Island’s St. George Theater for a one-night run Tuesday. The Heroes’ Journey

“It wasn’t until I started telling my story that I finally started to see light and hope,” he said.

The play follows fictional Green Beret Danny Patton as he ascends to Valhalla, the Norse mythological afterlife of slain warrior heroes, after being mortally wounded. The character – based on an amalgamation of three Team Mann sergeants lost during the war – remains “stuck”, unable to move forward until he is visited by a number of important people in his life, including a friend killed in the September 11 attacks. on the Pentagon.

“(People) guide Danny through his life, from joining Special Forces, 9/11, getting married and having a child, and deployment after deployment after deployment, until he finally understands what he’s holding on to and lets go — but not before the audience takes the whole ride,” Mann said. “This is an immersive experiential exposure to modern warfare, both on the battlefield and on the home front.”

The show has had several performances over the years with a cast of veterans and military family members. But after the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 left thousands of Afghan allies stranded under Taliban rule, the article took on new meaning.

“The focus now was on healing the moral wounds of war and helping our veterans, military families and Gold Stars recognize that what they did was worth it” , did he declare.

Mann used the play to help him cope with his mental health. The Heroes’ Journey

As Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, 2021, thousands of veterans from the previous 20 years of war began to experience emotional reactions as they saw so much of what they fought for crumble and so much allies left behind in America’s hasty evacuation mission. .

Mann got to work and created the volunteer group “Task Force Pineapple,” which brought together around 50 U.S. veterans to organize the rescue of more than 1,000 Afghan allies between August 15 and 30, 2021.

Today, Mann’s work continues, bringing “Last Out” to a new audience in New York. Tuesday’s performance is sponsored by the Tunnels to Towers Foundation, which honors 9/11 first responders and Gold Star families, or loved ones of service members killed, in the wars following the terrorist attack.

“We are honored to present “Last Out” in New York, a powerful portrait of sacrifice and
bravery of our service members and their families,” Frank Siller, president and CEO of Tunnel to Towers, said in a statement. “This show is not just a play; it is a tribute to our nation’s unspoken heroes – the spouses, children and comrades of those who serve.

“Last Out” will be staged Tuesday in Staten Island. The Heroes’ Journey

Siller, whose firefighter brother Steven Siller died on Sept. 11 while helping save others, said he hopes the play will inspire difficult but necessary conversations about grief, sacrifice and the many lasting costs of war.

“This coin honors the unwavering courage and sacrifice of our service members and their families,” he told the Post. “‘Last Out’ highlights these sacrifices and will hopefully give our Gold Star families a new way to talk about the service and sacrifices of their loved ones.” »

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to 988.

New York Post

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