With deep sorrow, saying farewell to the editor of Powerful Peace

Two Robs on a happier day

Two Robs on a happier day

I’ve been distracted recently, and here’s why. I want to introduce you to one of those special people who make the world a better place for all of us. Although Rob G (as compared to the beardless author “Rob D” in this old pic) is no longer with us, his legacy will last a long time.

I wrote a pen and ink notecard to Rob Grogan nearly a decade ago, telling him how nice it was to experience his “Front Porch” magazine and its pleasant stories of real, nice people in a real, nice town. He was apparently surprised to receive a message that didn’t rely on electricity for its delivery, and wrote back. We picked up a conversation that ended with our final chat just over a week ago, when on his enclosed front porch we sipped our favorite espresso drinks from this very same shop in that very same town.

When we first met, Rob asked me to write a piece on some of the good things I told him about having seen in some bad places from my lifetime at war; moms and dads, babies, celebrations, kindness and generosity…you know—life. As I headed off to a year in Iraq I faithfully kept those stories coming for each monthly issue, then continued them with work in Afghanistan and other locales. (To be perfectly honest, I didn’t always make deadline, but I did always make the issue.)

That column ran for more than two years. We called it “For Goodness’ Sake” because it was about exactly that—human goodness. Some of those stories made their way into your copy of Powerful Peace. In fact, you can read some of Rob’s own words in the final paragraphs of Chapter 35, if you have it close at hand.

Rob was writing about having been in Russia, and that’s the same trip from which he and Virginia first brought home their beautiful baby princess, Lexi. Rob always bragged about Lexi’s accomplishments: in gymnastics, in her resourcefulness in starting a little business while just a teenager, and on and on. When now-grown-up Lexi, Rob and I sat down over coffee a couple weeks ago, he excitedly told me, “I’m going to be a grandpa in May!” We really believed he would be there when baby comes. In fact, I’m still sure he will be.

Rob is a man’s man in the way that this old SEAL admires a “real man.” He didn’t have big muscles, or tell everybody what to do—those are things I don’t give a shit about. He just cherished his wife and child, offered kind words in abundance, questioned how and where we could do better for society at large, and made people feel cared about whether he was setting copy or pulling a tap at the local bistro on his weekly service night.

My friend Rob Grogan succumbed to a long-lasting, tortuous cancer a few days ago. I don’t cry very often, but I’m crying today as I try to process this. He was in genuine agony for long stretches of the illness…yet he remained positive and encouraging even when those around him lost courage from time to time. And as I headed back out into that stiff winter wind, and crunched across the snow to my car after our visit, I was happy and buoyed up by a spirit that would not be—could not be—has not been—repressed.

So that’s my story of Rob Grogan, a great man, in a brief essay. But there is one other thing I want to tell you about. Rob’s ordeal was incomprehensibly expensive, especially for a self-employed magazine editor in a small town…whose grandchild is due in just a couple months. They’ve been struggling with so much for so long.

I invite anyone who wants to help Rob’s family, no matter how small the amount: click in to www.SEALofPeace.com and pick “Donate” at the top button bar. We’re having a memorial service on March 16, and every single penny that comes in beforehand will go to helping Virginia and Lexi manage those ordinary financial pains that will inevitably come along with their extraordinary grief.

Finally: if you choose to contribute, please make sure you include your name and phone number with the donation. I want to call every, single donor to thank you personally.

Participate in the full first session of Greatening right here and now!

Our first of four “Greatening” online seminar series sessions was a hit. We had dozens of people committed to digging deeper into their capacity as humans, and peeling off limitations. We still have three weeks to go, and I am very excited about the decision the SEAL of Peace team made to share everything from Week 1!

That’s “everything” as in everything: the full recorded seminar I ran live, the pre-reading materials our participants received beforehand, and even the actual course materials on “Body” that I walked the class through during the event this week. So if you want to print out the documents and spin the tape at home, you can literally do the entire session and see what you missed.

Coolest of all, when this turns you on enough to want to jump in and complete the course with everyone already doing it, you can click over to our seminar site at www.GREATENING.org and still register. It even has a big discount because the first session is past!

Here’s the link to the recording. Drop us an email at INFO@SEALofPeace.com if you want to have the materials sent to you right away.

Choose to live up to your Greatness

Last month a bunch of friends/clients and I enjoyed walking through the “Safening” program together—to establish full-spectrum personal security assurance. Now I’m very happy to be sharing the next-level SEAL of Peace experience: “Greatening.”

Greatening was developed in response to the feedback from many Powerful Peace readers that they wished there were some way to exercise the book’s concepts in practical terms. I realized we could walk through the four aspects (Body, Mind, Heart and Soul) over a series of four online seminars like we did with Safening, and people are now signing up to take charge of their personalized development.

Go to Greatening.org to read more about this first-ever opportunity. While you’re there, notice that we’re even looking farther ahead for the next cool thing—Greatening takes place over four Tuesday evenings in February…and come March we’re raising the bar once again with “Teampowering!”

The SEAL of Peace surge is well underway. Reach out and let us know what else you want to see! We’re building what you demand.

Sign up now: Greatening.org

Putting this Congressional concept in context

A strong contender for Worst Sermon Choice Ever happened one Mother’s Day many years ago, when our preacher spoke on the evils of male infidelity…Cindy was pissed! All the ladies got hugs and roses at the front door. Then we heard this tragically mistimed lecture on a topic that stirred up old wounds for some women, and instilled fear and mistrust in all the others.

Why the hell do I even mention this? Because cutting deeply into the promised lifelong medical benefits for tens of thousands of disabled veterans, precisely in the ending days of two bloody wars that crippled them, would be even more outrageous.

It would be morally reprehensible, and I have always before thought that my government was better than that.

Crazy Time: Possible Congressional action could degrade disabled combat veterans’ access to health care

Veterans and U.S. military supporters, heed!

The Powerful Peace Blog has for years been a place for nice stories about healthy human interactions and the occasional condemnation of toxic behavior (Westboro Baptist “Church”) and philosophies (global jihad). But things are going to change abruptly now, as I and SEAL of Peace Consulting have gone through a transformation of our own in recent months…and I will no longer distribute my energies over a wide range of interests. I’m going to focus on areas that need real attention—like this one:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has some disturbing findings and a de facto proposal that would harm combat veterans and many other young military retirees. This study was requested by Representative Paul Ryan and proposes that “working age veterans” be barred from eligibility to TRICARE Prime, in addition to further constraints to medical insurance that was assured to each of these service members when they were asked to sign the “blank check” up to and including their lives.

I almost never comment on these issues but this one has the potential to harm hundreds of thousands of those citizens who have risked the most for our country’s security. In fact there are thousands more who WOULD be affected, but they are already dead…having been killed answering the same Congress’ plea to defend the nation.

Let me ask one exquisitely important question: who comprises by far the greatest number of disabled retirees of “working age?” Oh, that’s right…the hundreds of thousands of new or pending young combat veterans who had been in the service a few years before the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By the way, we older vets have far fewer amputations, cases of blindness, major body burns, explosive tissue damage and PTSD / Traumatic Brain Injury than the thousands of young wounded warriors who have defended this very same Congress…which now proposes to cut the heroes free.

The most disgusting phrase is this:

“…would reduce DoD’s spending significantly, primarily by encouraging people to leave TRICARE [promised benefits lost] in favor of other providers [the same expensive services available to everyone who never stepped in front of bullets and bombs].

*** Pay very, very, very close attention to this final quote: ***

“It also would encourage those who continued to participate in TRICARE to use fewer services.”

*** In other words, disabled veteran military retirees, we your “leaders” will discourage you with penalties for using all the medical services that are appropriate for you. We seek to make it PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE for you to get all the medical services you need……because we can’t pull our heads out of our asses to find non-harmful ways to balance the budget we ourselves destroyed. ***

READ THE STORY HERE:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/01/21/cbo-studies-removing-retirees-from-tricare-prime.html

Minimalist Reconstruction

New year…new everything.

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I’m stripping off all the old layers of Powerful Peace. Many of these icons have been with me and us for a very long time, and they have served honorably.

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But now SEAL of Peace has sprung forth from Powerful Peace, and everything is going to be cleaner, and leaner, and quicker, and sharper.

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Watch this space as we improve

We’re picking up steam; hop aboard!

If you’ve been looking forward to the Greatening and Teampowering online seminar series, I have awesome news: the agenda is 95% set–thanks to your input!

We’ll run Greatening, for radical personal development along Powerful Peace principles, on four nights in February (probably Thursdays) at 8:00 EST. That way the most people will be able to participate even out to the West Coast.

With the first week of March, you and your team can extend the same concepts to our aggressive four-week Teampowering workshop!

Watch this space for sign-up information soon. And get in early, because there’s going to be a substantial incentive for initial registrants! We want to fill it up quick to give all participants a chance to dive into their pre-work before kickoff.