How To Turn Your Group [A political group, a PAC, a 501C3 non-profit, a Neighborhood Watch, a Militia, or any other group] into a SEAL Team For Your Particular Kind of Mission.
Qualifier: If, after you read this, this needs to be spelled-out for you, do not bother with any of it. Just keep doing what you are doing. This is a story. An analogy. All of the names and circumstances have been changed to protect the guilty.
"My friend" Perry.
Perry was so good at what he did, he was ordered to go on a "mission" to make sure the mission went the way it was supposed to go. The year was 1971, and the cold war was hot. The hot war was sizzling. A unit of 20 men was put together to deliver a piece of equipment into hostile territory so that vital intelligence could be collected.
Twenty commandos, including the best special-ops types from the spook agencies, and other assorted elements, were chosen for this operation. The team went into a zone behind enemy lines that was infested with a battalion of the enemy, and they almost made it back undetected, but they maneuvered themselves right into an enemy camp and their cover was blown. After a severe battle and a severe beating they were extracted and all of them made it back, including Perry.
Perry was a basket case after that. He was not a trained commando. He was a technician. But he was an excellent technician and the only one that knew how to get into that area and out of the area, and the only one that could ensure that the equipment was placed where it was supposed to be. But he was not a trained commando.
It was a chore to watch him light a cigarette. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought he had a very bad case of delerium tremens (withdrawal symptoms from addiction to alcohol): "the shakes."
He would wake up screaming every night, in a cold sweat, terrified and crying.
And yet he did not complain. In fact, when asked to go on another similar mission, he volunteered. They wanted him because he was very good at what he did. And he did not refuse.
After the third such mission, he confided that he had had enough of being terrified all the time. He told me he "hired" two Koreans to train him in close-order combat. After his training he said they had not trained him in self defense or Karate. He said he didn't know what it was called, but that "the training" gave him everything he needed to escape if he were captured. He said he was thereafter trained in how to kill his way out of captivity and turn the enemy's weapons into his personal arsenal, and bring back a ton of intelligence on top of that.
"Sounds outrageous, doesn't it?" he asked me.
He stuck out his hand. It was not shaking.
He said, he had dreaded every mission before that and had always been, not just scared, but terrified, and being terrified never stopped; until after he received that training.
He continued to do missions after that, and at least outwardly he seemed calm; sometimes too calm, so I asked him how it was that he had achieved that.
He said that toward the end of his training, which had taken an intensive three weeks, which he had done while on leave on his own time, with his two mentors, something "happened." He said he had transformed himself from being terrified to being eager to go on a mission. He couldn't wait for another mission. Then he had an earth shattering realization.
Yes, he was trained. They trained him within an inch of his Life. But he said something else happened. He had changed his mind. He now knew he could kill (fight) his way out of any situation, anywhere, anytime. He said one of his mentors heard him exclaim that, and then "graduated" him from his training.
"Yes I could fight my way out of anything," he said. "But even with all that training, if I had not acquired that mental attitude that I could do so, the hand-to-hand, and the 'techniques' they taught me would have been no good to me at all. It was all in my head," he said.
He still woke up screaming and in a cold sweat sometimes. But that's only because he forgets to leave a night light on when he goes to bed. "Don't ask me why that is," he told me.
So I didn't.