Preface: The Warrior Within
War is not the primary theme of this book, but it was the catalyst for everything that came after in my life. The war chapters were not included to evoke excitement about warfare and killing. Rather, my telling a few “war stories” lets you know that I really do know what I am talking about—they put war in the context of something very significant in my young life.
War permanently shifted me toward reaching for a higher understanding of myself and life. The values I learned as a Marine directed my search for the common spiritual thread that we all share.
The warrior ethos has formed the core of my life and character during the 45-plus years that followed my service in Vietnam. Being a warrior does not mean only that you go to war and kill—it also has the much deeper connotations of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. These qualities define the warrior, whose calling is much more than “combat.” It’s a way of interacting with the world.
A warrior is one who overcomes obstacles or adversity to achieve an objective, a mission. It does not matter what the mission might be.
Being a true warrior is the willingness to do what you know is right and standing true regardless of the views of others. A warrior is committed to something or someone beyond self, to a greater good than one’s own comforts or discomforts.
By this definition, the founding fathers of the United States of America were true warriors in the most perfect sense. They dedicated their lives—their positions, money, and sacred honor—to forging a nation that would stand the test of time and be a beacon of freedom to the world. I do not attempt to put myself in their league, but to the best of my ability, I have tried to live up to the principles of a true warrior.
The search for answers to the fundamental questions―Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?―I call the journey home. It has taken me through the horrors of war and around the world through many cultures and religions. We are all warriors traveling home, growing beyond the confines of our limiting concepts. Read the words within the pages of this book with an open mind and heart, but test everything in the crucible of your own life and experience. What works for you, keep. What does not work for you, discard. It is my sincere hope that Warrior’s Song: The Journey Home will shine some light on your journey.