Open Letter to Michael Yon

Dear Michael,

We’ve been through a lot over the past few years. There was a time when we were on the same side of the fence trying to accomplish the same mission – telling the military story. At some point, our courses diverged. I’m not going to get into my opinions about where that split occurred. I don’t think it’s important.

For the longest time I’ve loathed you to the core. I’ve carried a lot of resentment about your writing. I’ve been concerned with what I perceived to be your lack of judgment in publishing certain information.

However, the past few days have convinced me that you may not be the problem. It’s your mind. I’m worried about you and I mean that with every ounce of sincerity. From where I stand, you seem to be falling apart and chasing ghosts. You lash out at people for no reason – or for invented reasons. You see threats where none exist. I recognize those demons and I want to bury the hatchet and reach out to you.

I know you don’t trust me, so I’m not asking for a personal meeting, but I’d like to speak with you over the phone, Skype, whatever to end whatever animosity we both have towards each other understanding that my animosity towards you has never been and will never be based around violence of any sort.

I’ve been where I think you are. I’ve felt like the world was crashing down around me and the everyone else was the enemy. What I found out was that I was my own worst enemy. I was ruining everything around me, including my marriage. I lost sight of my purpose in life, in the military, in my marriage, and as a father. I distanced myself from everyone that cared about and created a Kevlar cocoon to isolate me from pain, disappointment, and failure.

You need to take a break. I was blessed that God never answered my prayers to deploy again until I was ready. I’ve tried for years to deploy and something always happened that prevented it from happening, whether a change in mission, laws, or family issues that would pop up at the worst moment. I have learned to recognize that God had a hand in that and provided me the time and insight I needed to fix myself. I went through hell to get where I am today but I’m confident that I’m in the best mental shape of my life – well, almost. I guess I’ll never be back to 100%.

Please stop your attacks on me and my fellow troops. Just please go somewhere where you can sit down and recognize what so many of us are starting to see. Please don’t think that I’m speaking in a condescending tone or that I’m somehow making fun out of this – any of you. I mean this sincerely. As much as I despise what you are, I can’t sit back and let you continue to self-destruct without trying to help. I recognize I haven’t been the most peaceful or Christ-like person when it comes to you and I’m changing that RIGHT NOW.

What you are doing to those 4-4 Soldiers is despicable and it has to stop. If me being the one to back off and admit defeat stops it, so be it. I cannot stand back and let your hatred of me effect other deployed Soldiers.

Again, this is a sincere plea to you. Go home. Get some rest. Gather your thoughts. I can put you in contact with some GREAT people who help people like you and me get through the pain. If you’d like to call me on the local phone, my number is 079-686-9299. I’m serious. Call me and let’s end this animosity. Let’s find common ground. But, I’m only going to meet you half way. I you don’t make concessions, this will never work.

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