In Your Voice Student Productions

One Word, Again

By Mike Howell

I’m not sure how Warren’s evil twin comes up with these assignments, but I wish he’d do something easy like how to achieve world peace. I’ve not been in the group long enough to know who I’ve missed. I get to enjoy the company of mostly the same group of great folks every two weeks. So I’ve decided to write about what Red Badge means to me.

My old brain requires simplicity so I’ve got one word – trust. Other than blood related family, there is only one group of people I’ve been with that I trust as much as our Red Badge group. Those were the people with whom I went to combat. I knew them well and no one in that unit needed to check their six – it was covered. We may not have agreed always nor held the same beliefs, but I trusted my commander and troops of Company B, 4th Engineer (Combat) Battalion. The rest of the Battalion – eh ???, but that is a story for another time.

How do you illustrate the trust that exists in this group? Trust is an intangible that is hard to describe. One example I feel exhibits this trust is Vanessa and her service dog. Service dog vests almost always say, “Service Dog – Do Not Pet”. When we meet in person at the vet center, Vanessa allows her dog to wander among and associate with us. We can reach out and touch it. That says to me that Vanessa trusts us and her dog to not interfere with her relationship with a necessary part of her life. Trust in both us and her dog. Thank you for your confidence in us.

That trust extends to members disclosing parts of our lives we may not have shared with anyone outside Red Badge – including family. That is amazing when I look at joining this group a stranger to most and being accepted. Thank you all for this forum and your trust.

Skip suggested including Tom Skerritt in this assignment. I’ve never met Tom nor known much about him until joining Red Badge. I’d known Warren slightly through Power House Theatre and Movie Crush. Knowing Warren better has only deepened my admiration and affection for him. I hope I get to meet Tom and thank him for what he’s done for us.

It is hard to thank people for whom you care too much or too often. So, once again, thank you for trusting me to be part of this group of healing warriors.


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