The Limbless Veterans Storytelling Training

It’s a bright October day with a storm rolling in on the horizon. My focus is on the four men in the room. We comment on the impending storm, then back to work. They’ve seen a lot worse.

photo by Frankie Mapes, The Drive Project

These are the men of Making Generation R, ambassadors and speakers for The Drive Project. The R stands for Resilience. The work they do? They travel the length and breadth of the country telling the story of how they got injured, and life before and after. These are ex-servicemen and women, military, marines, RAF, airforce. They are members of BLESMA: the British Limbless Ex Servicemen and women’s Association.

Everyone of them has lost a limb or two or three, or suffered extreme burns or blindness. Everyone of them has had to relearn life on new terms determined by their injury. When they tell their story they transmit ways in which they have learned resilience. When they talk of how they kept going through very dark situations, these teenagers feel an opportunity to share what they are going through, or have an idea that they might just get through whatever life is throwing at them.

My job is to make them the most effective, impactful teller of their stories that I can. Myself and the other trainers at the Drive Project work with the story and the speaker to bring it to its’ best. The work is hard, and the stories are intense and incredible.

I emerge from each piece of training exhausted. And invigorated. It gives me perspective on life and on what is possible. I pick myself up and go again.

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