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Healing on Stage: Ex-Green Beret’s Transition from Battlefield

WASHINGTON, DC – Scott Mann, a former Green Beret, possesses a unique talent for narrating war experiences, a skill that proved invaluable in a critical moment, ultimately saving his life.

Returning from Afghanistan in 2013 after 23 years of service in the Army, Mann struggled with the abrupt transition to civilian life. The absence of the daily adrenaline rush and the burden of guilt for the US military’s evacuation from Afghanistan left him adrift, describing this period as a purgatory where he felt trapped between existence and demise.

The turning point came 18 months later when Mann’s son unexpectedly interrupted a harrowing moment, finding his father in a vulnerable state with a loaded pistol in hand, on the brink of a tragic decision.

Reflecting on this pivotal event, Mann acknowledged the urgent need to confront and process his wartime traumas to reintegrate into suburban life successfully. This realization sparked his creative journey, leading him to craft a play designed to provide solace to veterans grappling with the aftermath of the tumultuous Afghanistan withdrawal.

Titled “Last Out,” the play delves into the emotional turmoil and eventual healing experienced by returning war veterans, portraying their sense of isolation and disconnection from society. Through the narrative of fictional character Green Beret Danny Patton’s journey to Valhalla, a symbolic afterlife for fallen heroes, the audience is immersed in a poignant exploration of the toll of modern warfare on both the battlefield and the home front.

Mann’s storytelling not only served as a personal catharsis but also resonated deeply with audiences, shedding light on the profound challenges faced by military personnel transitioning to civilian life. The play, featuring a cast of veterans and military families, took on renewed significance following the chaotic events of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, emphasizing the need to address moral injuries and honor the sacrifices of veterans and their families.

In response to the crisis triggered by the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Mann mobilized a group of American veterans to facilitate the rescue of over 1,000 Afghan allies stranded during the hasty evacuation mission. His dedication to supporting mental health and fostering dialogue around the enduring impacts of war culminates in the upcoming performance of “Last Out” in New York, sponsored by the Tunnels to Towers Foundation.

This staging, supported by Tunnel to Towers, aims to commemorate the valor and resilience of military service members and their families, encouraging meaningful conversations on grief, sacrifice, and the profound costs of war. Through “Last Out,” Mann endeavors to provide a platform for reflection and dialogue, honoring the enduring legacy of those who have served and sacrificed in the line of duty.