Retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a former Green Beret, uses storytelling as a healing tool for himself and other veterans grappling with post-traumatic stress from the Afghanistan War. Mann wrote and starred in a play, “Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret,” which addresses the challenges a Green Beret faces between his family obligations and his mission in Afghanistan. In partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, the play is now on a summer tour.
- “Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret” is a play that depicts the struggles of a Green Beret caught between his familial responsibilities and his duties in Afghanistan. It was written and performed by Scott Mann, a former Green Beret himself, who saw storytelling as a therapeutic mechanism after serving in Afghanistan.
- Mann has also worked on “Task Force Pineapple,” a project aimed at helping over 1,000 Afghan refugees escape from Kabul. These efforts resulted in immense emotional toll and moral injury, leading Mann to understand the need for therapeutic outlets like his play.
- After watching the film adaptation of “Last Out,” actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise reached out to Mann. The two teamed up, leading to a summer tour for the play under the banner of the Gary Sinise Foundation.
- The play, originally intended as a one-off, has resonated with audience members, including veterans and their families from various war periods. Post-show “talkbacks” have allowed attendees to share personal experiences, thus fostering a community of shared healing.
- Mann hopes that the play will not only provide a cathartic experience for veterans but also educate civilians about the realities and impacts of war. He envisions continuing the tour in collaboration with the Gary Sinise Foundation and potentially filming a live performance of the show.