When Failure is Not an Option
Host, Ken Harbaugh, interviews political leaders, influencers, and other history makers about the choices we confront when failure is not an option. Choices like Alexander the Great made when he landed his troops on the shores of Persia and ordered his men to burn their boats.
Master Sergeant Michael ‘Top’ Washington served in the Gulf War, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan between 1988 and 2004, before becoming a firefighter. His son, Mike Jr., followed in his footsteps and joined the Marines. In 2008, Mike Jr. was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.
The loss of his son sent Top into a deep depression, culminating in a moment on a bridge in Tacoma. Top had decided to end his life there, but says he felt his son’s hand pulling him back, saying, “You’re not done yet.” Since then, Top has found a new calling, as a licensed therapist focusing on fellow military veterans and first responders.
To hear more from Top, check out his interview on Warriors In Their Own Words, out next Thursday.
More about the name of the show...
In 334 BC, Alexander the Great led Greek troops across the Dardanelles Straits and into Asia Minor, landing on the shores of Persia. He hoped to finally vanquish his greatest enemy, Darius III - the King of Persia. But Alexander was badly outnumbered. The Persian army assembled to attack and Alexander’s troops began to speak openly of retreat. So he gave an order: "Burn the Boats." He told his men, “we either return home in Persian ships, or we die here.” There would be no turning back.
By burning his boats, Alexander hoped to galvanize and motivate his troops. They needed to fully commit to defeating Darius and the Persians. There was no other way - failure was not an option.