i'm glad it went so well for you. i think you needed that and it will be a good milestone.
about your friend - chances are, it was just what he needed too. it can't have been easy - most likely he's never talked about it out loud in a group of regular guys - but sounds like you were all supportive and will be there for him when he needs it. this could very well be a very healing moment for him, too.
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"