Musings: Welcoming Veterans Home


Published:

A port in Kuwait before we departed. From left to right: HM3(FMF) Grant Brown, LCPL Chris Nolan, CPL Donovan Stutsman

The return of our troops from Iraq heralds a new era of family bonding. Let the generation of family healing begin! While service members begin the arduous journey of reintegrating back into civilian life, wounded families who’ve been hit hard by recent financial losses are also navigating the waters of renewed alliance.

Tough times bond families closer out of necessity. We are genetically hard-wired for this. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the allegiance shared among members in a military unit, an extraordinarily protective “family” bond forged in the midst of crisis. How can we cultivate this kind of caring and dedication within our own families without the need for war or crisis?

Like all crises, our country’s economic downturn also contains a silver lining of opportunity. Strengthening family bonds restores not only the fabric of a society but also the health of its individuals. When people have less cash to spend, they stick closer to home simply because it costs less. They also tend to reach out and rely on family members more for financial or emotional support despite past grudges or differences of opinion. Healing occurs.

As the false façade of our gilded economy continues to unwind, we see the stark edges of greed and lack of respect that have come to characterize our culture. We hear it in the way people speak to each other: parents to children and children to parents, clerks to customers, entertainers to their audiences. We feel it in our gut as we realize the American taxpayer has been “had” by folks way richer than most of us and there’s nothing we can do except wait and see how bad the bleeding gets.

Ironically, our national trauma mirrors the situation of our thousands of returning military personnel. Shocked and confused, we are searching for a place we can feel safe and call home again amidst the loss of our wealth and faith in our government and economy. Against a more challenging backdrop, many service personnel will return physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually disabled from the combat, death and destruction they witnessed and/or participated in. They may feel unappreciated for their service and personal sacrifices while in active duty, particularly for those unable to make an easy or smooth transition back to civilian life. Finding a way back to living “normal life” can take years for a large percentage of veterans, and sadly, many never complete the journey, ending up homeless, broken or victims of suicide. Life coach Ingrid Dinter writes in this issue, “[Whether we agree with the agenda of a war or not], when…veterans don’t get the support, compassion, forgiveness and healing they deserve, this consciousness of suffering also impacts their society as a whole.”

Grant Brown is a Navy Hospital Corpsman who has deployed to Iraq and just completed a 5-year tour of active duty, already re-enlisting for another three. He is committed to continue to protect and serve the “family” of brothers in the Marine unit to which he was assigned as “Doc.” An unusually expressive and empathetic military man, Grant is a writer who also makes himself available to assist others in the Way of the Warrior at www.lightfighter.net, a mixed-bag online forum for soldiers, rescue personnel and warriors. “Some of it’s vulgar and violent, but it’s mainly a forum for sharing knowledge of all kinds, including healing stress, improving mindset, improving marksmanship and many other things.”

I asked Grant what we should know about helping veterans ease back into civilian life.

“The change of environment from over there to over here is shocking. In Iraq and Afghanistan, troops are scouring neighborhoods, kicking in doors; any person can be a potential enemy or suicide bomber. Complicated decisions must be made in a split second and every decision counts. It’s terrifying, painful, difficult and sometimes even extremely boring."

“When a service member returns home, the fear he was fighting through over there comes home with him. Home seems alien. Family are close strangers. Decisions are no longer of life and death importance but it’s not so easy to shut off that adrenaline and mindset. We’re just low man on the totem pole now. We need patience as we try to work through what we’ve experienced. We need an outlet mostly to talk with each other.”

He continued, “By all means thank veterans for their service, even if you don’t agree with the agenda of the war. They volunteered to serve our country and your rights. Be willing to be open-minded and listen; have patience for them to express their feelings and let it out. It is a life changing experience, for sure.

I asked Grant if he thought the war was worth it.

“I dislike watching the news and how the war is portrayed. All soldiers are trained to follow orders, good or bad. By enlisting for service, I was not advancing any political agenda for oil or democracy. I was over there serving my country, keeping my Marines and myself alive so we could once again enjoy the privilege of civilian life along with everyone. “I did see progressive change happen in Iraq. People, especially women, voted for the first time in their lives. Some walked miles through dangerous roads to reach the polls. But I was not there for any agenda. I was there to protect and serve my men. Maybe once I’m out of the military, I can work from the outside to change things I see needing change. The boots on the ground have a completely different experience of the situation than the people planning strategy back home.”

Facing an uncertain economic future while reintegrating many traumatized members back at home with their families provides rich opportunities for healing of America’s families. In her interview in this issue, Cherokee elder Dhyani Ywahoo remarks that, “We all have a spiritual responsibility, first to our family, to be kind and support the wisdom potential within one another, sharing food, warmth and shelter. We also have a spiritual responsibility to consider the ideals of our family, our clan, our nation.”

Carol Bedrosian is publisher and editor of Spirit of Change magazine. Visit www.spiritofchange.org.

See also:
Bringing Peace Home With Our Troops
Shell Shocked Soldier’s Heart: Healing PTSD

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

October 22, 2018

Aggressive, impatient tendencies are on the rise. For one thing, the Moon is nearing its full phase. Another factor is the Sun’s approaching opposition to unpredictable Uranus. Keep your impulses under control this morning. The swelling Moon is at odds…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

October 2018

October 21 - 22 (Workshop is 10-5 daily) This is one of Sergio's most powerful workshops, where you learn to use the sacred Toltec map of transformation. The crystal skulls symbolize...

Where:
Natick Mariott Courtyard
Natick, MA


Contact Name: Sandy Corcoran
Website »

More information

With Yogi Amandeep How many burdens do you carry? When stress, obligations and responsibilities become really heavy, are you wise enough to let go? Free the mind from burden and experience...

Where:
Yoga at the Ashram
368 Village St
Millis, MA  02054
View map »


Telephone: (508) 376-4525
Website »

More information

Kinetic Chain Release, moxibustion and past life regression at Leapin Lizards. Every third Sunday: 9/16/18 10/21/18 11/18/18 12/16/18 For information, call Leapin Lizards at (207)...

Where:
Leapin Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME
View map »


Telephone: (207) 221-2363
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

The investigation continues… A skeptical ghost hunter teams with a medium to investigate paranormal mysteries. More Ghost Chronicles will provide a unique perspective...

Cost: $10

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Six-mile Stonewalk in honor of victims of violence begins in Boston and ends at Boston College on October 24, UN Day. In July of 1994, a contribution was made to The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, MA...

Where:
Garden of Peace
64-98 Somerset Street
Boston, MA  02108
View map »


Sponsor: The Peace Abbey
Telephone: 508-259-8508
Contact Name: Lewis Randa
Website »

More information

Ever wonder why some places are haunted, even new houses or businesses? Or some people? What do you do if your business is haunted? Shamanic practitioner Deb Fate-Mental of Elder Grove Shamanic...

Cost: $40

Where:
Perfect Fit Pilates
85 Main St
Ground Floor
Hopkinton, MA  01748
View map »


Sponsor: Perfect Fit Plates
Telephone: 508-948-0568
Contact Name: Judy Malcolm
Website »

More information

The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
View map »


Contact Name: Brad Fanger

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation) is an innovative holistic curriculum addressing the current health crisis and epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron
Website »

More information

Daily practice for peace, healing, Christ mindedness, meditation, awakening.

Where:
Milton, MA


Telephone: 617-696-5685
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

October 26 - 28 14 PDAs! This weekend is a full immersion into the Daoist arts of qigong, meditation, Daoist  philosophy, and tea ceremony. Drawing on Solala’s 28 years of study of...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Eco Village
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
View map »


Telephone: 866-264-5139
Website »

More information

With Master Glenn Mendoza and Angel Mystic Birkan Tore Learn how to heal with angels in this talk facilitated by Master Pranic Healer Glenn Mendoza and Angel Mystic Birkan Tore. Learn to invoke...

Cost: $97, bring a friend for free

Where:
Homewood Suites by Hilton
145 Beech St.
Chelsea, MA  02150
View map »


Telephone: 877-787-3792
Website »

More information

Alexander Dreyshner, Dima Klim, and Mitch Nur on the world’s storehouse of indigenous musical instruments. This ambient mode soundscape includes didjeridoo, gongs, harmonic overtone singing,...

Cost: $38

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Bee Kind Music Class with Carrie Rowan inspires a love to music in little ones. 10am on Fridays for 8 weeks at Playtown Express in Southboro. To register call (508) 480-0022 or...

Where:
Playtown Express
150 Cordaville Road
Southboro, MA
View map »


Telephone: 508-273-2610
Website »

More information

The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
View map »


Contact Name: Brad Fanger

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

October 27–28, 2018, 9AM–6PM Unlock your inner healing abilities and learn from one of the only eight master pranic healers in the world! What is Pranic Healing? Pranic...

Cost: $75–$350

Where:
Homewood Suites by Hilton
145 Beech St.
Chelsea, MA  02150
View map »


Telephone: 877-787-3792
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags