Please visit Ilona Meagher's blog "PTSD Combat; Winning the War Within"
I have thought about this pursuit for several months and I don't think I've shared it with anyone online yet. So, I decided to 'put it out there' and tell you about it.
First, what was the catalyst? Well, during our holidays and visit to my friends in Idaho, I read about this:
Cambridge monks offer retreat for war weary soldiers
By Jay Lindsay, Associated Press Writer | July 18, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --National Guard Capt. Jeffrey Cox watched soldiers lose sight of God in the violence and daily grind of the war in Iraq.
Prodded by Cox, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist is offering a "healing retreat" weekend in October to help soldiers returning from war adapt to life back home and reconnect with their faith.
The retreat aims to give soldiers space to reflect, worship and share their experiences.
"I'm not saying a weekend is going to solve any problems, but what it can do is it can give people a respite," he said. "Not only are they able to talk about their heart and their mind, but they're able to talk about their soul."
Cox, who is studying to be an Episcopal priest, was a social worker for troops in Iraq and is now a contractor for the Army's Wounded Warrior program, which assists severely injured or disabled soldiers. He said war can wear out faith by undermining general teachings about the goodness of God and the life he's given us.
"(War) seems like, at times, the absolute opposite of what our natural being is," Cox said. Read the rest HERE.
This struck a cord in me and you all know about my anti-war stance. However, with my background, being born and raised in the Netherlands, hearing stories about the hardships of war and the occupation (WW2), I felt that regardless, it would behoove people to support those young kids coming back from Iraq. I know that some feel that since they volunteered to join the army, navy what have you, it's their own responsibility. Well, they have a certain point, BUT.. coming from Europe (just to do a generalizing swab across the continent), I don't feel that any American can have a clue about war. This country has not exactly been occupied, with war on the home front so collectively, there is no 'never again', or 'do you remember what happened when..' (never mind the revolutionary war, we're talking being invaded by other countries, actual occupation and subjugation by 'others').
I remember learning about King Phillip the V for instance and the high inquisition where the catholic Spaniards sought to convert and/or punish those protestant heathens in the Low countries. Stories of torture, betrayals, cities being surrounded in an attempt to starve the people into surrender, (cities has city walls and a surrounding moat). Boiling tar or oils to pour over those spanish soldiers trying to climb those walls..
stories of Napolean Bonaparte. Members of the Dutch Eindhoven Resistance with troops of the US 101st Airborne in front of the Eindhoven cathedral during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
The second World War. The underlying theme was always rebellion to overthrow the invaders. Fighting for true freedom. Gruesome punishments and torture. And history repeats...
It is always the ordinary person who ends up paying the price. In this strongly propagandized country, mostly people from lower economic status join the military
. There are many (a) reasons to support these kids, because they are kids. And I feel too, that in essence it's a matter of putting your money where your mouth is. If you say, we want the troops out of Iraq, our service men and women should not have to be there (for xyz reasons), then support those who are home and really could use some authentic help.
That is what I have been thinking about. I would like to set something up like that healing retreat, except, I don't think one weekend would do it. I am thinking of a much more extensive program that would be a furthering (or improvement, I don't know yet at this time)of what the VA is offering. So today, I ordered Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops
by Ilona Meagher
Once we return back into our house after the renovations this weekend, and our house is back to normal (hopefully sooner than later), I will continue to do research and even contact the Society of Saint John the Evangelist
There is a point, when blogging about issues and voicing your opinion in the company of mostly like-minded people such as quite a few of you, just won't do. I need to do something. That's all.
Labels: healing retreat, post traumatic stress disorder