Heal the Warrior,

Heal the Country.

I most certainly am not an Edward Tick, author of War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a few other books, as well as the article in Yes Magazine linked above. He is also the director and senior psychotherapist of Soldier’s Heart: Veteran’s Safe Return Initiatives.

So I’ll give a few of the cuts from the article and add some other related information I’ve recently received.

Breaking the cycle of war making: our country will not find peace until we take responsibility for our wars.

He starts out the article with the above quote and this:

Guilt, shame, slaughter without purpose, alienation from homeland and life itself-this was the legacy that G√ľnter passed on to his son Walt from his World War II combat service in Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Walt, “the only child born in freedom,” was born in the United States shortly after his parents emigrated here from Germany. Growing up in the Cold War 1950s, Walt longed to be an all-American boy, but was always the Indian to his friends’ cowboys and the “Kraut” to their G.I. Joes.

The Warrior’s Path

Our troops do not enlist because they want to destroy or kill. No matter the political climate, most troops seek to serve traditional warrior values: to protect the country they love, its ideals, and especially their families, communities, and each other. If they must kill or be killed, they need transcendent reasons to do so. Throughout history, the only reason for fighting that has survived moral scrutiny is a direct attack with real, immediate threat to one’s people. PTSD is, in part, the tortured conscience of good people who did their best under conditions that would dehumanize anyone.

Warriorhood, however, is not so valued or nurtured in modern society. “Warrior” is not even a recognized social class. A veteran, especially one with disabilities, appears to many, and sometimes to him or herself, as a failure in terms of normal civilian identity. Michael fears that, as an experienced combat veteran, the only place on the planet he now fits is in the French Foreign Legion.

The Echoes of War

War abroad fosters war at home. When we go to war, we inevitably bring its violence and horror back to our homes and streets. We cannot help it.

Cleansing the Warrior

War poisons the spirit, and warriors return tainted. This is why, among Native American, Zulu, Buddhist, ancient Israeli, and other traditional cultures, returning warriors were put through significant rituals of purification before re-entering their families and communities. Traditional cultures recognized that unpurified warriors could, in fact, be dangerous. The absence of these rituals in modern society helps explain why suicide, homicide, and other destructive acts are common among veterans.

A Double Wound

Sitting Bull and his warriors, and other bands from innumerable traditional cultures, were never plagued with self-doubt about the value of their mission, as many of our soldiers are today. In order to do battle with a whole heart, the danger and threat to one’s home must be real, and the people must experience it as immediate and about to threaten their total existence; there must be no alternative. A people and their warriors must be in unity.

Ed goes on to explain further each of the topics above and has a few more topics of explaination below those. He closes with this:

I asked Walt’s permission to tell his story during our farewell visit in the hospital where he was dying of Agent Orange cancers. He was surprised at first, but finally said, “I was afraid my life was worthless. But please tell my story. Please make it mean something. Maybe it can help some other poor souls avoid my fate.”

Read an excerpt from conscientious objector Aidan Delgado’s The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq

Read the Rest of Edward Ticks article Here

And some links:

Pentagon spends record on TBI, PTSD research, a drop in the bucket of what’s needed, was needed long ago, and will cost even more if not taken seriously this time!

MOAA & USNI Host Wounded Warrior Defense Forum in D.C.

Substance Use Disorders and Clinical Management of Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Prevalence of Chronic Pain After Traumatic Brain Injury

Stress Management Important Throughout Military Careers

Computer-based program helps retrain the brain after injury


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    • jimstaro on August 14, 2008 at 21:46

    Iraq to revive oil deal with China

    “Mission Accomplished!”, as Iraq will align itself with Iran, China and possibly Russia, as the region will probably follow, it’s called the Neo-Con ‘Strong on National Security’ ideology!

    • jimstaro on August 14, 2008 at 22:57

    This week -check local listings

    Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. “Because of this preoccupation with the presidency,” says Bacevich, “the president has become what we have instead of genuine politics, instead of genuine democracy.”

    Respected across the political spectrum, Bacevich has contributed to THE NATION, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, and FOREIGN AFFAIRS, among others, and his latest book is THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

  1. No one hates war like the warrior, John McCain says.  Why, then, does he seem to love it so much?

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