Quote from a 12 year old boy from Aleppo to his younger brother: “Don’t be afraid. As long as you are living you are living.”
Resources for Vets
The following groups have been helpful in our support for healing for veterans and civilians or represent similar and healing goals that we advocate. We will not list for profit organizations.
Mary Fortson-Harwell is one of our creative team members and is doing a survey on veterans well-being. She has been a great help in helping us to to evidence based research regarding the success of our program. She has recently completed her thesis on PTSD which clearly shows the benefits of our program and a variety of other approaches. It is attached here for your convenience.
Peter Sternberg, co-author to our Healing Journey program, has worked for years with helping to support first responders and appropriate planning so that they are prepared for what they meet in a disaster. He also has recognized and documented the moral responsibility of the community to first responders and subsequently to our veterans and warriors. He has authored the Moral Covenant of Responsibility that is at the heart of our healing, reconciliation and social reckoning. Without the moral responsibility of the community the veteran comes home to an uncaring society and neither nation nor veteran can heal. http://pediatricdisasterplanning.com/
Sebastian Junger, in a TED Talk, points out even further the need for a veteran and warrior to return to a healthy community and nation. In the places where that happens the effects of PTSD are greatly diminished. He cites the difficulty of veteran warriors returning to our nation which is so divided. He has also written a book on this entitled Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. http://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_junger_our_lonely_society_makes_it_hard_to_come_home_from_war
Central Coast Veterans Helping Veterans is a sponsor group for our Healing Journeys. They are active in support for veterans and active duty in our Central Coast area and particularly in training and providing mentors for the San Luis Obispo Veterans Treatment Court. www.ccvhv.com
Restorative Partners was our original sponsor group for the Healing Journeys. They are active in the areas of restorative justice and in successful reentry for those coming out of our San Luis Obispo County Jail and Juvenile Hall. They use a successful mentoring program and work to provide housing and jobs. www.restorativepartners.org
Military Outreach provides a variety of resources for veterans nationwide. They have remarkable resources on the latest PTSD and Moral Injury research and healing. http://www.militaryoutreachusa.org/
Cheryl Montelle manages the Mil-Tree Community with a variety of opportunities for healing and growth for veterans out in the Palm Desert and Los Angeles areas of California. They offer a great variety of helpful and supportive programs.
Writing and poetry are profound ways for veterans to work through many of the aspects of their PTSD. Warrior Writers is a great program for this kind of work. www.warriorwriters.org
Honor Flight Central Coast California provides a wonderful healing experience for our Vets by taking them back to Washington, D.C to their various monuments free of charge and with help for those who are handicapped. http://www.honorflightccc.org/
WWII Vets are often overlooked when it comes to looking at PTSD and Moral Injury. They experienced it just as our vets today. It came to be recognized under different names: Battle Fatigue, Shell Shock. This John Huston documentary gives and insight into the VA efforts to deal with this right after the war. The picture at the right “Standing Tall” is composed of 1800 troops at Camp Dodge in Iowa.
The Mindful Warrior Project under the leadership of Gail Soffer, is a program with a variety of support programs for veterans and their families. They provide writing workshops and other healing programs in the Los Angeles area. www.mindfulwarriorproject.org
Fiscal Tiger is a group of bloggers who provide helpful information and support for veterans on financial issues. https://www.fiscaltiger.com/
We would like to recommend books that are helpful in the journey of healing.
- Dr. Ed Tick’s War and the Soul provides the basis for understanding PTSD as a Soul Wound. His newer book The Warrior’s Return provides even more insights.
- Dave Grossman’s On Killing gives a sense of why training has taken us where it is (very efficient) and gives an excellent understanding of what killing does to us as humans.
- Thomas Golden’s Swallowed By a Snake provides and excellent understanding of how men heal.
- Tom O’Brien’s Things They Carried provides real insight into the Vietnam war.
- Karl Marlantes What It Is Like to Go to War does what the title say about going to war.
- Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds give insight into the recent desert wars.
- Sebastian Junger’s Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging provides wonderful insight in to problem of soldiers returning to a nation that has lost sight or relationship–there is no “tribe” to return to.
- Pete Pepper’s “Killing Memories” deals profoundly with a healing journey of vets who served in Vietnam together.
- “Korengal” is a film the clearly depicts how combat affects the humanity of our warriors and the issues of PTSD and Moral Injury. We highly recommend this movie for civilians to bring some understanding of what we ask of our warriors. “Sniper” is also a film that shows the experience and moral dilemmas that warriors encounter. Again, we highly recommend this film for civilians.
- “Tales From the Pentagon: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything” by Rosa Brooks was recommended by our Military Outreach associates. It is very insightful and thought provoking.
- “At Hell’s Gate: a Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace” by Claude Anshin describes his journey as a Vietnam vet through his PTSD to healing through Zen mindfulness meditation. It is not only a powerful story of his journey, but is one of the few books we have seen that clearly states and defines the civilian “responsibility” for war and our warriors that has become a major part of our Healing Journey.