Vision Healing the Wounds of War

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Vietnam Veterans

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Veteran Warrior Writings

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Warrior writings

I grew up in an unemotional family so this is very hard for me.
Talking about emotions in front of a large group isn’t something I do.
But the courage I felt in this room yesterday, I can.

I never served in the military.
I can’t begin to understand what you guys went through.
I can’t even imagine it.

But I really want to understand.
I hope you never stop telling your stories.
I know it’s hard to tell them. It’s hard to hear them.
But the fact is, it’s harder when we’re silent to each other, when we don’t hear each other.
Our souls weren’t created to be silent.

It wasn’t just the stories themselves you shared that were hard.  To hear the pain in your voices, to know that pain comes from locking those stories away for so many years.
To know that you feel you can’t tell your stories. It’s not right.
If anyone has earned the right, you have.

I didn’t go through what you went through, but yesterday, I felt it.
I started to understand. That’s part of my journey.
All I can say is I thank god you’re still with us, that you came back to us.
You are each incredible people .
You went to a foreign country, as kids, and fought for the rest of us.
You represent the best of who we are as human beings.

But these are just words.  And words are important…
words like “thank you”.
It’s important to say them but frankly it’s not enough.

All I can say to you is though I didn’t serve,
I can become a soldier.
I can fight for YOU HERE.
I can do what I do to raise awareness of PTSD and hopefully make it more acceptable someday for soldiers’ to get the help they need and deserve.
Your souls have been through fire.
I hope I have a tenth of the strength you have. If I do, I know I’ll be successful.

Thank you for these few days and helping me on my journey.
I pray I can make yours just a little bit easier.

September 2007 Veterans PTSD Retreat