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Warrior writings

Dr. Edward Tick

by John W. Fisher, D.C.

In November of 2005, I received an invitation to participate in a pilgrimage to Greece. The theme of the journey: “The roots of medicine and the healing power of ritual.” Dr. Edward Tick, a psychologist from Albany, NY, that I had recently become acquainted with through a mutual colleague, was leading the trip. I was certainly intrigued with the invitation, but it was not until after reading his book, WAR AND THE SOUL, that I realized I needed to travel with this man.

Much of Dr. Tick’s professional focus has been with the Vietnam Veteran. The trip to Greece was designed for the “healer” and being a healthcare provider for the past 28 years made this trip intriguing. However, when Dr. Tick also realized that I was a Vietnam Veteran, he made available to me opportunities to heal. The main premise in his book is that the soul may become estranged from the person during combat and without proper spiritual ritual and ceremony may remain that way indefinitely.

Ceremony was arranged on the third day of our pilgrimage. It took place at the Kerameikos Cemetery, a warrior’s burial site from the ancient wars in Greece more than 2400 years ago. Our group, consisting of 14 individuals all involved with a natural, holistic orientation, accompanied me into this high-energy sanctuary to participate on my behalf. I was frightened at first, not actually knowing if I was estranged from my soul or not, but the group surrounded my energy and comforted my journey.

For the past ten years, I have diligently worked on healing my emotional wounds from war. From many counseling sessions, to writing books, even traveling twice back to the land of my nightmares, I have been working on the process. Until recently, regardless of all my previous efforts, there always seemed to be something missing―absent without leave―from my healing. Was the estranged soul that missing link? I was not sure but the book WAR AND THE SOUL, by Dr. Tick, had excited me to find out.

Poems, speeches, prayers and ritual proceedings by my fellow pilgrims have helped me to find what was absent from my process. It was later termed “soul retrieval” and totally answered my speculation of the “estranged soul.” How do I know my soul is back? I feel like a kid again. Like the kid I was before having to go to war. My intuition is stronger than ever before and I appreciate and love myself again, something I can hardly remember feeling before. Now my emotional mind seems to be free, free as a bird in the sky.

My professional experience after “soul retrieval” has been phenomenal. I have gone from a healthcare mechanic, channeling infinite soul to do my work, to healer that relates directly with his patients with his very own soul intact. It may seem like a strange comparison, but that is how it feels. My patients see the difference, too. “Wow, Doc, you found my problem without me even saying anything.” “What’s happened to you, Doc? You seem so in tune today.” That’s right, I say to myself, because now I’ve got soul, baby!

Furthermore, I am no longer a disgruntled Vietnam Veteran that had to fight in a losing effort without being appreciated. I am now a proud warrior of the Vietnam War and when asked about it I can hold my head up high and say, yes, I was there and although I do not condone war, I participated because my country asked me to. Wow! Not many may be able to understand how difficult that is to say. It has been an incredibly long haul for me after combat, but I am now officially home from the war and glad to be back.

Dr. Tick has found the needed sacrament to help the warrior. In my eyes, he has become part of the brotherhood that usually only fellow soldiers in battle come by. He is one of us. When conventional treatment was not working for the emotional challenged veteran, he went to extremes to learn what worked in the past and brought it to the present, and unfortunately, for the future. It is with my utmost love and sincerity that I give my testimony for Dr. Edward Tick today. After all, I have come home from Greece no longer a mechanic, but a healer, and no longer a veteran, but a warrior. Thanks, Ed.