Message To Nation of Veterans From Ed Tickby Michael Patrick Brewer on Apr. 30, 2012, under Veterans Benefits
|I am a member of the International Council Of War Veteran Ministers, as is Edward Tick. Dr. Tick is the author of the book, “War And The Soul.” It has sold millions and saved lives. It is nice to know that one of our own has our back.|
I write you from my next “duty station.” Because it is a most
important event, I want to share with you the impact and penetration
that our work in Soldier’s Heart has achieved, and how we may
continue together to bring hope, healing and positive change to our
suffering nation and world.
I have been chosen, and today begin, to provide the U.S. Army’s
CAST (Chaplaincy Annual Sustainment Training) in Post-traumatic
Stress Disorder for this year. The army annually pulls its chaplains in
from the service to give several days of rest and intensive training in
subjects the Pentagon deems most critical. Over the next 6 months,
I will meet with 2,000 chaplains on 7 different military bases. Each
time I will have a few hours to train them in our model, interpretation
and approach to healing the wound we call PTSD.
This task could not be more daunting or important. Our chaplains
are the only ones responsible for the spiritual care and tending of our
troops. Chaplains may work with up to 5,000 soldiers each. They
are of all ages and persuasions. In our war zones they receive and
tend physically, psychologically and spiritually wounded men and
women, minister to the dying and tend the souls of the slain.
In Soldier’s Heart we have been teaching that PTSD is a soul wound
and a social wound. In contrast to almost all other approaches, we
declare that such invisible devastation is inevitable in war, made
much worse under contemporary conditions, and has its source in our
souls and in our society.
Military culture is changing. Some generals have come out of
the closet admitting their PTSD. Many leaders are saying it takes
courage to admit your pain. Many are accepting military-civilian
partnerships because the wounds are too large and too many for
the military to treat alone, and they lack both resources and warrior
wisdom for bringing healing. It is in this atmosphere that I work.
I seek to carry Warrior Medicine into the Army. I seek to help
our chaplains understand that there is such a thing as spiritual
warriorhood, that military and war wounding is inevitable and must
not be treated as a pathology, weakness or illness to banish. Rather
it must be embraced as initiatory and transformative. PTSD is neither
illness nor failure, but a sacred wound.
Together we in Soldier’s Heart have responded to PTSD as the
soul and social wound it is. We have gathered, taught, supported,
loved, witnessed. We have practiced spirituality in community.
We have invoked the Sacred Warrior Spirit of all times and places.
We have gone into deep old pain together and emerged cleansed,
strengthened, healing, with hope and direction. Together we nurture
elder warriors and communities to practice truth telling, restore honor
and embrace all those who have been wounded by their time in hell.
Today, April 24, is the first of my seven trainings of the military
chaplains. I begin at Ft. Carson, CO and will travel far and wide
through September. As so many of you have, I will go where I am
needed and asked to serve. Today and for this half year, I ask you
to kindly think of me, have patience with my busy schedule and high
demands. Please send good thoughts my way, say prayers on behalf
of this work and its power to reach and teach, enlighten and inspire
our chaplains. Pray that Sacred Warrior Medicine enters our military
through this portal and contributes toward its transformation into a
peace making and healing force.
If this appointment means anything, it affirms that we small people
can, indeed, bring changes to our society and world. We must
continue. We all know how violence pervades our lives and world.
We must and can transform that practice and imbue it with soul and
Thank you for your support and bless your healing efforts always.