Dear EVF Friends,
We are in the final stages of planning our Veterans Conference on 4 November. Now is the time to invite your friends, rector, pastor, therapist, yoga teacher, personal trainer, Pets, Pet babysitter. This conference will focus on how relationships can heal the wounds of war, so, it will be very relational. We have veterans who will tell us how lifting weights helps them with PTSD, yoga teachers who share how their practice brings people home from war, and others who are exploring the many paths to healing. I know we’re all going to learn something. Click here for more information and here to register online.
To that end, veterans will gather at St. David’s downtown tonight (Tuesday) to continue creating art. (Click here for meeting information.) The last session was AMAZING and I’m really looking forward to this next workshop. If you would like to join, please send me an email. The following is a haunting poem one of our participants shared last session:
I am returning to a civilized world
I no longer recognize.
Eight years go
to the night we toasted our brothers
beneath a mortar streaked sky –
too tired to run for shelter, too comforted
in the fire of a makeshift grill, too much
feeling as if the others should be here.
I am in a safe community of strangers
each one known by the chirp
of a car alarm, the slam of a door.
In the absence of danger we’re creating
our own fear.
I am trying
to wring stories out of a dry brain,
some by folks not here to tell them.
I am over the desire to look
for what’s falling from the sky,
but I am wondering if I shouldn’t be.
D.A. Gray, 2016
Last week Hospitaller Brother Lynn Smith-Henry and I set out to meet with a WWII veteran who was unable to come to a meeting since he is no longer able to drive. We had a great time with him in his home hearing about his life after war. It reminded me how we need warriors from all wars to share their experiences with each other. He gave us his blessing on our way out the door, and I am thankful.
I do believe we have our first Farmer-Veteran Scholar. More details to follow on that. Thanks to our Georgetown group for making a positive contact.
I’m happy to report that my new book, Post-Traumatic God, sold out at the Amazon store. More copies should arrive there soon. I know it says 2 months wait, but it will probably be less. This book lays out a plan for parish churches to be part of this veterans movement of healing. Get a copy for your rector, your bishop, and anyone who wants to unleash the healing power of God through the Church for veterans.
Thanks for all of you who have worked hard to make this community a reality. I am currently working on some ideas for how we can work toward racial reconciliation, just as many WWII veterans did when they came home from war. Stay tuned for more info on this.