Porter-Starke Services' second annual "Overcoming Adversity Together" community conversation featured keynote speaker Edward Tick Ph. D., author of War and the Soul. His book and his Monday morning lecture discuss the ways active-duty transforms a Warrior and how we can provide a place to come home to.
The Lakota word for PTSD literally translates to “the soul has left.” In ancient Greece they called it nostalgia: the soul cannot come home. It is an emotional wound that medication and positive thoughts cannot cure.
“We are wrong to diagnose it as a disability,” said Tick. “Not wrong to give help and support intending, but wrong to say ‘there's something wrong with you and you’re... broken.' There are solutions and there is a way home. We need to tend every aspect of whole-ism and provide returning support for our veterans to heal all of these dimensions.”
Tick's advice is to create a home that A Warrior's Soul can come home to.
Laurie Mullet, CEO of the Pines Village Retirement Community, a partner of Porter-Starke and Valparaiso University to put on these talks, said, “At Pines Village we have Vietnam, Korean, and World War II veterans. We always nurture them. We make sure they're able to share their stories. My son is a veteran of Iraq. [My family] has gone through his return to the community. After that we saw the importance of helping our warriors acclimate back into the community.”
Being a soldier changes your philosophy, your heart, and your place in the cosmos. Relationships mean something different. Civilian life feels like a round hole your square personality will never fit into.
“Laurie was frustrated with the lack of resources available to soldiers and their families,” said Jessica McFadden, the Foundation Coordinator for Porter-Starke. “We really want to allow each and every member here to know there are resources out there, there are organizations out there, that can help.”
The adjoining resource fair united organizations from all over our community.
United Way provided support guides, housing opportunities, and other financial support to veterans. Work One had a specialist to help veterans overcome employment barriers and to approach companies about hiring veterans. Bomber Girls sent care packages overseas that have included cookies, Valentine's, and dog beds.
National Guard recruiter David Sisal thought it was awesome. “It's good to have people in your corner that care about you. It's gotten a lot better over the years. It's evolve, and that shows that they understand more and more.”
George Washington fought Congress over the pensions promised to American Revolution veterans and lost. Since then, conditions have improved. Pensions have been granted, counseling is available, and housing programs are in place. Tick’s lecture demands we do more.
Veterans seek restitution and forgiveness for the way war took their Humanity from them. Our community needs restoration projects to remind soldiers what it is like to create instead of destroy. The transition from the front line back to the suburbs should be extended so it can focus on rest. Veterans need safe havens, immediate response services, and sponsorship programs so they can be supported by those who have been where they are.
“Many veterans are anguished over what they have seen or done, and what has been done to them both abroad and at home,” reads Tick’s accompanying paper. “By understanding the true holistic scope of PTSD and providing our veterans what they need for healing and return, we could set a model for the nation and the world. Wandering and wounded warriors need a tribe waiting to receive and heal them. If we are that tribe, they will come home to us.”
For more information on services and programs offered by Porter-Starke Services, click here.