Every veteran and active duty military member needs to listen to this radio interview with Army Ranger Special Ops veteran Clint Chamberlin. The information you will receive could be life changing and if shared with a fellow soldier in distress could be life-saving.He will share with you how it helped him back from the darkness that began to consume his life.
“We need you religious and spiritual leaders to step up your game. There’s not a pill for everything.”
I wasn’t sure why I was attending this conference on the needs of military veterans and their families until those words rumbled through me.
The keynote speaker at the front of the assembly hall was Dr. William Nash, Director of Psychological Health for the U. S Marine Corps. And I’m Father Nathan Castle, OP, a Catholic priest with very little knowledge of military anything. I have worked with young men and women the age of many who are currently deployed during a long career in campus ministry. I believe I’m an expert in healing the hidden wounds of the soul. That day last April, at the opening session of the symposium of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, I wanted to enlist on the spot in the effort to bring peace to soldiers’ hearts.
Have you heard that phrase before, Moral Injury? Less than a year ago it was new to me; now it’s a new direction in my life’s work. Here’s how the VA introduced the term in 2009:
“Moral Injury is disruption in an individual’s confidence and expectations about his or her own moral behavior or others’ capacity to behave in a just and ethical manner… The lasting impact of moral injury in war remains chiefly unaddressed.”
I’ve also heard it put this way, describing the experience of combat veterans:
You used to believe the world was good. But now you don’t.
You used to believe that you were good. But now you don’t.
You used to believe that God was good. But now you don’t.
You used to believe that your future would be good. But now you don’t.”
Isn’t this what PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) is all about? I asked that question. Dr. Nash explained that only 15% of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan get that specific diagnosis. He explained that only a psychiatrist like himself can officially make that diagnosis, and that there are as many as six behaviors which must be evidenced. Many veterans’ suffering doesn’t rise to that level or is not manifest in dissociative breaks with reality that can plague PTSD sufferers. But something is behind the loss of 22 veterans a day to suicide, many of whom were not diagnosed with PTSD.
Some are now speaking of a “soul wound” and a need for “soul repair.” If you think there could be something to this, check out the Soul Repair Center at the Brite Divinity School, part of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Here’s the link to their website: http://brite.edu/academics/programs/soul-repair/. I’m at work on what I’m calling “The No Place Like Home Project.” My first public event,
“The Spiritual Path to Peaceful Sleep” for survivors of trauma was held on January 4, 2016 at La Mariposa Resort in Tucson. If you’d like to know more about that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my websites nathan-castle.com and andtoto.org. I’m planning to attend the Arizona Coalition for Military Families 7th Annual Statewide Symposium in Phoenix, April 20th and 21st. I’d love to meet you there.
There are a large number of veterans that have had Near-Death Experiences. Many have been hesitant to discuss this with anyone and if they do are often told they had hallucinations, etc. If you have had one of these experiences realize that it was real and there are people that understand and can help you deal with it. This is an opportunity for any of you out there to to work with an international organization headed by a retired Army Colonel that understands this phenomena. You are definitely not alone.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY—FREE Dental Services for Veterans at iSMILES( Dentistry with a Heart) clinics in Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale and Pearce, AZ on Veteran’s Day and each Monday & Wednesday from 11:00 -1:00 in the month of November.
I SMILIES has 5 offices throughout Arizona and will offer FREE dental services that can be provided in a half hour appointment including extractions exam, X-Ray, Cancer screening, denture adjustment and implant screening & consultations.
Veterans can call for an appointment at 520-334-7765 or visit their website at http://www.ismiledentists.com/specials/ and find an office nearest you.
On Veteran’s Day at their Arizona locations if you just want to check out their services feel free to drop by that day for free refreshments and meet the staff and Doctors.
NOTE: Most of the staff of iSMILES is either a veteran or had a family member who has served in the military and are very dedicated to helping our veteran community.
** Check out their veteran family dental programs with very affordable annual rates. ******
WHAT: Veterans and active members of America’s armed services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty, how far will you travel to honor their contribution? Continue reading
On September 26 at the Tohono O’Odam’s Desert Diamond Casino the 9th annual gathering of Arizona’s American Indian veterans took place with the partnership of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care system. I was so impressed with this event I wanted to share it with everyone. If all of America had the respect for our Veterans as witnessed at this event we would not have near the problems we have today with Veteran’s suicides and homelessness. We would have compassion and support for the sacrifices these men and women have made to preserve our freedom.
A huge number of veterans and their families and friends attended as well as an array of vendors with native art work and organizations dedicated to veterans health & welfare.
The organization and program scheduling of this event was exceptional. From the opening address and throughout the day guests were entertained by traditional native dancers, music, and a delicious meal for lunch. The health related vendors were available to answer questions from the veterans attending throughout the day’s event.
This year the gathering was expanded to include the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Lopez-Hernandez American Legion Post #95 in Solomon, AZ. Next year they will include the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and are reaching out to the Quechan and Cocopah Tribes of Yuma.
In the afternoon I witnessed one of the most impressive displays of appreciation of veterans I have ever seen with a ceremony titled Honoring and Presentation of Coins. Literally, every veteran that attended this event got visual and verbal recognition for their service to our nation. If the rest of America would honor our veterans in this manner it would do a great deal to help heal them from the sacrifices so many had made for our freedom. I am still in awe after witnessing this love and compassion. I have never witnessed such respect for our veterans. America could learn a lot from our Native American’s tradition.