“Good Bye Vietnam” A Veteran Claims His Peace

“Good Bye Vietnam” is a statement from Lance Corporal Chris Lambert USMC, 1968, Vietnam War. In this wise and inspiring peace, he says good-bye to the words, images, smells, and memories of people, political movements and all things connected to the Vietnam war that kept him locked in a 40-year fight with PTSD, resentment, and regret. 

“Take your shame and your pain, I’m now a proud Vietnam Veteran.”

h/t to Jerry Newberry, Vietnam paratrooper, and Assistant Adjutant General of the VFW, who shared this with his brothers.

In El Paso: Healers & Heroes Free Relaxation Clinic

From the Borderland Healing Arts Directory:  April 20, Free. See Details here at Borderlands Healing Arts Directory.  Retired social worker from the Ft. Bliss Recovery and Restoration Center, Gerald W. Vest, is part of the reputable effort. For specific times please see their blog by clicking on the image below!



Product Review: Mindful-Way CDs for Mindfulness Meditation

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Last year, WarRetreat purchased two audio CDs by teachers Beth Mulligan PA-C and Hugh O’Neill from Mindful-Way.com.  Both Beth and Hugh are skilled teachers in mindfulness meditation. Beth is a Physician’s Assistant with experience in helping patients with stress-related illnesses in the inner city clinics in Los Angeles. Mulligan runs retreats and ongoing classes to help those with chronic stress learn a new shift in perspective through mindfulness training. If you go to her website, you’ll see her 2013 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course information (including her blog).

War Retreat is very grateful to Nyk Danu who volunteered to review them! Nyk Danu  is the creator of Real Yoga For The Rest Of Us. She is a teacher of Yoga for Back Pain, Hatha & Yin Yoga, a self-professed yoga geek, green tea addict and a lover of life. Nyk practices & teaches in Calgary.  www.nykdanu.com 


Nyk Danu, Yoga For The Rest of Us

Hard Core: PTSD Conferences & “PTSD Won’t Stop Me”

Watch this great video by A Piece of The Master, provided by A Backpack Journalist. Backpack Journalist bears mentioning because it was created to help at-youth risk, and military teens find their voice, and develop resiliency in the face of a multitude of changes that threatens the stability of their lives. More after the jump.

urlThe more we learn, the deeper we begin to understand, the more choices we have. So many yoga teachers have advanced degrees in other fields, and many have asked us where to learn more. Rather than send them through yoga conferences,  consider academic symposiums where they can meet people on the cutting edge of trauma research and treatment. When trying to understand and be conversant in trauma,  looking outside the yoga world is essential.  Ideally, it’s great to take an interdisciplinary approach to collaborate with others and expand what there is to offer.

Mention here does not constitute an approval or endorsement. Please research these links to see if it’s the best match for you.

Freedom & Recovery 2013 Integrated Mental Health & Addiction Treatment For Service Members

  • When: April 3-6, 2013
  • Where: Coronado CA
  • About: “This unique conference gathers psychologists, professionals, therapists, interventionists, social workers and addiction counselors to share evidence-based practices through a combination of instructional levels. The following objectives will be met:
    • Explain techniques to help treat trauma and addiction
    • Identify methods for integrating families into treatment
    • State suicide prevention strategies”

The Amygdala Stress, and PTSD Conference 

24th Annual International Trauma Conference: Psychological Trauma, Neuroscience, Attachment and Therapeutic Interventions

  • When: May 29 – June 1, 2013
  • Where: Boston MA
  • About:  By The Trauma Center at JRI: “The objective of this course is to present current research findings on how people’s brains, minds, and bodies respond to traumatic experiences; how they regulate emotional and behavioral responses; and the role of relationships in protecting and restoring safety and regulation.”

The Brain At War: The Veterans Health Research Institute (Northern Californian Institute for Research & Education NCIRE)

  • When: June 20, 2013
  • Where: TBA. Last year it was in San Francisco.  New website for 2013 has not been set up. Please check the NCIRE site and find them on Facebook.
  • About: The sixth annual meeting of the leading national conference on the neurological and psychological wounds of war. NCIRE is exclusively for veterans health.

National Biennial  Symposium For Veterans, 2013 Invisible Injuries of War: PTSD/TBI/TEI and Poly-Trauma

  • When:  Oct 4-5 2013
  • Where: Milwaukee WI
  • About: The Wisconsin Veterans’ Foundation is spearheading this event. “Designed on a biennial basis this timing provides the Leadership Council the time necessary to adequately define veterans’ issues, their contents, locate experts in respective fields, and develop a forum upon which to address the issues coherently and with content aimed at the professionals in search of the tools and resources to aid veterans, their families, and community.”

OMEGA: Veterans, Trauma & Treatment

  • When: October 18-20, 2013
  • Where: OMEGA, Rhinebeck NY (Special pricing available for vets & families)
  • About: “Veterans, Trauma & Treatment offers professional information on the same mind-body modalities that the military is currently exploring as a complement to traditional drug and talk therapy. It is intended for health-care professionals, psychologists, social workers, caregivers, and counselors working with veterans who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their families.”

International Society For Traumatic Stress Studies 29th Annual Meeting: “Resilience After Trauma: From Surviving To Thriving

  • When: November 6, 7, 8, 9, 2013
  • Where: Philadelphia PA
  • About: “The ISTSS Annual Meeting is a unique opportunity to learn the latest in traumatic stress research, hear about clinical insights and innovations, earn continuing education credits, and network with colleagues.The 2013 meeting in Philadelphia will be the year’s largest gathering of professionals dedicated to trauma treatment, education, research and prevention. More than 100 symposia, workshops, panel discussions, cases and media presentations will be presented on a wide variety of topics related to traumatic stress.”

A Reminder From Yoga For Vets: Some Veterans Are In Great Shape


By Paul Zipes, US Navy Veteran, Founder, Yoga For Vets

The journey Yoga For Vets has been on is incredible with its many challenges. One of the best new challenges is from yoga teachers who want to help. but don’t understand some vets already are advanced yoga students and don’t want beginner or vet only classes. They just want 4 free “regular” yoga classes. This never happened a few years ago, perhaps because yoga was so much newer to the military.

Another issue arises from vets who want to know what the “catch” is. No catch, we just want to say welcome home and offer free classes if they want them.. I look forward to our FB page going over 1000 likes soon. In the mean time, keep reaching out to our vets and talk up Yoga For Vets. If anyone knows a webmaster or financial donor who wants to help take us to a more visible platform, let me know.
Thanks and again for your support and positive energy.

The Healing Power of Nature: Sierra Club Veterans & Military Families Initiative

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“We  have 18 service members a day committing suicide. What are we doing to conserve this resource?” -Stacy Bare, Executive Director, Sierra Club Mission Outdoors, December 2012*

As Jillian wrote earlier, here at WarRetreat, we see yoga as one tool in an arsenal of weapons to help veterans and their families as they transition from battlefield to home. What we hope to cultivate is the feeling that it’s okay to explore things you’ve never considered before, or to go for things you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s getting back in touch with your breath on a yoga mat, climbing a mountain, taking up painting or drawing, taking a drama class, or working to rebuild areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, what we want you to do is not be afraid of what others think.

You fought for freedom, and you have choices.

Sierra Club Veterans & Military Families Initiative, also known as Sierra Club Mission Outdoors, is an organization that provides retreats and outings for veterans and families. Rather than bla-bla-bla, we’ll just let Stacy Bare, Executive Director tell you the story.

*Update: The latest number issued by the VA is 22 veterans a day take their lives. This includes veterans of all eras, not just ones from recent wars.