Healing after The War
Healing after the war
According to American Indian traditional beliefs, war affects a soldier’s well being, and makes it difficult for him or her to live in the every day world. For American Indians and all soldiers, returning home means returning to a place—a land, a community, a family, and a culture—that you are part of, a place that you have a special relationship with. Participating in war interferes with your ability to be part of this place. It upsets the balance of life. This is why American Indian cultures have special ceremonies to help bring the soldier’s life back into balance—to make it possible for the soldier to once again live in peace and to be physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally healthy. These ceremonies are part of the traditional religions of American Indians and are still part of life today for many American Indians. The ceremonies are powerful and have helped many Code Talkers and other returning soldiers.
American Indian communities remember their veterans’ sacrifices forever. Veterans are always respected and honored. Sometimes they are remembered in special songs that are sung in their honor. Native people often go to veterans for advice because they have strong mental abilities as a result of their many experiences. Depending on the community, veterans are given special prominence at different kinds of tribal events. For example, a t powwows, veterans always lead the grand entry of dancers. They carry the American Indian Eagle Staff, the flag of the United States, their tribal flag, and other important banners. Veterans are recognized and honored on special occasions with ceremonies and dances that relate to their sacrifices to the community. For example, the Comanche Gourd Dance honors veterans. Sometimes a family member or a friend might hold a special dance or ceremony to honor a veteran. These are the lasting traditions that show respect to veterans for what they have done for the people.
Lakota Ceremony for veterans
Lakota Sun Dance chief Mark Raven hair , was instrumental in bringing the sweat lodge ceremony to veterans at the V.A. hospital in Walla Walla, Washington. This spiritual trend has continued and lodges are being built at V.A. hospitals across the nation. Mark helps veterans restore themselves after war with healing thru feeling approaches and continual sweat ceremonies for veterans here locally in Cedar Rapids.
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