The Wall of Healing Prayer

The Wall of Healing Prayer

By Arnold E. Resnicoff

Army Vietnam veteran Dwight Holliday, 62, remembers a fallen friend at the Vietnam Wall in Washington. (Linda Davidson – THE WASHINGTON POST)

Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (”The Wall”) is one of our nation’s most beloved memorials. For many it is sacred space: holy ground. For me, it’s the closest America has to the Western Wall (the “Kotel”) in Jerusalem: a place for reflection and prayer; for remembrance and for dreams.

But for Jan Scruggs, the former Army corporal who first dreamed of this memorial, it was not easy to find support to remember a war that had divided our nation; not easy to remember veterans who had died, when we had never properly welcomed home those who had survived.

When Scruggs gathered together a group of veterans to promote the idea – a group that soon included me – there was opposition at every step: no memorial unless it glorified the war; or no memorial unless it admitted the war was a mistake.

Scruggs balanced these competing visions by not creating a Vietnam War Memorial at all; instead, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would remember the men and women we had sent half-way around the world, many of whom had never made it back home.

Built to heal a nation the Wall would provide a place for all, regardless of feelings about the war, to come together to mourn our dead. And in so doing, to honor those who had survived as well: veterans who still bore the wounds – physical and emotional – of their service.

The Wall did that, and more. By honoring our veterans, it allowed them to tell their stories, and allow healing to begin. One veteran recalled how he had barely started college when a classmate asked him how he had lost his arm. When he told her he was wounded in Vietnam her response was “serves you right.” He never told anyone else he had been in Vietnam…until the day the memorial was dedicated.

Ultimately, what the memorial accomplished was a vision shift for people like that classmate. Before the dedication those who hated the war showed that hatred in their treatment of our military, so that our men and women had to fight two wars: one overseas and one back home. Since the Wall’s creation, most Americans carefully distinguish their opposition to a war from their support for our troops.

I remember being in uniform in an airport during Desert Shield/Desert Storm – when yellow ribbons were displayed as symbols of support for our military personnel. A stranger came up to me, extended his hand, and said “Welcome Home.” My first impulse was to tell him I had not served in DS/DS…but instead I grasped his hand and thanked him. I believed that I was finally being welcomed home from Vietnam.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial helped our veterans, but it had an impact on us all. It changed the way we thought, and so it changed the way we acted, too.

These thoughts drove the prayer I offered at its dedication, thirty years ago. My prayer began by describing suffering: “Almighty God, some 2,500 years ago the prophet Jeremiah cried out with words filled with pain and anguish…words which might have come out of the mouths of our Vietnam veterans, struggling to reclaim their lives…until today. “Why have we been smitten?” he asked, ‘and then for us there was no healing….”

But the prayer ended with hope: “Help us, we pray, make this the beginning of the time of healing tht we all seek…. Let this monument and this dedication forever remind us that we will come together to mourn our dead; we will come together to reach out to our wounded; we will come together…to remember and honor our brave.”

As we commemorate Veterans Day this year, may we join together to reaffirm the words of that prayer.

Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff served in Vietnam August 1969-Aug ust 1970 as communications officer onboard USS Hunterdon County (LST-838) in the rivers of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, as part of Operation Game Warden. His Navy career included more than 28 years on active duty, the final 25 as a chaplain.

By Arnold E. Resnicoff  |  06:58 PM ET, 11/09/2012

 

Tell Us About Your Unit, Division, Squadron or Platoon History etc.

Hello People!

If you send me the name of your unit, division, squadron or platoon etc.  I will research it and publish it’s information and photos on firebase116.org.  Any photos that you have from your days in the military will be much appreciated.  See the  email below to share your stories and photos.

If you have a son, daughter, cousin, niece, nephew, neighbor or friend that is in the Armed Forces now, I will gladly post a big THANK YOU! to them, just email me their info, photo, unit, branch of service and I’ll ‘get it done’.  Shout outs are welcome and encouraged.

firebase116.org supports our Troops 100% and we would like them to feel the love!

Email any info or photos you would like America and the World to see here: Email Info

Thanks!
J. Barry

Homeless and Hungry Veterans in America

The #1 problem that I just cannot wrap my head around and understand is homeless and hungry Veterans in America.  I can’t figure it out.  I just do not understand the whys or the hows about it.  Women and men that fought for our great country are sleeping on the streets, in cardboard shacks and in abandoned cars, AND they are hungry.  Days and weeks go by and these GREAT AMERICAN HEROES are without a hot meal, clean clothes and a shower.  People walk past them on the streets and mutter, “Get a job…”  God knows that these women and men would work if they could only find a job.  Problem is that there’s just no work for anyone.  And too few Americans care about what is happening to our Heroes.  Nothing can make me understand this phenomenon. 

Women Veterans are three time more likely to be at risk of homelessness than non-veteran women.

WHAT?  How can that be?  WHY is this happening?  HOW can this happen?  IS this the way America wants her Veterans to be treated?  What can we do to change this in America?  America is the greatest nation in the World.  America is rich beyond belief, but we have homeless and hungry VETERANS.

I ask each and every one that reads this post to change the statistics and how America treats her Heroes.  I’ll post a bunch of links where YOU can make a difference.  And it’s not all about money either.  Volunteering and giving some of yourself to put an end to hunger and homelessness.  When you don’t have a dollar in your own pocket, you can still give a smile.  Don’t look down on our Street Vets.  A little understanding and a smile goes a LONG way.  If your of the type that prays and believes in a Power Greater than yourself…say a prayer asking Her or Him to help them AND you overcome this problem.  Bring a bag of apples or oranges to a homeless shelter.  Think.  This is our problem, they are our Sisters and Brothers.  Love, compassion, understanding and support are what our Heroes need.  They need a hand up and not a hand out.  Respect.  Dignity.  These are honorable men and women.

I know first hand what it’s like to be without a job and without a home.  I survived the streets of Boston.  I’ve been hungry and alone out there.  I don’t want to go back there.  Most importantly, I do not want my Brothers or Sisters to go through what I went through.

As promised, here are the links for you to consider.  Do what you can, whatever that may be to help.  Thank you.  – J. Barry

Business and Professional Woman’s Foundation – Connect a Vet Resources

Make the Connection – Homelessness – Veterans

Help a Homeless Veteran – VA.gov

For Homeless Women Veterans – VA.gov

The Veterans Site – Feed a Veteran  <– This site will cost you 1 click!

New England Center for Homeless VeteransA Hand UP!  Not a Hand out!

Volunteers of America – Veterans Services

Project Foot – A Charity For Homeless Veterans and Military Families

The Veteran Homestead Inc.

The Jericho Project – Off the Streets – On With Life

Feed Our Vets – Food Pantry

The above links are just a sample of some wonderful ways for you to SUPPORT AND HELP  AMERICA’S HEROES.

 

Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV)

Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV) is an all-volunteer movement assisting returning veterans to begin their civilian careers or educational pursuits by acquiring and distributing the necessary start-up tools. Founded with the gift of a fishing boat that began a commercial fishing career for a returning Iraq veteran, the foundation is expanding its outreach to other industries to assist our returning military.

Our model is unique and based on a sustainable, “pay-it-forward” dynamic. We support veteran entrepreneurs so they can establish businesses that thrive, so they can then hire more veterans creating quality jobs and career opportunities. Once the new business is profitable, WVFV becomes a beneficiary through contributions back into the organization including “gifts in kind.”

When we all actively help build and support veteran-owned businesses that hire other vets, then contribute to the model so even more entrepreneurs can succeed – the result is ongoing, long-lasting economic success and personal happiness – stronger families and stronger communities.

WVFV is currently developing relationships in many industry sectors to secure necessary products for distribution. All donations of products or services are directly distributed to veterans and all financial contributions are used to acquire, prepare or enhance those items to be gifted.

If you’re a veteran – thank you for your service! And welcome to our website and to our team. We’re here to help you continue your mission of service alongside ours.

— America’s Military Women —

Celebrating National Women’s History Month 2012
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— America’s Military Women —
Experienced, Educated and Empowered

Women’s Memorial Foundation Releases 2012 Women’s History Month Kit

The Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation is proud to showcase America’s military women for the 15th consecutive year with the release of our 2012 Women’s History Month poster, America’s Military Women—Experienced, Educated and Empowered. Supporting the national Women’s History Month theme, Women’s Education—Women’s Empowerment, this display quality poster is but a snapshot of the myriad of important and meaningful jobs performed by empowered military women everyday—all made possible by education and training. This poster represents the more than 405,600 Active Duty, Guard and Reserve women who serve today around the globe—professional, capable women leaders—who are making a difference for themselves, their communities, the nation and the world. The poster is sure to stimulate discussion about the evolution of women’s roles, the influence of education and the ever-growing prominence of women in all aspects of our society.

Accompanying the 2012 poster is our online Women’s History Month kit. The kit includes brief thumbnail sketches about the remarkable women featured in the poster as well as individual downloadable photos of each.

Also in the kit is a Tribute to Our Fallen Sisters, a chronological listing and tribute to the 144 women who have lost their lives in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. You’ll also find two special online exhibits. The first, A New Generation of Warriors, (also available as a downloadable feature article) is a recent look at the women serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The second online exhibit is The Baghdad Diaries, which features the personal e-mail correspondence of a Marine Corps master gunnery sergeant in the earlier years of the war in Iraq. Another element of the kit a feature article is about our Global War on Terror exhibit, which captures the activities of women warriors some five years into the wars. We’ve also included an article about the origin of Women’s History Month and an online resource guide to help you find more information about America’s remarkable military women, past and present.

DAV

AMVETS

VFW

Many thanks to our generous sponsors, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) who’ve helped produce the poster and kit for nine consecutive years; the AMVETS (American Veterans) for the past eleven years; and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) joining us for the second year. Thanks to them, the poster is distributed free of charge to schools, libraries and veteran facilities across the nation and military installations worldwide.

WHM12Poster

Click on the poster image to view thumbnail sketches of
the 28 women featured in the poster

                  The 2012 Online Women’s History Month Kit:

“Let the generations know that the women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom.”

—Anne S. (Sosh) Brehm
1LT, USA NC, World War II