I live in a country that solves conflict by sending our children to war.
And so it is every American’s responsibility to respond to the damage that war causes, because war hurts everyone by its very nature. In the Seneca Nation, they call people who listen an important part of the process. They call us ‘people of strong heart’. It is the people of strong heart who share the burden of war, and take the weight off of the warrior’s shoulders.
I listen to stories. Often about soldiers, Marines, service men and women. These stories are some of the hardest to hear. Sometimes it’s a story of love, a story of brotherhood, a story of courage or valor. And sometimes it’s a story of incredible loss, of powerlessness over the natural consequences of war – casualty, injury, trauma, and addiction. Every war story involves the coming home process. The difficult transition from military to civilian.
War calls for difficult choices and difficult actions. If we are truly grateful for those who serve we must take action, and share their burden. We must all be people of strong heart.