Nine9Line Veteran Services in collaboration with the School of Lost Borders, the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), and the Veterans Conservation Corp invites you to step off on a journey as old as humanity itself….
Upon leaving military service, many of us are caught at a threshold, no longer a Service Member and yet not a Civilian. We are unable to fully “return”, or reintegrate into our communities. The lack of shared experience separating “us” and “them”, stands as a seemingly insurmountable abyss. This chasm between the close bonds and brotherhood we experienced as soldiers and the lonely alienation we experience as civilians can feel impossibly wide. We know the statistics. We feel it in our bones and many of us have walked the cliff edge between suicide and one more day.
For centuries, pan-cultural civilizations and communities have utilized ceremonial rites of passage to welcome returning warriors home from battle. In most cases, elders who had been to war met combatants outside the village. They understood that to re-enter the village too soon, without a proper rite of return or cleansing ceremony could be harmful to both the warrior and the community.
These elders also understood that once cleansed from battle or service, each warrior carries insight and wisdom from their experiences which are invaluable to the long term survival and sustainability of their community.
Veterans of Washington State, It is time to reclaim our Whole Selves. The Warrior, The Veteran, and member of community. It is time to re-establish who we are in this world, after military service.
The Veterans Vision Fast serves as a “Ceremony of Return” for veterans who are looking for a way to reconnect with themselves, their place in the world and in their communities.
The roots of the Vision Fast are pan-cultural, and offer a model of human development that acknowledges the changes and transitions inherent in being alive. It marks an individual's passage from one stage of their life to the next. Our Veterans Vision Fast is a guided ceremony that is not based in any religion or dogma. It relies on each individual’s background, creativity and unique perspective to "self-generate" a ceremony that is meaningful for their life circumstance and a successful return home.
The ceremony is held in a wilderness setting with trained veteran and non-veteran guides. Participants experience time in community with other vets, four days of solo time, fasting in the wilderness, and a marked return where their stories are shared and witnessed in a “council of elders”. This return marks the beginning of a veteran’s process of incorporating that which they have gained and learned during their time in service and explored in the context of time alone in the wilderness, so they may bring their gifts home, able to participate more fully, in service of their families and their community.
Space for the first Veterans Vision Fast is limited to 10 slots. In an effort to ensure those who are serious about full participation have a seat, there is a $150.00 non-refundable commitment fee.
In addition to the $150.00 commitment fee, veterans must agree to participate in an independent study conducted by Arie Greenleaf, PhD of Seattle University. The study will begin approximately 30 days prior to our program start date.
Our goal is to ensure this innovative, veteran led program meets the needs of the population it serves. Your participation will provide the data required to bridge the gap between deep wilderness immersion and long term symptom reduction of PTSD. Participant information is strictly confidential and will NOT be shared in any way which would identify the individual.
The results of the study will also be used to demonstrate efficacy for future grant proposals so that we are better equipped to continue providing this opportunity to veterans.
Attached: Detailed information on preparation and what to expect and how to prepare for a Vision Fast and veteran participant testimony.
For more information, questions and to request enrollment forms, please email firstname.lastname@example.org