November 2014


In chronological order:

IMG_8818

Pano with Dandy, Grace & Yared on the way to camp

IMG_8819

Margie, Yared & UHaul

IMG_8822

Staff loading into Latgawa, some frozen in action for my pano

IMG_8823

Pre-camp staff meeting

IMG_8825

Staff watches sunset pre-camp

IMG_8828

Evan, Emily & Tilke

IMG_8835

Spencer & Yared

IMG_8843

Camper conquers giant stump

 

IMG_8844

Opening circle

IMG_8852

Song leading

IMG_8855

Evan warms up for his monkey act

IMG_8864

Swimming pool

IMG_8870

Yared & Nathen…err…Skylar

IMG_8887

Pasta-making workshop

IMG_8889

Skylar asleep behind meeting

IMG_8893

Last meeting shot

IMG_8916

Advisees acting out each our embarrassing stories

IMG_8918

More embarrassing story skits

IMG_8929

Yared & Evan play pool volleyball

IMG_8937

The minnows

IMG_8940

Ping-pong table hangout

IMG_8948

My awesome advisee group

IMG_8950

Staff + graduate meeting

IMG_8953

2014 Latgawa graduates

IMG_8976

Reanna & Dandy tow the U-Haul

IMG_8981

Zen & Yared pump up Grace’s flat

IMG_8987

Grace shows off her new trailer back in Eugene

 

Advertisements

This seems like the appropriate day to tell you that we have a problem with military veterans in the US. We all do. It doesn’t matter where you land on the ideological spectrum or what you thought about some US foreign policy decision. If you live in the US, you are benefitting from the sacrifice of our veterans, and it’s not enough to pay your taxes and put a “support our troops” magnet on your car.

The problem has two aspects. The first is more or less logistical–a resource problem. There are veterans today who, after risking life and limb for you, are homeless, who are taking out second mortgages on their homes to pay their bills, who are undergoing long, intense bureaucratic nightmares for disability benefits, and many other forms of economic suffering. Not all of them, of course, but it happens, and this should never happen. Unfortunately, aside from voting or working in social services, I’m not sure what you can do about it. If you hire people, though, consider hiring veterans.

The second aspect is more spiritual. In this country, we are bad at integrating our warriors into civilian society. We get tired of our wars and stop paying attention to them. We don’t know where our returning warriors have been or what they have done. We’re not interested. We benefit but we don’t care. Or we’re scared to find out. Our warriors end up holding their stories on their own, or inside their brotherhood, not fully part of the wider culture. Not all of them, of course, but many, and this should never happen. Luckily, there is something you can do about this. Stay interested in the details of our conflicts. Be around veterans and be interested. Don’t pry, but listen.