Andrea Steffens

The Disposable Military: "The Tumor of The Unknown Soldier" - HuffPost

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Recently, the Chaplains at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC who houses 800 ill and recovering soldiers at a time, has begun weekly tributes at their mass formations for soldiers who have died at WRAMC. Honoring the fallen soldiers---they read their BIO and cause of death. In the last three weeks they have saluted three soldiers who have died at WRAMC from Cancer. No one questions this. Not Congress, not our elected officials, not the brigade of medical staff who care for these soldiers returning from the war torn country of Iraq.

Some soldiers feel the DoD would rather these soldiers die silently of Cancer---then pay costly medical treatment for soldiers deemed non-deployable. To acknowledge this as a war wound---the military must also assume financial responsibility for these ill soldiers. And why shouldn't they. They were good enough to send to battle when they were healthy. But now that a percentage are returning with Stage II, III and IV Cancers---and some dying. It's more cost effective for the military to turn a blind eye long enough for them to die. Their Cancers unrecognized as a casualty of war. They own you once you become part of the military.  And it's their prerogative to treat these courageous men and women as guinea pigs---exposing them to depleted Uranium and contaminants at wartime. Maybe so, but not to inform the soldiers of the toxic environment in which they live, bleed and fight. Is callous, inhumane, and against the credo of a warrior. And then to abandon them in their darkest hour because their wound is Cancer and not shrapnel---is soulless. This is the new plight for the 21st century's unknown soldier.... In January 2005, 33 year-old Army Specialist Gregory Anton left for Iraq in perfect health. His horrors wouldn't begin until his tour ended.  SPC Anton's journey began at Camp Shelby, Mississippi with 20 other soldiers in his Unit. When the 14 year National Guard active duty E-4 soldier walked onto the bus in the still hours of that January morn. His Army Combat Uniform would take him to the desert of Kuwait.

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The Calming Breath

The Calming Breath (calms the Breather in minutes and builds resiliency at the same time).

Breath is the gateway into the body and the unconscious. Aside from being relaxing,  the Calming Breath has many health and mental health benefits including lowering blood pressure, alleviating feelings of stress, anxiety and depression because it lowers production of stress hormones.  If you are stressed long enough, then you will soon be living in the survival mode which means functioning from the mid-brain: reactive, aggressive or withdrawn, poor sleep, irritable, depressed.  If the stress has been more intense as it is with many of  our combat vets or those who live in the inner city war zones or whose direct descendants suffered Adverse Events, you are more likely than not to have brain changes/suppressed DNA that you will pass on and/or have inherited yourself.  

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Spirit Houses - application

If you want to create a Spirit House or learn about the tradition, see Steve Kinne's article.  

Here's how one of us did this.  We will call her Barbara, who didn't want to build a spirit house from scratch (some people will) so she looked around for an appropriate structure.  Nothing there in her house but while walking in the pasture she found/remembered a birdhouse...perfect, that would do.  Only not that specific bird house. It was occupied and she didn't want to evict the birds that were already living there so she took the idea and went to yard sales and feed and garden stores and looked on line until she found a bird house that fit for her Spirit House.

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An Offering of Beauty to Life

Giving gifts to life. 

Consider this -- Balinese make beautiful handmade offerings every single day to entice, appease and appeal to the Spirits -- to keep the world in balance.  To bring good fortune.  To show appreciation and gratitude. 

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