Please read this moving letter from a Veteran (JW) received 9/4/2015 on his Journey Home from war and the importance of the labyrinth:

I am proud to call Huntsville, Alabama my birthplace and home. My experiences as a soldier and now a veteran are regretfully unremarkable because of the many men and women who have suffered through the same wounds. Some call the wound PTSD and by other names.  I enlisted in the US Army infantry after graduating college from Samford University, with the same calling as my fellow brothers and sisters in arms: we would not ask someone else to do for us what we were not willing to do for others. However, nothing could prepare us for the soul penetrating moral injury that deeply affects all of us who have seen the darkness of war. Even with the brilliant and passionate healthcare professionals who were tasked to ‘reintegrate’ us into society; our wounds were treated, but not healed. This is where my story differentiates from that of my comrades: I was given the gift of the process behind the Honor walk, from a friend. I returned from combat as a shell of myself, isolated, angry, and tired. I felt like a stranger in my own skin, and felt that anyone who came close enough to touch me would become infected with the toxicity that radiated from my soul. I came into my term of service with a fervent faith, but left with a deep guilt, not only that I survived when my brothers and sisters didn’t, but that I would never be able to repay them for the greatest measure of love one person who sacrifices him or herself, can give another. It was an endless storm of guilt and unrequited grief upon my soul. However, when I spontaneously released that boulder, figuratively and literally, during my first Honor Walk, it was if the flood waters receded. Only in that ancient and sacred space was I given permission to release the burden of my guilt and shame. In that space, within those simple circles, I felt my soul not only unburden, but expand beyond the boundaries of my own experience. I now use the gifts of my experiences to teach and mentor children.  I also have the privilege of leading young men out of the containers of their own fear  toward maturity.  This we do through creative work in initiation and empowering soldiers to fully become Noble Warriors and use their leadership skills here in their own land.   I have had the honor of sharing my experiences with my fellow service women and men in many ways since I made that first Honor Walk. There has been a profound change since I walked  for healing for the first time and now many times- I now serve not in a state of debt, but in a state of gratefulness. I am eternally grateful that the lights of my fallen comrades now emblazon my heart, that through their sacrifices we as a community and nation might allow their lights to spread amongst us all. That with hope, they will lead us out of the darkness as wise leaders here at home; toward a deep and lasting reconciliation. The Honor Walk is simple in its design; however, intimate and profound in its ability to bring a soldier into the place of their own pain and find within that same space that the healing emerges within a person into becoming a whole human being. It doesn’t matter by which name you call what is most sacred to you; it doesn’t matter how deep or convoluted your pain is; it doesn’t matter how far gone you think you the center of the Honor Walk exists a thin space, a quiet and gentle place, where one finds true reconciliation and something that has always existed when called upon in each of us. Simply put, the Honor Walk gives us the permission to call upon and honor our journeys;  that path which has always been and will always be.  There is a way home.    JW