This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.
Fifty years ago the last of the U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam and Repatriation of our remaining prisoners of war (POW). In this ceremony acknowledging the honor and sacrifice of Vietnam Vets, with a Welcome Home, those being honored expressed this being the first time they received a “Welcome Home”. At the time they arrived back home from war, they changed out of uniform prior to disembarking from the plane. The ceremony was held at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, with the option to attend online through streaming to YouTube. Watch the ceremony here.
The honored speaker for the event was Captain J. Charles Plumb, a jet fighter pilot who was captured and a Vietnam POW for six years. His story is a remarkable story of survival. Which he credits to the community that was created within the other POW’s through a code, a way of languaging. He had a knowing that he was not alone. There were others who knew who he was. He knew who they were. Connection. Simple connection with another human being. I am alive and someone cares. The story is of such that only other POW’s can relate to.
This is a story which so incredibly illuminates the work of trauma recovery.
Recovering from trauma and healing happen in Community. This is work that cannot be done alone. Community and language – a code, a new language was created that was integrated into every movement and thought. He spoke of even chopping wood to the rhythm of the tapping out of the code.
In honor of the story and the many untold stories of Vietnam Vets who did not receive a Welcome Home, invite a moment of silence. Pause to be Home. Welcome home all the shattered pieces of self that become scattered with a traumatic experience.
To learn more about how Trauma Recovery helps with connecting and languaging for traumatized populations, I hope you reach out.