Veterans and the Effects of War

Robert Bly’s 27th Annual Minnesota Men’s Conference and Dr. Ed Tick, director of Soldier’s Heart, joined together for the 2011 conference: “When the Waters Rise: Men and the Work of Renewal,” to be held at Camp Miller near Sturgeon Lake, MN on September 13 -18, 2011.

In 2011 we called out to all men in our society who have been physically, spiritually, emotionally and psychically traumatized by deep and unresolved grief.   Chief among these are our warriors – our veterans.  Ed Tick joined forces with our talented group of internationally acclaimed teachers to help create a safe place for veterans, civilians, anti-war demonstrators, refugees, the young and the old to come together to tell our stories to one another and address the invisible and unhealed wounds of past and current conflicts.

Ed Tick, who has worked with veterans for over 30 years, describes in his groundbreaking book War and the Soul how war’s overwhelming violence damages the soul so that the true self flees and can become lost for life.  Radical therapies preformed in supportive healing communities are needed so that the soul can return.

Twenty-seven years ago the Minnesota Men’s Conference began reaching out to men of all ages and backgrounds in an effort to help restore the practice of authentic rites of passage, including “radical therapies” or, as indigenous teachers call them “radical rituals.”  A healing ritual can change a person from living wounded in an isolated, diseased state to living in wholeness, health, hope and inclusion.  Our conference is designed to speak to all men in our culture who have been traumatized by our society’s culture of war and violence.

In addition to our veterans, the effects of war and armed conflict have irrevocably changed many men.  These include civilians, anti-war demonstrators, refugees and conscientious objectors.  Each brings a personal story and a complex background of experience that deserves be shared and honored. The conference will provide a safe, inclusive space for dialogue, reflection and storytelling that can help heal and transform the wounds of war.  All men are brothers and all brothers are welcome and encouraged to attend for their own homecoming and as helpers who create a homecoming for those still lost and wandering.  We must finally all be in this healing and homecoming process together and in service to our veterans who have served us all.

For more information about this annual conference and how to register this year, please visit our website:, or feel free to call me at: 860.942.1658 EST.  – Craig Ungerman