My Aching Heart


My heart is aching.  My heart is aching for men and women all over the world who have ever been asked to kill for their country or their god.

On every medium I chance upon these days, there is some message urging support of our troops.  Or support of our veterans.  Or telling me of the horrible things veterans endured for my freedom. Or urging me to send money, letters, packages to active duty soldiers.

I watch television (I know, that might just be my first mistake, right?), and I see war, and violence and the glorification of dying for a “cause”.  Every time I do, I see painfully accurate portrayals of what I have seen in my life.  I see “that look” in the eyes of a man who has had to kill and who must bury what he really felt in order to survive.  I see stories similar to when a friend of mine, after being home from Vietnam for a number of years, could not contain his secret within himself any longer…he had to unburden having videoed himself, as a gunner on a helicopter, shooting the “enemy”.  I see television shows and movies putting on little “morality” plays over and over, laying out before us the real damage done by asking a person to harm another…most recently in the show “Homeland”, where a main character is actually relieved to be released from the torture in his mind from the things his country asked him to commit, and this relief shows on his face as he is hung in a public square.  They show us these things over and over, but all that seems to stick is that it is good to die for your country, or your cause…the personal results are yours, as an individual, to deal with.

Then I look around and I see the literally wounded in my community.  I see the statistics of the number of soldiers of recent conflicts suffering from a myriad of mental and physical diseases.  I see stories of ex military snapping.  I see the statistics of homeless veterans.  I hear from a man who recruits for the Houston Police Department that they rarely recruit military any more because they are too damaged and too violent.  I witnessed, as a juror in traffic court, a young man so traumatized by his tours in Afghanistan that even watching the video of being ticketed by a police officer caused him to tremble and fight back his tears…and this while on antidepressant and anti anxiety medication!

Fast forward from other times, from past conflicts, and I see aging veterans with military bumper stickers identifying the branch of the military they served in, and wearing baseball hats emblazoned with the war they served in whilst in military service.  They join lodges, they have reunions of those with similar experiences…and, of course, they have to do this, because how else can they “speak” of the things that torture them, except by not having to speak at all, because all surrounding them know exactly what they know.  It is also who they identify themselves as being, as powerfully as they identify themselves as being father, husband, son or daughter.

The United States (indeed, the world!) has done a good job of indoctrination.  They have created a “brotherhood” (and now sisterhood), that lasts a lifetime.  This brotherhood, in our current world, with relationships of all kind being ripped asunder…parents from children, husband from wife, teachers not trusted any longer…having one thing, one brotherhood, they can count on, is immensely appealing.  I get that.  The military teaches so many things, like discipline, selflessness, loyalty, patriotism, duty,…and that most illusive of all things, how to keep your room clean!  I get that it seems to be necessary these days, but why?  How is it that this mystique has been built up so successfully around killing and death?  How has it become honorable to kill and die for your country?

What have we done?!  What have we done to the young that one of the main bonding arenas in this world is found in institutions that promote these things?  Why are we willing to sacrifice our young for patriotism?  or money?  or land?  or God?

Further, why would I even consider asking someone to die for my freedom to be against killing…if I am not willing to stand, unarmed, passively, and die for what I believe.  In other words, how can I ask someone to defend what I believe, by doing that in which I do not believe?

Because we believe it is what God does.  Because we believe it is what God asks of us.  “Onward Christian Soldiers” and jihad, might makes right, and all of the similar things that have been placed into our consciousness from the time we were little.

These soldiers are not monsters!  They do what they do because they sincerely and completely believe they are doing the honorable thing.  In fact, they ARE honorable…but are they being honorably informed and motivated?  I do not believe so.

I think that we can certainly find evidence of new forms of information available to us, guiding us to our inner knowing of killing one another for “honor” of any kind is not our true nature, but we all tend to gravitate to what we know…after we have been told what we believe.  Which means, to me, that we must inform the informers that their information is, as CWG says, incomplete.

Support and love the veteran now that he/she has given their gift to you…but give them a gift in return.  Go to your places of worship and question out loud how a merciful, all loving, God would ever ask anyone to die for It.  Ask yourself, consciously, how harming your child in any way, could ever be what God would ask of you, or direct you to do.  Go to your schools and question the history books.  Become involved in Spiritual Politics, requiring your elected representatives to have a broad understanding of Oneness.  Suggest to elected officials that soldiers can be of “service” in many more ways than those requiring killing…natural disaster relief comes to mind.

Why?  How is this your gift for their service?  It is your gift, because you will refuse to ask their children to die.

I read an article recently about a pilot who, many years after his plane was shot down, met the man who shot him down.  He ends the story of this reunion with this:

“There’s so much misunderstanding in the world resulting in unnecessary sorrow. Having…—a positive, joyful family—in my life has altered my perspective. It may sound trite, but if only there were a way for all the religious, cultural, and ethnic groups of the world to meet and get to know one another in a meaningful way—the way (he) and I have—how could we ever go to war again?”

Good question…how could we?  Why do we?  When will we give men and women something better to identify with for a lifetime?

(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at  She may be contacted at:

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  • Trisha

    I’ve been wondering about this indoctrination a long, long time. We send our children (18-20 somethings) off to war and call it good because they are protecting us from dying. We sacrifice others for this illusion of safety as if we can erase this act of what we call death affecting us. Americans feel justified to go to other countries and kill others but when NYC was hit we did not go to compassion for others because we now know what that feels like, instead we went to fear and attacking more. We justify we are more deserving of God’s grace than someone in another country but forget that we are all holy, divine creatures and God loves all of us. We also forget we are eternal and there is nothing to protect. We are very dense and backwards but we refuse to see how ignorant we really are.

  • Well war is a brilliant excuse to keep the negative drama going & ensure we don’t fall into that awful place of endless peace & harmony, too boring & uninteresting to live that way!

    That is, until an alternative way is shown. So a world that decides to visualize world peace more than accept war as inevitable is one alternative. It’s a start. So visualize & feel the world peace possibility as a first response.

    Let that energy decide & inspire the next action or actions step. I mean even the Law of Attraction ends with the word action!

  • Blake

    On Killing: The Psychological Cost of
    Learning to Kill in War and Society

    by Dave Grossman

    Dave Grossman spoke that it is not natural for humans
    killing humans in fact in many early wars men shot over the heads of their
    enemies afraid of killing. 98% of all combat veterans experience some form of
    post traumatic stress disease. Only 2% are psychotic and feel nothing and
    actually enjoy killing.

    Wars fought today have different training methods that were
    not available before 1995 since then soldiers are trained in live fire fight
    simulations that teach the soldier to kill more effectively using computer
    video gaming. The training is so effective that 96% of combat soldiers kill
    when they fire their weapon as opposed to 26% before computer technology was
    ever used in combat training.

    These video gaming programs are used every day by our
    children at home on their own TV sets and computers. Doctor Grossman spent a
    lot of time in his book warning politicians that video gaming is responsible
    for younger boys killing people easily because their minds cannot discriminate
    between their firing a real weapon the same way they shoot the gun on a video
    game. Because violent video gaming is as prevalent in our society as recreation,
    murders and shootings have risen to alarming rates.

    The corporations that sell these devices have expensive
    lobbying services that pay millions of dollars to our politicians to prevent
    society from banning these games or at least restricting them to more mature
    audiences, on a smaller note the U.S.Military uses video gaming as a recruiting
    tool in malls across America to enlist our children into military service, one
    observer has said, “If you can get a kid to kill early enough in a game you’ve
    got him for life.”


    • Therese

      “If you can get a kid to kill early enough in a game you’ve
      got him for life.”


      And gun manufacturers are actually funding the development of these “games” as well, which should be a giant clue as to what the real intent of having children play them is.

      So…how do we form, or join a group that can make the country aware of this in a way they will respond to? Political pressure works only if the constituents speak with a single voice on an issue, and loudly!

      • Blake

        As Neale D Walsch suggests this is a spiritual problem when adults teach killing to children as a way of life these adults pray to a God that also kills and makes violence okay based on scripture from a Holy Book.

        Theresa, you and I and many others are coming to believe that God needs nothing and if God needs nothing and all there is is Love and God is Love we are redesigning how it is not okay to kill.

        Remember, all the political, economic, laws, and military solutions have not gotten Humankind to change, therefore look for a spiritual transformation instead.


        • Therese

          Yes, sir, I get what you are saying, but what if…

          those of us who believe as you state ALSO express that belief politically? Isn’t that where we are moving? So…how do we find each other in significant enough numbers to effect that political change that comes from a new understanding of God?

          Blessings back to you.

  • Blake

    Neale said in “the Storm before the Calm” the amount of people in the world that need to change their outlook on any one point of view is 2.5% of the worlds population. Under the US political system money talks we would have to build a grassroots lobby with 2.5% revenues to payoff the politicians and we might have a short-term solution.

    And this choice is choosing to use old tactics that have proven over and over throughout history to cause little if any change..

    If however we create Spiritual Action Groups (SAG) that go into churches and teach people “That ours is not a better way, ours is just another way.”

    That “God wants nothing from us,” and love is all there is.”

    I think that SAG’s would transform our political might without having to surrender to competing for a new law. The existing religious base is larger than 2.5% of the population and changing peoples outlook on God would transform the political construct thereby creating a greater outcome other than a simple law.

    • Therese

      “If however we create Spiritual Action Groups …”

      I am changing that to “When we create…” because I know they are already there, I just don’t see them…


  • Blake


  • Blake

    Thought, Word, Action! I created the concept “Spiritual Action Group” now what is a SAG going to look like, feel like, and act like?

    My first thought is that people would coach each other to pitch the teachings of the New Spirituality to church groups. Then I thought that a SAG might be a group of ex-clergy that would go to churches of their denominations and bring the New Spirituality that way.

    What do you think Therese?


  • mewabe

    Get everyone you know to read “War is a Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler, written in 1935 (nothing has changed!)

    You don’t even have to be spiritual to smell the rot. But facing reality takes the kind of courage the multitudes lack, that’s why they hang on to myths and fairy tales about the military “protecting their freedom”.

    People have an infantile need to believe in their government, kind of like believing in your daddy. It is difficult to pierce through this neurotic need, which is why governments can lie so easily and get away with it, because the public chooses denial and suppression in order that its belief in the system not be seriously threatened.

    Voluntary slavery requires self-delusion, and that’s where these fairy tales come handy, to hide, suppress and deny a reality that, if acknowledged, would be too devastating for most, who do not have a strong psychological, emotional and spiritual foundation.