May 24, 2011

Turtle Women Rising: The Tradition of Honoring Veterans

Eli PaintedCrow,
holds a proud history from the Yaqui Nation and Mexican ancestry. She is the mother to two veteran sons and a grandmother of eight. Eli is an advocate for Peace and an advocate for returning soldiers. A 22yr Army veteran whose eyes were opened in her last tour of military service, while in Iraq. Eli has committed to bring forward the strategies used in this society to continue keeping communities separated and in conflict.[...]
The founder of Turtle Women Rising: A Peace Ceremony led by primarily Indigenous Women in October 2008 in Washington D.C. The intention: to bring healing to the planet and its inhabitants with the knowledge our ancestors left us. Eli’s concern for the future generations has inspired her to be their voice at this crucial time of our changing planet.
Taken from her website,
Our military personnel and veterans from previous wars to the present are in need of being embraced as the returning warriors. Many of us were never officially welcomed home. Our military families are in need of support as their loved ones returned changed forever from their experiences. Our communities must be prepared to face the challenges that arise from these changes, to help us remember that we are honored for our service when we swore to defend this nation, and will be cared for upon our return. Our Nation must provide the space to come home, to heal and to find purpose again.
Whether we believed that this service was honorable, patriotic and standing for the cause, standing for this country and the flag, or we now see a different reality of an illusion that veiled our eyes from the truth of death and destruction that will be implanted forever in the mind and seared in the heart; the pain of the participation in war and unsure of the real reason for it all. We Welcome You Home.
For our families who have made the greatest sacrifice of losing a loved one while in military service, we Honor you and embrace you into this gathering. Please come and share your space with us as we work towards healing ourselves and each other the only way Indigenous people know how, to come together as community and pray. We Honor the Fallen, their Families and Loved ones. It is our Honor to have you with us at this Gathering.

Whether we signed up for college money, to make a career for ourselves, to support our families and help our economic status, or signed up after 911 to offer up a fight for the attack-- We were there and we have served dutifully with our lives, our bodies, and our hearts. We did the unthinkable and lived the unimaginable. We worked the unreasonable and watched our lives change before us without giving it a second thought. In fact it was easier not to think. You Are Here Now and We Welcome You Home.

We Turtle Women Rising understand the walk of our military personnel and our Veterans for our indigenous ways have always honored Warrior ways. We extend to you our Warriors a space to BE, a space to reconnect, a space to be embraced, and a space to be healed in the most sacred way we can offer. Our offerings include our songs, our prayers, our arms, and this sacred space to honor YOU; to honor your family and to welcome YOU--Home. The Women and Men who have served and those still serving are recognized and acknowledged as we pray for the healing on this land where the decision to go to war was made. It is only fitting that the Welcome Home be here now on the same land to receive you back. We have traveled far to STAND on this land to WELCOME YOU HOME!! We extend our hearts and hands to you to be a Warrior for your family, your community, and your future generations. We invite you to protect and provide for the Women, Children and the Elderly. We ask that you only do What is Necessary, Know your Enemy, Protect the Innocent and Keep your Integrity. This has been the indigenous way of the warrior.

We Turtle Women Rising invite military families to join us as we celebrate their return and we honor their service. Lets us come together facing the unknown of our Warriors' wounds, the visible and invisible, the external and internal. Let us come together to create community, communication, and join as comrades on this journey of embracing our returning Warrior.

This is Turtle Women Rising's give away to honor you and your family.

Honor and Memorial Gifts… If your heart speaks to you to make a Paypal donation in memory or in honor of a Veteran, whether in Spirit or still walking the Earth, click on the “Send Message" box on the left of the Checkout page. Enter the Veteran’s name (and if you wish, a brief note about where and when they served). These names will be read aloud at the Sacred Fire during Turtle Women Rising 2010 gathering in WA DC.

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