To all of the supporters of Council FIRE, you each have a piece of this good work, your prayers, encouragement, and donations have been put to good use. We have previously posted stories of our wood runs, and given special thanks to Wayne and Kris Thompson, and to the Weyerhaeuser Company for generously providing the logs that ultimately become the fuel for the sweat lodge ceremonies.
Warren Gohl, Secretary Treasurer of Council FIRE, is the Chief Elder and Cultural Liaison for the V.A. Sweat Lodge Elders Circle. We have stepped up to take on the enormous task of providing firewood – free of charge – to them. Previously the elders had to harvest or pay for the wood themselves, a not insignificant amount of hard work (cutting, bucking, splitting, stacking, …) or precious resources (thousands of dollars out of their own pockets!).
With your help, we can continue to support this good work.
Carrying ceremonial medicines and artifacts used during a sweat lodge, veterans hoped to help
heal the invisible wounds of war Sunday 11/9/14 at American Lake Veteran’s Hospital in Lakewood. PHOTOS BY DEAN J. KOEPFLER — Staff photographer
Marty Martinez drank too much and carried a grudge when he retired from the Army almost 20 years ago. He wasn’t about to open up to a therapist about it.
“I’ve been angry my whole life, and my PTSD just made it worse,” said Martinez, 62.
But, slowly, something changed. Martinez has been reconnecting with the Native American ceremonies he set aside when he was a young man. Earlier this year, the former Special Forces soldier from Olympia felt a burden lift.
In the dark and the heat of a sweat lodge, surrounded by other veterans seeking to heal their own wounds of war, Martinez “was able to let go of 60 years’ worth of anger.”