• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Camino Podcast Episode 32 - Veterans on the Camino

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Soldiers are hardly a new phenomenon on the Camino de Santiago; indeed, the pilgrimage originated hand in glove with the military initiative to reconquer the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. Today, though, a new movement is taking place to bring more veterans to pilgrimage, as a potential rite of passage to mark their re-entry into civilian life. Brad Genereux has been a key catalyst in this work, taking his own experience--which he wrote about in A Soldier to Santiago--and extending it outward to others through his organization, Veterans on the Camino. Dan Huvane, a US marine, was part of a 2018 cohort that Brad led. The potential of this is also the stuff of research, with Dr. Heather Warfield at the forefront of that work. This episode features Brad, Dan, and Heather, talking about their experiences and the impact of pilgrimage on veterans.

https://soundcloud.com/user-939742370%2Fepisode-32-veterans-on-the-camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Thanks for sharing! I can see we actually had a thread related to it here in the forum at some point: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-soldiers-camino-–-post-activity-report.50788/

@RefugeInsomniac - if you're still around, did anything spin out of your 2017 pilgrimage and report?

Yes, I remember that now. Back in 2011, I ran into an Irish Guards veteran of Iraq with whom I had a conversation over a glass of something admirable, and he spoke to me of how his walk had been helpful to him. A few years later I remember speaking with @RefugeInsomniac at the earlier stages of developing their project and it seemed to provide a useful exercise for the soldiers and veterans involved.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
Hi Dave,
I am on semester break from my university teaching job with some time for Camino dreaming. I bought Brad's book and hope to get it delivered early next week. Both my husband and I are Veterans and we can see the healing nature pilgrimage brings.
Thanks again for restarting your podcasts. So much better listening than watching TV from the treadmill at the gym.
Janet
 

RefugeInsomniac

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: Apr 2013 - Apr 2014 - Sep 2015 - Apr 2017
Thanks for sharing! I can see we actually had a thread related to it here in the forum at some point: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-soldiers-camino-–-post-activity-report.50788/

@RefugeInsomniac - if you're still around, did anything spin out of your 2017 pilgrimage and report?
Hi Dave; sorry for the late reply - I clearly missed your message somehow. Regarding our Camino initiative, sadly it did not generate any interested parties willing to move it forward. However, it was well-received by other soldiers, and those that participated have continued their trekking journeys around the globe, one has returned to walk the Camino del Norte. Others were scheduled to return this past summer but obviously were unable because of Covid-19.

I will say that we learned a great deal about developing the project and certainly, more about the challenges of managing a group of soldiers with intense Operational Stress Injuries (OSI) during the Camino; most of which was not in the end report. We did offer Dr Heather Warfield the opportunity to interview those participants willing to speak with her and to engage us directly about our post-Camino observations, but did not hear back.

In summary, I will say that this initiative took a great deal out of both my partner and me, much more than anticipated. In hindsight, dealing with 8 participates who were themselves managing with raw OSI injuries to various degrees was draining for all; again, the result was worth it. Moving forward, unless fully supported in a more comprehensive manner, one or two individuals would be more manageable.

Hope this provides some insight.
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 57 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 202 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 330 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 96 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 25 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 386 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 159 11.9%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top