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Thread: Another Newbie

  1. #1

    Another Newbie

    Hi all!
    My name's Karl. I'm new to this site, and relatively new to Buddhism. I grew up a Christian- Dutch Reformed, to be exact, which is like Presbyterianism without all the fervor and excitement.
    After serving as a member of a US Army convoy team in Iraq, I found my way to Unitarianism, and from there, about a year and a half ago, slowly worked my way into Mahayana.
    Iraq changed my life in a number of ways, mainly by way of a neck injury that makes service impossible. I am now a massage therapist, and also work in a physical therapy clinic. I figure after spending all my adult life as a soldier, re-training my hands to heal and my mind toward compassion has just GOT to be good karma.
    I have four kids, a 20 year old in the US Air Force, and 3 girls, 16, 5, and 3.
    A stressed out combat vet, with three daughters and a son overseas. NO ONE needs to sit daily more than I do. This site, the "sitting room," Jundo's teaching, and "lurking" here reading you good folks' posts has been healing and grounding for me more than I can express.
    Good to be here, and I hope to "meet" you all.

  2. #2
    Hi Karl,

    You are very very welcome here. We have a couple of military/retired military folks about here too.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3
    Hi Karl,

    where I was brought up most of my mates either went into the forces or off to uni. I passed my a-levels so did a degree in geology.

    I sometimes wonder where my life would have gone if I'd joined the forces like my brother. I find it hard to imagine, may be I shouldn't :lol:

    gassho, kev

  4. #4

    Welcome. I find it interesting that there are so many members of the military coming here. The fact that after such an experience - that many of us cannot imagine - people confront issues that lead them in this direction shows that there must be a bit of silver lining in the cloud of war.


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  9. #9
    welcome n00b! :twisted:

  10. #10
    Welcome aboard! I stayed on an Army FOB for a couple of months in Iraq. Totally changed my perception of my own service.


  11. #11
    Hey Jordan-
    What FOB were you on? I was on a convoy team, stationedout of Camp Anaconda near the city of Balad. But I also spent a lot of time at Camp Speicher in tikrit, Camp McKenzie, in Ad Duluiyah, (a few days a week,) Camp Danger, Camp Dagger, Camp Ramagen, etc...
    Was also in Doha, Udairi (Camp Buehring) and Camp Liberty in Kuwait.

  12. #12
    FOB Falcon, formerly Known as Camp Ferrin-Huggins. About a 10 min CH53 ride from BIAP. I was a Fobbit so no convoy duty. Best chow I think I have ever had, but that may be weighted because I was on The USS Duluth prior to getting to the sand box. I did Udari too both comming and going. spent a few days at what I think was called camp victory? right next to BIAP waiting to get on a C-130 back to Kuwait.

    Take care,

  13. #13
    USS Duluth?
    Were you in O.I.F. III?

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  15. #15
    Yes, with the 15th MEU

    No kidding!!?
    OIF III, with the 642nd Aviation Support BN under the XVIII Airborne CorpsI was with the "Outkast Express" convoy team. 200+ missions.
    Remember when they got the "resort" base in Qatar? My son is with the USAF as a cop there now.

  16. #16
    Hmm, Resort base in Qutar was not my fate. Maybe the ACE? The whole air element got hijacked by CENTCOM as soon as we got in country. So it was just the Command element, Battalion landing team 1/1 and MSSG-15 on Falcon.

  17. #17
    Hey Karl,

    Welcome! I am very glad that Treeleaf is serving you.

    I don't think I mentioned this yet, but I was also in the military. I was a combat medic in the Army Reserves. Came very close to going to the Gulf in '91 while a senior in college. But after receiving my "get ready to go" orders, the cease fire was called. I too wonder how my life would have turned out had I gone.


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  19. #19
    Hi Karl,

    Welcome, glad to have you around. I was never in the military, but I did work for a company in the defense industry at the beginning of my professional career.


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  21. #21
    Hi Karl,

    What was the Unitarian church like? I find Unitarianism rather interesting, though not enough so that I've ever attended a service.

    Welcome to the forum.


  22. #22
    What was the Unitarian church like? I find Unitarianism rather interesting, though not enough so that I've ever attended a service.

    I still attend, quite actively. In a nutshell, the Unitarian Universalists are a "Church" only in the sense that they explore spiritual truths. In my congregation, services are entirely "Lay-led," while others do have full time ministers.
    There are no "creeds" or beliefs to which one MUST adhere... rather, Unitarians are committed to finding their own truths, helping one another do the same, and moving together in a direction that will facilitate both the individual and group's efforts in that regard as well as binding together of people who have diverse personal beliefs toward the common goal of serving one another individually and serving the local community as a body.
    In my group are (obviously,) a Buddhist, several christians, some Jews, a few Secular Humanists, a number of Wiccans, and an Asatruar. One woman is an athiest. Additionally, UU congregations are open to ANYONE... rich, poor, gay, straight, healthy, challenged, etc... and all have an equal say in congregational decisions and matters. While I wouldn't call what we do "Worship," all those diverse people and htheir beliefs focus on common ground rather than difference, and are able to work spiritually and communally. The only "sins," I suppose, would be some sort of "fundamentalist" apprach to others, or any type of judgementalism.
    A typical service begins with the ringing of a bell (at my fellowship, and many others, it happens to be aa singing-bowl,) then a period of meditation and opening words, the lighting of a candle or lamp in a chalice (denominational symbol of the search for truth and wisdom,) and then some singing, sharing of joys/concerns, and a program. Usually the program isn't a "sermon," but is rather someone sharing spiritual or social insights. We've had speakers from the local Buffhist monastery ( wonder who set THAT up...) guys from the ACLU, a Franciscan monk, people from within the UU denomination, a Wiccan priestess, etc... all just in the last few months.
    this was a lot longetr than intended. Hope that gave you some idea.

  23. #23
    The Unitarians (I know best the Universalist Unitarians) are generally very, very nice to Zen Buddhists. The Zen Sangha where I was an assisting teacher for years sits daily in a UU building, and all fits together.

    This friend of mine (James Ford) is perhaps the most connected Unitarian Zennist, as he is ordained as minister/teacher in both ... ... i_88702686

    Gassho, J

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    Yeah, it's been my experience that Zen has an extremely heavy presence within UUism, (often because the UU's are more accessible locally,) and many Zen practices are part of UU services every week in congregations around the country.

  25. #25
    By the way- is anyone in or from the NJ area?
    I live up in the mountains now, but grew up looking at Manhattan out my window.
    Any locals?

  26. #26
    Hey Karl,

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    By the way- is anyone in or from the NJ area?
    I live up in the mountains now, but grew up looking at Manhattan out my window.
    Any locals?
    While I'm orginally from CT, I lived in NYC for 7 years ('88-'95). I also lived for 1 year in Jersey City (Hamilton Park - the Newport/Pavonia stop on the PATH).


  27. #27
    Hi there, Karl! Welcome!

    I'm one of the military types here...I'm the mom of a soldier doing his second tour. He's in Balad at the mo. He's Army aviation and is a crew chief for the Black Hawks.

    Hey, have you read the book "War and The Soul" by Dr. Edward Tick? If not, I can't recommend it highly enough. He's a psychiatrist who has treated vets for PTSD and explores the topic of the warrior from many different angles. It's one of the most poignant and beautifully written books on PTSD and war I've read. When I saw my son after his first tour I saw all his signs and symptoms of PTSD. I know he wasn't treated for it and I hope it's not going to get worse with this second tour.

    Anyway, my deepest gratitude and compassion beyond all words to all of you who have served and any of you who have loved ones serving.

    In Gassho~


  28. #28
    I'm one of the military types here...I'm the mom of a soldier doing his second tour. He's in Balad at the mo. He's Army aviation and is a crew chief for the Black Hawks.

    I was with the 642nd Aviation Support Battallion, (though not a flyer,) and stationed at Camp anaconda (AKA "Mortaritaville") in Balad.
    We had nothing but hawks.
    Send him my best, and tell him to avoid the shower stalls at the pool.

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