Photo by Jenny Kirchner

By War Horse Creek

In his recent book “Tribe,” Sebastian Junger writes, “In humans, lack of social support has been found to be twice as reliable at predicting PTSD as the severity of the trauma itself … No one goes to war and returns unaffected, and these burdens do not belong to the veteran alone — they belong to all of us.” (

This is confirmed by Dr. William Nash, a Navy psychiatrist who served for 33 years with U.S. Marine combat units, and is an expert on “moral injury.” 

“People that have had the best outcomes … it’s almost always because of relationships, because somebody listened to them, really listened … without judgment or turning away. And then giving the person the greatest gift we can offer. That is to say ‘I hear you, I believe you, but I still love you.’ You don’t need any special skill to provide this service.” 

This Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, the Idyllwild community is invited to Town Hall, 25925 Cedar St., from 2-5 p.m. to hear veterans from all wars share their military experiences. This is one way our community can come together, bear witness, and possibly relieve some of the burden from those who served this country and deserve a heartfelt welcome home. 

This event is not political. It is not to discuss the merits of any war. It is not for argument or protest. This is the veterans’ time to tell their community what it felt like to join the military, to go to war, to experience extreme highs and lows, and about challenges that arise in the aftermath. 

Some veterans say it is harder to speak about what happened to them than it was to endure the experience itself. So when veterans are willing to speak up, it is important that our community and society make the time to hear what they have to say.

Idyllwild Veteran Town Hall is sponsored by Idyllwild Community Center and American Legion Post 800, in collaboration with War Horse Creek at Living Free Animal Sanctuary. To learn more about War Horse Creek go to or call 951-659-4687.