Volunteering for Veterans

Jun 21, 2018

By Kathy Halvorson

Volunteering to help veterans using BodyTalk has been very rewarding! I have been volunteering for causes I believe in since I was 24 years old. I'm in my 60s now, so it's been quite a long time.
 
Over the years, I noticed a fellow volunteer, Gail Soffer. We have both helped out at events promoting peace at Ivory's Rock Conference Center outside of Brisbane, Australia since 1992. 
 
In 2017, Gail approached me and asked if I was still doing healing modalities and, if so, would I be interested in helping with veterans in the Los Angeles area. She spoke with me about her Mindful Warrior Project, a non-profit that introduces the military-connected population to simple, secular mindfulness practices and many other possibilities for well-being. Gail is the Founder and Executive Director of this organization and has been dedicated to providing veterans with as wide a variety of alternative healthcare options as possible, free of charge, as a way to give back to her community.
 
Gail's selfless dedication inspired me to assist her as a volunteer. I committed to helping once per month, doing BodyTalk sessions at the Mindful Warrior Project's Wellness Areas/Wellness Days around L.A.
 
Volunteering allows me to meet and help people that I would not normally meet in my community; men and women of different races, lifestyles, experiences, and backgrounds. These are people that are not necessarily living in the suburbs where I live but in the inner cities or rural areas. When I work on many different people from many different areas I tend to find one thing in common: We are all human beings desiring the fulfillment of the same basic needs as anyone else. We all want to be happy, be safe, have connection, and be healthy. 
 

In this image, Kathy performs BodyTalk on a veteran client at Christmastime Wellness Day for Greater Los Angeles Area American Legion Post Members.

I have seen that after my sessions with veterans at the Wellness Days, they are smiling and more peaceful as I walk them to the door. They often express their appreciation for the care, but I feel I am the one who has benefited the most from meeting them. Volunteering in this way also provides me the chance to introduce BodyTalk work to people that might never have heard of it before. 
 
In my sessions I rely on many of the BodyTalk basic balancing techniques I have learned, and especially on those taught by Dr. John Veltheim, founder of BodyTalk, relating to stress and PTSD.

Note: Make sure if you do want to volunteer that you find a reputable agency to connect with. You want to make sure your valuable time is spent well and that you are kept safe.

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