I spent 15 of my 24 years in the military as a, “Green Beret,” a proud member of the United States Army Special Forces. I am a combat veteran, a modern warrior, and a quiet professional.
I clearly remember the day when I took the oath, “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I and my comrades took this oath freely, fully knowing the risks and sacrifices our nation would ask of us. We love our nation, we love our fellow citizens, and we love each other.
I am often reminded of the sacrifices of my fallen comrades – Staff Sergeant Mike Simpson, Captain Dan Eggers, Captain Jeremy Chandler, CW2 Bruce Price, Sergeant First Class Mark Jackson, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Clark, Lieutenant Colonel Jaimie Leonard, and others. I hold onto their memory, cherish our connection, and draw strength from their embodiment of selfless service, courage, and love. No one understands sacrifice, love for country, and the importance of connection more than warriors and Gold Star Families (families of the fallen).
I have a daily yoga and meditation practice that has served me both at home and in a combat environment. Mind-body practices have helped me to fully embrace the warrior I have become through my combat experiences and decades of service to our nation.
When the Global War on Terrorism began, we never imagined that we were entering a war that has come to be the longest in the history of our nation. Regrettably, our nation’s wars will continue, and so will the deep wounds and the sacrifices.
Fortunately, yoga and meditation are powerful tools that can support health, healing, and post traumatic growth. I believe in the power of these practices because I’ve experienced it personally, and I have seen the impact that yoga and meditation have had on my fellow warriors.
James Alden | April 2017
De Oppresso Liber,
Lieutenant Colonel James Alden, U.S. Army Retired
James Alden is a member of the Army of the United States Army (AUS) Retired List. Use of his military rank and job title does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.